A bunch of common folks raise their voices against the tyrannical superheroes. Yes, that’s the pitch, and we are already sold. Their battle is not social, or political, but entirely personal. This is a cry for vengeance. These men have lost their dear ones who were either directly or indirectly killed by these superheroes, or “supes,” the name often used to denote the superhuman individuals in this universe. On one hand, we have a superhero team named “The Seven” that is owned and managed by a private pharmaceutical corporation called Vought International, while on the other hand, we have a bunch of misfits who decide to unravel the dark and corrupt personas of these superheroes who brutally murder human beings and get away with these violent crimes with the help of their massive PR team.
First revealed in 2019, Amazon Prime Video has so far released two seasons of “The Boys” that majorly focus on William “Billy” Butcher, the leader of “The Boys” gang, who has a personal rivalry with a narcissistic superhero named Homelander, who happens to be Vought’s most precious property and is the leader of “The Seven.” Billy assembles a team of misfits to take revenge on Homelander and other superheroes in order to show the world their true faces. Billy’s plight continues for two long seasons and will continue for Season 3 as well, and we are eagerly waiting for yet another clash. Let’s trace down the important events of “The Boys” Season 1 and Season 2 and speculate on what we can expect in Season 3.
The Important Events Of Season 1
Hugh “Hughie” Campbell lives a mundane life with his father and handles an electronic store named Bryman Audio-Visual. Hughie has a girlfriend, Robin Ward, with whom he is planning to spend the rest of his life, but soon tragedy strikes. Outside the store, a speedster and a member of “The Seven,” named A-Train, run through Robin’s body and kill her on the spot. Hughie is instantly contacted by the lawyer of Vought International, who offers him 45,000 dollars to keep his mouth shut and never discuss the incident with anyone. Hughie doesn’t want to let Robin’s death go in vain and soon is contacted by a shady man named Billy Butcher, who has a thick British accent and calls himself an FBI agent. Billy reveals to Hughie, using CCTV footage, that A-Train has no remorse for Robin’s death and instead makes fun of her with his friends. Hughie, driven by vengeance, agrees to assist Billy in planting a device in Vought Tower, the headquarters of Vought International and a stronghold of “The Seven.” While on his trip to the tower, an invisible ‘supe’ named Translucent gets suspicious of Hughie and follows him to the store. As soon as Translucent threatens Hughie, Billy arrives in the shop with a bang to help Hughie, and together they capture Translucent and take him to a secret underground facility that is managed by William’s old associate and a prominent member of “The Boys” gang, Frenchie, the man who knows all about guns, missiles, and other ammunition. Frenchie fits a bomb inside Translucent’s body, which is later triggered by Hughie. With the death of Translucent, Hughie becomes the “supe” killer, and hence, unwillingly, Billy makes him a member of the gang. He also brings in an old friend named Mother’s Milk, or MM, to help them take down the Vought superhero. Their first target is Robin’s murderer, A-Train, who has been injecting himself with a super serum called Compound V to improve his running abilities so he can beat Shockwave in a tournament.
Meanwhile, in the Vought Tower, Madelyn Stillwell, vice president of the company, tries to sell the superheroes to different American states for a huge amount of money. Through her, it is revealed that Vought is not in the world-saving business but a hero-selling one. They are a pharmaceutical company started by a Nazi scientist named Frederick Vought, a geneticist who created the groundbreaking super serum Compound V. Through illegal trade ways, Vought had been supplying Compound V to different hospitals throughout America in order to inject the newborn babies with the serum and turn them into superheroes, to raise an army of their own. Madelyn has been trying to use her influence and corrupt measures to pass a bill in parliament that will allow the admission of superheroes into the American military. This will not only privatize the war in a way but also bring in a huge amount of money for Vought International, thereby creating their monopoly in the country.
Hughie, Billy, and their gang hustle to unravel Vought’s malpractices and their grand scheme of things. In the midst of this major conflict, Hughie strikes up a friendship (later transformed into love) with a “supe” named Starlight, who has recently joined “The Seven.” Starlight was harassed by a teammate named Deep, and when she revealed the incident in public, Madelyn quickly removed Deep from the team. In the meantime, Billy reveals to Hughie that Homelander raped his wife, Rebecca, or Becca, who used to work for Vought International and disappeared soon after the attack. Billy has been yearning to take revenge on Homelander for a long time but couldn’t find his weakness. However, at the end of “The Boys” Season 1, he finds out through his former boss, Grace Mallory, that Homelander is in love with Madelyn Stillwell, and she is his only weakness. Without wasting a moment, Billy takes Madelyn hostage at her own house and wraps a bunch of C4 explosives around her body to hurt Homelander. However, the Homelander soon arrives at the scene and kills Madelyn himself, as she lied to him about his son, Ryan, and his mother, Becca, who happens to be Billy’s wife. After Homelander burns Madelyn’s skull, Billy explodes the bomb anyway and wakes up on a lawn where he gets a glimpse of Becca and Ryan. Season 1 ends before Billy can reunite with his family.
