As simple as Emma/Little Cricket’s abilities may seem in The Boys’ Gen V, there is a lot more to her size manipulation powers than meets the eye.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Gen V.
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- Emma’s supe powers in Gen V are essential to her identity and place in Godolkin University, but the limits and scalability of her abilities are unclear.
- Emma’s size-manipulating powers in Gen V make her stand out as a character, but she is not a direct rip-off of Ant-Man from The Boys.
- Emma’s ability to shrink and grow in Gen V is dependent on her caloric intake, highlighting the allegory for eating disorders in her powers.
Since Emma is one of the secondary protagonists in Gen V and her supe powers play a crucial role in defining her identity and place in Godolkin University, it is hard not to speculate the limits and scalability of her abilities. Also known as “Little Cricket” because of her involvement with a kids’ show during her childhood, Emma is introduced as Marie’s roommate in Gen V. Although Emma initially does not get much attention from the top rankers at Godolkin and even struggles with body image issues, she later gets embroiled in the school’s conspiracies when Andre reaches out to her for help.
Gen V seems to portray Emma/Little Cricket as an Ant-Man parody, making her supe abilities not as unique as Marie’s blood powers in Gen V. However, the spin-off show also adds many nuances to her powers and how they reflect her story elements to make her stand out as a size-manipulating character. The Amazon series also ensures that despite having some traits in common with Termite, she does not come off as a direct rip-off of The Boys‘ version of Ant-Man.
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How Emma Shrinks & Grows In Gen V
Emma, like other students at Godolkin University, was given Compound V injections soon after her birth. Compound V gave her the ability to shrink and grow. However, unlike the MCU’s Ant-Man, Emma cannot instantly change her dimensions at will. She has to forcefully gag herself and throw up to lose size. The more she throws up, the smaller she becomes, suggesting that her size is directly proportional to the amount of nutrients and calories in her body. When she vomits, she expels nutrients and calories and grows tinnier, explaining why her mother tries keeping a close eye on her caloric intake.
During a fundraiser in Gen V‘s episode 3, Emma’s mother says that she appears a few inches shorter than usual, and they may have to add fifty calories to her diet to ensure her size stays in the normal range. Although, technically, fifty calories are not much, her mother’s remark suggests that even minute variations in her calories can affect her appearance. Emma also grows bigger when she increases her food intake. Given how she grows exceptionally tiny in Gen V‘s episodes 2 and 3 after throwing up, it seems likely that she could also grow as huge as Ant-Man (if not bigger) from the Civil War airport showdown if she gets in enough calories.
How Emma Is Different To The Boys’ Termite
The most evident difference between Emma’s and Termite’s powers is that Termite did not have to barf or lose calories to shrink. He could instantly do it at will and become tiny enough to enter a man’s penis. In Gen V‘s episode 3, Emma seems strong enough to be able to pass from a man’s left ear to his right with a little struggle. This implies that, like most supes, she possesses some superhuman strength. However, considering how Termite pinned Hughie down in The Boys despite being incredibly small, he could be stronger than Gen V‘s Emma.
Many details in Gen V also hint that Emma may be able to grow in size if she only increases her caloric intake. Termite, on the other hand, only seemed to have the ability to shrink in size or restore himself to his normal human form. If Emma can grow bigger and taller by consuming more calories, she might have an immense tactical advantage over Termite and many other supes in The Boys. From a thematic standpoint, while Termite’s characterization is meant for comic relief or inducing shock in The Boys, Emma’s powers in Gen V serve as an allegory for eating disorders.