The Trump era has yet to inspire a particularly great political satire or comedy (if anything, it’s completely destroyed the last)
But Amazon’s The Boys came at the perfect time, as the optimism of the Marvel Universe contrasted absurdly with our bitter reality, practically begging to be deconstructed by a more cynical story.
Season 2 of The Boys presents a surprisingly deep take on the rise of modern fascism, how white nationalists manage to introduce their pathetic pathologies into discourse, repackaging their bigotry through wise use of social media and memes
In The Boys, Stormfront is the face of modern fascism (which, in fact, is identical to the original fascism) What’s really interesting, however, is its relationship to Homelander – the face of exceptionalism. American
Homelander has always been (arguably) the most compelling character on the show, being the most vicious, depraved, and narcissistic of supes – and of course, the most beloved by audiences Antony Starr’s outstanding performance certainly uplifts the character, but the very idea of his existence feels terribly real, in a way that serious superhero movies cannot replicate
Superman seems to be considered an outdated dinosaur these days, but Captain America and Wonder Woman have succeeded in popularizing the concept of a perfect patriot, decked out in Americana, fighting the right fight against the comic book Nazis
Most of us love to admire these characters, knowing how implausibly idealistic they are.But we all know, deep down, that if Captain America were a real person, he would probably be one of the first pom-poms girls of the war in Iraq and would post bitterly on Facebook how Colin Kaepernick politicized sports a ???? I’m not saying he would go so far as to tell the Proud Boys to « stand back and be ready » but it would definitely be disappointing
Homelander, however, is a wonderfully honest portrayal of how an overpowered crime fighter draped in an American flag would truly behave, protected by powerful corporations and marketed as a messiah Watching the character lose his self-control, all fighting against his eternal fear of breaking character and losing the adoration of the masses, makes viewing incredibly enjoyable
One of Season 2’s most memorable moments sees Stormfront reveal himself as a card-carrying Nazi (literally), explaining to Homelander that he’s the perfect manifestation of their Aryan Superman. Homelander’s answer is grim and hilarious – he doesn’t have a single question
The character doesn’t appear to be a racist, not particularly – but he’s more than happy to be one, as long as it comes with awe, ideology being completely irrelevant to his all-Ego consumer. Does this remind you of anyone?
Along with public figures aside, this is a nice illustration of how nationalism and narcissism intertwine so perfectly with racism, twisting like strands of DNA.For Homelander, bloodlines are very important and season 2 manages to transform its parenting drive into something far removed from the family, which makes tribalism feel inclusive.
At the end of the season finale, Homelander was temporarily tamed by the threat of a streak that would reveal his true nature to audiences (though I can’t help but feel like an important part of his fan base, either wouldn’t care or described the images as fake)
The last scene of Homelander’s season sees him masturbating furiously in the night, a wanker with the power to demolish a city in the blink of an eye; I can’t think of a better metaphor for our times than this
World News – FI – Homelander steals the show, once again, in season 2 of « The Boys »
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