Amazon’s ‘The Boys’ looks at abuse of power and the fallout of a world with superheroes

The new Amazon series combines the worst of celebrity and politics, and offers a harsh reflection of the world today, according to showrunner Eric Kripke


Most superheroes we see on screen or in comics are selfless, heroic and represent the loftiest hopes for mankind. Amazon’s new series “The Boys” takes a decidedly different approach.

Based on the bestselling series from acclaimed comic book writer Garth Ennis, “The Boys” takes place in a world where superheros lean into the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame. It follows the story of a group of powerless vigilantes — informally known as The Boys — who set out to take down the corrupt heroes and expose the truth about The Seven, the most prestigious and corrupt superhero group in the world.

The show stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, Jessie T. Usher and Elisabeth Shue. It is executive produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Eric Kripke.

The show is fun, irreverent, violent and most certainly not a superhero story for kids. On Friday, the cast and show-runners treated Comic-Con attendees to a few sneak peaks and talked about their new anti-superhero show ahead of its arrival next week.

Kripke, one of the executive producers, said the story started as just wanting a fun way to “take the piss” out of the superhero genre, but along the way, it became the perfect show to describe the current moment.

“The show is really about what happens when you use celebrity to manipulate people and you use your power to get the common guy to act against his own self-interest,” he said. “It really became about autocrats and social media … in a really scary way, ‘The Boys’ is a funny superhero show, but also an incredibly accurate reflection of the world we are living in.”

The tackling of complex issues and embracing a different kind of story in the superhero genre is a big part of what attracted members of the cast to the role.

Karl Urban (“Star Trek”) praised the project as something that truly stands apart from the crowd and offers a counter to the usual superhero stories.

“What drew me to it was reading a script unlike anything I’d ever read before, and it was just a great counter-narrative to the Marvel, DC stuff that is out there,” said Urban, who leads the cast as Billy the Butcher, the leader of the The Boys. “There was stuff in the script I’d never seen on television or in film before, and I was just drawn to the characters.”

Similarly, Fukuhara — who portrays the Female, a human weapon with immense power and member of The Boys — said: “What drew me to the project was how different it was from what we’ve been watching. It’s difference and uniqueness is what drew me to the show.”

Members of the cast praised the show for diving into complex characters and tackling poignant issues that are prevalent in society today.

“I just liked the commentary on a lot of aspects of society, and I really jumped on board with the idea of doing that,” said Erin Moriarty, who stars as Starlight, one member of The Seven.

She also loved that her character was complex and a departure from the typical love interest role.

“I’m a little tired of the ingenue role” she said. “We have been over-saturated by that. ... You think that is what my character is going to be and she’s not.”

“The Boys” premieres on Amazon Prime Video on July 26, and Rogen announced Friday that the show has already been renewed for a second season.