WARNING: Article contains minor spoilers for The Boys Season 2. Read on at your own risk.
Some questioned how fans would react when Eric Kripke adapted The Boys for streaming on Amazon Prime Video. The ultra-violent content of the graphic novels (from Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson) on which the show is based certainly isn’t for everyone. The answer came quickly, however. Audiences fully embraced the satirical spin on superheroes and begged for more. They’ll get it when The Boys Season 2 begins September 4. And, in the immortal words of Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher, it’s “f***in’ diabolical.”
The second season certainly doesn’t shy away from the shock and awe, in-your-face attitude that made Season 1 so popular. What sets The Boys apart, however, is that it doesn’t have to rely on that shock factor to draw audiences in, or keep them. As much as the show wants to, and spectacularly succeeds at being irreverent and satirical, it also hits exceptionally close to home. Using the tension of today’s American political and racial tension as a backdrop, The Boys Season 2 not only entertains. It truly makes the audience think. Superb acting all around drives the season home.
The Boys Season 2 comfortably rests on its actors
One seldom mentions productions based on comic books/graphic novels in the same breath as the words “Oscar” or “Emmy.” In this case, however, you should. Key to the show’s sophomore outing is Antony Starr’s Homelander. We already knew Homelander was a sadistic narcissist. Starr takes Homelander to a whole new level in The Boys Season 2. When his popularity fades, the leader of The Seven unravels. Starr impressively highlights the character’s depravity, flaws, and yes, even vulnerability. Often times he conveys more with his facial impressions than with dialogue, showcasing Starr’s talent and solidifying him as, pun intended, the star of the season.
The Boys Season 2 dives to emotional depths seldom reached in the superhero genre. (See Part 1 of our review, above.) But it also deftly navigates the concepts of socio-political intrigue, corporate greed, and power. If we learn anything from this season, it’s this: power is everything. Whether it’s Nazi hate-baiter Stormfront, Homelander, Vought CEO Stan Edgar, or some surprising (and shocking) others, it’s all about the power you wield. Power, though, is fragile. It’s only good for so long as you hold it. We discover first-hand in Season 2 what happens when it slips away.
When it comes to The Boys Season 2, be prepared. You’re going to laugh, cringe, feel, and ponder. Above all else, you will assuredly be entertained.