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Cartoonish violence. Sexual exploitation. Homphobic language. Semi naked women. Big guns. Can any of these things be justified as “satire” any more? In her controversial review of (controversial) comic writer Garth Ennis’s series The Boys, Francesca Lewis argues that they can.

I must admit that personally I am one of those feminists who go Ennis “all wrong” – taking at face value the repeated recourse to graphic portrayals of sexual and gender violence. If nothing else, after a certain point the books got so triggering I needed to take a break. But Francesca does make an interesting argument for viewing the work in the context of the superhero comic genre that it’s aimed at, as opposed to against a more general cultural background.

What do you think? Read The Boys by Francesca Lewis.