With an inverted Superman introduced in the release of Brightburn last May, the explosive superhero horror film left geeks around the world wondering if we’ll see a live action Bizarro World Justice League. Last July, Amazon Prime satisfied a version of this curiosity in the phenomenal, must see series The Boys. Brought to life from the graphic novel series with the same title by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson and Dynamite Entertainment comes a twist on the superhero genre unlike any other.
Minutes after opening with a heroic introduction with two of the Seven, a satirical version of DC’s Justice League, we see a reckless side of these superhumans in a shockingly explosive and gruesome way. When A-Train (Jessie T. Usher: Independence Day: Resurgence), the series’ pseudo-Flash, unintentionally obliterates the girlfriend of Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid: The Hunger Games), a multi-billion dollar corporation called Vought steps in to do damage control. Offering Hughie a payoff requiring him to sign an non disclosure agreement, Vought is revealed to be a multi-billion dollar corporation that employs the Seven owning all the rights to everything related to their image and celebrity status. This includes endorsements, reality TV, movies deals and any other way Vought can capitalize on the superpowered team. And this group of pseudo-superheroes is more than happy to comply with the company’s terms and conditions and save people for show while caring more for their fame and fortune than peace, justice and morality. Especially if it means they can get away with abusing their powers behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, Hughie is recruited by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban: Star Trek 2009, Doom) to join a small band of vigilantees who see through the manufactured do-gooder image and fight to take Vought down. However, the latest member to join the Seven is a sweet, innocent, midwestern superhuman named Annie January/Starlight portrayed perfectly by Erin Moriarty (2016, Captain Fantastic). Driven by justice, morality and everything the Seven aren’t, Annie signs with Vought like a sterotypical naive starlet unaware of what she’s walking into arriving in Hollywood.
With so many award-winning talent including Elisabeth Shue (Back to the Future II and III), Simon Pegg from J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek and Jennifer Esposito from Crash (2005, Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock), there was not one weak performance. Other phenomenal performances include Dominique McElligott (House of Cards) as Queen Maeve and Usher’s portrayal of A-Train trying to hold onto his celebrity status. Chace Crawford (The Haunting of Molly Hartley) flawlessly pulls off his tricky character arc as The Deep adding some laughs, disgust and a perfect satirical version of Aquaman. However, it is Anthony Starr (Wish You Were Here) who stands out with his chilling performance of the series’ pseudo-Superman named Homelander.
As these characters and plot points converge and collide, bloody mayhem unfolds infused with action, top notch special effects and perfectly timed dark humor. Taking twists, turns and character arcs to unexpected places, The Boys delivers a story arc leaving you begging for a second season making this a huge homerun for Amazon Prime. Not since the first season of Heroes from 2007 have I enjoyed such a twist on the superhero genre.
Thankfully fans, such as myself, shouldn’t have to wait too long for a followup to this season’s shocking conclusion. With production of season 2 already underway, The Boys is expected to return sometime next year in all its raunchy, satirical and action fused glory.