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The Real Reason Homelander Films The Childhood Documentary In The Boys

From comics to movies, a lot of properties have explored the question of, "What if Superman was evil?" It's a terrifying thought experiment to consider what would happen if an all-powerful entity also had a skewed moral compass. People in Metropolis are lucky that Kal-El was raised so well because, in numerous alternate realities, the Man of Steel is someone you want to steer clear of at all costs.

Among all the evil Supermen who have materialized over the years, few have been as effective as Homelander (Antony Starr) from Amazon's "The Boys." He has many of the same superpowers as Clark Kent, and they even share similar costumes with a blue, red, and yellow palette. The main difference is that we're assuming Superman has never had sex with a Nazi in an alleyway. 

Homelander has some ... issues, to put it lightly. And it seems as though much of his unresolved anger stems from the fact he was kept in an underground bunker throughout his adolescence. Like serial killers, Homelander's problems arise from a traumatic childhood where he was denied any level of affection, which makes it odd to film a video for Vought showing what a normal childhood he had. Of course, it's all a lie. He didn't have a loving family; he was created. So why would he film something that clearly brings him a great deal of distress?

Homelander craves validation

One thing that helps ground Superman is that he may have been born an alien, but he was raised in Smallville by two loving parents on a farm. By all accounts, he had a normal childhood, and it wasn't until he started developing his powers later that something seemed amiss. Even though Superman doesn't exist in the world of "The Boys," it's clear Vought wants to make Homelander appear just as rural and down-to-earth. But the truth is much darker. 

Despite knowing the awful truth, Homelander goes along with the PR campaign because he desperately wants that same level of validation. All of the other Supes were born normally (aside from having powers), and ultimately, he doesn't want to come across as an outcast in any way. This is also seen in Season 2 of "The Boys" after footage leaks of Homelander going on a rampage. A protest breaks out with people condemning him, and instead of allowing it to blow over, he crashes the rally to get people to see his way. He just can't help himself; he must be loved at all times, no matter what.

In a way, perhaps he's compensating for the love he never received as a child. Since he doesn't have a mother or father to tell him they're proud of him, he has to seek it through other means. In this case, that means being the shining symbol of American freedom. If the world knew the truth, they might reject him, so Homelander goes along with Vought's stunt because it benefits him, too.

It just shows that all the power in the world doesn't mean anything without genuine love and support.