|Developed by||Eric Kripke|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||16 (list of episodes)|
|Production location(s)||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Running time||55–68 minutes|
|Original network||Prime Video|
|Picture format||4K (UHDTV) HDR|
|Audio format||5.1 Dolby Digital|
|Original release||July 26, 2019 –|
The Boys is an American superhero streaming television series developed by Eric Kripke for Prime Video. Based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it follows the eponymous team of vigilantes as they combat superpowered individuals who abuse their abilities.
The series premiered on July 26, 2019. Ahead of the premiere, Amazon renewed The Boys for a second season, which premiered on September 4, 2020. A third season has also been ordered, and a spin-off series is in development.
The Boys is set in a universe where superpowered individuals are recognized as heroes by the general public and work for the powerful corporation Vought International, which markets and monetizes them. Outside of their heroic personas, most are arrogant and corrupt. The series primarily focuses on two groups: the Seven, Vought's premier superhero team, and the eponymous Boys, vigilantes looking to bring down Vought and its corrupt superheroes.
The Boys are led by Billy Butcher, who despises all superpowered people, and the Seven are led by the narcissistic and violent Homelander. At the start of the series, the Boys are joined by Hughie Campbell after a member of the Seven accidentally kills his girlfriend, while the Seven are joined by Annie January, a young and hopeful heroine forced to face the truth about those she admires. Other members of the Seven include the disillusioned Queen Maeve, drug-addicted A-Train, insecure the Deep, the mysterious Black Noir, and white supremacist Stormfront. The Boys are rounded out by tactical planner Mother's Milk, weapons specialist Frenchie, and superpowered test subject Kimiko. Overseeing the Seven is Vought executive Madelyn Stillwell, who is later succeeded by publicist Ashley Barrett.
The first season depicts the initial conflict between the Boys and the Seven, which is motivated by Butcher believing Homelander caused his wife Becca's disappearance. While Homelander and Stillwell conspire to receive government support for superheroes, the Boys attempt to stop them by uncovering Vought's secrets. Initially unaware of each other's affiliations, Hughie and Annie muddle the conflict when they enter into a romantic relationship, despite Butcher's distrust of her.
In the second season, the Boys continue their efforts to defeat Vought in spite of being wanted by the government. A new development in the conflict arises when Butcher learns Vought is holding Becca captive with a superpowered son fathered by Homelander. As Butcher attempts to rescue his wife, Stormfront promotes her white supremacist message throughout the Seven, seeking to have Homelander lead the superpowered to world domination.
Kym Wyatt McKenzie and Birgitte Solem portray Butcher and Stillwell in a reenactment of the latter's death. Greg Zajac, Anthony Lake, and Dylan Moscovitch play pornographic impersonators of Homelander, Jack From Jupiter, and the Deep. Chris Hansen, Maria Menounos, Greg Grunberg, Nancy O'Dell, Katie Couric, and Christopher Lennertz appear as themselves.
