This is superheroes gone bad.
Is It Worth Watching? Yes! Oh, yes!
Marvel and DC have over the last few decades made us firmly believe that if superheroes were to exist they would mostly be a force for the good, apart from the few who turn into evil nemeses to provide violent entertainment. Garth Ennis, in The Boys, takes a more realistic approach to what would really happen if there were superheroes. Hint: They wouldn’t be so nice.
The world is full of superheroes. They are everywhere: foiling terrorists, stopping bank robbers, taking selfies with fans. Then one of them runs through Hugh Campbell’s girlfriend, leaving him holding just her arms as she disintegrates into blood and bits of flesh. Now, Hughie is not the kind to do much about anything and just stews in his grief, until he’s paid a visit by Billy Butcher. (What a name!) Soon, in Billy’s company, Hughie learns that these superheroes are no so good after all. And it’s not just collateral damage. There is something far worse happening in The Seven tower which houses the seven most powerful superheroes led by Homelander.
The Boys is what Billy Butcher, played superbly by Karl Urban, calls the group of five who are the only ones brave or insane enough to take on the superheroes. There is one woman in this group, hence the irony of the title. In the book she is know only as The Female, but thankfully we have a name for her in the show: Kimiko, and she is totally badass. Apart from Petit Hughie, we have Mother’s Milk, also known as M.M. and Frenchie who is French. Everyone is superb and I couldn’t pick a flaw, except Karl Urban’s London accent which was a bit hard to get used to at first because it’s really a mix of many different accents, but you soon forgive it, especially when he goes on a sweary rant. Together these five really know how to kick some Superhero-butts!
They are marvellously evil, arrogant and self-centred. Won’t you be if you had the power to kill everyone by just looking at them? Homelander, played by Antony Starr, has been created in the image of Superman, except he has no qualms about killing anyone who gets in his way and has terrible God-complex. Queen Maeve is basically Wonder Woman who’s having a hard time keeping up with Homelander’s maniacal leanings. Then there is A-Train which is what Flash should have been called all along. He’s the one responsible for running through Petit Hughie’s girlfriend. (Can’t get over that one!) We don’t get to see much of Black Noir except he’s a bit shadowy and sulky, a lot like our favourite Dark Knight. And the butt of all the jokes is obviously The Deep, the Aquaman of the show. Yes, it’s a bit DC heavy but I suppose it’s easier to pick on them than Marvel’s Thor or Hulk. However, there is a shining light among these immoral superheroes in Starlight who really is trying to do some good.
The Graphic Novel
If you haven’t read the graphic novel, please do yourself a favour and read it. If you have, then rest assured that the program is true to the novel. Maybe not in every single detail, but in its irreverence, its message and in preserving the Garth Ennis style. It’s very much like Preacher with anti-hero characters, and Seth Rogen (a self-confessed Ennis fan) has given it the same first-class treatment as Preacher.
If I haven’t already convinced you to watch The Boys with aforementioned awesome reasoning then perhaps the gif below of the Laser Baby will.
Season 2 is on its way. Here’s a preview: