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The Boys season 3 Soldier Boy theory that should worry Homelander fans

Still reeling from the end of The Boys season 2, fans are already looking forward to, and theorizing about, season 3. It's been promised that next season we'll see Jensen Ackles as the cowardly Captain America spoof, Soldier Boy, but it's still unclear exactly how he'll come into the story. One theory is that Vought will replace Homelander with him to generate good PR for the company. After all, Soldier Boy doesn't sleep with Nazis; he fights them.

In season 2, we get two brief references to Soldier Boy: Vought CEO Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) mentions he was the original superhero back in World War II, and there's a memorial statue of him outside Homelander (Antonin Starr) and Stormfront's (Aya Cash) rally. In the comics, at least three different people used the pseudonym Soldier Boy between WW2 and the present, however, the general public doesn't know they aren't all one person. This doesn't seem to be the story in The Boys series, though, as the statue clearly displays a confirmed death date for the legendary super soldier. 

Redditor u/Mervynhaspeaked thinks it's weird that we haven't seen Soldier Boy at all in the show up until this point. They theorize that there currently is no Soldier Boy, and that Vought will create a new one in season 3 to replace Homelander with a new uber-patriotic Supe. If that's the case, it begs the question why Homelander would need to be replaced in the first place. 

As the fan theory goes: Homelander will either break down, go AWOL, or be fired when some unsavory news about him sees the light of day. Admittedly, it makes a good bit of sense.

Who would be better to fight Vought's bad PR than Soldier Boy?

User u/Mervynhaspeaked's argument hinges on the fact that there's no need to have both Homelander and Soldier Boy: "What would be the purpose of a Captain America type superhero existing besides Homelander? What would be the appeal? HL already has that market completely cornered." In the comics, they argue, Homelander isn't the same symbol of patriotism, so Soldier Boy fills that role.

Whether or not Soldier Boy replaces Homelander, user u/ForkWeaver thinks his appearance will be in response to Stormfront: "I was thinking Vought may bring him back for PR. After the nazi sh**storm with Stormfront, of course they'll 'bring back' the epitome of goodness and patriotism."

Meanwhile, with fans theorizing about a time skip between the end of season 2 and beginning of season 3, user u/PrecisionWithinChaos predicts it will explain the new appearance of Soldier Boy: "Just stopping by to say that I really think Ryan will grow up (either early maturity or Shazam-style) to be Soldier Boy. This thing with him reciting the states is far too identical to Soldier Boy's war cries, and it gives those otherwise cheesy war cries a VERY well-written and chilling back story imho." In the comics, Soldier Boy is known for chanting states' names in battle, while in the show, Ryan says them as a way to comfort himself. Clever homage or deliberate foreshadowing? Only Eric Kripke knows for sure.

So will Homelander be kicked to the curb in season 3? It's certainly possible. Queen Maeve has incriminating footage of him from the airplane (although her place in The Seven may be more in danger than Homelander's). Plus, he's just been hit with two deep blows, the loss of Ryan and Stormfront, and the final moments of the finale saw him becoming more unhinged. 

While Homelander's time in The Seven may come to a close in season 3, he certainly won't stay quiet on the sidelines. Something tells us he's just not the type to go gentle into that good night.