Amazon's latest original series, a no-holds barred adaptation of the Dynamite Entertainment comic book series of The Boys, has been released to widespread critical acclaim and an early renewal for a second season from Amazon. With its unapologetically violent and boundary-pushing, politically incorrect content, the series has earned its fair share of fans who may be interested in becoming familiar with tonally similar stories.

Now, CBR is taking a look at some of the best comic book series to read after watching The Boys, including a titles that are required reading for any fan of co-creator Garth Ennis.

RELATED: Garth Ennis Weighs In on Every Script for The Boys Show


After watching the Amazon television adaptation, what better way to continue one's enjoyment of The Boys than reading the original comic book source material itself? Created by Ennis and Darick Robertson, the long-running Dynamite series takes place in a world where superheroes who abuse their power are kept in check by the titular, ragtag ensemble.

The first deluxe omnibus volume collects the series' first fourteen issues which comprised much of the adaptation's first season and teases where it may go next. For fans looking to see how the television series differentiates for the source material, this is the best, most comprehensive, resource.


The other Ennis comic book series that's current being adapted for television, Preacher, created by Ennis and Steve Dillon, is a searing tour through America. The universally acclaimed Vertigo series had Reverend Jesse Custer gain a mysterious power known as Genesis that made him a target for nefarious forces on Earth and in Heaven. With his ex-girlfriend Tulip and an Irish vampire named Cassidy, the trio launched a cross-country tour to find God to make things right.

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Preacher: Book One collects the series' first twelve issues, packed with gratuitous violence, razor-sharp black comedy, and memorable characters as Jesse and his friends begin their odyssey, leaving a trail full of collateral damage in their wake.


Along with working on his own titles, Ennis has written tales set within shared comic book universes as well, and his longest-running title set in the heart of the DC Universe is Hitman, co-created with John McCrea. Following former soldier-turned-gun-for-hire Tommy Monaghan, the eponymous Hitman would cross paths with numerous iconic heroes and villains from the DCU.

Hitman: A Rage in Arkham collects the series' first story arc along with Tommy's first meetings with Batman, Joker, and Etrigan the Demon as he attempts to make a decent living amongst the criminal underworld of Gotham City while running afoul with the local organized crime syndicates. While the book's firm presence in the DC Universe tones down its content slightly, this stand-alone DC title still has Ennis' trademark humor and ultra-violence.


In terms of no-holds barred crime fiction in comics, one of the best titles in recent years is the Eisner Award-winning series Southern Bastards. Created by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, the series is full of raw emotion, pitch black comedic flourishes, and plenty of bloody violence in a sort of chicken-fried noir.

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Southern Bastards: Here Was a Man collects the Image Comics series' first story arc as Earl Tubbs makes his way back to his hometown in Craw County, Alabama where he discovers it is now run with an iron fist by the local high school football coach. Dismayed at what his town has become, Earl vows to retake it by any brutal means necessary.


The mainstream character Ennis is most associated with is the Punisher. After years of attempting to take Frank Castle in different directions, Marvel Comics entrusted Preacher creators Ennis and Dillon with the property as part of its Marvel Knights publishing imprint, bringing him back to clear-cut, violent glory in the late '90s.

Marvel Knights: Punisher by Garth Ennis, Vol. 1 collects the creative team's work with the character as Frank returned to New York City to face the resurgent organized crime elements, with the team's usual dark humor, blazing guns, and encounters between the Punisher and several other New York-based superheroes. These stories have influenced everything from the Punisher's two most recent movies to his presence on Marvel's dearly departed Netflix shows.

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