Ever wonder what might happen if superheroes turned out to be less than heroic? The Boys kind of takes that idea and runs with it in a manner that makes a lot of people look at heroes differently since the reality is that with the powers and abilities that so many of them have, it’s easy to think that in real life they might not be so glamorous and upright. Granted, this is a very dark look at heroes that have been bought up as corporate symbols and are in love with their own legends, at least some of them are, but the whole idea of a superhero with powers well beyond any human being is that there’s not always a way to keep them in check as people might want. Imagine if Superman decided to simply act like a jerk and stop being the hero. Then imagine if he were to get mad at someone and exert his will against not just them, but everyone that he felt had ever wronged him? Keep in mind that Clark had a fairly normal life growing up, and he was thought to be kind of a geek by his classmates. Imagine if he’d held a grudge all those years and wanted to exact his own form of payback. This is typically where the ideas that the villains aren’t always the worst part of the story come from since the whole fear that the heroes, with their amazing powers and apparently unstoppable abilities, might run riot on normal humans is very real, at least in fiction.
Plus, even those that don’t have superpowers but are so insanely tough and well-trained, like Batman, are looked at by many as little more than vigilantes that have no faith in the system and will take the law into their own hands. So by that measure, why can’t anyone else? If one citizen breaks the law then why not allow everyone to do it? Heroes in the comics and in The Boys are typically those that have the means to do what average individuals can’t or won’t, but they’re also those that push the boundaries of the law that they swear to uphold in favor of doing what they feel is right or, in the case of The Boys, what they want to do at any given moment. What’s amusing about the heroes in The Boys is that they’re backed by a corporate sponsor and therefore have to put on a friendly face for the public more often than not, while at any other time they’re about as bad as they can be without being seen as supervillains.
It’s an odd show, to say the least since the people that are supposed to noble and upright have taken on a very negative outlook and the guys that are there to try and keep them in check aren’t much better since they’re set firmly against the heroes for very personal reasons. The show does make people look at heroes in a different light to be certain since it does make a person wonder just what might happen if someone with incredible abilities such as this wasn’t such an upstanding citizen. Who would stop them? Who could possibly stop a person that can deflect bullets or isn’t affected by anything other than some obscure method that exists to take them down? The Seven have their own vulnerabilities and weaknesses that can bring them down, but unless one has read the comics it’s likely that finding them is kind of tough since while a couple of them are very prone to be damaged, Homelander and Maeve are pretty tough. But like it or not, the Seven are weaker versions of the archetypal heroes that they’ve been patterned after, and as such it might take a bit more firepower than normal to take them down, but it’s not impossible for blunt force trauma and other methods to be utilized when attempting to take them down.
The show is one that almost feels like a fringe idea that was brought together just as an amusing ‘what if?’ to appease the many fans that tend to wonder what might happen if heroes were to get a little out of control. In that light, it’s definitely working since it does show that heroes can be a bunch of jerks if they’re allowed to act like their more human counterparts and become selfish and otherwise troubled by life concerns that might otherwise be thought to be absent in the lives of those that are seen as protectors of humanity. Some might even say the Seven are a little more realistic since heroes or not, they’re still human in a lot of ways, and that tends to come with a lot of baggage at times, as most people know.