The war between corrupt, evil superheroes and a ragtag band of vigilantes out to expose their true nature and curb the power of “super” in society will escalate dramatically, judging by the first teaser for S2 of The Boys. The Amazon Prime series—one of the most-watched on the streaming platform when it debuted last year—is based on the comics of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.
(S1 spoilers below.)
The Boys is set in a fictional universe where superheroes are real but corrupted by corporate interests and a toxic celebrity-obsessed culture. Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) is a self-appointed vigilante intent on checking the bad behavior of the so-called “supes”—especially The Seven, the most elite superhero squad and, hence, the most corrupt. Butcher especially hates Seven leader Homelander (Antony Starr), a psychopath who raped his now-dead wife. Butcher recruits an equally traumatized young man named Hugh “Hughie” Campbell (Jack Quaid, son of Dennis) to help in his revenge, after another Seven member, A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) used his super-speed to literally run through Hughie’s girlfriend, killing her instantly.
At the same time, an idealistic young woman with powers, Starlight (Erin Moriarty), has just joined the ranks of The Seven, but the harsh reality of her coveted position doesn’t match up to her dreams. In addition to Homelander and A-Train, her new super-cohorts include The Deep (Chace Crawford) who can breathe underwater and converse with the creatures there; Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), who is burnt out and disillusioned with the superhero life; Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), who has superhuman strength and rarely speaks; and Translucent (Alex Hassell), who turns invisible by changing his skin into a carbon meta-material that warps light around him. He’s not above taking advantage of that ability to indulge his perverse voyeuristic tendencies.
In the first season, Butcher and Hughie join forces with Marvin, aka Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capon), and Kimiko, aka The Female (Karen Fukuhara). She has enhanced strength and healing abilities thanks to being injected with a performance-enhancing substance called Compound-V. The Boys track the source of the compound back to Vought International, the parent corporation behind the Seven, which has been using it to create more superheroes. But someone else has gotten their hands on Compound-V and is using it to create superpowered terrorists.
The S1 finale ended with a major cliffhanger: Butcher, intent on blowing himself up and taking Homelander with him, changes his mind when the psychotic superhero tells him he has discovered that Butcher’s ex-wife, Becca, is still alive—and raising her son, the result of her rape by Homelander.
In my review last year, I called S1 of The Boys “a wickedly funny, darkly irreverent adaptation” and “ideal late-summer therapy for anyone who has grown a bit weary of the constant onslaught of superhero movies.” Judging by the first teaser, S2 promises to be just as bloody, brilliant, and downright bonkers as the first. Per the official premise:
Butcher, Hughie and the team reel from their losses in Season 1. On the run from the law, they struggle to fight back against the Superheroes. As Vought, the company that manages the heroes, cashes in on the panic over the threat of Supervillains, and a new hero, Stormfront, shakes up the company and challenges an already unstable Homelander.
There aren’t many additional details in the teaser, which opens as our (anti)heroes watch a TV announcement of an interstate manhunt for Butcher and his “known associates,” which is an aggressive media campaign spearheaded by Homelander, of course. “We are famous now!” Frenchie declares. Butcher appears to be on the run, but it isn’t long before he rejoins The Boys. The Seven are still making public appearances because “the world still needs superheroes”—and the public mostly doesn’t know what jerks these particular “heroes” really are.
We get our first glimpse of Stormfront, a new female member of The Seven, most likely to replace the late Translucent. Homelander is still bullying the rest of The Seven behind the scenes, and his psychopathic tendencies are starting to bleed into the public sphere. When a random man in the crowd flips him off, he zaps the offender into oblivion with his laser eyes. And he proves to a terrible father to the young son he sired with Butcher’s ex-wife: we see him smiling with the boy on the roof of a house before pushing the kid off and letting him fall (presumably Homelander is trying to teach the little dude to fly).
The Boys S2 debuts on Amazon Prime on September 4, 2020.
Listing image by YouTube/Amazon Prime