Why The Boys Season 3 Changed Homelander And Soldier Boy's Relationship From The Comics

Whenever a new movie or TV show is based on a beloved pre-existing story, the creative minds behind the project will often take creative liberties with various aspects of the original work. More times than not, fans will complain about the changes and lament the "loss" of their childhood or declare that the property as a whole is ruined (despite the fact that the initial work still exists independent of the adaptation).

However, if these changes make sense narratively and still capture the spirit of the original, it works out just as well. In terms of superhero media, we've seen it time and again recently with Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and pretty much any thing James Gunn has done in the past decade.

But the latest addition to that list is the penultimate episode of "The Boys" season 3. In a recent interview with Variety, showrunner Eric Kripke discussed that game-changing alteration to Homelander's backstory from the episode and how it came about.

The rest of this article contains spoilers for "The Boys" season 3, episode 7, "Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed." Proceed with caution.

Papa, can you hear me?

The latest episode of "The Boys" ends with a phone call between Jensen Ackles' Soldier Boy and Antony Starr's Homelander. During this call, the audience (and Homelander) learn that Vought's current golden boy is actually the biological son of their original headlining act. In the original comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, Homelander was instead created in the lab using genetic material from Stormfront. He and Soldier Boy aren't related, and actually end up having sex during Herogasm.

Kripke explained that while the Soldier Boy/Homelander twist wasn't part of the plan when they originally started developing the season, it was logical for these events to play out like they did on the show. Not only are the characters so similar that a shared lineage makes sense, but it also fits incredibly well into the themes that the writers were exploring in this season.

"In so many ways, this season is about fathers and sons. It's about how fathers can pass their trauma, generationally, to their children, especially this toxic masculinity of policing that their boys have to be society's version of masculine. There's all of these themes that are all floating around and it all kind of lands in these father-to-son stories. We talk about Hughie and his dad, Butcher and his dad, Butcher and his son, Homelander and his son. It wasn't the very first plan from the beginning, but as we were just talking through the mythology of the season, someone pitched it and said, 'Crazy pitch, but what if...?' And I jumped all over it. I'm like, of course, because many of our main characters are dealing with issues of their parents and parenting — Mother's Milk, also — Homelander should have to deal with his dad. So it all fell together."

Papa's gonna make it alright

Longtime fans were expecting certain things out of Herogasm. So when Homelander and Soldier Boy's meeting at the annual supe orgy went differently than they remember, Kripke was bombarded by questions asking why.

"I said, 'Just watch. You'll understand why. It's an important difference to what we're doing with our characters.' And they're just like, 'They're afraid to do it!' I mean, listen, we weren't afraid to do it. Like, if you're asking, can we put Antony and Jensen in a love scene together? Both are down and I'm down to shoot it! No one had any problem with it. It was the pesky story point that they're father and son, which is why we didn't do it."

Can you imagine telling the dude who brought the character Love Sausage to life that he's afraid to cross any kind of line in this story? Never mind what happens in the first twelve minutes of this season with Termite. I hardly think that a sex scene between Soldier Boy and Homelander would've been a bridge too far if the story called for it.

But if you're really still clamoring for that plot point to come to fruition (minus the father and son having sex bit), then I have good news: "The Boys" (and basically any story that has been adapted into different mediums) is a multiverse. What you're looking for is out there in fan art, video games, audio dramas, fan fiction, and more. But in this case, all you need to do is visit your local comic book store and pick up volume five of Dynamite Comics' acclaimed series by Garth Ennis, John McCrea, and Keith Burns.

The season three finale of "The Boys" premieres on Prime Video on July 8, 2022.