To understand the comic book history of The Boys, you need to understand Image Comics. And Wildstorm Studios. And DC Comics. And Dynamite Entertainment. And the weird world of comics in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.
To fully understand Image Comics, you need to understand that the traditional 'New York' publishing business, which comics fell under, wasn’t modernizing quickly enough to keep up with what the industry was becoming. The history of Image Comics is its own book or series of books. The quick version is, in 1992 Marvel's top artists Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Erick Larsen, Jim Valentino, Marc Silvestri, and Whilce Portacio left their positions at the publisher (for the most part) to form their own comics company to give themselves more creative control and their share of the money their creations made.
Image took off like a house afire, with initial issues selling upwards of one million copies and going into multiple printings. Rather than just publishing their own titles, some like Liefeld, Silvestri, and Lee opted to establish their own studios, each reflecting their own style and filled with their own characters. Liefld set up shop with Extreme Studios, Silvestri with Top Cow, and Lee with Wildstorm Studios.
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