You can say a lot of things about Amazon’s The Boys, but you can’t exactly call it subtle. The show, based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s acclaimed comics from Dynamite Entertainment, focuses on a group of corporate owned superheroes called The Seven, and a semi-covert group of average people named The Boys who’ve taken it upon themselves to kill the heroes. Across the show’s three seasons, it’s always been pretty upfront with the kind of satire it’s going for and who it tears down.
In the case of the show’s vengeful Superman-alike, Homelander (Anthony Starr), the show has said so many times in so many words that he was conceived as an analogue of former president Donald Trump. Season two even ended on him literally getting off to the idea of how much power he has over everyone else; and if that didn’t say it all, a cosplayer showing up as the character during a MAGA rally in 2020 would do the job. And should you have missed the text of the show, you’re in luck: showrunner Eric Kripke, Robertson, and even Starr himself have tried their damnedest to tell folks who Homelander really is.
Still, in case you need yet another reminder, Kripke discussed this in a recent interview with the Rolling Stone. He was upfront in saying that this season in particular was more direct in calling out the ex-president, and that the writing team really worked hard to drive that point across in comparison to the first two seasons. “He [Homelander] has this really combustible mix of complete weakness and insecurity,” said Kripke, “and just horrible power and ambition…Of course he would feel victimized that people are angry that he dated a Nazi.”
When he hasn’t been giving angry speeches to the hero-loving masses who continue to cheer him on, Homelander’s spent this season of The Boys just bullying the other members of the Seven just for kicks. In this week’s episode, he murdered a fellow Supe — Supersonic, as played by Miles Gaston Villanueva — and has no problems telling Starlight (Erin Moriarty) that her boyfriend Hughie (Jack Quaid) will suffer the same fate if she keeps making moves against him. Similar to Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy, Homelander is meant to represent “white male victimization and unchecked ambition.” It’s quite clear from reading the showrunner’s thoughts on his patriotic baddie that he has a lot of contempt for both the character and the former Head of State who inspired him, admitting that it was still surreal that Trump won the 2016 election in the first place. But much as Trump has informed the show’s chief antagonist, Kripke knows the satire doesn’t just end with this one man.
In the years since Trump’s election, more government officials have begun enacting racist, sexist, or transphobic laws just because they can, and in several cases, have been applauded for it. “The more awful public figures act, the more fans they seem to be getting,” acknowledged Kripke. “That’s a phenomenon that we wanted to explore, that Homelander is realising that he can actually show them who he really is and they’ll love him for it.” With the show already locked in for another season, Kripke will certainly be exploring more of the monstrous boy scout’s depravity. If you still need more evidence about who the guy’s based on, you’ll certainly be getting it. Just be sure to pay attention this time.
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