There are a few IP’s out there that flip a respective genre on its head and shock the genre completely to its core. The Boys is that IP for the comic book genre. Based on the comic book of the same name created by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson published by Wildstorm (DC Comics) than later by Dynamite Entertainment, Amazon adapted the comic for television. Adaptations have found success on streaming services as of late because of the potential to have a lower budget while the creators can home in on the characters and story as a whole. The Boys is a completely different beast than what we’re used to. The amount of layers each character posses and how they’re developed over this first season is remarkable.
The same can be said with regard to the fact that series are becoming more in demand than a feature film. A comic adaptation like The Boys would be able to find more success on a streaming platform because of the more adult themes and suggestive material. That’s not to say a rated R property isn’t welcomed or successful i.e. Deadpool, Logan & Kick-Ass. The Boys came out of nowhere and sucker punched the genre giving us a different perspective of the superhero genre. That said, this is a heavy show to digest, every character is broken in a completely different way. This show portrays that brokenness in spectacular fashion giving equal amount last of time on each characters fragile state of mind. This show has us asking what if the good guys weren’t so good, but the public cannot see passed the rose colored glasses? What if there is corporate interest involved where these individuals are just looked at as a product to some?
They say never meet your heroes cause what if that hero is a complete and utter a**hole. The heroes that make up the Seven certainly are. And the ones who control the Seven – the real puppeteers, the ones who have the different changing agenda’s is Vought International. At the forefront for Vought is Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue) who is in charge of marketing and monetizing all the super powered individuals on Vought’s payroll. The Seven rival some of the biggest superhero teams that have been household names for decades – The Avengers & the Justice League.
“I’m the Homelander. And I can do whatever the f*ck I want.“
The biggest difference is The Seven is privately owned by a corporation. It’s an interesting spin on the genre – one that hasn’t been seen before. The Seven consist of Homelander (Antony Starr), Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), The Deep (Chace Crawford), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), Translucent (Alex Hassell), and the newest member Starlight (Erin Moriarty). To say s*** hits the fan immediately is an understatement. A-Train speeds through Hughie’s (Jack Quaid) girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro) leaving only Robin’s arms still intact. That scene alone sets the tone for this show.
Hughie is sought out by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) who wants to help Hughie strike back and get revenge on A-Train, and later the supes as a whole (including Homelander). As things begin to spiral out of control for just the two of them, Butcher enlists the aid of two former associates Frenchie (Tomer Capon) & Mothers Milk (Laz Alonso). Things get even more complicated when a romantic relationship is introduced causing even more chaos for the self-titled Boys. This show is unlike anything I’ve seen before and offers more depth than what is seen on the surface. These characters (minus Black Noir) all have a tortured past and present that make them all unique and have that feeling of originality.
“They only call me when there’s trouble at a dock. Or a river. Or a lake. A canal. A jetty. I could be doing so much more…“
Safe to say this isn’t your father’s superhero property. The writing alone makes this IP feel honored in a way that a film wouldn’t be able to mimic. The execution by the actors and actresses makes this story even more compelling. Add in all the profanity, sex, blood, and gore (probably more blood and gore than most horror films) and you have the potential for a bat s*** crazy experience. And what an experience it is as the world sucks you in with the opening scene. The visuals are top notch as the powers are showcased throughout is stuff we’ve been introduced to before, but the graphic nature make them more awesome to behold.
The Boys is more than a graphically violent show about superheroes. Each character is tortured and tormented while dealing with things that we could never imagine seeing from a cut and dry superhero team like the Avengers. It’s a dark premise that features the evilness of capitalism. All Vought cares about is their market share or how the positive feedback on social media is making them money. The Boys is utterly complex but offers a grounded story that never wavers too far from what the plot is unraveling.
“Just ’cause you fall on your ass doesn’t mean you have to stay there.”
This show offers some of the finest character work and development. Hughie is completely sympathetic after the horrifying accident he witnesses. He’s not quite the one to cheer for but with every episode Hughie seems to amaze everyone around him including himself. The ensemble cast can be difficult to keep up with at times as we don’t always know who is off doing what since there’s so much to keep track of. Butcher’s motivations aren’t really known until later on, but his story is just as heartbreaking as Hughie’s. Homelander, steals the show – he’s superman gone bad. Antony commands the screen as his presence is felt in every scene he’s in. Maybe he just needs a hug and to be reassured that it’s not his fault. The Deep arguably has one of the the most messed up (trying to censor myself here) scenes in the entire first season. I didn’t know if I should laugh, cry or be completely enraged. Whatever the case may be, The Boys packs one hell of a punch. It has us viewing superhero’s in a completely different manner.
Overall, The Boys is outrageously filled with mayhem and chaos. It grabs hold and never loses it’s grips. Every episode seems to have its own jaw dropping moment leaning you wanting more. There are some pretty tough scenes that question the respective heroes morality and decision making. If I have one criticism it’s I want more, the foundation has been laid and the world building gives a taste of what is to come. It’s raunchy, dark, humorous, and gritty. We are truly living in a golden age of comic adaptations. It’s an embarrassment of riches to have this many properties that are quite excellent in their respective mediums. If I were to rate the first season of The Boys, I’d rate it a 4.9 out of 5.
The Boys season one premiered in 2019 and can be streamed on Amazon Prime. The Boys season one has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 84%. The Boys was created for TV by Eric Kripke and stars Jack Quaid, Karl Urban, Antony Starr, Elisabeth Shue, Erin Moriarty, Laz Alonso, Dominique McElligott, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon & Jessie T. Usher. The Boys is adapted by the comic of the same name created by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson.
So, tell me guys, have you seen The Boys season one and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
If you guys like what you’re reading, please subscribe and check out my Patreon to support the blog in different way.
*I do not own these photos used in this article; all rights reserved to the copyright holder*
Season two comes out Friday September 4th