Some Thoughts on Amazon’s The Boys

blog post august 5th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. 

I just finished watching Amazon’s The Boys and have some observations I’d like to share with you all. First of all, I absolutely loved the idea of seeing superheroes, for once, being heavily flawed, culpable, and not as infallible as they’re always depicted. I also really liked how “The Boys” were “the good guys” or anti-heroes, really.

I have always had several issues with superheroes that I never voiced out loud for many years. My views may be seen as a widely unpopular opinion but here goes anyway. I always quietly noted all of the violence, all of the deaths, especially all of the collateral damage that was done while superheroes purportedly “saved the day.” You rarely see the superheroes acknowledging or taking a moment to apologize, to grieve, or to recognize all of the senseless lives lost and if they do it’s a mere afterthought. These superheroes are always larger than life characters who were given these powers and decided to dedicate their lives to being noble while saving the world from crime. But what if it’s not so black and white as we’ve been accustomed to while watching or reading tales in the DC or Marvel Universe?

The Boys provides a view of what it might really be like living in a world with superheroes in this day and age. We are heavily tied to technology and you can’t get away with anything these days without someone catching your actions on their phone and posting it to several social media outlets. You have to be careful with what you say, spin your words in a way that will get people to follow you, believe in your actions, and even pick a group, and with this show, in particular, the religious community and have them support your cause. In this world, they were made to be superheroes at birth and it wasn’t by some freak accident or some other hackneyed cause that became commonplace with superhero origin stories. We see how the individuals who are known as “The Seven” cope with their superhero status and how they unravel in front of our very eyes in quite a sight to behold.

You have A-Train who is fighting to keep his status as the fastest man alive, facing the reality of aging and the limitations of his body and toying around with Compound V to help him maintain his status as a renowned and beloved superhero. He inadvertently kills someone while speeding through residential streets with little regard for anyone but himself. He even sacrifices his own beloved Popclaw to cover up one of his many messes. To what end do your actions persist without consequences? One of the most poignant moments in the series is A-Train’s last conversation with Popclaw before killing her where he recalls what foods she ordered on their first date. He told her that he was impressed by her choice and loved how she wasn’t afraid to be happy. That was the most authentic moment that character had the entire season and that was the only chance we got to see A-Train being truly vulnerable, away from the Compound V, away from the influences of Homelander and Stillwell and Vought.

These “supes” as they’re known, are so scripted and violated and destroyed mentally as they’re constantly reminded by those around them how privileged they are to be apart of this elite group but what they had to do to get there is just way beyond what the average human being would tolerate just to become famous.

I always equated superheroes with the popular kids in high school. These are the kids who naturally excelled at sports, the beautiful young girls who were cheerleaders or chosen homecoming and/or prom queen, the Ivy-league bound kids, etc. These were the kids that I had the least in common with growing up. I was always awkward, shy, overweight, never pretty, plain to look at, unremarkable in every sense of the word. I’ve been bullied, fat-shamed, emotionally tormented, and so on my entire life and it has become something I’m used to. With every hardship I’ve endured and whenever I happen to tell my story to other people they always tell me how they are so impressed by how level-headed, smart, and accomplished I am. They tell me how strong I am to have gone through everything I’ve gone through and never turn to drugs, or alcohol or worse. I take my pain and I turn it into something positive. My weapon of choice has always been my words. I use words to make sense of my feelings. I use words to educate others to be better people. I use words to teach people tolerance, positivity, compassion, empathy, love, and respect.

I’m no superhero. I often end up sympathizing with the villains sometimes. Not that I’d ever condone any of their abhorrent actions. I can just sometimes relate more to their backstories and can understand how these villains did not have the mental fortitude to turn an extremely negative and unfortunate event in their lives and turn it into a positive.

This show, I realize, relies heavily on karma to serve these so-called heroes and heroines their just desserts. From A-Trains broken leg, to Translucents unfortunate demise, to The Deep’s gill violation,  to Queen Maeve’s coming to terms with letting all of those people die on that plane and the bitter loneliness she exhibits on a day to day basis just being her, to Homelander’s desperate need to father a child only to find out that he had a child as a result of his raping Butcher’s wife but only finding out several years later that the child actually survived. All of those cliched colloquialisms apply here: Fate catches up to us all, You get what you deserve, You reap what you sow. You get the point.

This show had raised so many thoughts and questions and I was really impressed from beginning to end. I was kind of dragging my feet starting this series and I rolled my eyes at the mere thought of watching yet another superhero driven series. This concept highly fatigues me and the concept has to be really mind-blowingly good for me to not fall asleep or even forgo watching it altogether. I really liked how the tables were turned and made what we would normally consider the villains as the kind of heroes/anti-heroes of the story. I liked how the superheroes weren’t always perfect, were heavily flawed, and weren’t even good people most of the time. I liked how Starlight was the young ingenue getting into something she thought was so noble and worthy only to be disillusioned and wrecked practically from day one after her sickening encounter with The Deep. We’ve all had moments where we find out that some of our heroes are not good people in real life and how scripted the majority of people whom we admire actually are and how Hollywood lies, and how things are absolutely not always as they seem. Thanks for reading my observations. I’d love to hear about your thoughts on the show. Remember, if you decide to leave a comment, only positive comments will be published, so keep it clean, keep it polite, keep it respectful, folks.

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My new novella, John of Art, is out now and is available for paperback and Kindle ebook on Amazon. It is also available as an ebook wherever ebooks are sold. If you’d like to get a copy of the paperback, just click the picture below and it will lead you to Amazon to purchase your copy of the new novella. Thanks to all of you who have already purchased your copy. I am in the process of making the paperback available through other platforms and my voice over artist is currently working on the audiobook and that will be released in September most likely.  Currently, I’m working on a couple of new things. I am working on possibly doing some book signings. I have just sent out a few inquiries regarding that so I don’t know if that will happen yet but will let you all know if and when that actually occurs. Thanks again and have a great week everyone!

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