A solemn moment of reflection for Superman gives him the chance to explain why The Boys’ twisted Homelander is such a terrifying concept.
- The terrifying nature of Homelander, the antagonist in The Boys, is captured in a dark moment involving Superman, revealing why Homelander is the most horrifying of all.
- The contrast between Superman and Homelander highlights the ultimate betrayal of an evil Superman, as Homelander lacks compassion for humanity and believes in Supe supremacy.
- While Superman may struggle with guilt when he fails, he can find solace in the fact that he is nothing like the monstrous Homelander depicted in The Boys.
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The true terror of The Boys’ antagonist Homelander was perfectly captured in a moment involving the villain’s inspiration, Superman. A dark moment for the Man of Steel reveals why the twisted Supe is the most horrifying of all.
The Boys is a dark comedy and satire about the superhero genre. It largely follows a covert group (the titular Boys) and the missions they go on to monitor superhuman, aka Supe, activity. The most powerful and sinister Supe the Boys have their eye on is the Homelander, the leader of the Justice League-like team, the Seven. Homelander has many of Superman’s powers but is completely devoid of the humanitarian attitude or outlook on life that Clark Kent has. Instead, Homelander is a violent psychopath, who slowly becomes more and more unhinged as the story progresses, to the point he begins plotting for total Supe supremacy of the Earth.
Superman Sees Fear in People When He Doesn’t Save Them
In Hitman #34 by Garth Ennis and John McCrea, Tommy Monaghan has a chance encounter with Superman on top of a building. Superman is quietly contemplating the trying day he’s just had and opens up about his recent failure. A nuclear space shuttle that had recently left for a mission to Mars blew up earlier in the evening. As the shuttle reached a critical state, Superman raced to the scene to try and save the day. He managed to save the crew by giving them a chance to get to the ship’s landing model. Unfortunately, Superman failed to account for the team’s commander, who’d gotten stuck in the ship’s subflooring. The image of the commander’s face haunts Superman as he recounts what he feels the commander was thinking: “You’re Superman. And you’re not going to save me.“
The deep guilt and pain Superman feels over this is a far cry from Homelander, who wantonly kills people. But this scene excellently illustrates the terror behind Homelander. Superman is more than just a superhero, he’s an institution, the ultimate paragon of good. His very image is associated with compassion and a deep love of humanity. From the commander’s point of view, everything he had thought about Superman vanishes in an instant the moment he realizes the hero isn’t going to save him. This sentiment is what gives Homelander the disturbing presence he brings to The Boys.
An Evil Superman is the Ultimate and Cruelest Betrayal
Everyone knows Superman saves the day and people trust in him. While The Boys presents Homelander as its Superman equivalent, it quickly becomes obvious that he has no compassion for humanity. Homelander’s waning mental state and his belief in Supe supremacy perverts the idea of who Superman is. The real Superman knows how people see him and that not living up to that image can cause panic. This idea is used brilliantly throughout The Boys when readers see Homelander’s true colors and realize that he is nothing like the Man of Steel. While Superman might find it difficult to forgive himself when he fails, he can take comfort in the fact that he’s nothing like The Boys’ monstrous Homelander.