Streaming’s baddest bunch of superhero-slaying government agents are returning to our screens in June, with a lot of anticipation behind them. The first two seasons of The Boys; a bloody, funny counterpoint to a lot of the popular storytelling in cinema today asks a simple question: What if superheroes existed in the real world? What would they be like?
For the uninitiated, the answer is, in a nutshell, not great. The Boys are far from the benevolent, chaste, God-like beings that big houses Marvel and DC portray their heroes as. The ‘heroes’ in the Boys universe are much closer to the ancient Greek interpretation of Godhood. That is, they are just as broken, petty, vindictive, greedy, jealous and cruel as we can be, only with the power to level entire cities at a whim.
The company that ostensibly keeps these beings in check in this universe is Vaught. Over the last two seasons, we’ve learned that they are a profit-generating machine for the company, which created the current generation of heroes by distributing a formula to hospitals under the guise of a polio vaccine. Instead, it altered the DNA of some of the babies it was given to, turning them into these superpowered beings.
How Do We Stop Them?
Of course, not everybody is on board with these so-called superheroes having operational cart-blanche on US soil. Let alone the campaign Vaught launches to allow them into conflicts overseas. Much of the government look the other way in relation to Vaught in exchange for favourable deals and circumstances. However one man and his team – Billy Butcher – stand in direct defiance of these ‘Supes’ aiming to use any means necessary to stop them.
And it looks like this is the point where we’ll pick up with both sides of the conflict. The Boys’ capacity to take the fight to the Supes reaches a new level. The trailer does a great job of employing the ‘show don’t tell’ mechanic, with the exception of some grunt and moans there isn’t a single word of dialogue in the trailer.
And yet, it conveys so much to the audience. The first image we see is of Billy looking into a mirror, intercut with a near-identical image of Homelander. The conflict between these two has been the driving force of the last two seasons. As the trailer progresses we glimpse what the other characters are up to.
Corporate Concern, Romance, Final Showdown?
It looks as though this season will continue one of The Boys’ best storytelling attributes, where it takes the ‘corporate concern’ shown by corporations in reaction to real-life issues and exposes it as a sham. Last season was the famous ‘girls get it done’ arc, and this season it appears as though the company is using A-Train to represent the company’s interest in maintaining peace during the real-world concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement.
We also see Hughie, enjoying life away from the chaos of The Boys, suited and looking respectable as he kisses Starlight before she appears to be making a public appearance. We are also given our first look at Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy, this universe’s Captain America equivalent, who is set to have a major role in this season.
Playing the Field
However, it ends as it began, with images of Homelander and Butcher. We see Butcher throwing punches that appear to actually affect Homelander, followed by a glimpse of his eyes lighting up and shooting lasers just like his nemesis. Has Billy crossed the line, taking Compound V to level the playing field between him and Homelander? It will be interesting to see how his character justifies this move going forward.
Whatever happens, we can expect more black humour, on-point allegory, and of course plenty of violence from this new season as it drops on June 3rd on Amazon Prime.
Until then, check out the trailer below:
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