If you’re getting tired of the excessive amount of superhero stories coming to movies and television, thanks to Disney releasing two Marvel movies a year (I love my comic book movies, but it’s a bit much lately) with plenty more to come, The Boys offers something hilarious, gory, disturbing, and refreshing to binge watch with that special someone. The first season takes a look at what superheroes get up to behind the scenes when they’re off duty.
Spoilers: It ain’t pretty.
Based on the comic written by Garth Ennis (Preacher, Crossed) with illustrations by Darick Robertson, The Boys follows the story of Hughie (Jack Quaid) who loses his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro) in a horrific superhero “accident”. This “accident” sets off a chain reaction of escalating events that introduce Hughie to Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capon), and The Female (Karen Fukuhara). You’ll be rooting for this group of delinquents who have taken up the task of infiltrating the deep and seedy underbelly of superheroes to put a stop to them once and for all, no matter the cost. To say what each character’s motivations are in the story would lead to some major spoilers, just know they’re very layered characters with plenty of depth. The performances are also all top notch.
In the world of The Boys, the heroes that we worship in comics and movies are nothing like we imagined. Sexual assault, murder, drug abuse – these superheroes get up to all kinds of no good, diabolical shenanigans. The main group of superheroes that are so beloved are “The Seven“, who are essentially knock-offs of popular superheroes we know. There’s Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligot), who’s very much like Wonder Woman. The Deep (Chace Crawford), who is an Aquaman type character who can talk to fish (which leads to some pretty hilarious scenes). A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), who is incredibly fast like The Flash. Translucent (Alex Hassell) who can become invisible and loves to hang out in women’s bathrooms. Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) who really doesn’t do or say anything this season, and Starlight (Erin Moriarty) who can blast enemies with beams of light. She’s new to the team and wants to fit in, but doesn’t believe the way these superheroes are acting as appropriately as they should be, given the responsibilities they have. The leader of the group and the one who steals the show though is Anthony Starr as Homelander. He’s like Superman. You know, if Superman had no regard for human life. He’s an absolute nightmare and you can’t help but love to hate him. I really hope come awards season, they take a look at Anthony in this role because his performance is absolutely worthy of Best Actor.
As far as the story goes, it is absolutely engrossing. The Boys will have you hooked from the first episode with its dark and gritty take on the tried and true superhero formula. Instead of in the comics though, where things happen so fast with little bits of exposition thrown in between the explosive violence, the show takes its time with introducing you to each of the characters and putting the group together. The show is definitely violent, but there plenty of quiet moments peppered throughout. You really get to know these characters, the supes included. Characters who you can’t stand at the start of the season may become fan favorites as each episode unfolds. Their motivations make sense and bring to life a world that isn’t just black and white, but deafening grey. Hopefully this attention to character development continues into Season 2, accompanied by the copious amounts of sex, drugs and violence that we’ve become accustomed to. The Boys looks great as well with special effects that are well done. The gore is off the charts, with Homelander using his laser eyes to slice people in half, superheroes getting blown up, legs being broken. It’s fantastic.
I’ve always been a Netflix guy, but The Boys is absolutely worth the Amazon Prime subscription. There are other shows coming down the line to the streaming service, but I’m sitting and patiently waiting for the next season of The Boys to start. – NVJ
The Boys is now streaming on Amazon Prime