In The Boys’ first and second seasons, the Amazon Studios show drew from both Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s original comic series and also the realities of our present world, telling a story about a mega corporation and other power players hellbent on fundamentally reshaping the world to better suit their financial and political endeavours. Though the show’s creative team could have chosen to veer away from politics in its upcoming third season, showrunner Eric Kripke says that won’t be the case as it introduces Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy.
Unlike the comics’ Soldier Boy, who’s something of a simpleton, Kripke has described the show’s take on the character as being more grim and ruthless than Homelander, suggesting he’ll be one of the third season’s primary antagonists. In a recent interview with Deadline, Kripke spoke about how they’ll use Soldier Boy as a way to explore the throughlines of certain elements of American history, alluding to his Captain America-like displacement in time after World War II. While Soldier Boy himself will bring a very specific sort of 20th-century energy to the series, Kripke elaborated that the character is also part of how the third season is a reflection of modern-day politics.
“I’d say in previous seasons the boogeyman for you to be scared of used to be, ‘The terrorists are coming to get you,’” Kripke said. “And now it’s sort of metastasized into, I think, a much more ominous, ‘Your neighbour is coming to get you.’ And that’s scary to me, how politics are turning us on each other. So, we want to explore what it means to be in America, really.”
The Boys’ second season used Stormfront, an alt-right neo-Nazi hero backed by Vought, to make rather explicit commentary on the ascendance of neo-Nazism in the U.S. political system, and it’s easy to see how the show could do something thematically similar with a character like Soldier Boy. Kripke also opened up a bit about his thinking that led to weaving so much commentary about our reality into the sort of show that some would rather be devoid of politics. Though Kripke was very intentional in the way he conceptualized of The Boys, he explained that a lot of the show’s ideas were shaped by the “dumb luck” of coinciding with the events of the past few years specifically.
“I’ve been waiting my whole life to stumble into something that hits the zeitgeist bullseye, and I don’t take for granted that I finally found one,” Kripke said. “Part of it is just really relishing this world Garth Ennis created that is about celebrity and authoritarianism, and social media and misinformation, and how corporations present a shiny, happy mask to the world, when what is behind that mask is the most ruthless drive for capital. I got handed this beautifully tailored suit and felt I just had to strut in that as much as I can.”
There’s likely to be much more to The Boys’ third chapter, as the show’s plot has been as twist-filled as its messaging is direct. There’s still no word on when it will hit Amazon Prime, though, and so there’s plenty of time to ponder just what shape the third season will take.