It feels like it's been a long time, too long in fact, since we've had the wonderfully twisted humour of 'The Boys' on our screens.
With production almost nearing completion on the third season of Prime Video's hit series, it's time for a rundown of what we know, what we've heard, and what to expect with 'The Boys'. You can check out our full review of last season, but for now, let's get started.
SO, THE LAST SEASON ENDED WITH THINGS PRETTY NEATLY WRAPPED UP, RIGHT?
In a way, yes. The season's major villain, Stormfront, was pretty much dealt with in the final scene. The Boys themselves were cleared of all their crimes, Annie / Starlight was reinstated in The Seven, Homelander was pulling the stomach off himself while looking down on a city, and Hughie got a job working for the crusading congresswoman, Victoria Neuman. Everything in a neat little package. EXCEPT IT WASN'T.
The very final moments revealed that Victoria Neuman was the assassin who had been blowing up people's heads all along, and that she herself was a 'supe' and hid her abilities from everyone. Neuman, though she was publicly against Vought Industries, was basically silencing anyone and everyone who spoke out against them - other than herself.
DOES THAT MEAN SHE'S WITH VOUGHT?
It'd make sense, right? After all, it'd be just the kind of fiendishly devious thing Vought Industries would do. Have a very public, very controlled opposition that also happens to stamp out any real opposition in the process. It could be something else entirely, of course.
It may be that Neuman is setting up for something else, but one thing's for sure - we can pretty much guarantee that Neuman is going to have a much bigger role in the third season.
WHO'S COMING BACK FROM LAST SEASON?
So far, much of the cast from Season 1 and 2 are back fore more in Season 3. That means Jack Quaid and Karl Urban as Hughie and Billy Butcher, Antony Starr as Homelander, Erin Moriaty as Annie / Starlight, Dominique McElligott as Maggie Shaw / Queen Maeve, Chase Crawford as The Deep, and most likely Giancarlo Esposito as Vought Industries CEO Stan Edgar.
BUT THERE'S GOING TO BE NEW CAST MEMBERS, RIGHT?
Quite right. The big new cast member to join in Season 3 is none other than 'Supernatural' star Jensen Ackles. He'll be playing Soldier Boy, the very first superhero created by Vought Industries. Although most people might equate Homelander with, say, Marvel's Captain America or DC'S Superman, Soldier Boy is very much taking a page out of Captain America's origins.
Soldier Boy was created by Dr. Vought in 1944 when he tested Compound V - the formula which creates supes - on US soldiers. Soldier Boy became the first supe, and his statue is outside the buildings of Vought Industries and briefly seen in an episode in the second season.
IS SOLDIER BOY GOING TO BE THE BIG BAD OF SEASON 3?
It's hard to say, quite honestly. The TV version of 'The Boys' has differed very sharply from the comics, borrowing some storylines and characters, discarding others, and basically separating itself from it as it needs. In the comics, Soldier Boy was a pretty disturbing character. In fact, it's fair to say that Season 3 is going to step things up in a pretty significant way with Herogasm.
HEROGASM? WHAT'S THAT?
'Herogasm' was a big story arc in the comics on which 'The Boys' is based. In these issues, Vought-American - that's what the company is called in the comics - hosts a sponsored and highly private event every year called Herogasm on a secluded, tropical island. Outwardly, the world is told that there's a major crisis and all of the supes are needed together in this one place in order to battle whatever threat it is that Vought-American has concocted.
In reality, it's a giant, week-long orgy where supes have endless sex, takes drug, do basically anything legal or illegal, and the whole world's none the wiser. In fact, there's a big plot point that Soldier Boy has sex with Homelander because he thinks it's an initiation to join The Seven. Now, showrunner Eric Kripke has confirmed that this arc won't be included in the TV show's version of Herogasm, but it's not clear what else will be involved. Either way, expect it to be pretty extreme.
The 'Herogasm' story arc really was controversial, to say the least, not to mention the actual event itself. There was a whole subplot about Billy Butcher sneaking into Herogasm and discovering that The Seven made a failed attempt to stop 9/11 and caused a hijacked plane to crash into the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, killing over a thousand people in the process. This was adapted as a major plot point in the first season of the TV series, where Homelander and Queen Maeve tried to save the plane from hijacking and ended up letting all the passengers die.
OK, I'M EXCITED. IS THERE A TRAILER OR RELEASE DATE?
Not yet on both counts.
Showrunnner Eric Kripke posted a tweet just a couple of days ago about the premiere episode of the third season. Production only began in February, so if it takes around ten months to film, edit, produce visual effects, and so on, you'll likely see the third season some time around December. As for a trailer, you'll normally see that about two or three months out.