The Boys: the superheroes in the Amazon series | Nerd League

It has finally landed on Amazon Prime Videor the third season of The Boys. The original Amazon series is among the most popular of the platform and among the flagships of Prime Video. Who knows well The Boys he knows that the protagonists of the series are certainly not the heroes we are used to seeing in Marvel or DC movies.

Cinematic Marvel, in particular, has accustomed its audience, at least in its early stages, to a nuanced vision of the hero: good or bad, hero or villain. There are no half terms. The Marvel hero is spotless and fearless, ready to sacrifice himself to save the rest of the world, there is no hesitation. In phase four the situation seems to have changed, the new MCU heroes have weaknesses, terribly common human problems and are no longer so easily beaten.
Therefore, if the bar in the house of ideas has been raised it is still far from the maturity of the protagonists of The Boys.
The Amazon series is irreverent, unscrupulous and politically incorrect, basically like it for this. The Super of The Boys they have nothing to do with the sweet, upright heroes we’re used to.

Imperfect, broken and diabolical here are the Super

The Boys from 2019 it offers a cast of actors not particularly known to the general public but who in a very short time, thanks to the charisma of their characters, managed to become recognizable.

Amazon heroes are unlike any previous depiction. Forget about morality and compromise when you look The Boys. For the first time, a visual product represents the hero through the analysis of his defects, imperfections and visible problems rather than his undisputed talents.
The Supers are gifted and almost invincible but this is not what distinguishes them, it is their complexities and perversions that make the Supers famous.

The Seven should be upright, law-abiding and morally pure, too bad these are just the appearances that Vought sells as absolute truths. None of the Seven are sinless, Starlight including.

The Boys, Antony Starr

The symbol of America’s superiors is the emblem of the incorrectness of the series. Homelander appears to the public as the symbol of an honest hero, ready to sacrifice himself for his homeland and to defend his cronies, in reality he is the exact opposite. Homelander is perverted, devilish and mean, a real killer in the deepest of terms. He is a hero to the crowds and a criminal and a murderer for those who know him deeply. His sense of justice is corrupted by the thirst for power and the need to have everyone’s attention focused on himself. Homelander is a narcissist and megalomaniac, he can’t stand comparisons and sharing. His power identifies him, he is only the hero not the man. There is no John without Homelander.

If Antony Starr’s character is the darker they are no less dark The Depp (Chace Crawford), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) And Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell). The Depp represents the man who has no respect or care for the female figure, making himself the author of acts of sexual violence against Starlight. A-Train he does not hesitate to control his own power even when this is the cause of death and violence; in the end Black Noir is the classic mercenary ready to act where he is sent without asking for further explanation. The three Supers during the two seasons released so far have made a path of growth, Homelander still not. I can’t fail to mention Stormfront (Aya Cash), heroine who embodies the evil in person identified by Nazism.


Alone Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) And Starlight (Erin Moriarty) shine more for their merits than for their defections. Maeve for a long time he kept silent and covered up the atrocities of his comrades, believing this to be the only way to survive. The arrival of Starlight changed everything. Maeve is no longer willing to succumb to her obvious injustices, she wishes to live her private life out in the open. In the second season, her relationship with the company of life is revealed and the fake story with Homelander exposed. It seems that Maeve’s life is ready to take off but sadly it isn’t. In The Boys everything is appearance: Meave is exploited as a Super symbol of the LGBTQ + community, therefore used to attract more and more supporters.
The Boys has made its more black than gray characters a true trademark and is not ready to give them up anytime soon.

Test tube heroes: the hero’s journey is missing (maybe not for everyone)

In cinecomics dedicated to the origins of the characters we are used to seeing heroes who make a journey in search of themselves and the discovery of their powers. Only at the end of the journey are they ready to be called heroes, are they able to manage their powers and the responsibilities that these entail. The hero’s journey is typical of fantasy novels but has been exploited in recent years with a lot of wisdom in the stories dedicated to superheroes.

In The Boys, unconventional series dedicated to heroes, the hero’s journey is almost completely absent. The Supers are born heroes, they do not learn their gifts at a young age but have them from birth due to the injection of the V serum. The only glimpse of the hero’s path can be found in The Boys it is represented by the competition to become members of the Seven, a competition which turns out to be orchestrated by Vought.

Parody of the heroes of the Justice League

The original Amazon TV series can be entirely called a parody of contemporary cinecomics and beyond. Political satire is one of the hallmarks of the show, The Boys harshly and on several occasions he criticizes various problems of America both with an ironic tone and without half measures. Nothing is spared.

justice league

To be iconically targeted are certainly the superheroes of the DC comics, the Super di The Boys are the parody of the characters of Justice League: Homelander is Superman, The Depp is Aquaman, A-Train is reminiscent of The Flash, Black Noir is Batman and Queen Maeve is undoubtedly Wonder Woman.

The immediate association of the protagonists of The Boys with the heroes of DC Comics it is detectable by the costumes: they are very, very similar to each other, not surprisingly. The Boys he does not want to hide in making fun of and underlining the defects of the heroes, indeed he wants to do it out loud so what better comfort could there be than with the most famous superiors ever?

The purity of Starlight

If you have come this far you may think that in The Boys it completely lacks that pure-hearted, clear and honest character that every superhero story needs. Quiet not even missing in The Boys.


Starlight it is heroin in the most classical sense of the term. The small one Annie January has always believed that willpower, perseverance and sacrifices were the key to becoming the heroine she dreamed of being. Annie, for as long as she can remember, she has participated in beauty contests for Super, in competitions between Super in different disciplines and has always come before her. It does not seem strange then that and to be chosen as the new member of the Seven is her: Annie January stage name Starlight, pure, honest and just. The perfect girl to play the most coveted role in the superhero elite circle.

With Starlight there are no appearances she is really honest, kind and dedicated to others as she seems, she does not just pretend to be. It is these innate moral qualities that make Annie the ideal candidate to bring new life to the Seven. Vought selects her with a specific goal: to attract new audiences to the ranks of supporters, new fans more inclined to bargain for a figure like Starlight rather than Homelander.

The girl will realize only when it is too late that everything she had believed to be true is just a cover, the reality is much more rotten than expected.
Interesting is the fact that at first only Starlight is presented as a character able to distinguish her two lives: the professional one under the pseudonym of Starlight and the private and intimate one under the name of Annie. Annie seems to be the only one who can identify regardless of being a heroine. Only later in the series do we see the development of the private lives of the other characters, in particular Maeve.

Super vs Boys

The characters I’ve told you about so far should be the heroes of the story. Given their complexities, they are not always believed to be capable of providing for the security of America. Their shortcomings or their interference are the cause of the suffering of the American people so they cannot be left unpunished. Only an almost improvised band of non-Super will be able to hinder the path of the Seven.


The Boys led by Billy Butcher are common men with no super power but the thirst for vengeance and justice. Everyone is moved by a personal motive that pushes him to act to the detriment and against the heroes of the Vought house. The goal is to put them out of the game, the means are certainly not legal and honest but justice in The Boys it’s a private affair.

So who are the real heroes of The Boys? The Super certainly not. The Boys could be but the end does not justify the means and for many they would not be so different from the Supers. It is therefore The Boys a series dedicated to superheroes without knowing dudes worthy of the name? Yes, (Stralight aside) and that’s exactly why we like the series so much.

The Boys: the superheroes in the Amazon series | Nerd League