|First released||Last released|
|1||8||July 26, 2019|
|2||8||September 4, 2020||October 9, 2020|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"The Name of the Game"||Dan Trachtenberg||Eric Kripke||July 26, 2019|
|Hugh "Hughie" Campbell suffers mental trauma after his girlfriend Robin is killed in a high-velocity impact with celebrity superhero A-Train. Lawyers offer a $45,000 settlement, which Hughie hesitates to accept. Aspiring superhero Annie January auditions as "Starlight" and is accepted to join the superhero group The Seven following the Lamplighter's retirement. Arriving at the Seven’s headquarters, she is greeted by the Deep, who blackmails her into performing oral sex on him. Vigilante Billy Butcher offers Hughie a chance to expose superhero corruption, taking him to a secret "Supes Club" to show him security footage of A-Train laughing about Robin's death. Butcher asks Hughie to take the settlement money and to secretly place a bug at Seven Tower, but Hughie initially refuses. In Central Park, Annie meets Hughie by happenstance and they motivate each other to stand up for themselves and face their challenges. Hughie plants the bug, but Translucent discovers it and confronts him. Butcher arrives and helps Hughie incapacitate Translucent. Elsewhere, Homelander destroys the Mayor of Baltimore's plane while in flight, killing all passengers, in response to the Mayor's attempt to blackmail Vought.|
|2||2||"Cherry"||Matt Shakman||Eric Kripke||July 26, 2019|
|Butcher and Hughie take Translucent to former partner Frenchie, who makes a meta-bullet to pierce the hero's diamond-hard skin, but it fails to kill him. Butcher turns to CIA Dept. Director Susan Raynor for the "Mallory files", but she refuses. Vought VP Madelyn Stillwell tells Homelander about evidence Deep found incriminating him for the plane crash, so she handles it while he talks to Deep. While working with the Deep, Starlight promises to kill him if he tries to sexually assault her again. Stillwell uses shapeshifting Supe Doppelganger to blackmail Senator Calhoun into allowing a vote that could enable Vought to contract superheroes to the military. Annie stops a rape, unaware she is being recorded. Her agent, Ashley, reprimands her potentially causing negative exposure and legal implications. While Homelander searches for Translucent, Frenchie decides to place C-4 explosives in Translucent's colon, who fearfully reveals A-Train was with his girlfriend Popclaw before he killed Robin. The Boys learn Homelander is nearby, so they cannot risk killing Translucent with an explosion. While Frenchie and Butcher create a distraction elsewhere with another explosion, Translucent escapes and convinces Hughie to let him go. However, Hughie changes his mind and detonates the C-4, killing Translucent.|
|3||3||"Get Some"||Philip Sgriccia||George Mastras||July 26, 2019|
|Hughie moves out after telling his father how he truly feels. Starlight gains positive publicity for stopping the rape, but subsequently learns Stillwell wants her to wear a revealing costume. She declines, but Stillwell forces her to do so lest she lose her job. Butcher brings in his former friend, Mother's Milk, to run surveillance on Popclaw by having Hughie install spyware on her computer, and they learn that A-Train takes a drug called Compound V. Butcher wants to expose them before supes can be allowed into the United States Armed Forces, but requires a vial of Compound V from A-Train's upcoming race with another speedster, Shockwave. Beforehand, Hughie meets Annie and invites her to lunch, where they open up to each other, while A-Train secretly uses Compound V to win and publicly announces he is single, breaking his promise to Popclaw to announce their relationship. With MM deducing Popclaw swiped some vials, the Boys find her heartbroken, high, and in the midst of killing her landlord during hyper-charged sex. Butcher uses this to blackmail Popclaw as an informant. At Vought headquarters, Homelander presents Translucent's remains to Stillwell along with Butcher's message, "COMING FOR YOU".|
|4||4||"The Female of the Species"||Frederick E.O. Toye||Craig Rosenberg||July 26, 2019|
