“The Boys” Are Back In Town – Season 4 Primer

On Thursday, June 13th, Season 4 of “The Boys” premieres on Amazon Prime. For those of you who are unaware of the show’s general plot, the story revolves around a collection of superheroes deriving their superpowers from a chemical agent developed by a super-corporation known as Vought. With each season, the stakes of their powers become higher, as their aspirations often clash, eventually culminating in a conflict over the nation’s soul.

Standing against Vought and “The Seven” are a rag-tag group of mere mortals, led by the vulgar and belligerent Billy Butcher, who refer to their collective quite prosaically as “The Boys.” Set against the often awful power their antagonists harbor, their cheekiness and sleight-of-hand frequently appears a shoddy counterweight; yet their mettle has thus far kept them above-water, persevering through many unsettling setbacks.

Despite the stakes set in motion, “The Boys,” at its core, is more of a tragi-comedy. It’s about what people are capable of doing, the atrocities they will ultimately commit, if gifted with both extraordinary power and bereft of any accountability. The superhumans depicted in this show have few qualms in levelling city-scapes, popping human’s heads, or shooting lasers at disagreeable protesters. Though they may possess super-human strength, or electric speed, these superheroes are essentially the same as the humans they deem to be so inferior; they have the same petty concerns, the same squabbles, the same vindictiveness – What’s frightening is that they have the terrible capacity to act on their frivolous emotions in the most violent of ways.

In season 4, two distinct sides have emerged to define the future relationship humans and superheroes will share. On one side is “Homelander”, a preening narcissist with the same capabilities as Superman, who regards superheroes as almost equivalent to Gods; and has little scruples in asserting so. The other, perhaps more humane side, is led by “Starlight,” who’s been initiated into “The Boys.” She envisions a world where both superheroes and humans coexist peacefully. Then there is an X-factor, Senator Victoria-Neuman, who most fans of the show refer to as the “Head-Popper.” The Senator, a superpowered human who’s concealed her powers, is expected to be the next Vice President of the US government. She has a penchant for blowing up people who irk or oppose her. She is also now the sole proprietor of a virus capable of targeting and exclusively eliminating super-abled people.

In this article, we’ll quickly delve into a brief summation of the where the primary characters in “The Boys” stand as season 4 commences. Hopefully, it will orient you more quickly to the logistics of the show, as the plot of season 4 will likely thicken with haste.


Photo courtesy of YouTube, Homelander Being an Evil Douche For 14 Minutes Straight

At the conclusion of Season 3, Homelander essentially escapes an assassination attempt made by his biological father, Soldier Boy. By the conclusion of the season, Homelander has become a polarizing figure in America. While many view him as a tyrant, others view him as somewhat of a savior. One of the last scenes of Season 3 concludes with a protester tossing refuse at his son, Ryan, at one of Homelander’s rallies. Angered, Homelander zaps him with his laser-vision, desiccating the man in a split-second. After a brief, hushed silence, the surrounding crowd erupts in euphoria. Ryan somewhat fiendishly smiles in approval.


Photo courtesy of YouTube, The Boys Vs Soldier Boy | The Boys Season 3 Episode 8 (2022)

By the end of Season 3, Starlight has become Homelander’s chief antagonist. From a callow young woman in Season 1, she has since evolved into a staunch critic of Vought’s policies as well as Homelander’s bellicose leadership of the corporation. Her skepticism isn’t entirely unwarranted, as Homelander has threatened to murder her, and her boyfriend Hughie, on a multitude of occasions. Previously the co-leader of “The Seven,” Vought’s chosen superhero representatives; she abrogated her role during Season 3, frustrated with Vought’s placation of Homelander. She has now taken residence with “The Boys,” who share her ambitions of dismantling Vought.

Senator Vicki Neuman

Photo courtesy of YouTube, Head exploding scene |The Boys Season 2 Episode 7 ending

Likely the most discreet, and most explosive, character in the returning cast; Senator Vicki Neuman is running on a presidential ticket as her fellow candidate’s Vice Presidential nominee. A superhero who has thus far managed to conceal her powers, her motivations remain obscure. At times, she has helped Vought, at times she has discombobulated their plans. She has created havoc during congressional hearings, exploding the heads of her fellow congressmen. She injected her daughter with Compound V, ensuring she’ll eventually gain supernatural abilities of her own. Now, she has secured possession of a deadly virus that only superheroes seem susceptible to. How will she use it? What does she truly want? It’s still nebulous.

