Amazon Prime’s smash metahuman hit series “The Boys” are returning in September. The heroic pastiche of the Justice League first created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson came to Prime last season to rave reviews with its dystopian take on the superheroic genre.
The series opens with a horrific scene of a young woman in the path of a speedster, we are cast into a world where superheroes literally run amok. Amok with fame, that is. These superhumans have replaced movie stars and music celebrities. Anyone can make movies. Anyone can be a singer, but not everyone can be a super.
Homelander (Anthony Star), Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), Translucent (Alex Hassell), Starlight (Erin Moriarty) and The Deep (Chace Crawford) were introduced to us in Season One.
Let me say, because these reprobates are not the heroes of this tale, they will only be given the slightest bits of respect. They are terrible people at their best and if you knew them, you wouldn’t let them walk your dog or clean your fish-tank.
The actors, however, are outstanding. Anthony Star’s Homelander is a complete sociopathic narcissist who has all of the powers of Superman and none of the restraint.
Dominique McElligott’s Maeve remained a coiled menace through most of the first season but I expect she is going to lose that composure come season two. Her best scene was on the airplane that she and Homelander didn’t or couldn’t rescue. I felt the pathos and the rage behind her every word. Homelander. Your day is coming…
A-Train is every bit the train wreck his namesake might suggest. Ambitious, focused as only an athlete can, he didn’t keep his eye on the entirety of his life. Now, as his body breaks down, he makes poor choices again and again. I would feel sorry for the guy if he just wasn’t so damn clueless. Jessie makes it look easy. You root for A-Train, but you know he isn’t going to win.
Starlight is the focus for the viewer looking at the Seven. Young, metahuman, ambitious and more than a little naive, Annie January’s induction into the Seven is patriarchy at its level worst. He view of heroes and the Seven begins to tarnish as she realizes the darkness of the life she has embarked upon but is unwilling to give up. Erin Moriarty’s is magnificent as the fresh face of superherodom being crushed under its sexist and misogynistic boot. Her revenge will be sweet.
Black Noir. Hmm. What’s to be said about him? Menacing. Check. Fear-inducing. Check. Non-verbal. Check. Plays piano. Check. Kicks ass. Check, check, cash. Who is he? What are his motivations? Who pays for his gear? And doesn’t he seem to take far too much joy in his work? What will the next season reveal for him? Three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead…
What can I say about the Deep which hasn’t already been said? Chace Crawford, you complete me. Here’s a character being played as a subversion to the modern Aquaman. He is incompetent in every way that would make him a decent hero. In fact, I would say, Chace plays him in homage to a generation of Aquaman (the Superfriends era) where he appeared more as a running joke than a superhero. Chace gets us to share in the awkwardness of his superhuman experience and we are as often aghast as we are sympathetic. Chace: don’t ever change.
These are not the heroes of our childish youth. These are the selfish, self-centered, superhumans of a modern age. Obsessed with beauty, wealth, control and power just like anyone else, they simply have a greater capacity to use and be used by anyone with the right interests.
Which makes then right gits in the eyes of people who might know more about the secret lives of the superhuman elite.
If you were a member of such a cabal, you might learn that superhumans routinely kill people, mostly by accident and have their own legal teams which follow them and offer recompense to families in settlement.
Or sometimes they don’t. When Billie Butcher (played completely over the top by Karl Urban) a former CIA operative enters the world of the supers, he is disgusted by what he discovers there. A world of drugs, abuse, psychosis, and a whole lot of death. A world where Human life isn’t worth much and much like our own world, powerful corporations can do almost anything. Billy Butcher hates superhumans. Not just the bad ones. He hates all superhumans. Why? He doesn’t believe any of them can be good. Power corrupting and all that.
His solution? Superhumans need regulation. They need controls. They need a sharp kick in the nads from time to time to keep them in line. He was just the man for the job. He didn’t work alone either. His group to counter the horror of the superhuman scourge was called The Boys.
We don’t know much about their career before the series starts, but when it opens we learn, the Boys broke up. Everyone returned to their lives, such as they were, until Billy Butcher decided to get the band back together and take on the Seven in his latest crusade. Smooth-talking, Butcher got the team and a recent enthusiastic addition, Hughie Campbell.
Mother’s Milk (played by Laz Alonso), a moral center to a group of reprobates whose most charming feature is they are less terrible than the monsters whose nads they plan on standing on. Billy Butcher is pure purpose, but his attention to detail leaves something to be desired.
Fortunately for him Mother’s Milk is the detail-oriented SOB for the job. The only one of the Boys to have a life outside of their avocation, he has a girlfriend, a job and a world which doesn’t always cater to bashing superheroes in the mouth. He wants to keep that part of his life separate from a thing he isn’t quite sure he’s ready to give up — reminding supers they don’t run the whole world. Yet.
Frenchie (played by Tomer Kapon), is a gun-toting, gun-running, explosives-handling, one-man-army. He’s the man you want on your side, when you don’t know a Mac-10 from detcord. Frenchie would be so much better at his job if it were not completely opposed to his truly empathetic nature. Frenchie remembers the faces of the people he kills and takes lots of drugs to help him forget. Thus Frenchie and Mother’s Milk are almost always at odds, due to their contrary natures. One is the soul of control, the other an agent of abandon. Yet, the two work well enough when they are respecting each other’s considerable talents.
The Female (portrayed by Karen Fukuhara – in the comic, she was called The Female of the Species) is an active superhuman, unique among the Boys. She rarely speaks having been found in a cage and greatly traumatized while she was experimented on.
Those experiments broke her mind and left her with superhuman abilities. Strong, fast, durable and capable of regeneration, the Female greatest vulnerability lies in her mind as she recovers her memory. Early in the series she develops a friendship with Frenchie because he helped her escape. He is the only person she tends to make any effort to interact with. Season Two rumors indicate she might find Frenchie a little clingy…
These are the good guys. Those tossers in bright spandex? They are the bad guys.
Not scared yet? Neither was anyone else. By the end of the first season the world was trembling because we come to realize the villain of this series was behind the scenes with the stylishly evil smiles of Giancarlo Esposito who I enjoy in everything he’s a member of. Alas his evil was short-lived but his legacy of superhumans made to order will live on. Oh, did I not mention, this entire morality play is focused on a bigger stage of world domination.
One which does not necessarily need any of these players, since they are the source of superhuman potential on the planet. Superhumans were brought to you by Vought Corporation. The technology which created all early generation superheroes came from Vought. But now competition rears its ugly head. When competition has superpowers, there is bound to be collateral damage.
Welcome to Season Two of The Boys starting September 4, 2020.
Season Two has released new trailers. Trailers which continue the action and mayhem while increasing all of the tensions of the first season.
In addition, we found the spoiler-lite ComicCon@Home Summit with the cast and writers having a good time and talking smack about their character’s motivations. A great hour to be had by all fans of “The Boys.” Executive producers, Eric Kripke, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg make an appearance in the ComicCon@Home panel moderated by the amazing Aisha Tyler.
Follow THE BOYS:
- Website: https://www.amazon.com/TheBoys
- Facebook: @TheBoysTV
- Twitter: @TheBoysTV
- Instagram: @TheBoysTV
- YouTube: Prime Video