The Boys continue to try to expose a group of superheroes as not being what they appear to be while trying to stop a super powered terrorist.
Spoiler Level: High (contains some spoilers for Season 1 and the first three episodes of Season 2)
What if the Justice League of America were owned and operated by a major pharmaceutical company and the only thing that really mattered was profit, and the heroes that the public know and love aren’t all they seem to be. This is the premise of The Boys which just released the first three episodes of season 2 on Amazon Prime and new episodes air every Friday. Based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, super powered humans exist and unbeknownst to most of them, they got their powers as a product of a chemical called “Compound V” which was created by the Vought International company who owns and runs “The 7” the basic equivalent of the JLA. “The Boys” are a group of vigilantes brought together by their own tragedies and vow to bring down Vought and Homelander, the leader of “The 7”.
In the first 3 episodes of the second season, The Boys have become wanted fugitives, framed for the death of Madelyn Stillwell, vice president of Vought International, who was actually killed by Homelander. Billy Butcher, the leader of The Boys, is no where to be seen and the rest of the team are holed up in a drug dealer’s secret hideout. When one of the drug lord’s henchmen is found with massive injuries to his arm, Hughie, MM, Frenchie and Kimiko discover video footage of a super-powered terrorist with telekinetic abilities and vow to stop him. Kimiko tries to communicate that she knows who the terrorist is, but to no avail. Frenchie, worried that Hughie doesn’t have what it takes to lead them, calls Butcher for help.
Meanwhile, Hughie and Starlight continue their plan to reveal to the public that the superheroes weren’t born with their powers, but that their powers were a result of Compound-V. Licking his wounds, after being put into his place by Edgar, the new VP of Vought, Homelander returns to Becca (Billy Butcher’s wife who was thought to have been killed) and his recently discovered son, Ryan. Becca doesn’t want Homelander anywhere near Ryan, but made a deal with him to save Billy’s life. Homelander wants to be a father figure to Ryan and tries to convince him that he has powers, but it isn’t until Ryan feels the need to protect his mother that his powers surface. A-Train, after nearly dying in season 1 returns to “The 7” and threatens to expose Starlight’s involvement with The Boys. The Deep, having been kicked out of “The 7” in season 1, gets recruited into a cult called, The Church of the Collective”. Being ashamed of his gills, he begins to learn how to accept himself as he is. Queen Maeve fears that Homelander will kill Elena, the woman she loves, if he becomes aware of her existence. The Boys discover that the terrorist is Kimiko’s younger brother, Kenji. and are able to subdue him. And finally, Stormfront joins “The 7” replacing Translucent who was killed in Season 1.
Using a sample extorted from a technician at Vought, Starlight leaks the story that Compound-V is responsible for giving superheroes their powers. Edgar responds by sending “The 7” after Kenji when he is spotted by the police. The Boys attempt to bring Kenji to a CIA safe-house, but the arrival of The Deep and the Seven results in Kenji escaping. Stormfront kills Kenji in front of Kimiko while slaughtering several civilians in her pursuit, but frames Kenji for their deaths. Edgar uses the casualties to highlight the necessity of superheroes and denies knowing anything about Compound-V but uses his predecessor, Madelyn Stillwell as a scapegoat. Stormfront, who is just as ruthless as Homelander becomes targeted by him for undermining his leadership.
Just as with Season one, the second season is engaging and interesting. The character interactions and dynamics are well explored. Hughie, the “everyman” of the group is the audiences tether to reality. He has no special training or skills and circumstances throw him in to a gritty underground world, how far can he be pushed before he completely cracks? He and Starlight are the moral compass of the show, yet the compass doesn’t always point true north. Butcher’s journey changes a little. Season One was all about vengeance for his wife;s death, now that he knows she is alive, he will stop at nothing to find her, no matter who gets killed in the crossfire. From Stormfronts brash, “I don’t give a fuck” attitude to Queen Maeve’s subtle fear at her lover being discovered to acting is excellent. The masks these heroes wear are the face they have to put out to public hiding their true selves. The story is rich in complexity and written very well.
The only problem I have is a personal one and it is minor. I am not a fan of anti-heroes (there I said it) and this show is all about anti-heroes. I normally like my heroes to be good and the villains to be bad, but there is a grey area between doing what should be done and doing what must be done, and that is where these characters live. It is difficult for me to like any one of them and yet, I find them all so interesting. I am excited to see where this season leads.
If the JLA was run by an evil pharmaceutical corporation only interested in profits and the teams leader was a diabolical ruthless megalomaniac pretending to be a wholesome superhero, and a group of regular humans tried to keep them in check, you would have The Boys.
The Boys are Back In Town
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Acting - 10/1010/10
Music - 8/108/10
Production - 9/109/10
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