Wow. It feels like all of us read #65 three days before it was actually released! It literally seems like we've been talking about this issue forever, and for good reason. This is it- the big one, the issue we've all been waiting for.
Before I start recapping, I just wanna say that this was a great, great issue. Even I, try though I did, couldn't find much to hate about it. I could whine (and most certainly will) about how I wish the rest of the title had been this awesome, but screw that. We're talking about Issue #65, and it was phenomenal.
RECAPPIN' IN STYLE:
Butcher walks in on Homelander getting Head from Vic the Veep. Homelander proceeds to give Head to Butcher. Yes, it's going to be exactly that kind of recap. Deal with it. Also, I'm going to recap the book in random order. Some passages might be in Latin. Consider it my version of the "shaky-cam" bullshit that we were forced to endure through the "Hunger Games" movie.
What? I should get back to recapping? Fine.
No, wait. We're going to play a game. The game is called "At what point would you have known that Black Noir was a clone of Homelander, if you hadn't already known from months of discussing that very topic here on this board?" I'm going with the scene where Homelander informs Butcher that he has absolutely no recollection of half the atrocities he's supposed to have committed. Homie then laughs at Butcher's insanely inappropriate choice of weapons. Butcher decides to try and brain him anyway. I'm really trying to figure out a way to work in more fellatio jokes, and failing.
Anyway. Remember how I joked that BN would turn out to be Rorschach? To prove my point, BN wanders out of the darkness, and utters Rorschach's immortal line, "Hnnnnnnnnnnnh!" at Butcher and Homie.
Okay, so back to Basil Exposition... uh, Mother's Milk, and he continues to explain the plot to the only person in any universe, fictional or otherwise, too stupid to figure it out for themself: Hughie. Okay, is it just me, or does Mother's Milk sound more cartoonishly Ethnic in every single panel of this book? He starts out at a level 3 "Wesley Snipes" Black Accent, and ends up at a full-on Level Nine Marshall Mathers. It's disconcerting. And weird. And inexplicable. Let me recap. Because recappin' is my thang, yo.
"Yo homeslice, Vought created uh clone o' de Homelander, ta kill him in case he becumz uh threat. da clone wuz de Black Noir. ah think de Black Noir go madness an' decided ta frame up de Homelander fo' uh bunch o' crimes, so dat he'd gots an excuse ta kill da n**ga, an don't make me pull mah gat!
Mother's Milk then proceeds to slap an underage prostitute, eat a bucket of fried chicken, and get a contract with the NBA.
Back with Butcher, Homie, and Blacklander: Blacklander removes his mask, revealing what we already knew. The weird thing is: I was actually surprised. Seriously. We'd been talking about it for so long that I'd convinced myself it couldn't possibly happen. It was as if the Rapture happened tomorrow- Yeah, I'm a Christian, so I'm supposed to believe it's coming, but frankly, I don't really expect it to.
So, Blacklander starts to explain his evil plan. I really would prefer not to linger on this scene, because it's retarded, and not in the good, "Sarah Palin's children" way. It's retarded in the "Why the hell does Ennis do shit like this?" way. Mother's Milk just spent two pages explaining to us that nobody, not one fucking person at Vought thought there was anything wrong with Blacklander other than a certain social awkwardness regarding public speaking. Also, they completely failed to notice that he looks exactly like Homelander. I know we've beaten this to death in other threads, but that doesn't make it any less stupid.
Anyway, Blacklander turns out to be a gibbering spastic who sounds like a deranged five-year-old with downs syndrome. Seriously folks, there's no way Vought could have mistaken this for "being withdrawn". It brings down the book. It's insulting. It's lazy. But let's move past it. As it turns out, most of the hideous things that we've blamed on Homelander were actually Blacklander. However, and again, I don't mean to nitpick, but that's my gig: the plot starts swerving all over the place, like a car on black ice. Suddenly, Blacklander kidnapped the families that he's shown killing in the "penis massacre" pictures. But as I recall, we were led to believe earlier that the families were those of the 9/11 pilots, and that Vought had them killed to cover their tracks.
