The Boys’ first season officially streamed in 2019 (same year Euphoria aired on HBO) on Amazon Prime. It received positive reviews from critics and streamers alike. Thanks to Season 1’s instant success, a second season streamed in 2020 earning the same praise. Season 3 is currently streaming with a new episode per Friday. I confess, I never read a comic of “The Boys.” As a fan of the superhero genre, I wanted to give it a try. First episode got me hooked over a unique concept on what if superheroes are self-absorbed arrogant glory hounds? Another reason I’m obsessed with The Boys are the characters like Billy Butcher & Homelander have fascinating backstories and motivations courtesy of Karl Urban & Antony Starr’s performances.
I’ve decided to review The Boys’ first season before delving deeper into the second and third season. Besides the show, Jack Quaid has a role in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming “Oppenheimer.” Seth Rogen will produce an animated film reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Today’s review contains no massive SPOILERS whatsoever.
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Laz, Alonso, Tomer Capone, Karen Fukuhara, Erin Moriarty, Antony Starr, Jesse T. Usher, Dominique McElligott, Chance Crawford & Elisabeth Shue all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg & Neal H. Moritz served as executive producers Seth also makes a cameo in the sixth episode.
Action Sequences definitely pulls no punches filled with blood and gore. If you have a weak stomach, be prepared, you’re gonna need a barf bag.
Humor has elements of Black Comedy, satirical depiction of superheroes being self-absorbed arrogant glory hounds and snarky dialogue.
Visual Effects are spectacular.
Eric Kripke (Supernatural) did a great job mapping out all eight episodes.
Chemistry between the titular group serves as the main highlight. Their teamwork moves the story forward.
A serum called, “Compound V” serves as an important plot device.
The Seven are evil versions of the “Justice League.”
Here’s a list of the characters based on popular superheroes/non-superheroes from Marvel, DC and other franchises.
- Homelander = Superman & Captain America
- Billy Butcher = The Punisher
- Starlight = Jubilee &Dazzler
- Black Noir = Batman & Snake Eyes
- A-Train = The Flash, Quicksilver & Sonic the Hedgehog
- The Deep = Aquaman & Namor
- Popclaw = Lady Deathstrike
- Queen Maeve = Wonder Woman
- Translucent = The Invisible Man
- Ezekiel = Mr. Fantastic
- Stillwell = Lex Luthor
Simon Pegg appears as Hughie’s father. In the comics, Hughie’s appearance is based on Simon. If The Boys were made into a movie back when it first published, Edgar Wright would’ve directed it with Simon as Hughie. Somewhere in a different universe, this became Edgar’s first comic book film, not “Scott Pilgrim VS. The World.”
Pacing for each episode never felt slow or fast. They felt stable allowing me to get to know the characters.
Primary Themes are Loss, Trauma, Manipulation, Corruption, Deception, Marketing & Mass Media. Although labeled a dark comedy, each theme is handled maturely.
The Season Finale’s last scene changes everything.
Negative: Cinematography can be shaky at times.
Episode 1 – The Name of the Game
Full: A brutal death in the beginning establishes what you’re about to see, is gonna be one heck of a bloody mess not squeaky clean for families.
A shocking moment near the end shows us an individual is ruthless on the inside. Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger” is used effectively.
Starlight enlists as a member of The Seven. She has a sudden realization on one of the members’ depraved traits.
A legit fight scene with Butcher against Translucent.
Episode 2 – Cherry
Fresh: Hughie & Butcher take Translucent to a hideout. Frenchie helps the pair exploit the latter’s weakness.
Starlight fights a few thugs.
An explosive Death Scene moves the storyline forward with no turning back.
The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” is used during The End Credits. It was also used in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Episode 3 – Get Some
Upgrade: Butcher recruits his ally, Mother’s Milk or MM for short.
MM’s ringtone made me chuckle.
MM & Hughie infiltrate A-Train & Popclaw’s place.
A-Train participates in a race with another speedster.
Episode 4 – The Female of the Species
Healthy: Homelander does a messed thing.
The Boys encounter a deadly Asian woman who is also a supe.
Butcher compares his team to a famous pop-band from the 90s. Can you guess which one?
A number one hit song back in the aforementioned decade is used in a hilarious scene. I’ll give you a hint, it was used in “Small Soldiers.”
Episode 5 – Good for the Soul
Good: Hughie attempts to blackmail a pastor with a deep dark secret for important intel.
Homelander delivers an over-the-top speech.
Starlight has a public confession.
Episode 6 – The Innocents
Right: Haley Joel Osmet factors in as Mesmer. A former child star with the power to read minds by touching a person’s skin. The Gang ask him for help so they can learn more about the mysterious girl’s past.
The mysterious girl’s past makes absolute sense.
Seth Rogen makes a cameo appearance.
Episode 7 – The Self-Preservation Society
Promote: A flashback shows a part of Butcher’s life.
Somebody gets his comeuppance.
Homelander learns about a former colleague’s secret.
Episode 8 – You Found Me
Safe: Starlight engages in combat with supe.
A focal character meets his/her demise.
Giancarlo Esposito makes a brief appearance. He has a bigger role in Season 2.
Tensions escalate between The Gang & The Seven.
A Twist Ending changes everything. I did not see that coming from a mile away. Much better than M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass.”
The Final Verdict: A-
The Boys’ first season is a strong start. Most of the positive stuff listed, indicates why it’s a must watch. If you’re curious to see The Boys, I highly recommend Season 1.