Not surprising that I don’t have any images from either the comic or the streaming series The Boys in my media library. It’s not a comic I care to read nor a show I wish to watch. The Boys follows a government operative group with that codename who become the heroes of the story only because the heroes they fight turn out to be even worse. Their duty is to take down superheroes who go rogue, but they don’t come off as the best people either from what little I know of it. Nothing about this premise sits well with my superhero-loving heart, but I think no less of you if you like it. One of the biggest reasons is probably Homelander, a stab at the Department Of Homeland Security most likely as well as further proof that is someone shows up with Superman’s powers (science be damned) you better hope that person is more like Clark Kent than…wait, did he have a name? Not coming up in the Fandom wiki and I’m not going to read the comics. Mentally Disturbed Justice League is not what I’m into.
Henry over at The Closer Look take a trip into the Amazon Prime version of Homelander to see how the fallen hero (according to the research I did…and by research I mean “read the wiki” but at least I’m reviewer enough to admit it) make such a great villain for the series. While he does discuss movie/TV/Streaming villains in general it’s Evil Superman #5 (I don’t really keep track) that is the primary example–no pun intended–of how to write a memorable villain the audience loves to hate, even with a hero with that level of power. Possible spoilers aplenty, and by necessity some of these scenes from more R-rated fare that Henry uses to help make his points may be a bit disturbing.
Catch more from The Closer Look on YouTube
The comment about kids TV villains never doing anything bad enough for us to be concerned about them I will debate. Yes, because it’s for kids the villain isn’t going on a rape and murder spree. However, kids show villains have done bad things from the perspective of the kid watching it. Skeletor has turned people into monsters or stone, taken people over, turned people against the hero that would have been the hero’s ally, and various other evil schemes to take over Castle Grayskull to use its secrets to take over the universe. Mumm-Ra continuously comes up with plans to destroy the ThunderCats, who often just barely get by because of their Code, their teamwork, their skills, and their wits. Maybe adults–most adults who aren’t me anyway–can look at a villain whose only motivation is mischief and wash their hands of them, or simple conquest and enslavement depending on the age level of the story being told, but within the culture and rules of that world it is a bad thing to go around celebrating how evil you are and making lives miserable. Get into the mindset of that world and you can see how evil they are to the heroes and the people the heroes protect.
And I really want to know the context of that one dude at the 20:30 mark talking to the cartoon characters. If that’s from The Boys and you watch the show, please tell me what’s going on. If it’s from something else I still want to see that clip. Just not the show it comes from.
Also, I’m sorry but Nolan’s Joker is still not the real Joker. There’s no spectacle, no flair, just chaos for the sake of chaos. The Joker is a showman, using weaponized slapstick to commit a different crime each appearance. One appearance he wants a body count, the next money, the next to patent a fish. Joker being some dude who wears makeup and wants to “make the world burn” just doesn’t sit well with me as a Joker adaptation so I just can’t get into The Dark Knight the way other people do.
I don’t know if Henry has looked into the comics…I know I haven’t so I’m going by fan wiki info…but I don’t think he’s going to see Homelander take over anything.
POSSIBLE MAJOR SPOILER COMING UP
Not that I’m surprised Hollywood would go all-in and then some on evil Superman #5.1, but the comics are slightly different. Someone who read the comic can and should correct anything I get wrong, because again, I’m going by wiki, so question the source. According to the Boys’ fan wiki, Homelander was part of an experiment of a substance called Compound V in the comics. Granted, Hollywood couldn’t give two spits about the comics and what they do, so it’s highly possible that they won’t go this route, especially if you look at Amazon’s current treatment of Tolkien, but Homelander actually had a moral compass despite his personality issues. The company responsible for his powers lied about his origins to keep their operations secret when forming superhero team The Seven, other heroes created by Compound V (not sure if that’s the letter v or the Roman numeral for 5–meaning Homelander may actually BE evil Superman #5), but they also worried that he might someday have to be put down, which isn’t easy when you can take a nuke to the face. So they created Black Noir, a clone of Homelander charged with killing him if he ever turned full-on evil, much like Superboy Connor Kent’s reimagined origin in the Young Justice cartoon.
However, Homelander was either not buried in his demons yet or was just really good at hiding it so Black Noir couldn’t live his reason for existing. Since he is a clone and looks just like the guy, Noir starts framing him for various crimes like baby cannibalism and raping the wife of Billy Butcher, one of the Boys. The wiki says the show is straight up leaving Homelander the rapist but in the comics–why I called this a POSSIBLE spoiler–Black Noir was responsible for pushing Homelander further into insane villainy (not sure how much of a head start Homey’s mental issues already started that) so that he would finally be allowed to fulfil his function and be allowed kill Homelander. Not sure what comes after that, but Billy got his revenge on Black Noir so we’ll never know…at least in the comics.
POSSIBLE MAJOR SPOILER ENDS HERE
So who are some of your favorite villains and why? Yes, kid show villains count. Everyone likes characters for different reasons.