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The Boys: Every Fan Needs To Read THIS Before Watching Gen V

With "Gen V's" premiere just around the corner, it's almost time for "The Boys" fans to go back to school. Luckily, Looper's here to help you with your summer reading.

The spin-off exists within the same continuity as Amazon's original Prime Video series, which itself is based on the Dynamite comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The comic was first released in 2006 and ran for a hefty 72 issues, but, luckily, you won't need to read anywhere near that many to get a primer on the newest diabolical chapter of Prime's "The Boys."

"Gen V" will primarily adapt the fourth volume of the comic book series, subtitled "We Gotta Go Now" (not to be confused with the Season 2 episode of "The Boys," which borrowed the name for its title). Running from issue 23 through issue 30, "We Gotta Go Now" is a largely standalone arc that explores the X-Men pastiche the G-Men and their horrifying Xavier-esque leader, John Godolkin. "Gen V" will seemingly use this volume as a loose jumping-off point for their story, though it will undoubtedly deviate vastly from the grotesque and occasionally poorly-aged source material.

We Gotta Go Now is the loose foundation of Gen V

If you can get past the gratuitous violence, excessively vulgar sense of humor, disturbing sexual content, and — in this case specifically — a bizarrely racist and cringey attempt to satirize exploitation in the music industry (and that's arguably a bit too charitable a description), it's still worth reading "We Gotta Go Now" if you're a huge fan of "The Boys." That said, this story is especially dark, especially in regard to its discussion of sexual assault, so it's more than understandable if you'd rather not experience the story firsthand. Instead, we'll briefly recap the story so you can appreciate where "Gen V" comes from without wading through that trademark Garth Ennis edge. Major spoilers for "The Boys" comic series will follow.

"We Gotta Go Now" primarily follows Hughie (Jack Quaid's character from the series) as he infiltrates the collegiate superhero factory known as the G-Men, which — like Marvel's X-Men — consists of a main team and numerous sub-teams. The Boys are given this mission by their CIA liaison, Susan Raynor (who tragically had her head explode in Season 2 of the show), after the Phoenix-like hero Silver Kincaid dies by public suicide. The team executes an investigation on multiple fronts that ultimately reveals horrors both supernatural and human, as well as the lengths Vought will go to in order to protect its brand.

The comic is incredibly dark

Hughie spends a majority of his time with G-Wiz (a frat-like probationary team), finding them relatively innocent compared to the other Vought superheroes The Boys have encountered thus far. Though they're certainly more disgusting than your average college frat-bro, Hughie can't help but pity their youthful ignorance. Mother's Milk, meanwhile, follows a lead that takes him to Silver Kincaid's family.

Together, the team learns that the dozens (or possibly hundreds) of children raised by John Godolkin in the G-Mansion were not actually orphans or runaways, as he claimed, but were kidnapping victims, abused and groomed by Godolkin himself. Vought was aware of this horrifying truth but turned a blind eye due to the unparalleled revenue the G-franchise brought in.

However, with Silver Kincaid's death being public knowledge, The Boys' investigation reaching a head, and a building failure to keep the sprawling G-Men roster quiet, Vought chooses to end the team before The Boys can exact their own justice. The company does this by charging its private militia to set Godolkin and his countless "children" ablaze. While "Gen V" will certainly be as dark and edgy as "The Boys," it's hard to imagine the show going quite as far as the comics did. And, for a number of frankly obvious reasons, that's probably a good thing.