Newsarama that The Boys has been cancelled as of last month's issue, number six.
Published under the Wildstorm banner at DC, The Boys has been plagued by controversy right from the start. From orgies to a certain gerbil fetish, the book is obviously not for the faint of heart. It is an adult-themed book to be sure, one that has been labeled as such.
It figures. I love this book. I am already pumped for next week's #7 and to find out it has been cancelled before I will see anymore issues sucks. No bones about it. Along with 100 Bullets, Fables, and Manhunter, this has been one of my favorite books from day one.
The official article at Newsarama reads as follows:
"Newsarama has learned that Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s Wildstorm series, The Boys has been cancelled by DC, effective with issue #6 of the series, which is currently on shelves. Issues #7-#10, as well as the trade collection – all of which have been solicited – will not ship.
DC declined to comment on the series or even confirm that the series has indeed, been canceled.
The series sales appear to have been healthy enough, with issue #6 seeing an estimated 27,000 copies shipping to stores in December, placing it at #81 on Diamond’s Top 300 list. For that month, only two other Wildstorm titles sold more copies, Gen13 and Midnighter. August’s issue #1 saw an estimated 31,000 copies sold.
The series was announced with much hoopla at last spring’s WizardWorld LA, and was heralded by Ennis here on Newsarama as the book that would “out-Preacher Preacher.” The phrase was later picked up and used on promotional posters for the series from DC, who saw it as part of the Wildstorm revitalization.
Robertson had perhaps the most succinct description of the series, saying: “The Boys are a team of five super-powered operatives who work for a secret department within the U.S. government. It's their job to monitor and investigate superhero behavior, they gather intelligence- i.e. dirt- on them, and occasionally to use it against them. Just as the C.I.A. has had a use for the Mafia, Sadaam Hussein, and Columbia's FARC terrorists (to name a few), so they also need superheroes. Sometimes they need them on a leash. Sometimes they have to put them down. The Boys are the people who do the job.”
When the series launched, readers found that little of what Ennis and Robertson was saying was hyperbole. The series was violent, rude, crude, and…essentially, what you’d expect if you put Ennis and Robertson together in a room with superheroes.
The series was clearly in crescendo mode in regards to content, and this was clearly seen in issue #6 when, after a super-powered individual was accidentally killed by Hughie, a hamster crawled out of…his backside.
While DC has published graphic violence, sexual situations, and individuals who prefer the ruder and cruder side of life (much of it with Ennis’ name attached) in the past, it has also, on a handful of occasions, pulled material from a comic it felt crossed the line. Again, DC declined to comment on the reasons behind the series cancellation. If the series was cancelled because the publisher felt it was too over the top, The Boys would be in rare company, joining Marvel/Epic’s Void Indigo by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik, which only saw one issue published before it was ended, due to content issues.
On a purely speculative note, The Boys is a creator-owned property, jointly owned by Ennis and Robertson. After his series, Fallen Angel was cancelled by DC, co-creator of the property Peter David was able to regain the property and move it to IDW, where it has been published since.
When contacted by Newsarama about the situation with the series, Robertson replied:
"The Boys has been canceled effectively with issue #6.
"It became obvious that DC was not the right home for The Boys. DC is being good about reverting our rights so we can find a new publisher and we're in the process of doing that now. I'm continuing to work exclusively for DC in the meantime. I want to thank Scott Dunbier and Ben Abernathy at Wildstorm for all their hard work."
Evidently this is censorship at it's finest, folks. I can only hope that the book does indeed find another home so I can continue to follow the adventures of Hughie and his group. Instead of giving up hope, I am crossing my fingers on the mighty return of The Boys.