Superheroes are supposed to be the good guys. But Amazon’s drama, The Boys, proves that isn’t always the case. The show questions what would happen if those with powers become out of control. How do you kill the unkillable? Is it even possible?
Season two is is near completion, with one episode left. But for those who can’t wait, the comic series, which the show is based on, may provide some clues about what to expect in future episodes.
What is ‘The Boys’ about?
The Boys takes place in a world where superheroes are as popular as celebrities. Those with super-human abilities, or “supes” as they’re called, are celebrated by the general public and given unprecedented power. However, outside their superhero personas, most of the supes abuse the system. They’re arrogant, corrupt, and only act in their own interests.
Most supes work for Vought International, a corporation that distributes advertising that sways public opinion in their favor. Vought’s premiere superhero team is called The Seven and is led by a “hero” named Homelander. They’re similar to other superhero teams, like The Justice League in DC Comics, except The Seven have no regard for the law or ethics.
Homelander, like the other supes, is vile and narcissistic. He has almost immeasurable power, including super-human strength, heat-vision, and a nasty temper. Unfortunately for his enemies, Homelander doesn’t have any weaknesses that can be used against him.
Recognizing the need for a balance in power, The Boys are a group of regular humans who are dedicated to bringing down The Seven, and exposing Vought International. They are led by Billy Butcher, a former SAS operative who distrusts all supes, and believes Homelander is responsible for the disappearance of his wife. A recent addition to this group of vigilantes is a female supe who isn’t connected to Vought Interntional: Komiko.
Can Homelander be taken down?
The Boys are after Homelander, but how can you fight against someone who is invincible? Well, according to the show’s creators, he’s not as strong as we may think. When asked about how Homelander could be stopped, Eric Kripke, The Boys producer, had an interesting answer.
“That’s been an ongoing discussion in the writers room,” he told Collider. “At the moment there aren’t many physical ones, but there’s so many psychological ones that that’s what we kind of lean to. Antony [Star, who plays Homelander] has said many times, and I agree, that Homelander is the weakest character in the show. So we’ve never really gotten into the ‘How do you stop him physically?’ But there are a lot of ways to stop him psychologically.”
So if The Boys, or anyone else, wanted to take down Homelander, the best option is probably psychological warfare. But is that what we can expect to happen in the rest of season two?
What happens to Homelander in the comics?
Since the show is based on a comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it’s logical to look there for clues to where this story could be headed.
According to Inverse, in the comic book, it’s revealed that Black Noir is a clone of Homelander. That’s why he always wears a mask to conceal his identity. He was created by Vought as a failsafe, in case Homelander ever got out of control. He has the same powers as his clone, effectively making him the only one who could ever bring down Homelander.
But that’s not all. As well as keeping an eye on Homelander’s actions, he’s been framing him for crimes by committing vile acts without his mask. Once this is discovered, the clones go against each other, and Black Noir is the only one to make it out alive.
So far, it appears that Amazon’s show has been mostly following the same plot lines as the comic book. Black Noir wears a mask, and never speaks, effectively keeping his identity hidden. There are lots we don’t know about the character yet.
But we do know that he works for Vought, and he’s supremely obedient: He attacks Butcher on his boss’s orders and kidnaps Starlight when she’s seen outed as a “traitor” to Vought. When news that supes weren’t born with powers leaked, Black Noir was seen emotionally distressed to learn about Compound V.
In season 2 episode 7, the episode before the season finale, fans learn that Black Noir has a nut allergy after Queen Maeve stuffs his face with an Almond Joy to overpower him. In the same fight sequence, she rips off a portion of his mask to show a tiny peak at what’s underneath: a humanoid face with what appears to be some genetically modified scar tissue.
It’s highly possible that this situation could play out on-screen as well. Besides, there isn’t really any other way to kill Homelander, except for someone who is just as powerful.
This plot twist would be an interesting concept for viewers, but it would also be great news for Star. It means that even if Homelander is killed, the actor (Antony Starr) can still continue to be a part of the show as Black Noir.
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