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How Queen Maeve's Friendship With Starlight On The Boys Differs From The Comics

Amazon Prime's screen adaptation of the darkly cynical comic The Boys holds no punches when it comes to its deplorable so-called heroes. Between the murder, sexual assault, and total disregard for actually saving people, they're the worst of the worst. Yet one of them, the jaded and depressed Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) — the least terrible of the lot — finds something resembling redemption by the end of season 2.

Going into season 3, the superhero team the Seven is half-full of supes trying to take it down from the inside: Neither Maeve's nor Starlight's (Erin Moriarty) interests align with that of their corporate overlords, Vought International, but they smile and wave to keep the advantageous position regardless. It's an arrangement they eventually get to in the comics as well, with them secretly reporting back to the Boys, but the actual journey to this point is vastly different between the books and the TV series. In the end, the difference is all down to Maeve and Starlight's relationship.

In both media, Starlight quickly learns that Maeve, the only other woman on the team, won't offer much comfort among her wretched teammates. While once Maeve wanted to be a hero, she's long since adopted a nihilistic attitude, content to do what Vought tells her with a glass of whiskey in hand. She's thoroughly unimpressed and cynical toward Starlight, despite seeing her younger self in the bright-eyed hero — or perhaps because of it.

However, everything changes for TV-Maeve when Homelander essentially kills a plane full of innocent people. For comic-Maeve, a similar event happens much earlier, leading to her alcoholism, but in the Amazon series, it's a catalyst that leads her down the path of change and toward joining forces with Starlight.

In the TV series, it's largely Starlight who turns Maeve toward the Boys

In Amazon's The Boys, Starlight scoffs at Maeve, saying that she once looked up to her but has now realized Maeve isn't worth it. This strikes a chord with Maeve, who later apologizes to Starlight and stands up for her when Homelander (Antony Starr) discovers she's dating Hughie (Jack Quaid) — probably saving her life. In a twist of character, Maeve then offers to listen if Starlight needs it. The season 1 finale brings them both back to the bathroom in a scene that mirrors their first meeting: Maeve shows a moment of vulnerability and encourages Starlight to keep being good because one of them has to.

Throughout season 2, much of Maeve's story centers on her relationship with her girlfriend Elena (Nicola Correia-Damude), but it's Starlight who convinces her to fight against Stormfront (Aya Cash) in the epic "Girls get it done" moment. Finally, Maeve is brought around to the side of the Boys as she utilizes a bit of blackmail — video of the plane crash — to keep Homelander from hurting any of the Boys or Elena. It's unclear what Maeve and Starlight will do now, but they're still securely within the Seven while wanting the demise of Homelander.

In the comics, Starlight isn't the one who makes Maeve turn on the Seven

In the comics, however, Maeve joins the Boys on very different terms that have less to do with Starlight and more to do with Homelander tricking her into having sex with Black Noir and then leaking pictures of it. She tells the Legend — a Stan Lee sort who wrote propaganda about the supes for Vought — about the sexual assault and he introduces her to the Boys. She then becomes a spy for them, alongside Starlight.

The comic counterparts of Maeve and Starlight have a slow build to a loose sort of friendship, with little holding them together other than some bonding over how much they dislike everyone else at the annual superhero weekend of debauchery, Herogasm. Yet despite her long-kept indifference, comic-Maeve sacrifices herself to save Starlight from Homelander when he finds out they're working against the Seven and Vought (via YouTube).

Compared to the comics, Starlight becomes a much more important character in the TV series, and thus her relationship with Maeve also expands. They likely won't have the same exact ending in the TV series, because Homelander already knows about their treachery, but plenty of fans are worried that Maeve won't survive season 3. She's already saved Starlight from Homelander once, and then from Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) with a well-placed Almond Joy, so it's not impossible that she'll go for a potentially fatal hat trick. Hopefully it won't get to that point, but knowing The Boys, a gruesome ending for Maeve is more likely than not.