the boys comic-con

“If you’re here with your kids, you’re a terrible person…it’s a fucking grown-up show. If you’re easily offended—please pounce.”

That’s how moderator Aisha Tyler opened San Diego Comic-Con’s The Boys panel, an Amazon Original series based on the comic books of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson in which superheroes live among us and are major assholes. As Tyler made clear, the show is not for kids, and not only because the shared clips were dotted with bleeped expletives. 

Executive producer Eric Kripke explained the premise of this dark-and-funny show. “We started with just wanting to take a piss out of the superhero genre a little bit,” he said. “I think the deeper we explored the first pilot and then the season, the more we realized it was the perfect show to describe the moment that we’re living in…the show is really about what happens when you use celebrity to manipulate people, to use your power to make the common guy act against his own best interest…The Boys is a funny superhero show, but it’s also an incredibly accurate depiction of the world we live in.”

An Ensemble Cast, With The Supes Against The Boys 

Kripke was joined on stage by fellow executive producer Seth Rogen as well as ten actors from the show: Karl Urban (Bill Butcher), Jack Quaid (Hughie Campbell), Karen Fukuhara (The Female), Elizabeth Shue (Madelyn Stillwell), Erin Moriarity (Starlight), Chace Crawford (The Deep), Antony Starr (Homelander), Jessie T. Usher (A-Train), Laz Alonso (Mother’s Milk), and Tomer Capon (Frenchie). The group was split between a super-powered contingent called The Seven (who are managed by Vought International, a corporation that farms out their services to the highest bidder), and a bunch of ne’r-do-wells called The Boys.

Clips Suggest a Dark, Funny, Fucked Up World

Ahead of its Comic-Con premiere later tonight, the audience at the panel was treated to three clips from the show, which shed light on the world the characters live in as well as the characters themselves. The first clip zeroed in on two teenagers who unwittingly witness the super-powered Starlight and Homelander stop the robbery of an armored truck. And while most of the dialogue was bleeped out because of swearing, it was clear that the teenagers thought the superheroes were awesome for burning and maiming the robbers; so awesome, in fact, that they wanted a selfie. 

The second clip revealed a conversation between a poor, beleaguered Hughie and his dad, who happens to be played by Simon Pegg. Hughie, we’re told, has had his life ruined by some superpower-related event. He’s leaving home now, most likely to join The Boys, and has some harsh words with his father before heading out. 

The last clip focused on the three members of The Boys: Mother’s Milk, Hughie, and Billy Butcher. Butcher, played by Karl Urban, is the feckless ringleader of the group and does his best to keep the team together by making a humorous-yet-accurate analogy to the Spice Girls. Although the group is a bunch of misfits, they also represent everyday people – those who get screwed by powers larger than themselves. 

Kripke went on to explain the motivation for the members of The Boys: “They’re all basically the little guy. They’re blue collar, the 99%. In one way or another, they’ve all been fucked over by these massive tectonic plates of power, from corporations or the superheroes. They just get ground under the wheel as just collateral that aren’t given a second thought…these guys have all suffered personally. What makes them different is that they’ve decided to fight back against the 1% of the 1%.”

And The Boys will be fighting that fight for at least two seasons — Kripke also announced on the panel that Amazon has already approved a second season, which the cast is currently filming in Toronto. 

The Boys, an eight-episode Amazon Original series, premiers July 26, 2019 on Amazon Prime Video.

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