The Boys is a comic book series that takes an irreverent look at the way superheroes abuse their powers instead of using them for good. It’s a fun and hilarious story that also tackles social issues.
The Boys uses the language of today’s biggest superhero movies and internet culture to skewer superheroes as a form of exploitation, and the broader sociopolitical climate in America. It’s a refreshing change from the reductive tone of some of the other superhero shows out there right now.
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One of the first things we learn about the boys in Season 2 is that their father, Sam, was a violent man who beat both Lenny and Butcher when they were growing up. As a result, both boys adopted a tough-guy ethos to survive.
He also told them they’d sink in the world if they didn’t toughen up, something that had a deep impact on them. In fact, it’s this ethos that helps Butcher become the violent man he is today.
He has a strong connection to Hughie Campbell, who reminds him of Lenny and is often his conscience. He is also close to Mallory, who he holds in high regard and even puts him in charge of watching out for Becca, the one thing Butcher cares about most.
The Boys are a CIA black ops team that was formed by Col. Greg Mallory to observe, record and sometimes liquidate corrupt superhumans.
Originally comprised of Butcher, Frenchman and Mother’s Milk, their military backgrounds helped them become master hand-to-hand combat specialists. They also acquired the ability to use high-powered weaponry, explosives and Compound V.
They are primarily tasked with the observation and recording of Supes created by the mega-conglomerate Vought. Their mission is to prevent / avenge the immoral and illegal actions of the superhuman community as well as to ensure that Vought doesn’t have the support or platform to push for their use in national defense.
Despite his background, Hughie (played by Jack Quaid) has a keen mind for surveillance. He has a knack for inductive and deductive reasoning, able to figure out why Swingwing murdered a young gay man, or how he could have tracked Russian gangster Vas without being spotted.
Mother’s Milk is the boys’ mother, and she raised him to be tough and determined. Despite her own tragic backstory, she always knew she had to be the one to raise him.
She did so by being a loving, supportive mom. She taught him all the things he needed to know to grow up into a good man, but she also let him be silly, and that’s part of what makes him so special.
In The Boys season 3 finale, Mother’s Milk finally confronted Soldier Boy for doing the wrong thing to him. It was an emotional scene, and Laz Alonso, who plays the character, says it showed young boys that they don’t need superpowers to be heroes.
The Boys are an elite team of vigilantes created by Mallory and led by Billy Butcher. They are tasked with monitoring, recording, and sometimes liquidating “Supes” – artificially created super-humans who are allegedly being illegally marketed as super-heroes.
Mothers & Sons explains that “traditional gender socialization practices privilege boys as preferable and superior to girls, in which boys are socialized to be masculine and girls feminine” (Feminist Mothering 9). This separation from family fosters anger and aggression within young boys.
As a feminist mother, I want to dismantle this tradition of separation and replace it with relationships that offer grace. I hope to provide my sons with an environment that will support their development as independent and discerning men. I also want them to know that they are not alone in their emotions and that they have the power to change their own lives (Pollack xiv).
Hughie grew up in Scotland, an adopted child whose mother left the family when he was six. He was a fan of Billy Joel and had an incredibly bizarre childhood.
After the death of his girlfriend Robin at the hands of A-Train, he was approached by Billy Butcher who offered him a job with The Boys, a group of vigilantes. He agreed, moving to America.
When he joined the team, Hughie injected himself with Compound V, which gave him superhuman strength and durability. He also boosted his critical thinking skills, which allowed him to take on some of the world’s most powerful heroes.