“Vengeance isn’t a path to glory. It’s a one-way ticket to a dead end.”
In an era where superheroes are thriving both: in theaters & on online platforms, Amazon introduced an 8 episodes, a not-so familiar comic book series The Boys. The Boys follows the titular team of vigilantes as they fight back against the superpowered people who abuse their abilities (or gifts).
The Boys consists of Billy Butcher on a path to vengeance (Karl Urban) helped by his old-time friends Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) and Frenchie (Tomer Capon). Hugh Campbell (Jack Quaid) is struck by tragedy when his girlfriend is accidentally killed by one of the seven superheroes A-Train. Soon Butcher would recruit Hugh into his team to work towards the common goal- exposing the lies and misuse of power by these superpowered humans.
Vought International, a corporate is responsible for grooming, branding, merchandising & legally supporting The Seven. Homelander – the Superman version for the comics is treated with utmost respect and given high stature for his pure Americanism virtue. He’s seen as a leader and a saint, nearly a God whose aim is to protect America and guide it into the future. His close associates are Queen Maeve- a Wonder Woman version, A-Train – the African American version of Splash & the mysterious silent ninja Black Noir.
For the viewers, the show is definitely a mature mash-up of geopolitical events and how various factors shape our lives. Be it religion, idol worship, corporate scandals, espionage, global terrorism, weaponization, instragrammification of life the show mesmerizes by covering a vast spectrum of themes and limelighting the world we live in. It throws light on the synergy equation and how it impacts all of us. Yes, the overall nature of the show is cynical and takes a peek into the dark side of the superhero life. Its an audacious approach to a world where both human and superhero thrive. This is probably the selling point of the series- a world which is comfortable with superheroes in their day to day life and accepts superpowered people’s ability to do good for mankind. There is even a point when one of “The Seven” members, Deep, comic’s Aquaman version is shown raising concerns to world government and corporate regarding hunting of aquatic animals like dolphins & sharks.
However, the prime focus of the story is based on two characters’ arc- Hugh and Annie January or Starlight (Erin Moriarty). Annie is another member of The Seven. However, she is more humble and down to earth. She doesn’t get carried away by the paparazzi. The relation between Hugh and Annie evolves across episodes as Annie would be the only “trustworthy” superhero when everything else falls apart. And by episode seven, all hell broke loose, Annie would be judged on the basis of her choice. Would she side with the vigilantes or will she team-up with The Seven against the threat posed by the vigilantes? This is an interesting development which audience yearns for since these characters face an inner struggle- either due to job insecurity or due to society let alone their private lives. Hugh finds love in one of the superheroes given the fact that one from the team is responsible for the death of his girlfriend. The natural vulnerable aspect of these characters comes into the picture. Gradually, their secrets will be revealed which would distort the equilibrium.
The Boys elevates superhero genre into a dark and black comedy territory- something which would have been much more real if our world had superheroes. It stands as the most audacious and realistic attempt in the dark superhero genre. Being greenlighted for Season 2, this would account for one of the most anticipated shows next year.