I have been collecting and reading comic books for well over four decades. I’m no expert in the genre, I just know what I like, and that changes a lot over time.
When I saw The Boys advertised on Prime I thought I’d give it a shot. It starts out simple enough. The world has superheroes. They are owned/controlled by a corporation. They are big business – from reality shows to product endorsements. The best known group, The Seven, seem squeaky clean.
That was the first ten minutes or so. After that, you see things take a hard left into the bizarre.
Then you see one of the heroes kill a young girl – picture the Flash running through someone standing still. Of course the crime is covered up. Then you learn that there is a group out there that is out to pay back the supers for their heinous and wanton acts of death and destruction.
Bit by bit in the series you learn that nothing is what you thought it was. The supers origins are not as American as apple pie as everyone is led to believe. There are drugs that the supers take…and these drugs have a big role in this.
The Seven are not quite what they seem. The group that is out “spanking” the supers become darker and more twisted. Starlight, the newest member of the Seven learns not only the truth about the corporation calling the shots, but about her own origin. You see the rise of super villains whose origins are a bit predictable but still cool. You find yourself rooting for people that are into some pretty grim shit, but you cannot help it.
I loved it.
Let me say, this is a dark series. It is a story where the true heroes are blurred and often confused. There is blood, gore and sex – don’t let little kids watch this. It is gritty, edgy, and engaging. It helped fill that gap after Avengers Endgame and left me wanting more. Sure, it’s another “evil corporation” combining with “corrupt politicians” but the messages here are more on a personal level. It pushes you into areas of discomfort and does it often in the eight episodes. Karl Urban as Butcher is diabolical and by the end of the season, a sad person that you find yourself pitying. The character of Hughie goes on an amazing journey and development arc.
It’s gross and cool and twisted.
The writing for this series is off the charts. The writers never get enough praise but the guys that did this.
And, more importantly, it has been renewed for a second season.