Home Tazza Updates ‘The Boys’ Season 3 Review: Unleashes hitherto unseen levels of gore and profanity

‘The Boys’ Season 3 Review: Unleashes hitherto unseen levels of gore and profanity


A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

Murtaza Ali Khan

Prime Video series ‘The Boys’ is not just one of the best shows about
superheroes but it also makes for a great case study in subversion of all the
best known tropes associated with the superhero genre. How many superhero shows
out there are focused on exploring how toxic our obsession is with them? ‘The
Boys’ does a great job of critiquing the superhero culture as perpetuated by
Marvel and DC but never at the cost of entertainment. It is never preachy and
always very entertaining and full of whacky ideas. ‘The Boys’ is based on the
comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. In its
third season, the series spills even more blood (yes, you read it right!),
unleashing hitherto unseen levels of gore, profanity, nudity and sex. Don’t
believe me? Consider a scene in the season premiere wherein a superhero shrinks
down and climbs inside another person’s body part and mistakenly blows it to

The 2010s are widely
regarded as the Marvel decade. But, a more accurate way to describe them is as
the superhero decade. Interestingly, nobody was so sure about the future of the
superhero films about 10 years back. Remember, the first leg of the Spider-Man and
the X-Men series had ended in 2007 and 2009, respectively. And the future
looked uncertain for both the franchises. Also, the second leg of the Superman
series never really got going after the mixed-bad response to the 2006 film ‘Superman
Returns’. Also, what Christopher Nolan achieved with ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)
was seen more as a personal triumph of a director’s vision than a superhero
genre breakthrough. But it all changed with ‘Iron Man 2’ (2010) which
catapulted the Nick Fury-led S.H.I.E.L.D to instant fame—two years after it was
first introduced as part of ‘Iron Man’ (2008) during a post-credits scene. Following
the release of ‘Iron Man 2,’ the Walt Disney Studios agreed to pay Paramount a
whopping amount for the worldwide distribution rights to ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘The
Avengers.’ And the rest, as they say, is history.

Soon, Hollywood was raining
superheroes. As Marvel was putting together The Avengers, DC Comics started
planning their Justice League lineup. And, before we knew it, Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (2014) also
came alive. The X-Men franchise too got a new lease of life with ‘X-Men: First
Class’ (2011). Next year, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ was released with a fresh
cast and storyline. Subsequently, Zack Snyder delivered ‘Man of Steel’ (2013)—the
first film of DC’s Superman reboot that was followed by the 2016 offering ‘Batman
v Superman: Dawn of Justice.’ In 2015, Marvel came out with ‘Ant-Man’ which was
followed by ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ in
2018. Also, in 2016 ‘Deadpool’ went on to become the highest grossing R-rated
film at the time. It was followed by ‘Deadpool 2’ (2018). Soon the battle for
the female superhero supremacy started as DC came out with the hugely
successful ‘Wonder Woman’ in 2017 and Marvel responded with an even bigger
success in form ‘Captain Marvel’ (2019). 2018 also witnessed another superhero
film Venom based on a character appeared
in ‘Spider-Man 3’ (2007). All this proves
why 2010s are regarded as the superhero decade.

When the Amazon Prime Video
series ‘The Boys’ premiered in July 2019, it took superhero film enthusiasts by
storm. For, it offered something rarely seen in the genre: superheroes, popular
as celebrities, influential as politicians, and revered as Gods, abusing their
powers instead of using them for good. The
follows the eponymous team of vigilantes as they try to expose the
Seven, Vought International’s premier superhero team led by the egotistical and
megalomaniacal Homelander (menacingly portrayed by Antony Starr; the character is
considered to be analogous to DC’s Superman). The Seven, among others, also
features Queen Maeve (essayed by Dominique McElligott with equal parts brain
and brawn; the character is considered to be analogous to DC’s Wonder Woman). The
Boys, on the other hand, are led by Billy Butcher (brilliantly played by the
uber-cool Karl Urban), a former CIA operative who despises all individuals with

Following the success of the
first season of ‘The Boys,’ the
second season proved to be bigger and grander at so many levels. Firstly, the
stakes were much higher. Also, we had a few new characters with some incredible
superpowers. On one hand we had the enigmatic Stormfront, gifted with the unique
ability to manipulate electricity along with many other powers. Although, she
joined the Seven as its newest member, her real intentions as well as her actual
origins remained unknown (she was later revealed to be the first supe in the
world who was once closely associated with the Nazi Party). Then there was a mysterious
new character gifted with the power to get anyone’s head to explode at will
(who is shockingly revealed to be none other than Congresswomen Victoria Neuman).
The second season of ‘The Boys’ also presented Black Noir in a new light. A-Train
and The Deep again had solid character arcs this season. The character of Vought
CEO Stan Edgar (chillingly essayed by Giancarlo Esposito) also came to the fore.
The various arcs involving Homelander, Billy Butcher, Queen Maeve, Starlight, Hughie,
Frenchie, Mother’s Milk, and Kimiko also got explored really well.

In the new season also, we
are presented with a very interesting mix of the old and the new characters. After
his wife Becca’s death, Butcher is more obsessed than ever on killing
Homelander (an increasingly menacing and creepy-looking Antony Starr). When
Queen Maeve tells him about a past supe known as ‘Soldier Boy,’ Butcher leads
an investigation to uncover the truth about his mysterious death. Maeve also
gives him a few vials of a new serum developed by Vought that gives normal
people superpowers for 24 hours. But given his intense hatred for all things
supe, will he be able to wield it in order to take the fight to expose Vought?

‘The Boys’ has thus far
lived up to its promise of being an irreverent, unapologetically sharp-witted,
and no-holds-barred flip on superhero genre. The third season takes us to ever
darker places and the end doesn’t seem nigh.

A version of this review was first published in The Daily Guardian.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated 

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