|Following Popclaw's tip, the Boys find a Triad hideout holding an imprisoned Japanese woman they call "the Female". Frenchie frees her, and she kills her guards before running off. While MM finds evidence she was a test subject, Hughie meets Starlight, as Butcher has him bug her phone. With their Compound V supply compromised, A-Train has Popclaw go into hiding while he searches for the Female. Stillwell sends Homelander and Queen Maeve to save a hijacked airliner, but after he accidentally destroys the control panel, Homelander abandons the plane and its passengers, forcing Maeve to leave with him before she can rescue them. After the Female kills a woman associated with her captors, Frenchie tracks her to Penn Station, and makes a momentary connection with her before losing her in the crowd just as A-Train arrives and tries to kill her. Frenchie attracts a crowd to distract A-Train, allowing the Female to escape. The Boys corner her, but she attacks them before Butcher uses knockout gas. Stillwell is pleased to see Homelander use the airliner tragedy to push for militarized supes, rousing the crowd with a speech, all while Maeve grieves for those she and Homelander allowed to die.|
|5||5||"Good for the Soul"||Stefan Schwartz||Anne Cofell Saunders||July 26, 2019|
|At the "Believe Expo", Starlight is quietly directed to push Vought's agenda while Butcher has Hughie meet Ezekiel, the Expo host and their next lead. Feeling guilty for letting the airliner crash, Maeve visits her ex-girlfriend Elena, but leaves before explaining herself fully. Butcher talks with his sister-in-law, Rachel, over putting a tombstone to his wife Becca. After A-Train kills Popclaw for betraying him, he returns to her apartment and finds surveillance footage of Frenchie. Once Ezekiel is alone, Hughie extorts him for information about Compound V, while Homelander rallies the crowd with an impromptu hardline speech. Starlight breaks script to speak candidly on Christianity, her sexual assault, and the compromises she made for her corporate employer. Hughie later sympathizes with her, telling her about Robin's death and the toll it took on him. In a hospital, Butcher and MM discover Vought is using Compound V on infants to manufacture supes years in advance. Frenchie discovers Black Noir is looking for him and in attempting to escape, he is told to leave the Female behind, but releases her out of sympathy. She seemingly dies protecting him from Black Noir, but her wounds immediately heal.|
|6||6||"The Innocents"||Jennifer Phang||Rebecca Sonnenshine||July 26, 2019|
|Now informed, the Boys know Vought has used super charities to smuggle Compound V disguised as vaccines and make super-babies since 1971. With Ashley fired, Stillwell demands Annie comply with her designed image, but she refuses, remarking that firing her after reporting a sexual assault would hurt Vought's image. Aware it was Deep, Stillwell has him publicly apologize and transfers him to Sandusky, Ohio, for a "sabbatical". Butcher brings Hughie to a superhuman survivors' support group, but leaves after yelling at them for doing nothing to get justice. Butcher later tells Hughie that Homelander raped his wife, who went missing shortly afterward. Frenchie and MM get help from telepath Mesmer to see into the Female's mind, learning her name is Kimiko and that she was kidnapped by the Shining Light Liberation Army terrorist group. They also learn that Vought is making Compound V boosted terrorists to push their agenda for militarizing supes. Butcher tells Raynor, but when she refuses to target Homelander, he calls off the deal. Mesmer gives Homelander surveillance photos of the Boys. Butcher finds out about Hughie and Annie, warning him not to fraternize with the enemy and threatening to tell her about Translucent.|
|7||7||"The Self-Preservation Society"||Dan Attias||Craig Rosenberg & Ellie Monahan||July 26, 2019|
|After Hughie and Annie have sex, he agrees to introduce her to his father. A depressed Deep finds his transfer to Sandusky dull and is sexually assaulted by a fangirl. Holding a meeting discussing Hughie killing Translucent, extorting Ezekiel, and A-Train killing Robin, Homelander accuses Starlight of co-conspiracy, but Maeve defends her. When A-Train calls Hughie, claiming he is holding his dad hostage, the Boys deduce Mesmer betrayed them, for which Butcher later murders him. Hughie obtains Compound V to distract A-Train and allow Kimiko to cripple him. Homelander asks Vought scientist Dr. Jonah Vogelbaum about Becca, who informs him she was pregnant with his child, but claims both died and Vought covered it up. Questioning the revelation's timing, Vogelbaum expresses regret raising him in a lab, calling Homelander his "greatest failure". Butcher asks Raynor to protect Hughie and MM's families in exchange for evidence. As Raynor charges Stillwell and Vought, she learns of the superhuman terrorist "Naqib". Annie confronts Hughie, who explains Vought's use of Compound V before Butcher arrives to exfil him and shoots her.|
|8||8||"You Found Me"||Eric Kripke||Anne Cofell Saunders & Rebecca Sonnenshine||July 26, 2019|