The other highlights of “The Boys” Season 1 are that Homelander sent A-train all around the world to inject some terrorists with Compound V in order to create super terrorists. He wanted to create a fear of these superhuman villains so that the military would have no other option but to let the ‘supe’ into the national defense. Hundreds of families are affected by Homelander’s sinister plan, and one of them is a young girl, Kimiko Miyashiro, who was abducted from her home by a terrorist group named Shining Light Liberation Army and was later brought to America, where she was trapped inside a cage and was experimented on with Compound V. While the serum worked magically with babies, it was still unstable with adults and thus used to traumatize the human body and mind, which was one of the reasons why these superhumans turned out to be extremely violent and therefore were labeled as super terrorists.
‘The Boys’ Season 2: Recap
Many superheroes, including Starlight, believe that their powers are god-given. However, when the secret about Compound V came to light, everyone’s belief in that theory was severely shaken. As the new season begins, the new boss of Vought International, Stan Edgar, tries to contain the situation and, unlike Madelyn, keeps the superheroes, especially the members of “The Seven,” on a leash. His chain of command and absolute authority enrages the Homelander, who want to believe that he is the leader of the superhero team and that every decision should be made after consulting with him or with his approval. To tame Homelander, Edgar brings in a new superhero, Stormfront, aka Liberty or Klara Risinger, who has a history of her own. She used to be an active participant in Nazi social gatherings and later became the wife of a Nazi scientist named Frederick Vought, who tested his groundbreaking super serum compound V on her and gave her superhuman abilities along with powers of longevity. Stormfront is believed to be some 100 years old and yet looks exactly the same as when she was first injected with compound V. In short, she doesn’t age.
After the C4 explosion in Madelyn’s house, the police recover her infant baby some kilometers away from the house and suspect that Billy killed Madelyn. They start an extensive hunt for Billy and his gang members because of which Hughie, Frenchie, and MM are living in hiding. After a glimpse of Becca and Ryan, Billy wakes up on the road and tries to find them, but can’t locate their house. He cracks a deal with Grace Mallory to capture a super terrorist named Kenji Miyashiro, who happens to be Kimiko’s younger brother and has been smuggled into New Jersey by Vought International in order to convince the general public that they need superheroes to protect them from supervillains. Stormfront mercilessly kills Kenji and becomes a public hero, while Homelander makes constant visits to Becca’s house inside a fenced boundary protected by Vought International.
Homelander grew up in a lab under the supervision of a former Vought scientist named Jonah Vogelbaum, who later despised his own creation and believed that if Homelander had grown up in a more suitable family environment, he would not have turned into a violent and narcissistic superhero. As a result, when Vogelbaum learned about Becca’s pregnancy, who was carrying Homelander’s child, he decided to give her shelter and hide her son, Ryan. As soon as Homelander finds out about Ryan and Becca, he starts visiting the house frequently in order to teach his son how to use his superpowers, and when Becca tries to intervene, he takes away Ryan with him. In fear of losing her son, Becca arrives at Billy’s den seeking help to bring Ryan back to her.
Meanwhile, A-Train and Deep have joined the Church of the Collective in order to rebrand themselves in order to get a chance to join “The Seven” again. The society, managed by Alastair Adana, runs PR ratings of these two superheroes so that Alastair can convince Edgar to take them back to the team. However, when Edgar reveals that it is Stormfront who doesn’t want A-train back, A-train steals Stormfront’s files from the vault and hands them over to Hughie and Starlight, who leak them into the media, revealing Stormfront’s true identity. Starlight is later arrested by Black Noir and taken to the Vought Tower, from where Hughie finally rescues her, while Billy cracks a deal with Edgar to reveal to him Ryan’s location, and in exchange, he will give Ryan back to him and, in the entire process, will get back Becca. However, Billy may be arrogant and a flawed protagonist, but he isn’t cold-hearted. He knows what Ryan means to Becca and therefore helps Becca run away with Ryan after rescuing him from the Homelander’s cabin. Stormfront attacks the team, and while Starlight and Kimiko try to match her powers, it is Queen Maeve who comes to their rescue. Maeve decides to switch sides because Homelander has been trying to bully her, because of which her girlfriend, Elena, leaves her.
Stormfront quickly escapes the woman’s power and lands in the woods to stop Billy, Becca, and Ryan from running away. Stormfront tries to take away Ryan when Becca confronts her, and as soon as Stormfront attacks Becca, it enrages Ryan, who unleashes a laser from his eyes and cuts off Stormfront’s hands and legs while also severely damaging her face. In order to stop Stormfront, Ryan accidentally leaves an impact on Becca’s throat that kills her due to excessive bleeding.
