Garth Ennis

's "The Boys" remains one of the more satisfying reads on the shelves today. However, with it's broad scope and take on the rich and powerful - plus all the violence, black humor, blue situations and the unfolding of a vast conspiracy in anticipation of what looks to be a cataclysmic showdown between hereos who are anything but heroic and the "good guys" who stretch that term as well, one thing seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle.

The book - like all of Ennis's strongest work - really shines when it focuses on the characters and in particular, their relationships.

Indeed, what keeps Comics Guy coming back every month, long after the shock of yet another outrageous, envelope-pushing Ennis scene is the relationship between Wee Hughie and Annie (a.k.a. Starlight).

In a selfish, cruel world, Hughie is not only normal physically but arguably the most decent, noble person in the book. The reason Comics Guy says arguably is because he has one rival - Annie.

That's why when a revealed secret caused Hughie to dump his true love recently, it hit Comics Guy harder than countless death scenes ever could.

What therefore makes the "The Boys: Highland Laddie" miniseries a must-read is the interaction between Hughie and Annie in the aftermath of their breakup. Though Ennis must know "Boys" fans are screaming for this couple to get back together, he has shown no signs that it will be a slam dunk that they do.

Ennis writes the characters as real people who know they care about each other, but wonder if that's enough - even if they might want it to be.

This is not to say that Hughie and Annie are perfect people. They have engaged in acts and spoken dialogue that would get Archie comics pulped and "Leave it to Beaver" canceled.

But they are two decent people who have found and leaned on each other in an increasingly indecent world. That should have you rooting for them to make it, even if you don't have a romantic bone in your body.

Romancer takes on 'X-23'

Romance novelist Marjorie M. Liu has brought some heat to two of Wolverine's progeny in "Dark Wolverine" and "X-23" respectively. In case Comics Guy can't get to review them in the next few months, just a note that they are both definitely worth checking out.

Ghul daughter 'Rising'?

With rumors swirling that Christopher Nolan wants to stay with the dark Bat-universe he has created onscreen and play with a character fresher to audiences than Catwoman, speculation has centered on him having Ras Al Ghul's daughter, Talia, appear in "The Dark Knight Rises" to avenge her father's death and serve as a love interest.

Fans are already clamoring for Teresa Palmer, who had been cast as Talia in the now-defunct "Justice League," to be chosen for the role.

Palmer addressed the speculation in an interview with "Movieweb."

"I've definitely put the feelers out there with my agents and that would be something I would be really glad to have happen," she said. "I doubt I would be one of the actresses high up on Nolan's list. I think they are definitely going after a woman with a much bigger profile than I.

"It is the longest shot in history for sure but I've put my name out there with my agents and things. So we'll see who ends up doing that role."

"The Dark Knight Rises" will be in theaters and IMAX on July 20, 2012.

'IM3' seeks new director

Jon Favreau confirmed this week that he will not be directing the third installment in the "Iron Man" film franchise, scheduled to hit screens in May, 2013. He had directed and played the role of Happy Hogan in the first two films.

"It's true, I'm directing 'Magic Kingdom,' not 'Iron Man 3.' I've had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best," read a tweet posted on Favreau's account.

"Magic Kingdom" is a Disney film in development about a family stuck in Disneyland when the attractions come to life, keeping Favreau with Marvel's parent company for the time being.

Favreau directed both 2008's "Iron Man" and this past May's "Iron Man 2." He's serving as executive producer on the 2012 film version of "The Avengers," which will also feature Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man.