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Why The Statue At Homelander's Rally In The Boys Means More Than You Think

In The Boys, superheroes take on many roles: crime fighter, actor, soldier, celebrity, and commodity. While most of those parts suit them just fine in the public's eye, their involvement in the army is hotly debated by citizens, politicians, and their parent company Vought. However, war is exactly where the Supes originally came from, and the statue in front of Stormfront and Homelander's pro-war rally emphasizes that point — while simultaneously hinting at an upcoming new character.

In the previous episode, we learned about the origins of Vought's heroes when Stormfront (Aya Cash) revealed to Homelander (Antony Starr) that she was given the first successful injection of Compound V by Frederick Vought. Afterward, she and Vought worked together to further the Nazis' goals. At some point, though, Vought was recruited by the Allies and created superpowered soldiers for them. That is where Soldier Boy, the memorialized Supe, comes into the story.

Soldier Boy was the first superhero

Just as Homelander is a twisted version of Superman, Soldier Boy is a pathetic parody of Captain America. He was given super strength to help the United States in World War II, but he lacks the heart and intelligence of Steve Rogers.

In the season 2 episode "Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker," we get a brief glimpse of a statue of the late Supe Soldier Boy outside a rally against supe-terrorists. This isn't actually the introduction of Soldier Boy to the series, however, as Vought CEO Stan Edgar mentioned him to Homelander previously: "Dr. Vought already had practical applications of Compound V tested in the field. Heroes, like Soldier Boy, killing Germans by the dozen." Plus, there were hints of Soldier Boy Halloween costumes all throughout the background of the party store scenes.

We already know Soldier Boy will appear in season 3, since Jensen Ackles (of Supernatural fame) announced he was cast for the part. The real question on everyone's minds is what part Soldier Boy will play on the show. In the comics, there are three different incarnations of Soldier Boy: the original who fought with Mallory in World War II, a middle one we don't know much about, and the one who fights the Boys. However, this information is concealed from the public and everyone is led to believe the modern superhero is the same Soldier Boy who fought Nazis in the 1940s. The statue, though, suggests that the series may be telling a different version of Soldier Boy's story.

The memorial's plaque hints at changes in the Soldier Boy story

Behind-the-scenes photos of the statue's plaque show that it reads: "True American Superhero, True American, True/God Bless Soldier Boy 1910-1982." Judging by this memorial, it seems likely that in the series, the public is fully aware that Soldier Boy died (although the 1982 date is well after the original's WWII death). So will we see Jensen Ackles play the past Soldier Boy in flashbacks, or a modern version of the hero?

According to Variety, The Boys showrunner (and creator of Supernatural) Eric Kripke said in a statement, "As Soldier Boy, the very first superhero, [Ackles will] bring so much humor, pathos, and danger to the role." If we take Kripke at his word, it sounds like Ackles will play the original Soldier Boy, maybe through flashbacks. However, it's entirely possible that Kripke didn't mean it quite so literally.

A modern Soldier Boy would fit right in with the themes of extreme patriotism and war currently playing out on The Boys. As Homelander and Stormfront demand the creation of a Supe army, they may point to Soldier Boy as a shining example of Compound V's good work. However, circumstances on The Boys change quickly. The courtroom scene has the potential to drastically change the landscape for the characters moving forward. It seems likely that Homelander and Stormfront will blame it on supe-terrorists to fuel their xenophobic sentiment.

So, will Soldier Boy bolster the Supe army cause or perhaps unintentionally mangle Stormfront and Homelander's plans? We'll just have to wait for season 3 to see.