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Homelander's Most Heartbreaking Moment In The Boys Season 1

Based on the comic book series of the same name, "The Boys" is a thrilling drama that examines what the world would be like if superheroes actually did exist. Unlike the big-budget superhero films that promote teamwork and having hope in the face of adversity, "The Boys" takes a grittier, more realistic look at the consequences of hero worship and corruption. One of the main antagonists is Homelander (Antony Starr), the leader of the Seven, a team of superheroes promoted by Vaught International. 

To the public, Homelander is revered as the perfect hero. He's handsome, he can fly, and he appears to be a shining example of what it means to be a superhero. However, viewers quickly learn that Homelander's good-guy facade hides more sinister qualities underneath the surface. Behind closed doors, Homelander could care less about saving lives as long as he maintains his god-like status. Homelander is childish, impulsive, and power-hungry, not to mention his strange obsession with milk.

While it would be easy for the narrative to cast Homelander off as a one-dimensional villain, the series has demonstrated that there's more to the so-called hero than meets the eye. With Season 3 coming soon, let's take a look back at one key scene in Season 1 that shows Homelander's heartbreaking origins.

Homelander was raised in a lab

Details about Homelander's past are revealed in Season 1, Episode 6, titled "The Innocents" (via IMDb). Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue) has tasked Homelander with working with a film crew to make a promotional video that will make him seem down to earth and familiar to his fanbase. Cameras follow him as he walks through a home that's obviously been staged to look like his childhood home. During the taping, Homelander finds a baby blanket that clearly upsets him. A flashback reveals that the blanket does belong to Homelander, although he didn't grow up in a cozy house in the suburbs like Vaught wants the public to believe. Homelander's exceptional powers have been studied since he was a baby and the blanket was all he had to comfort him while he was isolated in a lab. It's a pretty grim picture, devoid of any affection. It's easy to see why Homelander lacks compassion for the people he's been charged with protecting.

Although he doesn't have many (arguably, any) endearing qualities, it's clear that Homelander feels separate from the rest of humanity because of the way he's been treated his entire life. Going from a glorified science experiment to one of the most beloved superheroes in the world definitely left a mark on Homelander's psyche. It's a chilling look at what makes Homelander tick, providing a foundation for the character's oftentimes heinous actions as the series progresses.