Billy Butcher

Photo courtesy of YouTube, The Boys – Season 4 Official Trailer | Prime Video

The ringleader of “The Boys.” As vicious as his foil, Homelander, Butcher is hellbent on eliminating superheroes. His aversion toward them was sparked as a consequence of Homelander raping his now deceased wife, Becca. Throughout the series, he has shown little trepidation in pursuing his ends, at almost any cost. He does, however, have several vulnerabilities to his Machiavellian resolution: Hughie, who he views as a little brother; Ryan, Becca (and Homelander’s) son; as well his underappreciated crew of underlings that constitute “The Boys” – Mother’s Milk, Frenchie, and even Kimiko.

Butcher unwisely imbibed too much “Temp V” during Season 3, which provided him with superhuman abilities for 24 hours at a time. It proved pernicious, however, catalyzing an unstable tumor growth in his brain. According to the doctor, he has approximately a year to live. Will he be able to fulfill his primary goal of killing Homelander before then? We’ll find out.


Photo courtesy of YouTube, Kimiko Breaks Hughie’s Arm

Hughie, one can argue, is the central protagonist of “The Boys.” The series begins with him having a congenial conversation with his then-girlfriend, Robin, on a New York sidewalk. While leaning down to kiss Robin, A-Train, a drug-addled superhero, sprints directly through Robin like swiss cheese, killing her in the process.

Rightfully annoyed, Hughie eventually finds himself allying with “The Boys,” joining them in their pursuit to curb the influence of superheroes. Simultaneously, he forms a romantic dalliance with Starlight, the newest member of “The Seven.” From that point, Hughie is constantly torn by conflicting loyalties.

Throughout Season 3, Hughie, in conjunction with Butcher, takes generous amounts of Temp V to assist him in executing Homelander. They almost accomplish it two times, only to be befuddled by some variable or another. Even after their failure, Hughie remains embedded in “The Boys,” contributing to Starlight’s acceptance into the group.  Humbled by his experience with Temp V, and the uncharacteristic aggression he displayed while on it, he’s now resumed his traditional role of being a compassionate hero.

Mother’s Milk

Photo courtesy of YouTube, Mother’s Milk Punches Todd | The Boys | Prime Video

Marvin T. Milk, affectionally referred to as “Mother’s Milk,” embodies the moral core of “The Boys.” Though beleaguered by a haunting past, as his grandfather was killed by Soldier Boy, Marvin seldom deviates from taking a more comprehensive view of whatever situation he becomes embroiled in.

After joining Butcher throughout Season 3 to ostensibly kill Soldier Boy, Milk’s objective was ultimately somewhat fulfilled as Soldier Boy now remains in stasis. With Butcher’s mortality now an inevitably certainty, who will take the mantle of leadership once he expires, if he does ultimately expire? Mother’s Milk would seem the logical successor.


Photo courtesy of YouTube, Frenchie’s Story | The Boys | Prime Video

Serge, or “Frenchie” was recruited by Butcher to “The Boys” as a jack-of-all trades toolbox. He’s a resourceful, useful, asset in preying on the few vulnerabilities that superheroes possess. Like Mother’s Milk, he has a checkered past, littered with the bodies of many people he contributed in killing.

In some sense, a fragment of his humanity is regained when he comes into contact with Kimiko, a superhuman captured by the terrorist organization Shining Light Liberation Army. Their relationship forms the basis of many of the most emotional scenes in the show, as the two constantly offer support to the other.


Photo courtesy of YouTube, Best of Kimiko Season 2

Discovered in a locked cage during Season 1, Kimiko quickly proves to be a ferocious fighter in service to “The Boys.” Essentially becoming a hired gun, she’s able to swiftly execute many of the group’s secondary objectives. Though she’s largely ambivalent toward Butcher, she remains firmly dedicated to Frenchie. In conjunction with Starlight, she now forms a potentially formidable supe-duo within the framework of “The Boys.”

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