Outside, the Supes are dying like flies. I was expecting wholesale slaughter, but this seems a little anti-climatic. I doubt the military loses even a single person or aircraft in the assault, which hardly makes the supes seem like a threat, now does it? Apparently, we could have just ignored them. I was happy to see Oh! Father get blown in half, though. I hate that prick.
She Hulk utters some famous quote that I'm not familiar with, (Unless she's quoting Connor McCloud from 'Highlander') and then gets blow'd up real good. Again, should I be seeing these guys as the underdogs? Because that's how I'm seeing them.
Speaking of which, I think it's time that I brought up something that's bugged me this WHOLE DAMN COMIC. Ennis wants us to believe that people are so inherently evil that given any amount of power at all, they'll instantly turn into degenerate scumbags. Well, if that's the actual truth of The Boys Universe, why the hell do I care what happens to ANYBODY in it? If every single human being in this particular reality is nothing but Ted Bundy awaiting the opportunity to kill, rape, and snort drugs with impunity, and the only thing that stands between them and complete moral depravity is the ability to fly, then maybe they'd all be better off dead.
Back inside, Butcher makes the witty observation that Homelander became a psychopath based completely off of false information. Homelander illustrates the diversity of the F-Word, and attacks Blacklander. This could have been a really cool fight scene, because suddenly we could get behind Homelander a little bit- and there have been points where he was a least somewhat sympathetic, such as during Believe, when he told Starlight to grow the hell up and take responsibility for her own actions.
Homelander incinerates Blacklander's arm. Blacklander punches Homelander's jaw completely off. This is really great stuff, which means we only get a page of it. Butcher decides to get the hell out of Dodge. He rejoins Hughie and the Marines. He informs Hughie that he, much like us, is already aware of the CloneLander Saga. He pushes a Marine out of a gunnery seat. Hilarity regarding their respective accents ensues.
Blacklander, having won the Battle of the Landers, comes lurching out of the White House. He's pretty messed up. Apparently, our boy Homelander gave nearly as good as he got during the battle. IF ONLY WE'D GOTTEN TO SEE IT. Yeah, it was much more compelling watching Butcher make "Dude" jokes. The Marines open fire. Blacklander goes down. I'm assuming this is the payoff for the "aim for open wounds" line from last issue. But wait, Blacklander lurches to his knees. Well, we knew Butcher had to be the one to finally put him down for good. Butcher walks over and in an admittedly AWESOME scene, uses his crowbar to pop Blackie's skull open like a bottle cap. Then he grabs a handful of brains, monologs for a while, then squeezes.
...here's the thing. I'm not sure it was an emotionally satisfying victory, either for Butcher or for us. Yes, the Big Reveal that it was BN who was the badguy all along was cool, but we have YEARS invested into thinking that Homelander was the Big Bad. I really didn't feel much closure with Blackie's death, especially since it turned out that he was a gibbering idiot.
And speaking of gibbering idiots. Who at Vought thought it was a good idea to create a stronger, even more crazy version of Homelander, "just in case Homelander went bad"? Was it the vice president of their Umbrella Corporation division? Who signed off on that? "Hey, I have this plan. Just in case Homelander ever turns evil, let's make an even stronger version of him, who's already evil! Oh, and get this- we'll make him look exactly like the Homelander, but we won't tell anyone. Great, right?"
So, Butcher wanders off, cries a bit, then informs us that he's gonna do something even more horrible next issue. I'm not gonna speculate, because knowing Ennis, it's gonna be something spectacularly douchebaggy like "Butcher devises a way to kill children in the womb if they have V Potential", or something like that. And again, using the logic of The Boys Universe, maybe Butcher should just exterminate the entire human race, given that we're all irredeemable bastards, waiting only for the ability to cling to walls to turn us in to baby-killing lunatics.
...and thus we come to the end of the Penultimate arc of The Boys. And what an end it was. Let's hope the next six issues are as good.