|The Pentagon classifies Compound V as a controlled substance and the Boys as fugitives while Annie confronts her mother. Deep learns Stillwell has denied his return to the Seven and suffers an emotional breakdown. Angry at being racially profiled while out of costume, an injured A-Train rebounds to Compound V. Butcher takes Hughie to Colonel Grace Mallory, who refuses participation, but informs them about Stillwell and warns Hughie about Butcher's desire for vengeance. Hughie leaves to ask for Annie's help, but she refuses out of distrust. After seeing her old self reflected in her, Maeve opens up to Starlight, asking her to be herself. Homelander confesses to Stillwell that he secretly made the super-terrorists and they have sex. At a black site, Hughie helps Frenchie and MM free Kimiko, before Starlight rescues them. When A-Train arrives, she and Hughie fight him until the speedster suffers a heart attack. Hughie applies CPR, but Starlight takes over so he can escape. Butcher takes Stillwell hostage and fits her with explosives to bait Homelander, who after revealing he tortured Vogelbaum for the truth about Becca, kills Stillwell himself. He saves Butcher from his suicidal explosion, and shows him where Becca has been secretly raising Homelander's son.|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|9||1||"The Big Ride"||Phil Sgriccia||Eric Kripke||September 4, 2020|
|The Boys become wanted fugitives, with Butcher framed for Stillwell's murder. In hiding together, Hughie, MM, Frenchie, and Kimiko learn that a superpowered terrorist with telekinetic abilities is on the loose. They attempt to inform Raynor, but she is killed by an unknown assassin. Against Hughie's wishes, Frenchie contacts Butcher to lead the Boys in facing the new threats. Hughie and Annie extort Vought test subject Gecko into stealing a Compound V sample. Homelander's power over Vought is challenged when CEO Stan Edgar has superhero Stormfront join the Seven without his approval. When Homelander fails to intimidate Edgar, he returns to Becca's house to see Ryan. The Deep joins Alastair Adana's Church of the Collective in an attempt to regain favor with the Seven.|
|10||2||"Proper Preparation and Planning"||Liz Friedlander||Rebecca Sonnenshine||September 4, 2020|
|Butcher arranges a deal with Mallory to capture the superpowered terrorist in exchange for Mallory finding Becca's location. The Boys later learn the terrorist is Kimiko's younger brother, Kenji, whom they manage to subdue. A-Train threatens to expose Annie's involvement with the Boys when he awakens from his coma, but Annie counters with the knowledge that he murdered Popclaw. Homelander forces himself into the secluded facility Becca and Ryan are living in so he can become a father figure to his son and teach him about his powers. Drugged by the Church of the Collective, the Deep hallucinates his gills encouraging him to value himself. Maeve tells Elena she fears Homelander will kill her if he finds out about their relationship.|
|11||3||"Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men"||Steve Boyum||Craig Rosenberg||September 4, 2020|
|Homelander pushes Ryan into using his powers, which culminates in Ryan attacking Homelander to protect Becca. Using the sample she acquired from Gecko, Annie secretly leaks that Compound V is responsible for giving superheroes their powers. Edgar responds by sending the Seven after Kenji when he is spotted by the police. The Boys attempt to bring Kenji to a CIA safehouse, but the Seven's arrival results in Kenji escaping. Disobeying Homelander's orders, Stormfront kills Kenji, slaughtering several minority civilians in her pursuit, and frames Kenji for their deaths. Edgar uses the destruction to argue that superheroes are necessary to prevent such incidents, while casting Compound V as the work of rogue scientists led by Stillwell.|
|12||4||"Nothing Like It in the World"||Fred Toye||Michael Saltzman||September 11, 2020|
Mallory provides Butcher with information on a superhero called Liberty and Becca's location. Butcher infiltrates the facility, but Becca refuses to leave because he does not accept Ryan. Black Noir discovers Butcher's infiltration. Threatened by Homelander, Annie joins Hughie and MM in investigating Liberty. The three discover that Liberty is Stormfront, who committed a racist murder in the 1970s. Growing more unstable from Stormfront usurping his popularity, Homelander removes the physically-weakened A-Train from the Seven and outs Maeve's relationship with Elena. Frenchie realizes his efforts to protect Kimiko are motivated by guilt over his past crimes. The Church of the Collective enters the Deep into an arranged marriage. |
"Butcher: A Short Film" was released the day before this episode's release, where Butcher is on the run after being framed for Stillwell's murder, Butcher seeks help from his old friend Jock, only to beat him to death after Jock calls the police on him.
