Amazon Prime’s new series, The Boys, is what happens when real people become superheroes in a capitalistic society. It is raw, harsh, violent, and more likely to happen than the Marvel version we are all so used to. Heroes are human in The Boys, and make mistakes, or they let their human emotions take over. Innocent people are hurt, at times for no good reason, and revenge becomes a common thread throughout the TV series. The eight episode first season is over eight hours of satisfying binge watching, and gives us a refreshing take on the superhero genre.
What would you do if a “superhero,” whether purposely or accidentally, killed a loved one of yours? This is one of the questions that The Boys answers for us. It also presents us with various outcomes of what we might do if we became a superhero. The story being played out is one gory, unforgiving rollercoaster ride that presents superheroes as they really are…human.
The series begins with Hughie (Jack Quaid) standing on the side of the street having a loving conversation with his girlfriend. The happiness they are sharing is erased in an instant (literally) when one of the superheroes, A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) accidentally runs through Hughie’s girlfriend and obliterates her into a thousand pieces. Thus begins Hughie’s path for revenge. Without giving away too many details, Hughie is recruited to a team that is led by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), who has his own reason for revenge. Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonzo) and Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) are the other two members of the team. They do not have as much motivating factors to take down the “supes” as Hughie and Butcher do, and at times this causes tensions among The Boys. Yet, they are not the only ones with teamwork issues.
The world contains over 200 supes (people with some form of a super power), yet The Seven are promoted as the world’s superheroes much like those in the Marvel Universe. They consist of Homelander (Antony Starr), Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), The Deep (Chace Crawford), Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), Translucent (Alex Hassell), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), and the newest, but quite reluctant member, Starlight (Erin Moriarty). Their team is made up of good and bad supes which leads to internal fighting along with confrontations with The Boys. The Seven are part of a multi-billion dollar company that includes such things as scripts for them to read, and marketing events. Madelynn Stillwell (Elizabeth Shue) is the senior vice-president of Superhero Management at Vought. She has her own secrets that adds to the chaos.
The new TV series on Amazon Prime chronicles the the lives of highly commercialized superheroes and The Boys who want them destroyed. This is no Marvel or DC comic book world. It’s one that combines real human emotions with super powers. What results is a story filled with the raw reality of what a world would look like if superheroes really existed. It may be closer to the truth, than we would prefer to believe in.