Butcher stares at his dying wife, the wife he has been looking for for 8 years and was finally reunited with, only to be separated from her again. Billy wants to kill the ‘supe’ who killed his wife, but before Becca dies, she takes a promise from Billy to look after the only person who accidentally killed her. Becca keeps telling Billy that it isn’t Ryan’s fault, and when Homelander arrives on the scene, Billy has two choices; either to let Ryan go with his biological father and become a tyrant like him, or look after him and give the kid a chance to become a better person. It is here that Billy, who despises all superheroes, shows a transformation and makes the right choice. He faces Homelaner in order to protect Ryan from him, and suddenly Maeve arrives there and shows Homelander recorded video footage of the massacre on trans-oceanic flight 37, where Homelander had accidentally destroyed the flight’s control panel because of which the airplane lost its control. In a moment of panic, instead of saving the passengers, Homelander left them to die. Maeve informs Homelander that this video footage can taint his entire career and reveal to the world what kind of monster he is. If he wants her to not release the video to the press, then he should let Ryan go with Billy, while also letting Starlight and Maeve back into the team. The Homelander, unwillingly, accepts Maeve’s demands and, during the press conference, makes Stormfront a scapegoat and puts all the blame on her while dropping all accusations against Starlight. After Stormfront’s departure, the A-train is called back to ‘The Seven,’ while Deep has to wait a bit longer.
Billy puts Ryan under Grace Mallory’s care, who promises not to let the kid become like her father. She also informs Billy that all charges against him and his team have been dropped, and he is a free man now. After the entire conflict with the superheroes, the White House opened an Office of Super Affairs under the supervision of the newly appointed congresswoman, Victoria Neuman. She gives Grace some off-the-record funding to assemble a team to keep an eye on the superheroes, and therefore, Grace asks Billy to officially create a team. However, Billy leaves without giving Grace confirmation.
At the end of “The Boys” Season 2, it is revealed that Victoria Neuman is a supe too, who has some telekinesis power to explode people’s heads, and she is the one who created a bloodbath during the court investigation of Vought International and malpractices related to the production and distribution of Compound V. It isn’t revealed which side Victoria is working for. However, Hughie, unaware of her true identity, joins her office in order to fight the supes lawfully, therefore leaving the gang. Mother’s Milk finally returns to his family, while Frenchie starts a peaceful life with Kimiko. Butcher, on the other hand, has a lot to process alone and deal with the loss of his wife, Becca.
What To Expect From ‘The Boys’ Season 3?
What is the cause of Homelaner’s violent personality? A childhood trauma? The feeling of abandonment? Lack of love? A void created by the absence of family or mother’s love? Maybe all of them. The Homelander had been yearning for attachment. Someone who would hold him and give him a warm hug just to make him believe that he belongs in this world or someone who loves him unconditionally. His narcissism and his apparent hunger for love and attention are the result of the fact that he wasn’t born into a family but was raised in a laboratory. At the beginning of “The Boys” season 3, Homelaner, in all his interviews, tells the audience that he fell in love with the wrong woman. First, it was Madelyn Stillwell, and then Stormfront. While Madelyn was killed by the Homelander himself, the latter might still be alive but in a terrible situation. And yes, Homelander is still passionately looking for some love, and this hunt drives him crazy. His need for attention plays with his already crooked brain and may turn him into a monster or a psycho superhero, a persona that he has been hiding for a long time.
The Homelander’s worst nightmare and his most lethal adversary, Billy The Butcher, is haunted by his own demons. However, he tries to keep himself stable by making frequent visits to a secret location where Grace Mallory is keeping Becca’s son Ryan and looking after her. Billy is trying to be a changed man, or as Grace underlines, he hasn’t thrashed any superheroes in a year and has been sober for a year during the same period. He is also following Hughie’s order, which points out the fact that Billy has finally taken Grace’s offer and officially created “The Boys,” because of which he is taking orders from Hughie, who joined Victoria Neuman’s office in the previous season, and she is the one who has been funding Grace and her covert operation. But this is just the build-up. The drama is about to kick in.
Hughie soon finds out the reality of government machinery where everything is rigged and thus finally gives Billy the validation to do things his way, the Butcher’s way. And that’s where the blood comes in, lots of blood, to be exact. Queen Maeve gives Billy a special green serum that will provide him with superhuman abilities for 24 hours. Now Billy can finally level the competition and deal with his nemesis, the Homelander, with the help of his newly acquired powers. Even though Mother’s Milk tries to persuade Billy not to use the serum, we all know that Billy doesn’t listen to anyone, and thus we have his red laser eyes in the trailer. It also gives a glimpse of other new superheroes, along with Deep, who is seen roaming happily with Homelander, suggesting his return to ‘The Seven.’
And the biggest surprise of “The Boys” Season 3 is Soldier Boy, who wields a shield like Captain America and might be similarly frozen somewhere, only to make a return in the 21st century with a long beard and rusty look. The new superheroes that make an appearance in the trailer seem like a part of an assembled team led by Super Boy during World War 2. In the trailer, it is Butcher who rescues Soldier Boy from a locked chamber, and as soon as he comes out of his cage, he unleashes a massive energy blast from his body, thereby attacking the guards protecting the chamber. As frequently mentioned in the series, Soldier Boy used to be a war hero who saved millions of Nazis during the war, but what if it is the only thing that he knows? What if he shows similar traits like Homelander and turns out to be more tyrannical than him, lacking all signs of empathy and showing signs of superhero or God complex? If that happens, then we have a new antagonist for this season, and Billy and his team may need a plan of action to deal with this monster.