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10 Things The Boys’ TV Show Did Better Than The Comics


As times change, so does the media that reflects it. The boys The comics, written by Garth Ennis and co-created, designed and illustrated by Darick Robertson, were first published in 2006. It would be nearly 15 years before the comics were adapted into the hit series on Amazon Prime, which retained all of the goness, grit, and satirical commentary that made comics so unique.

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The world in 2022 is very different from that of 2006; social issues and cultural phenomena have changed, as well as the tastes and demands of the public. There’s a lot to love about the comics, but showrunner Eric Kripke and the rest of the production team have managed to retain the best aspects of the source material while vastly improving on others. Here are 10 things The boys TV series have done better than comics.

ten Less reliance on shock factor

The Boys Cartoon Hamster

Part of the reason it took so long to The boys to finally make it into television, it’s the excessive amount of sex and gore in the comics, which had to be toned down a bit, but ultimately for the better. Regardless of his sense of humor or sensitivity to offensive material, there are plenty of moments in the comics seemingly inserted for the sole purpose of being offensive, especially scenes of sexual assault that serve no purpose. to the bigger story (and some even played for laughs).

Again, the comics first came out in the mid-2000s; what was acceptable then is not necessarily so today, and not everything ages well (and that’s normal). The boys TV shows recognize this and maintain that quirky “edge” and dark humor in another way, without pandering to PC crowds or internet edge lords, and leaving more to the imagination.

9 The Boys Using Compound V Is Actually A Story Event

The Boys Butcher Compound V

When Hughie first joins The Boys in the comics, he is horrified at how the crew regularly injects themselves with small amounts of Compound V so they have a fighting chance against the Supes. Although it hasn’t happened in the first two seasons of the show yet, the Season 3 trailer (which dropped a few weeks ago) teased that Billy Butcher is finally making the decision to take on Compound V. .

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Making it a significant story event, it will mark a shift in Butcher’s character development; although he presumably takes desperate measures after Becca’s death, he could become what he despises most.

8 Characterization of Stillwell

The Stillwell and Stillwell boys

James Stillwell, The Seven’s superior, is not to be overlooked – he’s even more sociopathic and emotionless than Homelander and prioritizes Vought over absolutely everything. However, there wasn’t much room for his development, and despite his intimidating presence, he wasn’t such an interesting character.

Madelyn Stillwell, her replacement on the show, is equally ruthless and an accurate satire of “girlbossification,” even when it hurts or oppresses others. Stillwell’s relationship with Homelander is also quite different, maintaining her control over him with a strange Oedipal relationship rather than just bullying.

7 Include Ryan

The Homelander Boys and Ryan

In the comics, Becca not only dies during childbirth, Butcher kills her newborn baby, believing her father to be Homelander (although this was later disproven in a crazy ending twist). In the series, not only Becca survives, but also her son Ryan, who East sired by Homelander and inherits some of his powers.

Although Becca despises Homelander, he makes a serious effort to connect with Ryan (in his twisted, selfish way). It will be interesting to see what happens with Ryan in Season 3, especially now that the poor kid has to live by accidentally killing his mother while trying to save her from Stormfront.

6 Butcher is not just a psychopath

The Boys Butcher and Ryan

Keeping a beard wasn’t the only thing that changed about Butcher on the show: he also has more heart. Comic Butcher was a ruthless psychopath who, in many ways, wasn’t all that different from Homelander – the one who motivated Butcher’s desire for revenge. Butcher’s softening on TV may seem like a disservice to the character to some, but it ultimately lends itself to relationships that are present on the show and not in the comics, like with Becca and Ryan. Playing Butcher as an anti-hero allows him to be friendlier and more complex in general.

5 Characterization of Stormfront

The Stormfront Boys

In another genre swap from the comics, the Nazi supe who led Team Payback in the comics has been turned into the sarcastic, meme-savvy newest addition to The Seven. Although Stormfront’s personality is initially sympathetic, this quickly changes when she is not only presented as racist, but also as literal 100-year-old Nazi and ex-wife of company founder Frederick Vought.

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Stormfront joined The Seven as a way to promote its agenda, which in turn commented on how corporations are willing to turn a blind eye to white supremacy if it means saving their public image. This doesn’t stop Homelander from starting a romantic relationship with her, although he actually seems to disagree with her racist beliefs. While the comic Stormfront is killed fairly quickly by Soviet supe Love Sausage, his female counterpart is burned by Ryan.

4 Hughie is way nicer

The Hughie Boys

One of the biggest character changes was Hughie Campbell, who was originally based on actor Simon Pegg, but was too old to play the character when the series was released. Jack Quaid was cast instead (although Pegg was cast as Hughie’s father, in a nice acknowledgment to the original source). Much of his characteristics remained, such as his naivety and softer nature acting as a foil for Butcher. However, the new Hughie has greater agency and is more self-contained and confident, while the comedic Hughie tended to be weaker and, for lack of a better word, irritating.

In one of Hughie’s most loathsome comic moments, when Starlight confides in him that he’s been sexually abused by all the male members of the Seven, he shames him and walks off instead of offering his compassion. And, somehow, he always comes out with her at the end after an already unsatisfying ending.

3 Becca lives… for a while, at least

The boys Becky and Becca

Although she was only around for a disappointingly short time, keeping Becca Butcher alive allowed for the development of another strong character, and she is solely responsible for ensuring that Ryan does not become another Homelander.

Becca’s presumed death was the only thing that kept Butcher bent on revenge; Finding her alive was even more unpredictable for him than for the public. Her actual death at the end of Season 2 is hotly debated, with some claiming she was a lost character, while others argue that keeping her alive will derail Butcher’s plans.

2 Better starlight processing

The Homelander and Starlight boys

Starlight’s character has remained one of the most canonical, and being arguably the nicest person on the show, she deserves better, especially in the comics. His experience with sexual assault in the comics (twice, first by The Seven and another attempt by A-Train) not only had no payoff in the story, but it also showed no compassion afterward, even from Hughie (as mentioned earlier).

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While the show kept the subplot about Vought forcing her to change her costume to something much more revealing, the comics take it a step further by literally forcing her to wear a micro-kini, as if it would. never happen realistically. But most importantly, the show developed her character into a proper superhero with a complex backstory, and not just as a love interest.

1 Direct and specific satirization of cultural phenomena

The Brave Boys Maeve

The boys the comics are rooted in social and political commentary and, at the time of their release, were a satire of the Bush administration and fervent patriotism in a post-9/11 society. The TV series has been able to take that ball and run with it, confusing capitalist exploitation, public relations stunts, corporate social justice, the relentless barrage of superhero content and other cultural phenomena that have steeped in the 2020s. While staying in the spirit of the comics, the series manages to incorporate real-life issues on a higher (and even more relevant) level.

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