Eric S Brown
Garth Ennis’s extremely violent and disturbing comic series The Boys hit Amazon Prime this year as a live action series starring Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Elisbeth Shue, Antony Starr, and Tomer Capon. If you’re unfamiliar with The Boys, it’s about a world in which most superheroes are inhuman in terms of their morality. They see themselves as being far above the human race. They are corporate sponsored celebrities who are sometimes even worshipped nearly as gods. They are the stars of movies and TV, pandering corporate products, and making fortunes doing so. Perhaps the worst of the lot is a superhero named Homelander played by Antony Starr. Homelander is the leader of The Seven which is The Boy’s version of the Justice League. He’s a superman level character in terms of his powers and pretty much unstoppable. Other members of the Seven include The Deep, a loser perverted take on Aquaman, and A-Train, a self-tormented, drug addict version the Flash.
Karl Urban plays Butcher, the leader of the Boys. His wife was raped by Homelander and then vanished. persumed dead. Butcher sets out to make Homelander and all the heroes like him pay, dedicating his life to bringing them down. His latest recruit to the cause is a young man named Hughie played by Jack Quaid. Hughie’s girlfriend is killed by A-Train, who literally runs through her at a speed so high that her body is splattered all over the street she has barely taken a step off of. The other members of the Boys include the loveable mercenary Frenchie played by Tom Capon and Mother’s Milk played by Laz Alonso.
The Amazon Prime series like the comic before it is a mix of suspense, dark humor, and super hero action pitting oridnary men and women against superhumans. Karl Urban really delievers a specatular performance as Butcher, likely his best since his role as Judge Dredd. Tom Capon is able to make Frenchie a character that viewers can’t help but feel for. And Jack Quaid does a fantastic job playing Hughie going from a navie electronics store worker to a full out member of the Boys.
The Boys is a very twisted and fun look at the horror superheroes might be in the real world, often evoking powerful emotions. While not for young viewers, the show has everything a mature comics fan could hope for and more.
The Boys has already been picked up a second season by Amazon Prime which is set to be released next summer in 2020.