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"The Boys" Amazon Prime Video

by Courtney Deeren - Copy Editor
Tue, Sep 10th 2019 11:00 pm

 Amidst all the recent clamour over superhero movies, Amazon put out its adaptation of the superhero narrative with “The Boys.” Originally released as a series of comics consisting of 72 issues spanning six years, writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson originally planned for the works to be part of DC comics. But the premise did not seem to fit the lighter themes held by Superman and the likes. The series was eventually produced by Wildstorm, an American comic book imprint working under DC comics. 

Fast forward to July 2019 when Amazon produces the show on its popular streaming platform, Prime Video. The first episode starts with two unnamed young boys walking down the street talking about their favorite superhero movies. Their conversation is interrupted by a jarring action scene in which the audience is introduced to Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) and Homelander (Antony Starr), who seem to be the heroes of the story. 

In the following scene the audience meets the nerdy and lovable, if not slightly neurotic and much too apathetic, Hughey Campbell (Jack Quaid). He is shown as he struggles to ask his boss for a raise, an issue his girlfriend Robin (Jess Salgueiro) later teases him about. 

As Hughey and Robin stand on the curb discussing moving into their own place, there is an intense slow motion shot of Robin essentially exploding. The artistic imagery here is reminiscent of Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of “Watchmen.” Although this moment was the only visually similar moment, the dark satirical tone of the show seems to draw some connections to the movie. We find out instantly that the reason for Robin’s demise is A-Train (Jessie T. Usher). 

Switching to a more upbeat moment, Annie January/ Starlight (Erin Moriarty) is introduced. Through Annie, the audience finds out about the organization known as The Seven. The elite group consists of Queen Maeve, Homelander, The Deep (Chace Crawford), Starlight, A-Train, Translucent (Alex Hassell) and Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell). The Seven is owned by Vought, a government agency that is supposed to keep the corrupt superheroes in check. 

As the season progresses, the audience is invited in to get a glimpse of the tangled web of superherodom. Serious topics ranging from Starlight’s sexual assault, to Homelander’s mommy issues and A-Train’s drug problem are all at the forefront of the series. 

The main storyline, however, sees Hughey team up with Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), who is avenging the assumed death of his wife at the hands of Homelander. Butcher, Hughey and their rag-tag team of “good guys” infiltrate the band of “supes” as the superheroes are called to find out what exactly happened when A-Train ran through the love of Hughey’s life and just who was to blame for Butcher’s wife’s disappearance eight years ago. 

In my opinion, the show started out a little slow, making careful work of introducing the characters and weaving their troubling paths together. After the midway point, however, things really start to look up. 

 

3/5 Stars

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