After spending quite a while in development hell, The Boys got saved by Amazon Prime and delivered the first season of what may just be the best superhero-ish show in 2019.
Superheroes are often as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians, and sometimes even as revered as gods. But that’s when they’re using their powers for good. What happens when the heroes go rogue and start abusing their powers? When it’s powerless against the super powerful, the Boys head out on a heroic quest to expose the truth about the Seven and Vought, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate that manages the superheroes and covers up their dirty secrets. Based on the comic book series of the same name.
***WARNING!! SPOILERS BELOW FOR SEASON ONE OF THE BOYS***
Firstly, the first episode started off as most superhero shows do, with the heroes stopping crime and saving the day. At this point, I figured it was just going to be a generic superhero show (cos I admit, I haven’t read the comics) until A-Train ran through a lady who was just “one step off the curb”. And that was the moment I realised that this show would be the kind of break we need from the ever-growing world of superhero movies and shows.
The Boys is so unique in the sense that, even though I saw the similarities with DC’s Justice League in terms of the characters that made up the super team, their powers and dressing, this take on the world of superheroes is nothing like I’ve ever seen or read before. Yes the similarities that Homelander is Superman, Maeve is Wonder Woman, The Deep is Aquaman, Black Noir is Batman, and A-Train being The Flash, was evident, many people online were attributing it to the Injustice storyline, but I don’t see it. It is very far from it. In The Boys, the heroes are villains only to the people who have been affected by their nefarious acts. Every other person sees them as what they are portrayed and marketed to be; people who save the world, help the economy, inspire and are chosen by God to do good in the world.
In a short eight episodes, the show captivated me and made me anticipate the second season even before I had finished watching the first. Most characters had something special to add to the series to make every scene special and important. I say ‘most’ because, though Black Noir’s character was akin to G.I Joe’s Snake Eyes, who never says a word but is skilful and dangerous, the whole season could have actually done without him, cos the only time his impact was felt was his brief battle with Kimiko.
It was good to see things from the point of view of regular humans who have it out for supers and are doing all they can to put the heroes down, knowing that it would take only a second for the superpowered beings they’re targeting to take them out.
Overall, The Boys is dark, gritty, comical and puts a spin on how superheroes can be when they let the worst of their humanity take over. In most superhero series, the heroes do good out of their sense of responsibility, but most of the superheroes in The Boys only do so to make sales; merch, advertisements, high box-office gross for their movies, and for political and personal reasons, in fact, every other thing but the greater good.
The idea of someone like A-Train not really bothered because he ran through a woman at superspeed, Homelander leaving people in a plane to crash, The Deep coercing Starlight into blowing him, and many more atrocious acts all committed by supers because they know that the company they work for, Vought, would cover everything up easily, and regular humans who have been affected by their actions setting out to expose and take them down is something that makes the show stand out in the near-saturated world of superhero TV shows.
If you love the darkness of Titans, the dysfunctionality and dark humour of Doom Patrol and The Umbrella Academy, and the detailed storytelling and progression of Daredevil and The Punisher, then The Boys is the show for you cos it has them all rolled into one. But I must warn you, though, it might make you start seeing superheroes in a different light (that is if you aren’t strong enough).
The Boys is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.