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The Question The Boys Fans Still Have About Shockwave

As far as fictional superhero universes go, Amazon's "The Boys" delivers one of the most gripping, violent, and downright diabolical depictions of a comic book world ever committed to film or television. The series imagines a world in which superheroes like those in the Justice League or The Avengers really exist, but instead of standing out as paragons of morality, they are depraved celebrities obsessed with their power and fame. Over the course of the show's two seasons, the series has introduced a number of outlandish and bizarre Supes, including Homelander (Antony Starr), A-Train (Jessie Usher), The Deep (Chace Crawford), and even A-Train's short-lived replacement on The Seven, Shockwave (Mishka Thébaud).

While a comparatively minor character, Shockwave stands out as a foil to A-Train. Sadly, his time is ultimately cut short in an incredibly gruesome fashion when his head is popped by a mysterious telekinetic Supe in Season 2. With all of that said, a key component of Shockwave's time on "The Boys" raises some questions among fans.

Fans are unclear why Victoria Neuman killed Shockwave in Season 2

One thing that some fans are unclear about is why Shockwave is killed by Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) during the courtroom scene in Season 2 of "The Boys." In a discussion thread on r/TheBoys kicked off by u/campos_venom, more than a few users attempted to answer the question of why Neuman would kill the Vought-sponsored speedster when her targets are mostly comprised of anyone who would actively work to speak out against Vought, such as Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman).

The scene is played for shock value as Vogelbaum arrives to testify against Vought, and it seems that not even Homelander can stop him from bringing down the company. However, these hopes are quickly dashed when the heads of attendees start popping like bloody balloons. While the identity of the head popper is left ambiguous for some time, the final moments of the season eventually reveal that Victoria Neuman herself is the secret Supe who committed the mass murder.

As Shockwave is a speedster completely original to the series, he seems to essentially function as a stand-in for Mister Marathon, a character from the comics who has yet to appear in the series but has been referenced on occasion. Meanwhile, Victoria Neuman is a wildly different interpretation of Victor Neuman from the comics (via Inverse). As such, there is minimal comic precedent to go from, leading many fans to debate further why Neuman would specifically be motivated to kill Shockwave.

Some fans believe Shockwave died to throw suspicion off of Victoria Neuman

The most commonly accepted rationale for Neuman's attack is the fact that the murders needed to appear random in order for the mission to succeed in full. Neuman's political aspirations are largely tied to Vought remaining in place as a big bad to go up against, so she had to prevent Vogelbaum from taking down the company, but she also needed to do it in a way that looked like the attack was not meant to protect Vought. As such, while taking down Vogelbaum and several other officials at the court hearing, she kills Shockwave simply to obscure the true purpose of the attack.

Explaining why Neuman would kill Shockwave, u/EdEnsHAzArD wrote, "Probably to muddy the water a bit. She killed a few randoms so that her killing of important people might get overshadowed some." In this context, the argument can be made that Neuman kills Shockwave to throw off suspicion that she was trying to silence Vogelbaum. His promotion to become a member of The Seven makes him one of the most prominent Supes in existence, so his death (coupled with the deaths of random people in the courtroom) helps make the attack feel like a senseless act of violence, rather than an assassination.

Other fans argue Shockwave posed a threat to Neuman's plot

There is another component to Shockwave's death that may be worth examining in the eyes of fans. As he is one of only three known speedsters in "The Boys" universe, his presence in the courtroom at the time of the massacre could pose a potential threat to Victoria Neuman during the slaughter. According to lore behind the series, Shockwave's speed is second only to A-Train's. While he may not be the fastest man alive, his abilities would obviously allow him the opportunity to get victims out of the courtroom before Neuman could kill them.

This potential to disrupt Neuman's plan did not go entirely unnoticed by fans. In fact, u/diadem pointed this out in the fan discussion about the character's death, writing, "[Shockwave] could play hero and get people out quickly. Can't have that." By killing the fastest man in the room, Neuman could more easily ensure her ability to kill without discretion and create chaos among the people in attendance.