The Boys' Writing Team Made Some Major Changes To Soldier Boy

Season 3 of "The Boys" will begin streaming on Prime Video starting June 3, and judging from the teaser trailer, fans are in for moments that appear to be emotionally devastating (why is Annie crying?) and utterly ridiculous (there are hints that the Deep may do something unspeakable with an octopus), so, the usual. But one of the most anticipated scenes will be the official introduction of Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy, who serves as the first-ever superhero created by the Vought corporation and also doubles as the series' parody, of sorts, of Marvel's Captain America. Filming the third season also reunited Ackles with series showrunner Eric Kripke, who served as the creator of The CW's hit show "Supernatural," which wrapped up its lengthy run in 2020.

Kripke discussed what to look forward to in "The Boys" Season 3 during a post-Season 2 finale interview with Variety. During the interview, Kripke lightly teased what fans could expect from the character, and comic fans may be in for a surprise with the live-action version of Soldier Boy since it sounds like the character will not be the same as he is in the original source material. 

Citizen soldier

Eric Kripke discussed how Soldier Boy's history ties into that of Vought's, and how he's a far less noble figure than Steve Rogers or Sam Wilson. That is to say, fans shouldn't expect the Supe to be "innocent" by any means.

"I think anyone expecting Jensen to show up and be a good guy, they will be disappointed ... As we're writing him in this, we're getting to really talk about the history of Vought because he's like John Wayne: He's one of these guys that's been around for decades of Vought history. And he was Homelander before Homelander, so he's from a different era, but he's got the ego and the ambition — it just comes across in a different way because he's from a different time."

Soldier Boy was first mentioned in Season 2 when Vought's CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) told Homelander (Antony Starr) that the patriotic hero was the first test subject for the superpower-granting Compound V. Much like Homelander, he's meant to embody American exceptionalism — and his origin marks a major departure from the comics. 

America's A**Hole

In "The Boys" comics, there are actually two Supes who have carried the mantle of Soldier Boy, the main one being described as "bumbling and subservient to Homelander," according to Eric Kripke. The showrunner's comments hint at Ackles' version of Soldier Boy not only being the very first but also not as cowardly as he is in the comics. Soldier Boy's attitude may provide a real threat to Homelander (especially as the sociopathic leader of The Seven suffers from major insecurity issues.) 

Soldier Boy also leads a team known as Payback, which is meant to be a riff on Marvel's mightiest heroes, the Avengers. Members of Payback, including Crimson Countess ("The Walking Dead" alum Laurie Holden) and Gunpowder (Sean Patrick Flanery of "The Boondock Saints" fame), will show up in Season 3. And then there's the matter of The Boys themselves to consider: How will they handle the return of the OG Supe? Might this be the straw that breaks the camel's back and leads to Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) juicing up with Compound V?