Amazon’s adaptation of The Boys was one of the more remarkable success stories of last summer. Based on the comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it took a more cynical look at superheroes. It also introduced a sweet romance, a thoroughly terrible corporation, and Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) – the leader of a group of normal people dedicated to revealing the truth about the superheroes.
And then the show pitted him against the most unstable and powerful of the corporate heroes: Homelander (Antony Starr). Their conflict, though, threatens to blow the roof of a carefully maintained corporate secret and the very reason Butcher hates heroes. In fact, season 1 left the two characters face-to-face as Butcher learned a horrible truth about his past.
The comic book series ran 72 issues — with handful of additional miniseries — which means the program has many options to continue for some time. But what does this mean for the second season? Let’s take a look at what we know and see what we can glean about what is to come.
Considering season 1 was fairly light on main character deaths, you can expect Hughie (Jack Quaid), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Kapon), and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) to return on the side of the Boys. Members of the Seven like Starlight (Erin Moriarty), A-Train (Jessie T. Usher)m and Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) will also return, as will The Deep (Chace Crawford), who has plenty of story ahead of him as hinted at in December’s season 2 teaser trailer.
The blood-soaked trailer also suggests Vought publicist Ashley Barrett (Colby Minifie) will also return to face some more trauma.
Then there’s Butcher and Homelander. The season 1 finale saw them at the home of Butcher’s presumably deceased wife, Becca (Shantel VanSanten). Both characters have a relationship with her and it’s … well, it should lead to some sort of ultimate showdown, but it’s pretty clear that fight will be postponed as both Homelander and Butcher face new challenges. But will the knowledge his wife is still alive change Butcher’s approach to the mission? Will he care about it at all anymore and leave the others to form a new plan? Or will the understanding that she gave birth to Homelander’s son redouble his efforts? The trailer suggests he will be out of blood.
And what of the ongoing relationship between Hughie and Starlight? She stayed behind to give the Boys time to escape — even as Hughie tried to save A-Train’s life — but she will presumably find some way to get a hold of Hughie. Will she be their mole going forward or will the new situation within the Seven make her completely unable to talk to him?
We also expect the Deep’s exile in Sandusky, Ohio will continue.
Meanwhile, one rarely seen member of the cast, Butcher’s dog Terror, may make his way onto the show. Presented only in flashbacks so far, executive producer Eric Kripke told Rotten Tomatoes last year that Terror’s status was left ambiguous just in case they found a way to introduce him into the show’s present storyline, which will be a relief to the comic book fans disappointed by his absence in the first season. But his brief appearance in the trailer may just be another flashback.
Vought CEO Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue) will not be returning for obvious reasons. She didn’t make it, but gave both Butcher and Homelander some things to consider. In her place, Giancarlo Esposito – who was introduced late in season 1 as Vought founder Stan Edgar – will become the face of the company in season 2. This is something of a departure from the comic, where Stillwell (a male character) remained a thorn in the Boys’ side for a long while.
It is unclear, however, if we will see Agent Raynor (Jennifer Esposito) or Starlight’s mother, Donna (Ann Cusack), again. In the case of the latter, Starlight’s defiance would seemingly put her at odds with her mother forever. And as for the former, well, Butcher’s out of favors to pull from her at this point, so he may never call upon her again.
The big addition for season 2 is Aya Cash as Stormfront – which first came to light as season 1 made its debut last July. In the comics, the character (a loose parody of both Marvel’s Thor and DC’s Shazam) is the leader of the B-list superhero team Payback, male, and a literal product of the Third Reich. It is unclear how much of the character’s backstory will carry over to the television series, though Starr offered EW a few insights into the character recently.
She is thrown into the Seven, presumably as Translucent or The Deep’s replacement, but immediately challenges Homelander both physically and philosophically. As a consequence, he must re-calibrate himself to deal with someone not immediately afraid of him. But he is not her only target within the group. So it is possible she is working for Butcher, but then again, the other superhero teams may also have an interest in pushing the Seven off their perch.
Other new additions include Goran Visnjic as Alistair Adana, another church leader with a tenuous grip on the faith, and Claudia Doumit as congresswoman Victoria Neuman.
And while Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) isn’t exactly a new character, he will have a lot more to do in the second season. During an appearance at C2E2 in February, Starr told an audience of fans, “I think they probably wrote to him the strongest in season 2 in my opinion. Black Noir is like a f—king force in season 2.” Setting him against the Boys will no doubt result in plenty of the blood-splatter we saw in the trailer. Also, as readers of the comic book will know, Black Noir’s true identity is one of the comic’s big reveals and may yet become a plot point on the television show.
Since production wrapped in November of last year, we expect the second season will stream sometime in the summer, if not replicating the end of July schedule of the first season. Additionally, the season will run eight episodes (also like the first) and will presumably release all at once as Amazon still uses the binge model.
That’s a big question. While Urban has indicated he will remain on the show for the long haul, a season 2 episode title utilizes the name of the comic’s final major storyline, “The Bloody Doors Off,” and two seasons may be all fans will get.
Then again, the show is clearly a priority for the service and could ultimately find itself renewed for another year. Thanks to the original comic book series, there are plenty of stories to draw from, to say nothing of the show’s departures from those tales creating more stories of their own. The show has legs and may be with us for some time yet.
Bookmark our TV Premiere Dates calendar for updates on when The Boys season 2 will arrive on Amazon Prime Video.