The Boys season 3: What the comics can tell us about Jensen Ackles' Soldier Boy
Homelander takes on this Captain America parody in future episodes of the Amazon Prime series.
There’s fresh meat coming to the ranks of The Seven in The Boys Season 3 in the form of WWII-era hero Soldier Boy, and the new (old) addition makes a lot of sense given the sparse roster of supes that currently makes up the spandex-clad jerk squad.
With The Deep still off the team, Black Noir left for dead and Stormfront presumably going nowhere in her current condition, this Captain America knock-off is just the kind of star-spangled supe the team needs after that whole Nazi debacle – but with Homelander already taking the role of the patriotic poster boy of The Seven, it remains to be seen whether New York City will be big enough for the both of them.
Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles is suiting up as Soldier Boy and will presumably give a typically The Boys-esque twist to the comic book character of the same name - but for fans looking for clues, there'a already a lot of possibilities from the source material as to where his storyline could go. With that in mind, here’s how Soldier Boy can mix things up in The Boys season three.
In Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book version of The Boys, there have been three men to wear the mantle of Soldier Boy over the years. Soldier Boy was part of a team called Payback, which was a second-rate version of The Boys (and an obvious parody of the Avengers, hence the similarly vengeful team name).
Nearly every member of Payback has been either directly or indirectly mentioned on the show, while Eagle the Archer actually appeared in season two. Stormfront also had ties to Payback, meaning the writers can also flesh out her shady past and feature the brilliant Aya Cash via flashback if they so choose.
However, when it comes to the series there are whispers that Ackles will be playing the OG Soldier Boy, the first supe ever officially created - which could make things complicated considering a statue of him is seen outside Vought HQ in season two suggesting he died in 1982. Interestingly, the comics pretended that all three Soldier Boys were the original (despite Soldier Boy mk. 1 dying decades before), whereas the show seems to be planning to make it true.
Taking a leaf out of Marvel Comics' (and the Marvel Cinematic Universe's) book, it’s easy to imagine Soldier Boy being the original from back in the day. Just like Captain America was put on ice, the idea is that Ackles’ Soldier Boy is the same one that kicked Nazi ass back in WWII - another interesting plot point considering Vought’s connections to the Third Reich.
But perhaps the truth will be more complicated. One option could be that Ackles will be a clone of the original Soldier Boy –those up on their comics will know a major cloning twist delivers one of The Boys’ biggest shockers on the page, after all. Plus, during season two Stormfront told Homelander how her DNA was used in his creation, suggesting those Vought scientists know their way around a lab. It would fix the problem of Ackles’ Soldier Boy being the original, while also skirting around his death in 1982.
One thing that has been confirmed is that we shouldn’t expect Soldier Boy to be the hero to save the day and topple Homelander from his psychotic perch. Discussing what Soldier Boy will bring to the table, showrunner Eric Kripke told Variety that Soldier Boy will be “Homelander before Homelander”, further doubling down on the idea of the dynamic duo being at odds. The showrunner told the site, “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.
“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."
One thing that definitely won’t be happening is a controversial scene that became a standout in the comics. In one issue, the latest iteration of Soldier Boy was Homelander’s plaything as the leader of The Seven forced him to have sex as a way of gaining entry to the team.
Discussing this exact moment, showrunner Eric Kripke told fans on Twitter that the divisive moment won’t appear on his series. Although he didn’t go into why, it seems that the live-action Soldier Boy won’t be some easily manipulated lapdog who will do anything to please Homelander. Instead, viewers can bet their two egos will clash in a big way.
Whatever Kripke and the team are working on, it will be interesting to see how/if Soldier Boy plays into Homelander’s dynamic in season three. After losing his new beau and control of the women of The Seven, Homelander actor Antony Starr told Collider his character will be a “homicidal maniac” in the next run of episodes. With Vought presumably trying to fix the trail of destruction left by Stormfront, an all-American supe like Soldier Boy is sure to show the company is flying the stars and stripes.
You can bet your bottom dollar that Homelander won’t be going anywhere in season three, so everyone had better get ready for a clash of the titans when Soldier Boy leaps out of the trenches and into action.
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