Much to the delight of its fans, The Boys will be back this summer with eight new episodes of irreverent superhero satire, shockingly graphic violence, and oddly sweet relationships. And if the newly released trailer is anything to go by, it also means a renewed danger from Homelander (Antony Starr) and a truly shocking choice by Billy Butcher (Karl Urban). We imagine there will probably be some exploding heads, too. But as its premiere date means a year and half will have transpired since season 2’s explosive finale back in October 2020, we thought it would be worthwhile to round up everything we know about the upcoming season as a primer on what to expect and recall those who died in a horrific mass head explosion.
This is The Boys after all. No one goes out peacefully in their sleep.
(Photo by Jasper Savage/Amazon Studios)
Let’s begin with the people who made it out alive. Lucky for us, the Boys – Butcher, Hughie (Jack Quaid), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Kapon), and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) – are all in good physical shape, even if their mental health may be a different story. Granted, that was always the case, but with Butcher reeling from his wife Becca’s (Shantel VanSanten) for real death, we imagine his hatred of Homelander and Vought will only increase.
The teaser released on March 12 (below) suggested his desperation will lead down the darkest path possible: taking a power booster to get his revenge. The longer May trailer reveals, however, that the boost lasts only 24-hours and that Butcher has been on the straight-and-narrow for the last year. At one point, Mallory (Laila Robins) even says to Butcher, “no killing supes, no drinking. You even followed Hugh Campbell’s orders without strangling him.” Then again, her description of his good behavior is juxtaposed with footage of him beating someone up, so maybe her intel is faulty.
Meanwhile, the group has scattered, with Frenchie and Kimiko exploring their relationship, Hughie trying to find a less violent way to fight the Supes, Mother’s Milk going home to his family, and Butcher joining a government-sanctioned superhero monitoring team. The teaser suggests they will reassemble in short order with Hughie once again getting drenched in fluids and suffering, Kimiko dishing out the pain, and Mother’s Milk resenting his situation. What will bring them back together? Maybe it has something to do with Hughie admitting in the May trailer that “the right way” to deal with Vought is rigged and Butcher’s way may be the only answer. The preview also speaks to a few things going on with the Boys, like Frenchie and Kimiko’s musical number and Mother’s Milk seemingly displaced within the structure of his family.
Over on the Seven’s side, Stormfront (Aya Cash) is alive if severely wounded after the season 2 finale battle. She is also persona non grata at Vought, now that her affiliations to Vought’s founder and the Nazis have been exposed. Of course, those associations will inspire others in her absence…
(Photo by James Minchin/Amazon Prime Video)
The remaining members of the super group, which includes Homelander, Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), Starlight (Erin Moriarty), and A-Train (Jesse T. Usher) once again, will carry on. Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), despite a close encounter with an Almond Joy, seems to be up and about again in the May trailer and The Deep (Chase Crawford) is at least standing next to Homerlander in one shot, which is an improvement in his situation. Besides being down three members, the Seven’s esprit de corps could not be worse with both Homelander and A-Train aware of Starlight’s association to the Boys, Maeve’s last-ditch effort to stop Homelander via blackmail, and the group’s leader taking some of Stormfront’s ideas to heart. He’s ready to take the world by the throat and sap it of all its — well, all its breastmilk. Per both trailers, he’s taken to milking cows to get his kinky fix. What may be more surprising, though, is the footage of Homelander and Starlight taking new publicity photos seen quickly in the March teaser. We’re going to presume it has something to do with the American Hero show seen throughout that preview. Although, the May trailer makes it a little less surprising as Starlight can be seen phoning someone about Homelander’s condition.
Oh, also, in spite of everything, Vought’s chief of Hero Management, Ashley Barrett (Colby Minifie), survives to face another day of shocking trauma and horror; granted, her attempts to process that might explain the quick moments we see of her in the teaser and the May trailer. Vought CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) also continues to chart the company’s future – he can be heard explaining a real superpower to Starlight. The March teaser made it clear Becca’s son, Ryan (Cameron Crovetti), continues on and the May trailer added one more detail: he’s happy to see Butcher. Andrew Jackson, meanwhile, will also return as Love Sausage for an episode. Additionally, Matthew Edison will be seen from time to time as Cameron Coleman, the host of 2021’s Seven on the 7 with Cameron Coleman videos. But going into the season, Coleman gets his own VNN chat show, The Cameron Coleman Hour.
