In Review: The Boys – Season One

The show successfully explores both the light and dark sides of human nature through the lens of superheroes and has a lot more fun doing so than most narratives like it. 

Synopsis: A group of vigilantes set out to take down corrupt superheroes who abuse their superpowers.

Review: Based on the comic book series from Garth Ennis. The Boys is produced by the same team that brought us ‘Preacher’ and deconstructs the superhero with a much lighter touch than Alan Moore’s Watchman and other works like it.

The Story

When the superhero who is known as A-Train kills his girlfriend by accident. Hughie an A/V salesman teams up with Billy Butcher. A Vigilante who is hellbent on holding corrupt superheroes accountable for their actions. Billy gets Hughie to agree to meet up with A-Train at Vought in order to plant a bug in the meeting room of the seven. But things go wrong when the supe known as translucent spots Hughie and follows him back to his A/V store and confronts him.

During a fight in the A/V store, Hughie gets a pretty bad beating off Translucent, who has the power of invisibility. Thankfully Billy comes to the rescue and the two manage to best Translucent and believing they have killed him. They proceed to move the body in the trunk of Billie’s car. When they are driving in order to dump the body. They hear that Translucent is alive and Billy decides to take Translucent to the French Man, who is versed in the art of studying supes and finding ways to both hurt and kill them.

While all of this is going on. A young woman who takes on the superhero name of Starlight is being indoctrinated into The Seven, the cream of the crop in Vought’s line-up of Superheros. She is paired with a hero called The Deep, who proceeds to sexually assault her and then blackmails her into keeping quiet. Over a very short period of time Starlight is learning firsthand how messed up many of the superheroes she has admired actually are and struggles to find her niche and takes issue with Vought controlling the narrative.

Run by Madelyn Stillwell. Vought is a corporation that owns the rights to most superheroes working in America. They control the narrative of all the supes and cover up their wrongdoings by paying people off and making them sign none disclosure agreements. Vought has plans to try and get superheroes to work in the military in order to help catch a terrorist, but Madelyn is having trouble controlling her star supe Homelander, who is a complete psychopath who enjoys his work a little too much when it comes to killing or seriously maiming crooks. Homelander is looking to control his own narrative.

The Acting

It’s really difficult to single out just one or two performances in this series because all the actors were superb. Jack Quaid was wonderfully cast as the gullible Hughie and his scenes with everyone in the series a fantastic. Especially the scenes that he has with Billy and Starlight.

Karl Urban is fantastically cast as Billy Butcher who has issues of his own with the supes and spends much of his time grooming Hughie by getting him to do some pretty despicable things. Laz Alonso and Tomer Capon make up the rest of The Boys as Mothers Milk and The Frencham respectively and both have some pretty big supporting roles in helping Hughie and trying to protect him from some of Billy’s more extreme tasks.

Erin Moriarty is wonderfully cast as Starlight, who is on a very similar journey to Billy and inadvertently becomes involved with him. Starlight’s journey is really interesting to watch and you do wonder why she is choosing to stay with the Seven given how messed up they all are. Antony Starr is wonderfully cast as Homelander, who does some pretty despicable things and seems to enjoy himself while doing them. Homelander is the leader of The Seven and the worst of them all. In contrast, Dominique McElligott’s Queen Maeve is just bitter and cynical from years of playing the game. She has some interesting scenes with Starlight in the latter part of the series. In fact, you can’t help but wonder if Starlight is going to wind up facilitating Maeve in finding redemption at some stage.

Overall

‘The Boys’ is a brilliant series. I loved the notion that if Superheroes were real. Then they’d be controlled by a Corporate Company, which would hire them out and control absolutely everything. The acting was brilliant throughout the series.

I enjoyed the fact that all these heroes were flawed, but I can’t help but feel that most have a shot at redeeming themselves with the exception of Homelander who is just an out and out psychopath. The ending for this first season is just brilliant and will certainly make things interesting when the second season gets released.

Overall. I couldn’t find very much fault with this. It has a great mix of likable heroes and villains and everything in between. We have some fun comedy beats to counterbalance the edgier moments and a lot of very dramatic moments. The show successfully explores both the light and dark sides of human nature through the lens of superheroes and has a lot more fun doing so than most narratives like it.

9.9
The Boys - Season One
  • Story
    10
  • Acting
    10
  • CGI
    10
  • Incidental Music
    9.6

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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