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What The Boys Creator Garth Ennis Really Does For The Amazon Series

One of the most noteworthy series to come out of Amazon Studios recently has been The Boys, which depicts a world where superheroes — or supes — are common, but their motives are not as pure as they seem. In The Boys' depiction of a world where superhuman heroics have become widely accepted, the public treats the supes with the same sort of adoration reserved for the real world's best-loved celebrities. However, as one of the series' main characters, Hughie (Jack Quaid), learns, a corrupt system supports the superheroes, that hides their rampant abuse of power and unchecked violence.

In opposition to these superpowered people of questionable morals are the Boys themselves, a group of vigilantes dedicated to exposing and stopping the corrupt supes. The Boys are led by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), a former British commando with an intense dislike of all superheroes, especially their leader, Homelander (Antony Starr).

Not everyone realizes it, but The Boys is based on an influential graphic novel of the same name. While the show and the original comics do diverge, The Boys' showrunner still reaches out to the creator of the comics, Garth Ennis, for assistance in nailing key details for critical characters such as Billy Butcher. Here is what The Boys creator Garth Ennis really does for the Amazon series.

Garth Ennis helps write authentic dialogue for Billy Butcher on The Boys

The Boys' leader, Billy Butcher, speaks in gruff, heavily-accented English that includes liberal application of British slang and expletives. While writing dialogue in that style for the comics was second nature for Garth Ennis, who spent most of his life living in Northern Ireland, it proved more challenging for Erik Kripke and his American team at Amazon Studios. However, Ennis made it clear that getting the dialogue and character of Butcher was vital when he told Kripke, "Just get Butcher right" (via Consequence of Sound).

To do that, Kripke has kept Ennis in the loop when crafting Butcher's dialogue. Kripke said, "I've sent him every script to this day. I even just sent him episode three of season three yesterday because, to this day, he wants to weigh in on Butcher's dialogue. And I'm happy to have him do it because he knows Butcher's dialogue better than I do, and he knows British slang way better than me, so I'm happy to have him pitch suggestions."

While Ennis may not be directly writing lines for Karl Urban to read as Billy Butcher about his love for the Spice Girls, the comic's creator has been a steady presence in the show's writing process. For a show that dives deep into social issues while chiseling away at the popular fascination with superheroes, having an authentic voice behind the main characters seems to have helped make the show a success.