(Photo by Dynamite Entertainment)
Shortly after the second season concluded, showrunner and executive producer Eric Kripke announced the program will adapt Herogasm during its third season. The six-issue Boys miniseries by Garth Ennis, John McCrea, and Keith Burns, published by Dynamite Entertainment in 2009, saw the various Vought supes heading to a secret island for a veritable orgy of illegal activity. It also expanded the Seven’s role in 9/11 – something we expect will be dramatically different in the television show.
Curiously, though, the Herogasm weekend is also a chance for Vought to manufacture a yearly global crisis – a la DC Comic’s Crisis on Infinite Earths – that only the combined strength of the supers in their employ can “stop.” The one-two punch of a good PR op and a chance to keep their superpowered stars happy sounds like the epitome of Vought thinking.
Of course, that’s just one episode’s worth of content. The rest of the season will no doubt see Homelander following up on his new feelings and (based on the May trailer) new popularity; Congress member Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) doubling down on the tensions the Boys created by exposing Vought’s connections to Compound V – to say nothing of the heads she caused to explode throughout last season; and, maybe, we’ll see Mother’s Milk getting some quality time with his family (despite everything we’ve seen in all the previews). Also, as teased by Seven on the 7, filling the open slots on the Seven will likely get some screen time as well.
According to Kripke, the season will also spend time with a different super-team, the active-since-World War II group called Payback, which leads us to a whole slew of new cast members.
(Photo by Amazon Studios)
Among the infamous scenes depicted in Herogasm is a rather intimate moment between Homelander and Soldier Boy. Kripke confirmed the scene will not be part of the show’s “Herogasm” episode, but Soldier Boy will be joining the series in the form of Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles. Described as “Homelander before Homelander,” the character is said to be the first superhero. Expect an extended riff on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Captain America that amplifies the psychotic tendencies of Starr’s character, and with Ackles in the part, we imagine Soldier Boy will be intensely funny. He can be glimpsed in the March teaser via a bit of video meant to be “archival” and what appears to be Soldier Boy leaving some sort of cryogenic chamber at the teaser’s end, along with one or two other shots. That tease is followed up on in the May trailer, with Butcher seemingly having a hand in his return. It is still unclear just what element Soldier Boy will bring to the things, but a quick shot of him in the May trailer just pummeling someone with his shield suggests he will not be catching up on the movies he missed while in stasis.
Crimson Countess can be spotted in the March teaser as the supe dressed all in red — naturally enough — causing the explosive death of a man working as Homelander in a them park (she also appears in a similar moment during the May trailer). She comes from the books as both a member of Payback and as an obvious riff on Marvel’s Scarlet Witch. It will be interesting to see if the show guessed at any of WandaVision’s and Doctor Strange in the Mutliverse of Madness‘s content and slid a joke or two about either into the proceedings. Gunpowder is loosely based on a character from the comics, but will appear in the TV series as a retired member of Payback who also extols the virtues of firearms for Vought (blink and you’ll miss him in the May trailer). Both Supersonic and Blue Hawk are new characters introduced in the Seven on 7 with Cameron Coleman shorts. The latter is the spokesman for the Four Freedom brand while the former is a Supe out of rehab who may also be Starlight’s ex-boyfriend.
Additionally, Katia Winter will make a guest appearance as a member of the Russian mafia who comes to a very eventful end in the comics. It, of course, remains to be seen if her TV counterpoint will experience the same fate.
(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
Kripke, who developed the series alongside Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, returns once more as showrunner. His interests continue to be in the political and satirical edge of the show while also illuminating more of Vought’s history and its insidious effect on the world. The introduction of Soldier Boy offers further opportunities to look back at the company’s impact on earlier geopolitical conflicts.
Longtime Kripke collaborators Philip Sgriccia, who serves here as an executive producer and director, is also back for more eviscerated whales and surprising emotional depth. Of course, that surprising element makes The Boys a delight. If it was just a bloodbath and a satire about all people being terrible and selfish, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as compelling. Other creatives include writers Craig Rosenberg and Jessica Chou.
Filming took place from later winter 2021 through to the summer of that year. According to Kripke, extreme COVID-19 safety protocols were in place, which led to a much longer production cycle. Hence, the year without The Boys.
The program returns June 3, 2022, with the first three episodes. New episodes will debut each week through July 8. The show’s Twitter account also notes the June 24 episode will be “Herogasm.”