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Sonny Boye

Kelly Green is a recent widow of a police officer, Dan, who was killed in a set up which forms part of the plot for the first graphic novel. Kelly is consumed by grief and despair until one day when she is approached by several men who’d been sent to prison after being arrested by her husband. They’d all reformed because of Dan’s involvement and out of a sense of loyalty to Dan, want to make certain Kelly is taken care of. What that really means is proposing the idea to Kelly that she become a “go-between”, someone who’s the middleman in an illegal or unethical situation. In this case, Kelly is to deliver a large sum of money so a package of some sort can be delivered to the blackmailed buyer.

In order to find out who the actual client is (instead of his go-between) and gain an advantage in the deal, the former crooks persuade Kelly to pose as a stripper in a bar where they’ve a reliable tip. Conveniently, the bar is owned and managed by Gary Boye, another of former crook converted by her husband. Gary goes by the nickname Sonny.  Sonny embodies many stereotypical traits. He’s thin, almost waifish, with long and curly blond hair, has flamboyant gestures, and wears a powder blue sweater over a pink shirt with white slacks.

Upon their first meeting, Sonny tries, perhaps not very hard, to dissuade Kelly from posing as a stripper. He quickly relents and becomes a bit of a mentor by choosing an outfit and offering some tips before her debut on stage. Once her performance is done she meets Sonny at the gay bar next door and accidentally sees someone who worked with her husband there. This chance sighting is the clue that solves both the blackmail incident she’s acting as go-between for and her husband’s murder.

Like the other supporting characters, Sonny is shuffled off while Kelly becomes entrenched in the money exchange which leads to murder. The encounter provides a visual clue that leads Kelly to believe who the blackmailer/ murderer is…the person she spotted in the gay bar. She visits Sonny late one night and grills him about her suspect, trying to put obscure pieces in a different puzzle together to prove her theory. Kelly says to Sonny: “…No offense, but every gay I’ve ever met couldn’t wait to name every other gay in the world–so don’t play coy with me.” Yes, Sonny is given another stereotype. Sonny then relents to help Kelly in a sting operation. He disguises her in jeans, a leather jacket, cap, and sunglasses. She comes off looking like a bit absurd but it gains the lustful eye and heart of her suspect whom she approaches in a gay bar. Having served the plot, Sonny disappears and doesn’t return in the following two novels. It should be noted that the villain’s impetus for blackmail and murder are also stereotypical: fear of rejection (for being an old, ugly gay man) and fear of blackmail/ being outed on the job.

Sonny Boye’s creators are Stan Drake and Leonard Starr. Art by Starr from Kelly Green #1. Boye appeared in issue #1 only.

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September 25, 2021
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