Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Boys Comic Character Homelander Needs On Amazon's Show

It's subtle, so easy for the casual viewer to miss, but watch closely and you may notice that Amazon's The Boys takes a dim view of superheroes. It's not something that you'll necessarily pick up on during your first watch through, but somewhere between the members of The Seven's psychotic proclivity for violence, sociopathic remorselessness, sexual grotesqueries, and immensely self-centered world views, there's a hint that maybe the streaming series isn't wild about comic book characters.

In the series' defense, it comes by its perspective honestly. Garth Ennis' comic series, the basis for the show, is even more pessimistic about the iconic characters that it parodied. For all of Homelander's onscreen weirdness, his print media counterpart is decidedly more horrifying. The same goes for his teammates. Illustrative of this point: The airliner tragedy from season 1 was actually a botched attempt to stop 9/11 in the source material. Stuff got weapons-grade nasty.

That's why the Seven had a one-of-a-kind fixer in the comics, a guy whose job it was to take the amoral misadventures of America's favorite Supes and spin them as more family-friendly romps. He was exactly the kind of guy that the Homelander of the Amazon series could use on a day-to-day basis. Why didn't this unsung hero make the cut for television? It's hard to be certain, but all signs point to a legitimate fear of touching the third rail of superhero nerd culture: making fun of Stan Lee.

Homelander could use The Legend's help, but he probably won't get it

Meet The Legend. That's as close to a name as The Boys ever provides for the character. And while he served an important purpose in the comics, it's unlikely that we'll ever meet him on the Amazon series.

The Legend's job was straightforward: Take the in-universe real-life stories of the Supes and grind down the sharp edges, converting them into more innocent adventure narratives so they can be packaged as comic books. Those comics would then be sold by Vought-American, generating revenue and providing solid PR for the world's mightiest sociopaths.

In keeping with author Garth Ennis' dimmer-than-rosy view of the comic book industry, The Legend was a cuttingly cruel parody of Stan Lee, the public face of Marvel Comics. In just one issue of The Boys, Ennis portrays Lee as a shriveled old pervert, enabling the worst of humanity from the moldy basement of a comic book shop. Bald, bespectacled, and chomping on one of Lee's signature cigars, The Legend was a swipe at the highest power in the industry. In a particularly gross move, the character even had a toothbrush mustache — Stan Lee was raised Jewish.

Between the heavy-hitting cruelty of The Legend parody and Stan Lee's passing in 2018, it seems unlikely that we'll ever see the character on screen — at least, not in his natural state. Whether the series will reimagine him in a Kevin Feige baseball cap remains to be seen, but it's a nice reminder that no matter how far you think The Boys on Amazon goes, chances are Garth Ennis took it further.