|13||5||"We Gotta Go Now"||Batan Silva||Ellie Monahan||September 18, 2020|
|Protests emerge against Homelander when a video of him killing a civilian surfaces. Stormfront helps Homelander regain popularity and the two enter a sexual relationship. Butcher plots his retirement at his aunt Judy's house after failing to rescue Becca, prompting Hughie and MM to intervene. The three are attacked by Black Noir, but Butcher has Edgar call him off by threatening to release information on Ryan. Annie discovers Stormfront has been in contact with Edgar regarding the Sage Grove psychiatric hospital. A confrontation between Annie and Stormfront ensues over the former leaking Compound V to the public and the latter's past as Liberty. Maeve reveals to Elena that she is planning Homelander's downfall and recruits the Deep to assist her.|
|14||6||"The Bloody Doors Off"||Sarah Boyd||Anslem Richardson||September 25, 2020|
|Infiltrating Sage Grove, MM, Frenchie, and Kimiko discover captive Compound V patients. Frenchie recognizes an orderly as Lamplighter, causing a scuffle that allows patients to break out. Forced to work together in surviving, the Boys learn from Lamplighter that Vought is attempting to stabilize Compound V in adult subjects. Lamplighter is spared by Mallory at Frenchie's behest over his remorse for killing her grandchildren. Stormfront tells Homelander she is the first successful Compound V subject and founder Frederick Vought's widow, wanting him to lead the superpowered to world domination. Maeve obtains a video of Homelander abandoning the plane as leverage against him. Unstable patient Cindy escapes Sage Grove. A-Train is lured into the Church of the Collective.|
|15||7||"Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker"||Stefan Schwartz||Craig Rosenberg||October 2, 2020|
|Congresswoman Victoria Neuman schedules a hearing against Vought, with Lamplighter as the chief witness. After Vought uncovers Annie's betrayal, Hughie convinces Lamplighter to join him in a rescue attempt, which results in the latter immolating himself. Annie escapes with the help of Maeve, who subdues Black Noir. Despite the loss of Lamplighter, Butcher strong-arms Vogelbaum into testifying against Vought. However, the hearing is attacked by the assassin who killed Raynor, resulting in the deaths of Vogelbaum, Shockwave and others. Meanwhile, Homelander and Stormfront manipulate Ryan into leaving Becca. A-Train grows suspicious of the Church of the Collective. Maeve and Elena break up over the former failing to save the airliner.|
|16||8||"What I Know"||Alex Graves||Rebecca Sonnenshine||October 9, 2020|
|Learning from Becca about Ryan's capture, Butcher makes a deal with Edgar to help Vought reclaim him at Homelander's cabin. However, Butcher reneges on the deal and attempts to save them from Stormfront. When Stormfront attacks his mother, Ryan cripples her with his eye lasers, but accidentally kills Becca. Butcher forgives Ryan after the boy takes his side over Homelander, while Maeve uses the plane footage to force Homelander into letting them go. With Stormfront's Nazi past leaked, Edgar halts her plan to sell Compound V as the Boys are cleared of all charges and Annie is reinstated into the Seven. Adana also has A-Train rejoin, but not the Deep, before the assassin kills Adana. Ryan is taken in by the CIA. Hughie gets a job with Neuman, unaware she is the assassin.|
On April 6, 2016, it was announced that Cinemax was developing a television series adaptation of the comic book. The production was being developed by Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen. Kripke was set to write the series while Goldberg and Rogen were set to direct. Executive producers were reported to include Kripke, Goldberg, Rogen, Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, Ori Marmur, James Weaver, Ken Levin, and Jason Netter. Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson were set as co-executive producers. Production companies involved with the series included Point Grey Pictures, Original Film, and Sony Pictures Television.
