It's a Guy Thing

The Boys

In recent years superheroes have dominated all forms of entertainment, from the record-breaking Marvel Cinematic Universe to the numerous DC and Marvel TV series found across multiple streaming services. The superheroes are beacons of hope, that saves humanity from all evil and injustices. They are pure bastions of good, that will always put themselves in harm’s way for the people around them. But what if some of them weren’t all that good? What if some superheroes were as fallible as the human race they are protecting? Step in the Amazon Original The Boys, a show that treats their superheroes as corruptible people who only care about their PR brand and how much money they are making from market share. It’s an interesting take on the superhero model that exists at the moment but there is so much more when you dive deeper into the dark and seedy subtext of The Boys.

Based on the 2006 graphical novel by Garth Ennis (of Preacher fame), The Boys is set in a universe where superpowered people are recognized as heroes by the general public and owned by powerful corporation Vought International, which markets and monetizes them. Outside of their heroic personas, most are arrogant and corrupt. The series primarily focuses on two groups: the Seven, Vought International’s premier superhero team, and the titular Boys, vigilantes looking to keep the corrupted heroes under control.

When our protagonist Hughie violently sees the death of his girlfriend at the hands of A-Train (this universe’s Flash) as he accidentally runs through her at super-high speeds, it sets Hughie down a path of revenge that leads him to the introduction of Billy Butcher, brilliantly portrayed by Karl Urban. Butcher has his own plans for revenge against the leader of The Seven, the Superman of this Universe, Homelander. After initial doubts, Hughie joins The Boys, set on getting his revenge against the evils of the corrupted superheroes. Meanwhile, Annie January’s dreams come true when she joins the Seven as a new recruit Starlight, but her idealistic outlook on life is quickly shattered when she comes to terms with what it really means to be a superhero and the sacrifices she needs to make to ensure she stays in the Seven.

To go into any more detail of the dark and twisted story of The Boys would lead to major spoilers and this is a series that deserves to be seen spoiler-free. It’s an interesting take on the “What if” theory many have had with their friends when discussing their favorite superheroes and this series is not afraid to take it into its darkest areas. There are truly shocking moments scattered throughout the 8-episode arc, filled with intense gore, hilarious moments and awe-inspiring revelations. The supes might not be what they seem but neither are our heroes and not an episode goes by without questioning your allegiance. If you’re a bit worn out of the current trend of superhero entertainment then The Boys might be the perfect medicine to what many call the Marvel fatigue.