Superheroes and The Boys: True Lies Whether Satire or Straight
I just asked Bruce, if you could be a superhero, what would your superpower be?
“Bliss,” he said. “I could bliss myself out in an instant, and bliss everyone else out, too.”
Bliss (n) perfect happiness; great joy.
Gee whiz, I thought. Would even the world’s most-evil superhero Homelander finally be happy?
Instant (and lasting) bliss would throw a monkey wrench into the plotlines of the not-so-funhouse, not-so-distorted mirror to our society that is Amazon Studios’ The Boys.
If you’re like me, there’s a whole world out there who are completely sick of Marvel superheroes, their tweeny non-problems and tissue thin personalities, and who don’t consider DC’s offerings of “darkness” like the Joker or bland, upstanding heroism like Superman to be much of a replacement. This sentiment is obviously one of the inspirations for the twisted, depraved, cynical, hard-R-rated The Boys, a comic-turned-TV-series that is a lot more spot-on in its criticism of our present-day Western (US-centric) society than the most bitter satires have been in the past. The Boys goes past where Dr. Strangelove feared to tread and Don’t Look Up so fecklessly failed and launches itself into the satire stratosphere —
Corrupt Pharma: Vought Corporation
The Boys sends up corrupt pharma (i.e. Bayer/Monsanto/Pfizer/Johnson & Johnson/Purdue Sacklers) in the form of Vought Corporation and Compound V. The chemical doesn’t really create heroes, it just provides super powers. The story follows the concept to its logical conclusion: absolute power does corrupt absolutely (sheesh, Homelander — could you get any worse?). The main plot revolves around Compound V, a drug that creates superhuman powers — first among innocent babies, disguised as “polio vaccine,” and then in adults. Adults who survive the doses become superpowered super villains … or Super Terrorists. You can guess the use for those types of superpowered individuals …