On November 8, 2017, it was announced that Amazon Video had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of eight episodes. The series had reportedly been in development at Amazon for a number of months preceding the series order announcement. It was also reported that the previously announced creative team was still attached to the series.
Kripke wanted to retain a sense of reality to the show, and to keep the writers disciplined decided "Anything that comes out of this drug is viable, and anything that doesn't we're not allowed to do". He did not want to fall into the overused convention of killing off female characters to motivate the heroes and also saw an opportunity to surprise readers of the comics by changing the story of Butcher's wife Becky.
Ahead of the series premiere, on July 19, 2019, it was announced that Amazon Video had renewed the series for a second season. The eight scripts for the second season were completed by November 2019.
On December 18, 2017, it was announced that Erin Moriarty has been cast in the lead role of Annie January/Starlight. On January 17, 2018, it was reported that Antony Starr, Dominique McElligott, Chace Crawford, Jessie Usher, and Nathan Mitchell had joined the main cast. In March 2018, it was announced that Laz Alonso, Jack Quaid, and Karen Fukuhara had been cast in series regular roles. On April 5, 2018, it was reported that Karl Urban had been cast in the series' lead role of Billy Butcher. On May 16, 2018, it was announced that Elisabeth Shue had been cast in the series regular role of Madelyn Stillwell. On June 25, 2018, it was reported that Tomer Kapon had joined the main cast in the role of Frenchie. On August 30, 2018, it was announced that Jennifer Esposito had been cast in the recurring role of CIA Agent Susan Raynor. On October 5, 2018, it was announced during the annual New York Comic Con that Simon Pegg had been cast in the role of Hughie's father. According to the artist Robertson, Hughie was drawn in the comics to resemble Pegg after he saw Pegg in the sitcom Spaced, but Pegg thought he was too old to play the role of Hughie in the TV series.
On September 5, 2019, Goran Višnjić and Claudia Doumit were cast in recurring roles for the second season. A month later, Patton Oswalt was announced in an unspecified role. Aya Cash was confirmed to be portraying superheroine Stormfront in March 2020 following contract negotiations that began when the second season was announced. On August 10, 2020, it was reported that Shawn Ashmore was cast as Lamplighter for the second season. A week later, Jensen Ackles joined the cast for the third season as Soldier Boy.
Principal photography for the first season began on May 22, 2018, in Toronto, and was scheduled to last until September 25, 2018. Principal photography for the second season took place from June 17 to November 13, 2019, in Toronto. Filming for the third season is scheduled to begin on February 1, 2021 and conclude on August 12, 2021.
All music is composed by Christopher Lennertz.
|5.||"On the Trail"||0:55|
|6.||"Homelander and Stillwell"||2:16|
|7.||"Race of the Century"||1:04|
|9.||"Hughie Stalls Starlight"||1:23|
|11.||"Start the Race"||2:00|
|17.||"Hughie Trashes Room"||1:29|
|18.||"Translucent Visits Hughie"||1:13|
|19.||"Planting Bug Plan"||0:51|
|21.||"I'm the Hero"||3:15|
|23.||"Starlight Teams Up"||0:43|
|24.||"Frenchie's First Kill"||1:35|
|26.||"Butcher's Pep Talk"||2:28|
|27.||"Rescue the Female"||1:35|
|28.||"Frenchie Lost Female"||1:46|
|37.||"Black Knight Not"||1:07|
|40.||"Mesmer and Homelander"||1:36|
|42.||"Butcher Tells Hughie"||1:53|
|43.||"Hughie Kisses Starlight"||1:03|
|46.||"Always a Choice"||2:39|
|48.||"A-Train Shows Up"||1:34|
|50.||"I Got Teddy"||2:40|
On September 26, 2018, the official poster for the series was released. On October 5, 2018, in tandem with the series' panel at the annual New York Comic Con, a teaser trailer for the series was released. On January 24, 2019, another teaser trailer was released via Seth Rogen's official Twitter account. The series premiered on July 26, 2019, after another teaser was released. On July 22, Slipknot released a new single called "Solway Firth" with an accompanying music video which featured clips and audio from the show. On June 26, 2020, it was announced that season two will debut on September 4, 2020, with the first 3 episodes available and the rest debuting on a weekly basis. The second season's official trailer was released on August 4, 2020.
