The series tells about the modern world in which there are superheroes – people with superpowers, who are believed to be marked by God. A squad of elite superheroes is called the Seven. They are based at the headquarters of the largest and very influential corporation Vought International. Advertising “Seven”, tasks for superheroes and, accordingly, receiving money for the services of the “Seven” are handled by Vought specialists. A squad of superheroes in the corporation is ruled by the iron lady Madeleine Stilwell (Elizabeth Shue).
The “Seven” is led by Patriot (in the original Homelander – Anthony Starr) – America’s favorite, whose laser eyes can destroy anything. Also among the members of the “Seven” – the fastest man on earth Train-A (A-Train – Jesse Asher), amphibious man Depth (The Deep – Chace Crawford), the mysterious Black Noir (Black Noir – Daythan Mitchell), the invisible man Translucent (Translucent – Alex Hassell) and fighting Amazon Queen Maeve (Queen Maeve – Dominic McElligot). They are also joined by a young Annie (Erin Moriarty), who was given the nickname Starlight.
Despite the fact that superheroes seem to be admired by everyone, among ordinary people there is a combat squad “Boys”, which is investigating the activities of superheroes and the Vought company. “Boys” is led by a former intelligence officer, Briton Billy Butcher (Karl Urban). He has his own scores with the Patriot. Butcher brought a young guy Hugh Campbell (Jack Quaid) to the squad. Hugh’s girlfriend died when the A-Train ran through her on some mysterious business, and Hugh wants revenge. Also in the “Boys” team are Butcher’s old acquaintances Em Em (Las Alonso) and Frenchie (Tomer Capon).
Despite the fact that superheroes seem to be impossible to get close to, The Boys is getting more and more shocking information about where, generally speaking, these superheroes come from, what they do and what goals Vought Corporation sets for itself. And between the “Boys”, “Seven” and Vought will begin a very serious confrontation.
This series is based on a series of comics written by Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson. However, the superheroes in these comics are very different from the glossy Marvel characters. Ennis and Robertson imagined the real world, in which there is such a phenomenon as people with paranormal abilities. Will all these people be terribly positive, like, for example, Captain America? Will they selflessly save the world and be ready to give their lives for it, like Black Widow and Hawkeye?
Of course not! Surely among them there will be good people who sincerely want to help people, such as Starlight or Queen Maeve. But surely among them there will also be greedy people, and depraved people, and people who are deeply vicious. In addition, it is unlikely that real superheroes will not be taken under their wing by some powerful corporation that will earn millions and billions with their help.
In the world of these comics, this is exactly what happened: many superheroes are obsessed with various vices, and some of them are complete assholes that are better to stay away from.
At the same time, can ordinary people appear who will have their own accounts for superheroes? Yes, of course, because even unintentional killings of people are forgiven for superheroes: just think, Train-A just ran fast and accidentally smashed the girl to shreds – there’s nothing to be done, acceptable losses.
The first season is just great, watched with great pleasure. Reckless, bloody, brutal and cynical, but at the same time – quite truthful: of course, in the paradigm of assuming the existence of such extraordinary people. Moreover, the audience will quickly be explained where they, generally speaking, come from.
By the way, about the bloodiness. I must say that the original comic is noticeably more bloody and reckless, so for the series certain things were softened. (I won’t shock you with the details, there’s no point in that.)
Not all members of the superhero squad play a prominent role in the series. For example, Black Noir does not show himself at all in the first season, except that in the final episode he performs something on the piano: I agree that Masnet needs to be a superhero to perform the “Elegy”.
The leader of the entire detachment, Patriot, is absolutely magnificent. He was played by Anthony Starr, and I didn’t immediately realize that this was Sheriff Hood from Banshee, which I really, really liked there, like the whole series. Here is a completely different type. An omnipotent person, a sociopath and a hypocrite, an extremely cruel creature, but at the same time possessing a bunch of all kinds of complexes, originating from childhood. The Patriot has a special relationship with the unit’s curator, Madeleine Stilwell, and it’s very interesting to watch this relationship.
The remaining members of the “Seven” are less interesting. Starlight is young and too correct. Queen Maeve is the same Starlight, only a couple of decades later: when she will already know well what kind of viper this squad is, and come to terms with the inevitable.
Train A is weak-tempered, fussy and drug addicted. Translucent is invisible most of the time. Depth is mostly interesting only with a funny episode with a dolphin. (“He calls it funny!” Bublik the cat was indignant.) Well, Black Noir, as I said, practically did not shine at all.
Well, I note that of the entire squad, Madeleine Stilwell has the most steel warriors, although she is not at all a superheroine. But it is she who skillfully steers both the detachment and the Patriot. And the role of Elisabeth Shue turned out to be very powerful and effective.
In contrast to the superheroes, the “Boys” squad is noticeably brighter. Karl Urban, in my opinion, played the best role of his life: before, he was somehow more of a backup dancer, and here is his Billy Butcher – well, just a brilliance: power, charisma, determination. In fact, the entire squad is solely on him and rests, because without such a serious and not joking core, they would not be able to resist superheroes. By the way, in the series, Billy speaks with an exaggerated British accent. (The actor himself was born in New Zealand.)
Hugh Campbell seemed to be a quiet and timid kid at first, so it was not clear what he would do in the squad at all, but Jack Quaid did a great job of showing Hugh’s gradual envelopment, while not leaving the character at all, and I must say that Campbell was simply extremely liked. . He was also very reminiscent of a young Malcolm McDowell from the O Lucky Man era.
By the way, Jack Quaid is the son of actor Dennis Quaid and actress Meg Ryan. Interestingly, I don’t like Dennis Quaid anywhere, but Jack is a completely different matter!
Another curious moment – the creators of the original comics made Hugh’s type look like Simon Pegg’s character from Shaun the Zombie. And Simon Pegg was offered to play Hugh. However, Pegg himself refused to play Hugh, but played his father in this series.
The Frenchman was played by Israeli actor Tomer Capon. Great character – very bright and charismatic. Frenchman Billy dragged into this detachment in fact without prior notice (he simply had nowhere to go), but Frenchman for the detachment is a very valuable member. There he goes with an interesting line with the girl Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara), whom the squad freed from the helpers of superheroes.
Well, also Em Em (in the original he is Mother’s Milk) looks worthy performed by Las Alonso. Although, for the most part, the task of his character is to quarrel with the Frenchman, with whom he has long-standing scores.
I kept waiting for them to finish the first season. (The second one has not yet been released, but the decision to create it was made even before the release of the first season on the screens.) It was clear that the “Boys” would not be able to clear all this swamp, so I waited for what would happen: a spectacular ending or just cut off the story to continue it in the second season.
So, it was just a spectacular ending, which, on the one hand, makes the first season a virtually finished story, but on the other hand, it is clear that they still have a lot to show in the second season.
Great series, loved it. I really recommend it – you have not seen such superheroes yet. They, unlike the glossy stearin Marvel superheroes, are alive and glowing!
PS For those who have watched – a detailed explanation of all the allusions, references and easter eggs of the series.
The Boys movie meaning
Director: Eric Kripke Cast: Karl Urban, Anthony Starr, Dominic McElligot, Jack Quaid, Erin Moriarty, Jesse Asher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara
Series, USA, 2019, 60 min. 8 episodes, 8 hours