It's been a few years since Seth Rogen bought the rights to comic book hit The Boys. While the pilot was originally set for Cinemax, Amazon has now ordered a script for the comic to be adapted into a TV show. Comicbook.com reports that a script is set to be written by Supernatural and Timeless creator Eric Kripke and, if all goes well, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg would direct and produce the show.
It may not be a comic book under the umbrella of a big name like Marvel or DC, but it has garnered acclaim from comic book readers – so much so, in fact, that it was even nominated for an Eisner Award in 2008. And rightly so, as The Boys is easily the most realistic adaptation of people with superpowers that we've seen in comic books.
The Boys isn't going to give you lovable characters like Spider-Man or Jubilee, and you also aren't getting likable villains like Magneto. The story is a hard-hitting slap in the face and, quite frankly, I think this is the comic book series that the world has been missing for quite some time.
A Much Needed Change In Pace In The Comic Book Industry
When we think of comic book adaptations, it's usually shows like Arrow or Flash and movies like Avengers or Wonder Woman that first come to mind. After that, people will mention shows like The Walking Dead and the new fairly new show, Preacher. Both shows are great adaptations of their respective comics and their popularity has proven a change in pace was needed. These are darker shows where there is no guarantee that the good guys are going to win and that your favorite characters will survive. And while these are comic book adaptations, they certainly aren't superhero shows.
The Boys provides all the brutality and unpredictability that audiences loved about The Walking Dead with the phenomenal powers and super-humans of a Marvel or DC movie. One of the most notable things that kept me reading The Boys until the end was the unpredictability of the story. With Marvel Comics, you almost always know the good guy is going to win in the end – and even when they lose, you know it isn't a permanent thing. However, you never know what's going to happen with The Boys.
Heck, even when characters come back from the dead they're made fun of, having turned into mindless zombies (minus the need for brain food). In fact, the writers appreciate how fans get upset about things like this and use it as an excuse for levity. Your favorite characters die (and usually stay dead), the villains win, and there's always a moment where you scream, "I can't believe they went there!" In this respect, it's a little like Game Of Thrones. When someone dies and comes back, or if their is a major moment happening, it's used as a tool to progress the show's development – not just an excuse for higher ratings.
The Boys is a comic book that could start a trend of TV stations buying comic book properties that aren't your typical superhero stories – which is a great way to avoid a supposed 'superhero fatigue.'
In 'The Boys', Superpowers Don't Make You A Good Person
In mainstream comic books, the good guys are actually good people. There may be the exceptions to the rule where a debate could be made for Deadpool and the Punisher, but these characters are the universe's anti-heroes. In The Boys, however, around 95% of people with powers are uniquely horrible. They don't fight for truth and justice, they fight because it makes them look good. If saving a person is going to make appealing to the public (and it's easy), they'll do it. However, if it doesn't make them look good or it's a difficult task, they won't lift a finger.
In The Boys, it was believed that an act of terrorism caused a plane to destroy a bridge in New York. In actuality, it was due to the incompetence and arrogance of the world's most popular super team, The Seven. The Avengers and the Justice League may make stopping a plane from crashing look like an easy task, but we all know that it's a serious challenge in real life, and this is reflected in The Boys. When things got difficult and The Seven couldn't stop the tragedy, they exited the plane and left the passengers to their fate. In fact, they made the situation worse by injuring people and killing the pilots.
No More Heroes: 'The Boys' Is Full Of Uncaring Bastards
As a whole, people are not good. I think Agent K said it best in Men In Black when we explained that,
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."
In The Boys, a lot of humanity's flaws are explored in great detail. Writer Garth Ennis really dives into how selfish people can be and how they would most likely abuse power if it was a possibility. In real life, we see this all the time in politics, the daily news and even in regular workplaces – it stinks, but it's unfortunately something that goes on every day.
When Starlight, the newest member of The Seven, first joined the team she excited to be part of Earth's premier superhero team. Unfortunately, she was met with insults, disrespect, and was told that if she didn't perform a sexual act on multiple male teammates that she would be kicked off the team. Even after she left to go back to her old team for help, she was met with further disappointment. It was a kick in the gut that almost destroyed her and almost caused her to lose faith people entirely - but the show isn't just an attack on humanity.
There Is Still Some Good In Humanity
For all the negativity that may go on in the comic, there was always a lot of really important messages to be learned throughout. In particular, the comic explores topics such as homosexuality, transgender, and race. The story treats everyone based on their individual characteristics, not their labels or urges.
For example, one of Hughie's male friends (from Scotland, in case you were wondering how to read the panel above) came out as a crossdresser and although Hughie was initally shocked, he chose not to treat her differently. When there's a hate-crime in the superhero community, Hughie learns that while he may not know a lot about other lifestyles, he still has room to learn more.
Another great example is the story of Annie January (Starlight) and Hughie, who found each other in their darkest hour. Hughie had just lost his girlfriend and wasn't certain about his new job, and Annie just did something she hated to keep her dream job. But even after everything that happened to the two of them, they managed to find each other.
I couldn't be happier about The Boys getting a show on a channel where they have the ability to stay true to the comic. This story makes the Walking Dead look like a Captain America movie. It's not a show for the faint of heart, nor is it apologetic, but it's these things that make it both unique and well worth watching. Some people will inevitably call it crude, but that's because they're only looking at the surface. However, if viewers look a little deeper, this show is going to be an absolute success and might even change the way we look at comic book adaptations on the small screen.
Will you be watching The Boys? Let me know with a comment.