A companion short film titled Butcher set between the first and second season was released on September 10, 2020, with Karl Urban reprising his role as Billy Butcher. Characters from The Boys also appeared in an episode of Death Battle sponsored by Prime Video, which was released on September 17, 2020.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 84% based on 101 reviews, with an average rating of 7.65/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though viewers' mileage may vary, The Boys' violent delights and willingness to engage in heavy, relevant themes are sure to please those looking for a new group of antiheroes to root for." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 74 out of 100, based on reviews from 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Christopher Lawrence of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote: "Irreverent, deliciously cynical, The Boys follows the greed and corruption behind the superhero industrial complex." Matthew Gilbert of Boston Globe wrote: "The cast is fine, particularly Shue, who is icily effective; Quaid, whose neurotic but brave fumblings are endearing; and Urban, who is Hughie's gonzo guide." Kristy Puchko at IGN gives the first episode a score of 7.2/10 and appreciates how the story comes from the comics but with clever changes. Puchko praises the cast, particularly "Moriarty brings a nuance to her performance that refuses to let Starlight feel like a two-dimensional damsel. She's not naïve. She's hopeful. And she's a fighter. The Boys makes all of that clear in short order." She concludes "The Boys could still be a thrilling ride as it subverts the expectations of the family-friendly genre, with dark twists and unapologetically graphic scenes of sex and violence. The premiere ep has a lot of heavy lifting to do in exposition, yet Kripke works in some stunner moments, jolts of fun, and stellar action sequences." Liz Shannon Miller of AV Club wrote: "Karl Urban proves to be a thoroughly committed performer as Billy Butcher, whose dedication to taking down "supes" of course has a personal edge, but then again, when you see what men like the blatantly fake and evil Homelander (Antony Starr) are getting up to it makes sense that he's devoted his life to taking down the cause."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season holds an approval rating of 97% based on 90 reviews, with an average rating of 8.01/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Boys comes out swinging in a superb second season that digs deeper into its complicated characters and ups the action ante without pulling any of its socially critical punches." On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
On Amazon, the series saw initial review bombing with 49% of 1400 reviews left by September 6, 2020 providing a one star rating, most of which praised the available episodes but criticized Amazon's release schedule.
In October 2019, Nielsen announced it had begun tracking viewership of Amazon Prime programs. It said The Boys had attracted 8 million total viewers in its first 10 days of release, making it one of the most successful original programs on Amazon Prime.
On September 24, 2020, it was announced that a spin-off centered on a superhero college had been fast-tracked into development upon the ratings success of the series' second season. Described as being "part college show, part Hunger Games", the spin-off is to be set "...at America’s only college exclusively for young adult superheroes (and run by Vought International), the [spin-off] is described as an irreverent, R-rated series that explores the lives of hormonal, competitive Supes as they put their physical, sexual, and moral boundaries to the test, competing for the best contracts in the best cities." On October 2, 2020, Kripke stated the series would focus on the G-Men team from the comic series mentioned in the first season, a parody of the X-Men.
On October 3, 2020, Eric Kripke confirmed that the in-universe pornographic superhero film scenes briefly glimpsed in the second season The Boys episode "Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker" had been produced in full, expressing interest in releasing them under the name Supe Porn to the website of the same name, registered to Sony Pictures, as well as formally requesting Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Antony Starr and the other followers of his Twitter page to join him in petitioning Prime Video and Amazon Studios to allow the potential web series to be uploaded.
Are you a part of Season 2 of The Boys, at all? PEGG: No. They got me out of the way. I did my little bit. It was very fun to do that show. I was pleased to be a part of it.
Kripke wanted to also avoid 'fridging,' which sees women being killed off as motivation for male heroes.
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