To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, The Boys is a gritty superhero series based on the Wildstorm/Dynamite Entertainment characters of the same name. The show is developed by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) who produces alongside Seth Rogen (Preacher) and Evan Goldberg (Invincible). Featuring an ensemble cast that includes Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Laz Alonso, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Chace Crawford, Jessie T. Usher, Nathan Mitchell, and Jensen Ackles. One year after the events of the previous season our group of vigilantes seems to be on the straight and narrow. However, once Hughie finds out his boss, Victoria Neuman, is secretly a Supe working for Vought the gang heads to Russia to locate a secret weapon capable of killing any Supe, having presumably killed the famous hero Soldier Boy in the 1980s.
New York City is in ruins, the camera moves past a partially destroyed Vought Tower and a statue of Soldier Boy lies on the ground. We see Stormfront’s hands generating electricity before Homelander (Antony Starr) lands in front of her. As the camera pans up to Stormfront’s face we see she is being played by Charlize Theron. They discuss their love for each other, her betrayal of The Seven, and Nazism. Before they can fight, Starlight (Erin Moriarty) appears with Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), and A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) joining her. Together they begin an assault on Stormfront.
The camera then cuts to an inattentive Homelander sitting in a packed movie theater, revealing he is at the world premiere of the in-show feature Dawn of the Seven. A visibly upset Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) is shown staring at him from across the theater. On the red carpet, Homelander gives the same speech to every news outlet when asked about his knowledge of Stormfront’s Nazi past. In the bathroom, Hughie (Jack Quaid) meets with Butcher (Karl Urban), who now works as a contractor for Neuman’s Bureau of Superhero Affairs, to apprehend a problematic Supe with shrinking abilities.
The Boys has always been a parody of the more mainstream superheroes. This season we get versions of Ant-Man, Captain America, Mas y Menos, and Deadshot. It’s also more gruesome than the previous two seasons combined. Within the first ten minutes, there is a death that puts what happened to Robin and Translucent to shame. They have also upped the ante in terms of how much nudity there is. Much of the nakedness is showcased in Episode 6 “Herogasm” which is far less lewd than it was in the comic. Still the number of penises shown – inside and out – rivals that of Euphoria.
Of the new characters introduced this season, Jensen Ackles is the standout as Soldier Boy. After working with Kripke for many years on Supernatural he fits right at home with the rest of the cast. Soldier Boy becomes the most likable character this season due to his willingness to take down Homelander, a character viewers have been waiting to see go since he appeared, and also because he’s a fish out of water. Ackles was right to describe his character as a douchey Captain America. Soldier Boy is rude, selfish, and amoral. He treats his teammates like punching bags and never lets them enjoy the spotlight. He didn’t seek out becoming a hero to help people. He just wanted to impress his father and found a way into the Compound V trials.
Speaking of Black Noir he is another character who gets to shine this season. For the first time, we get to see his origin of sorts and even find out what he looks like without his mask. Fritzy-Klevans Destine plays a young Noir as a member of Payback alongside Soldier Boy, Gunpowder, Swatto, Crimson Countess, Mindstorm, and the TNT Twins. It was an incident in South America that lead to his gruesome facial scars and lack of speech.
This series has always toed the line between characters being heroes or villains. This goes for our titular vigilantes as well as the Supes they take down. Some that are killed this season you can say didn’t deserve death. More of that is shown as this season progresses when Butcher begins taking Temp V. The drug gives him superpowers for 24 hours and to an extent makes him more aggressive. Butcher’s actions alone make him less likable than in previous seasons. And that’s saying something considering he was willing to blow up a baby just to kill Homelander in the Season 1 finale.
Overall this season adds enjoyable new characters and ends with a great setup for Season 4. Not every plot point from previous seasons is addressed, but that adds to the intrigue of what’s to come. Considering how Kripke usually plans his series up to five seasons we might be getting near the end. I give The Boys Season 3 a Good 4.4/5. I love that this universe is expanding. There is even a small mention of Vought’s superhero university which is the setting of the upcoming spinoff series. Hopefully, it’s just as good.