The Boys – Amazon Original Review

The Boys – Amazon Original Review

If you haven’t been living under a rock the past few months, you’ve likely seen an ad on the internet/YouTube/Reddit for Amazon Original adaptation, The Boys. So I know I don’t normally touch on western comics or live action, but I’m a huge fan of Garth Ennis and showrunner Erik Kripke and I ate through most of Preacher before the show aired. Same for the Watchmen movie and I’m looking forward to that too, especially with all the HBO hype (I’ve effectively wiped GoT S8 from my mind so all is well). But today, I’m here to talk about The Boys, but in this case, it’s the Amazon show that aired. I’ll be discussing the comic later and limiting the spoilers for that here but be prepared, this is both a very NSFW comic, show, and review. With that caveat and warning, let’s go spank some supes.

The boys in this iteration, are less the CIA deniable asset they are in the comics and more a rogue asset that is lightly accepted by the federal government. My main points here are gonna kinda hype up the things I like about this adaptation, followed by a more spoiler filled discussion of the things I really liked, to be followed in another article this week about the original comic itself. So let’s get to brass tacks, who are “The Boys?”

The crew is comprised much like the BAYOG crew, in that we have a token black guy and insane murderous Asian woman. Jokes aside, you have the Cockney accented leader of The Boys, William “Billy” Butcher, the unassuming and timid Hughie Campbell, Mother’s Milk or M.M., the straight man of seriousness against the insane backdrop of the rest of the group, The Frenchman  A.K.A. “Frenchie,” the team demolitions and firepower expert, and finally, the mute murder machine, Female of The Species.

In the source material, the name of the group was derived by Butcher in regards to the group of people (The Boys) you send down to teach someone a lesson. The origin of the name as well as a vast majority of the comic’s world building is actually left out. Other aspects are changed ranging from minor (like Vought Executive Stillwell and Colonel Mallory being women) to rather major, such as the fact in this version, The Boys (barring the Female) have NO superpowers. So the source of superpowers is derived from a chemical made by Vought, the major company in charge of running and managing superheroes called Compound V. While this is slightly known in the comics, it is a trade secret in the show adaptation, with no international supes in circulation. This makes the live action Boys considerably more killable than their comic iterations. Regardless of this, the Boys go about being general badasses and combating the very corrupt and morally defunct superheroes and their corporate backers armed with no government support, no super powers, and nothing but their brains, some heart, and guts.

Speaking of which, before I go into the spoilerly summary of Season 1 (Read: They did a great job setting up for S2) a warning. This show and the source material were a hotbed of controversial topics including rape, murder, torture, and lots and lots of generally inappropriate things. You have been warned, and now we begin.

The first couple of episodes is very much in line with the comics, with Hughie’s girlfriend splattered by the reckless and young super hero, A-Train. When I say splattered, imagine someone being hit by a bullet the size of a person and exploding like a water balloon full of meat. He is then offered the corporate BS by Vought and after walking like a dead man, he is approached by Billy Butcher. After a bit of recruitment, he is then tracked by Translucent, a nigh invincible and invisible member of The Seven, the world’s greatest superhero group. After dealing with him in a surprisingly efficient manner, we meet Frenchie who gets roped up in order to deal with the Translucent issue. The entire time we also see Starlight, the new recruit for The Seven as she is sexually assaulted not by half of The Seven, but only by The Deep.

In time, we see the depravity that the Supes indulge in and the formation of the team, with the strangest twist being that Female is found not just a part of the team. That scene was personally one of my favorites with hilarious and gruesome fighting. One of the biggest things we catch is that 9/11 never happened, which was a change from the comics where the botched rescue op by the Seven led to the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Instead it is used, in concert with the creation of terrorist Supes to justify putting Vought and superheroes in the military. One of my favorite cameos being Jim Beaver playing “Secretary of Defense, ROBERT SINGER” so I like to think in this AU, Bobby destroyed demons so well he became SoD.

The ending however was brilliantly done with a bang and a boom, but setting up for a season 2 and a grand time either showing the events before (with lamplighter, Mallory, and the original Boys) or after this season being very viable. I’ll likely get into a more detailed summary of the show as I compare the comics and describe where in the comics the show got to, but hopefully you’ll give either the comic, the show, or both a shot and enjoy this violent and fun NSFW literally anti-superhero story.

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