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The Boys Season 4 Episode 1 Dunks On A Marvel Hero Stronger Than Homelander

It's nothing new for some of DC and Marvel's heroes to catch verbal strays in the course of the battle between "The Boys" and Vought International's villainous enforcers. For the past three seasons, the superhero show with its tongue firmly in its nigh-invulnerable cheek has thrown shade at the superhero genre, and the debut episode of the new season is no different. This time around, the show's sights appear to be set on one of comics' most famous Superman analogues — Marvel's super-powerful (and in some realities, incredibly feared) character, Hyperion.

In Season 4, Episode 1 – "Department of Dirty Tricks," Ashley (Colby Minifie) is going through new potential candidates to join The Seven with the rest of the team, much to the annoyance of Homelander (Antony Starr). During the rundown, they come across a female hero named Hyperion — but she doesn't quite check the box for the Vought CEO, who describes her as a "slutty c** rag" (don't mince your words, Ashley) before skipping to the next candidate.

It's certainly an interesting name choice since it's already been in use for decades at Marvel Comics. Hyperion, co-created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema, debuted in "Avengers" #69 and was openly modeled on DC's Last Son of Krypton, Superman. Taking this into consideration, could this simple gag actually be setting up something bigger in the future? Is their female Hyperion lined up to help provide another bit of meta commentary while throwing jabs at Marvel and Homelander in the process? And is she, like the Marvel character, stronger than Homelander?

Marvel's Hyperion is as dangerous and duplicitous as Homelander

In the comics, Hyperion is one of Marvel's strongest superheroes, though he's played both sides over the years, having been both a villain and hero depending on the reality the story takes place in. He's such a force that one version of the character, in one of comics' most shocking deaths, even killed Galactus. In short, he's far, far more powerful than Vought's golden boy.

The original Hyperion is the leader of the Squadron Sinister, a team that is essentially an evil Justice League. In 2003, Marvel introduced a version of Hyperion who was (stop us if you've heard this one before) raised under the watch of the U.S. government to be a "heroic" heavy. Considering just how often "The Boys" has taken classic superhero tropes and given them a grotesque and super rude reconfiguration, it would be funny (and not much of a surprise) to see the show's Hyperion turn up somewhere at a later date and lean into the traits of her Marvel Comics namesake.

While it's clear that neither Homelander nor the rest of the team have any interest in Hyperion for the time being, it wouldn't be the first time that the show has skimmed over a character that was set to factor heavily into the story further down the line. "Gen V's" Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair) stealthily appeared in one of The Boys' episodes last season, for example, and a similar kind of set-up could be happening here. For now, though, Sister Sage is the winner chosen to join The Seven's roster, but we'll see how long that lasts. And given how short Homelander's temper tends to be, it might not be very long at all.