The Boys: Superhero Humans

With three seasons over and the fourth now being filmed, the success of the series, The Boys is indisputable. So what psychological traits lie behind each of these characters?
The Boys: Superhero Humans
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Written by Vanessa Viqueira

Last update: 24 October, 2023

The filming of the first season of the series, The Boys, began on May 22, 2018, in Toronto, Ontario (Canada). This series is completely different from the more traditional superhero productions. It’s gradually been gaining more followers as the seasons have gone on. In fact, it’s been nominated for Emmy Awards on several occasions and has become one of the public’s favorites.

The Boys takes place in a dystopian world where superheroes represent the darker side of celebrity and fame. However, there’s also a group of vigilantes, called The Boys, who try to do everything possible to stop these superheroes who have harmful aimas and have no consideration for society as a whole.

The Boys

The Boys series is an adaptation of the comics by Garth Ennis. He’s a renowned British comic writer who works primarily for the American market. Garth Ennis’s work is characterized by black humor and extreme violence, something the series has retained since its inception.

Even though The Boys isn’t entirely faithful to the comics, the level of satire is just as biting. Furthermore, being on a streaming service makes it easier for people who aren’t particularly interested in comics to discover it.

The Seven

The Vought International Corporation, the most powerful in the United States, has a group of figures who fight crime. The group, in which everyone has superpowers, is known as The Seven. This united team allows the corporation to manipulate them to earn as much money as possible. They offer an image that’s completely different from reality, simulating the kind of security that doesn’t really exist.

In addition, as will be discovered, the company actually created these superhumans. But this is something that society is unaware of. In fact, in exchange for large sums of money and favors, parents handed over their sons and daughters to be injected by Vought with a mysterious chemical known as Compound V. Much of the plot revolves around this story as, if the public were to learn of the great deception, the losses would be catastrophic.

Main characters

The most notable character in The Boys is, without a doubt, the Homelander. He’s masterfully played by New Zealand actor, Antony Starr. According to public records, he was raised in a traditional middle-class Midwestern household. However, this is a lie as he was actually raised in a Vought lab. The lack of family structure has led him to develop a changeable and arrogant personality.

Not only is he the main villain, but he’s also the strongest superhero. The traits that most characterize him, among others, are arrogance, narcissism, egotism, emotional dependence, and the need to be recognized by his team. People don’t matter to him in the least and he considers them to be inferior.

The series shares obvious references to Marvel and DC. As a matter of fact, the Homelander from The Boys and Superman have basically the same powers: flight, X-rays, super strength, and, of course, they’re both leaders of their respective superhero teams.

The character of Queen Maeve played by Dominique McElligott, is immune to almost any physical damage, as well as being agile, strong, and fast. Despite being compassionate and intelligent, she finds herself subjugated by the Homelander, whom she deeply hates. With her armor and her tiara, she resembles the character of Wonder Woman, Queen of the Amazons.

The Deep is a marine superhero, reminiscent of Aquaman. The character, played by Chace Crawford is, at times, as ridiculous as he’s comical. Furthermore, he reflects a deep dependency and a constant search for recognition by the Homelander.

When The Deep is separated from The Seven, he becomes vulnerable. This leads him to associate with a strange sect called the Church of the Collective. Nevertheless, his goal will always be to be part of The Seven and he always submissively obeys all the orders of the Homelander.

A-Train stands out for his speed as a special superpower. He’s a character that reflects the darkest face of addiction. He also represents the identity conflict related to being black. His equivalent is Flash.

Earving or Black Noir is stealthy, silent, and enigmatic. He’s noted for his agility and superiority in hand-to-hand combat. He has a really close relationship with the Homelander.

Translucent possesses the ability of invisibility, as well as skin as tough as a diamond. His irreverence is crucial in the first season.

Finally, not all of The Seven are diabolical and sociopathic. However, they’re all considered to be celebrities and sex symbols.

The exception is Starlight. She represents a certain naivete in front of certain ideals against which she decides to fight. Her character evolves considerably through the different seasons, becoming the kind of traditional heroine we’d expect to see.

Other relevant characters

Liberty or Stormfront only appears briefly, but she sets the bar extremely high as a Nazi villain. She uses populism to thrive at all costs.

Another relevant character is Soldier Boy. He allows us to take a look at the history of Vought, decades before the events that take place in the series. The character also allows us to delve into the origins of the Homelander, as their similarities begin to emerge.

This character, played by Jensen Ackles, resembles Captain America (Marvel). However, he’s more reminiscent of The Winter Soldier, due to the use of the supersoldier serum.

Men face to face

The Boys

The Boys is a collection of people who have their own reasons for being against Vought and its superheroes. The series shows the most human (although not necessarily good) side of this group of ordinary people.

The main character of the group is William ‘Billy’ Butcher played by a fantastic Karl Urban. Sometimes, the question arises as to whether or not he’s a villain. He’s certainly as capable of acting as mean and cruel as the Homelander. Perhaps that’s the reason why he’s the leader of The Boys. In fact, his hatred toward the leader of The Seven fuels his continued fight.

Hughie Campbell Jr (portrayed by Jack Quaid ) portrays the archetypal good guy exploring his dark side. His character is endearing and he tries to have a normal relationship with Starlight.

The characters, Kimiko (played by Karen Fukuhara), who has superpowers, and Frenchie (played by Tomer Capone) form a couple who share a similar past. They support each other unconditionally and both protect and care for each other.

Finally, Marvin T. ‘Mother’s’ Milk (played by Laz Alonso) is the character who represents sanity and common sense. On several occasions, he intends to leave the group but never does. With a complicated and scarred past, his personality demonstrates the traits of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

If you want to spend some time being entertained, The Boys is, without a doubt, a good choice. As the episodes progress, there’s a feeling of an inevitable growing tension that ultimately explodes. As a matter of fact, The Boys has been so successful that, today, it’s the highest-rated series in the entire history of Amazon Prime Video.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.