(EDITOR'S NOTE: The thumbnails are censored, but the full-size editions are not, and pretty NSFW. So, click at your discretion or whatevs.)
Distant rumblings. Well, not so distant. Subterranean maybe, because the dark forces moving around are being felt surely enough. Only their actions are not yet direct, so everyone can only speculate, or plan, or flee, or worry. The badger killed the sensible president last issue, which means the idiotic VP is now in charge. The one who had such fun at Herogasm, and is a complete tool of Vought-American. So there's no reason at all for the Boys even to continue to receive their funding. It's one of those institutional paradigm shifts that operates almost irrespective of politics; power has simply switched hands.
And if that's not enough, Hughie is still a mess in the sack. He's barely been able to deal with the footage of Annie having been made to perform sexual acts by several of the male Seven (that Butcher made him watch). It's still giving him nightmares, which blur into his dreams of his earlier girlfriend Robin being killed by superhero fallout. He's a mess.
It's all really got to be about what Black Noir did to him. Which didn't even happen in this title, but did happen a very long time ago in the first spin-off? Hughie's never processed that male-to-male violation (if such it was, but probably), and it looks like that all might finally come out next month. He panics at the very thought of digging into Black Noir's secrets, which is all sorts of messed up. Is anybody on this team going to have any reaction but shared hate for Black Noir? And aren't they all too jaded to be embarrassed? Hughie, it's past time to get jaded.
Instead he's still whinging on about "I'm not going to do any violence anymore, blah blah blah –" it's just too boring, a broken record that Butcher generously tolerates (consigned as he is to the coming final solution, probably).
And if that's not enough, Mother's Milk is having terrible family problems, as all the women in his life need him or hate him in equal measure: mother, ex-wife, daughter, it's all too grim whenever he takes a single phone call.
And if THAT'S not enough, the unnamed Vought-American Chief and his number one executive ready all of their "staff" for "reallocation" in the wake of all those shifting power plays, which allows us to debut the latest super-team knockoff, Team Titanic. Featuring Robby One, Starlike, Regina Dentata, Country Mama and Gumchum. I'll let you figure out Ennis' latest lovefest of homages, because, really, you have to love all the originals to parody them this rudely. At least Russ Braun makes them look as pretty as possible.
Speaking of the art, I can't tell if Darick Robinson's cover is a black mass, the scariest rave ever, or a squadron of supers herding holocaust victims to the ovens. It isn't what happens in the issue, but it may be the outcome.
Team Titanic are frigging superstars, by the way, compared to the sad team of Image rejects that burst in on the Boys in the finale (probably dispatched clumsily by Vic the Veep himself). It is a thing of beauty to see the Boys assess this latest "threat," solely through Braun's command of body language. But, c'mon now fellas, shine or get off the shinola already!
Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at Cornekopia.net.