In the never-ending race to land the next hot comic property, Columbia has just purchased the rights to Garth Ennis' comic series The Boys. The studio will be adapting the series into a film with producer Neal H. Mortiz under his Sony-based Original Pictures company.

The Boys follows a CIA group assigned to keep tabs on superheroes and, when necessary, take violent action against them. Typical of Ennis, it's chock full of graphic violence and sexuality, and happily mocks the Marvel and DC pantheon of heroes.

Moritz, while enthusiastic, seems unaware of how black it is. "Rather than begin with a romantic idea of superheroes out to save the world, The Boys imagines a world in which superheroes really exist, with all of the flaws that real people have. The boys are there to make sure that people with superhuman powers don't get out of line."

I can't shake the feeling that Moritz heard about Watchmen, realized Warner Bros already had it, and asked an intern to find him something with flawed superheroes. Deconstructed superheroes are going to be all the rage in Hollywood now, 20 years after Alan Moore and Frank Miller have been there, done that.

Wow, I sound cynical. I don't mean to. Any original story that a studio picks up is a good thing, and a world where comic books are the hottest thing going is undeniably fun. But will Ennis make it to the screen with all that gleeful brutality and contempt intact? Or will it be neutered into a ordinary action movie?