Prime Video’s biggest show continues to be the best in television for the comic book genre.
Coming on the heels of the debuts of Stranger Things 4 and Obi-Wan Kenobi for Netflix and Disney+ last week, Prime Video premieres the first three episodes of The Boys Season 3 beginning tomorrow. It has been nearly two years since we last saw The Boys (another series in a long lists of shows having a delayed return due to the pandemic), and if you’re like me, you might have to watch a recap of Season 2 of the Eric Kripke-developed series on YouTube since it has been so long and a lot happened in that season.
Season 3 picks up a year after the events of Season 2, though the Boys vigilante group is not together. Butcher (Karl Urban) is working with the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs (formed at the end of Season 2), while Hughie (Jack Quaid) is his direct supervisor. Hughie’s supervisor is Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit), a congresswoman who was revealed to be the one head-popping person in Season 2. Other members of the Boys, Frenchie (Tomer Capon), The Female (Karen Fukuhara), and Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) are off doing their own thing as a result of the conflict within the team by the end of Season 2. Meanwhile, things at Vought International and the Seven are not any better, and at the center of it is Homelander (Antony Starr), who is still in a downward spiral after watching his girlfriend (and white supremacist) Stormfront get incapacitated by his own son. But things come to a head between Butcher and Homelander once it’s discovered that an anti-superhero weapon exists out there, which means two things: first, Butcher trying to level the playing field. And second, investigating this anti-superhero weapon that goes back decades to the first-ever superhero: Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles).
Darker, bloodier, and weirder than ever before, The Boys continues to find ways to stay fresh and relevant with Season 3 in a genre that feels overpopulated, both in series and film. And quite frankly, a number of the Marvel shows on Disney+ could learn a thing or two from The Boys when it comes to pacing, editing, and overall production value. The Boys also doesn’t rely heavily on constant green screens or cameos that fit an agenda for its entire universe. The Boys continues to keep the focus on well-written characters with main and subplot lines weaved throughout the series. Sure, it still comes down to the Boys versus the Seven (Vought International’s superhero team). But characters have actual agendas and most of them conflict with one another. And while there are still plenty of action-packed moments, there are also plenty of dramatic, funny, and WTF moments to balance things out. There are also various aspects of modern America shown throughout the season with these characters that make for the cherry on top too.
Different plot threads revolving around the Boys and the Seven throughout the season further the development of characters dealing with their own issues – especially members of the Seven. Homelander accepting who he really is in the public view will make for great conversation. Other members of the Seven, including Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), and The Deep (Chace Crawford) get much-needed character development for characters that no one can actually root for. But the addition of Soldier Boy brings a new wrinkle to every character’s endgame on both sides of the fight . And while Soldier Boy’s backstory and actual entrance into the show may take a little longer than what viewers might like, things go up a notch when he arrives on the scene. Jensen Ackles, who portrays the Captain America-knockoff asshole, is a great addition to The Boys cast and fits right into the show’s identity. I’ve always been curious to see what Jensen would do post-Supernatural, and this is a great start to the next chapter of his career.
Where Season 3 of The Boys takes its viewers over the next month starting tomorrow will have them readily anticipating next week’s new episode. And where things come by season’s end for all characters on either side of the Boys and the Seven will only add to the anticipation for a likely fourth season. Prime Video would be smart to renew the series and greenlight production on the next season as soon as possible. I cannot imagine again waiting almost two years for another season of what is currently the best comic book series on television that goes to corners of this genre other shows wouldn’t even dare consider.
(out of five stars)
615 Film was given all eight episodes of The Boys Season 3 for review. Season 3 begins streaming on Prime Video tomorrow with the first three episodes debuting on the streamer.