ADG Perspective

July-August 2020

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T H E B O Y S | P E R S P E C T I V E 3 7 Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy really changed the game for graphic novels. How did Bruce Wayne get the Batmobile and why wear a cape? Creating the backstory to these classic elements paved the way for the current "Era of the Superhero." It took logical questions that people had glossed over for years and brought them into a tangible world. My first foray into the superhero genre was Roger Corman's The Black Scorpion for the Sci-Fi Channel back in 1995. Whenever I would say, "Hey…this doesn't make any sense," the writer would always say, "Well, it's comic book logic" and that would be it. But I wanted it to make sense, and I think fans do too. Enter The Boys, a new R-rated series for Amazon about a team of superheroes and the band of misfits who are working to take them out. What if superheroes were real... Well, they would probably be egotistical jerks that would embody the idea of absolute power corrupting absolutely. They would be a Kardashian mixed with a pro athlete combined with a politician; capable of doing whatever they wanted. That was the idea at the core of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's series The Boys. It was my third time taking a Garth Ennis project from page to television. I had previously designed Constantine and Preacher; Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg also produced the latter. I knew with their guidance that the level of insanity would be pushed on every level. Showrunner Eric Kripke really pushed to ground the show in the present day. No future tech, no floating space stations, it was going to be just like a switch was flipped and the heroes were real. In our first meeting we talked about the realities, of the world building. There wouldn't be any Batcaves or Fortresses of Solitude, it would be a business environment run by a megacorporation. Apple meets Marvel. The show's Vought Corporation is part law enforcement and part advertising company. They rent out the superheroes to cities to solve their crime problems and add the marketing spin as well. The heroes would have their own movies just like Marvel and would be slapped on billboards hawking whatever they could sell. The offices had to be slick and unique. I didn't want to go futuristic, it had to feel like Vought had just called up Zaha Hadid or Santiago Calatrava and threw a ton of money at them for the tallest, most forward-thinking building in New York. A. THE SEVEN COMIC BOOK COVER. GRAPHIC LAYOUT BASED ON ONE OF THE ORIGINAL COMIC BOOK COVERS BY DARICK ROBERTSON. B. PANORAMA OF VOUGHT TOWER BOARDROOM, BLENDING THE NEOCLASSICAL STYLE OF WASHINGTON, DC WITH AN OVER THE TOP AESTHETIC WHERE THE SUPERHEROES SEE THEMSELVES AS GODS. PART POLITICIAN, PART REALITY STAR. PHOTO BY JAN THIJS.

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