The Boys Is Worse Now Because Of The Comics

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Normally, when a beloved comic is translated into film or television, fans fervently hope that it will be as faithful as possible to the source material. The Boys is the rare exception of a show that was made infinitely better by veering away from the crazier plot points of the original comics. Now, in a twist that not even Sister Sage could have predicted, the latest season of the show has taken a nosedive in quality specifically because it is taking more after the comics.

The Show And Comic Used To Be Very Different

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Before we go any further, it’s important to review some of the more significant ways that The Boys TV show differs from the comics it is based on. For example, the titular team in the comics all have V-induced superpowers; by restricting powers to only Kimiko, the show makes it that much harder for our very human heroes to take out the superpowered villains infesting the world.

Additionally, the comics had Butcher immediately kill the superpowered baby that his wife died giving birth to, but the show has mined plenty of drama out of her living (at first), and Butcher instead wants to have a relationship with the young man.

The Supes Are More Sympathetic

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There are other differences between The Boys comic and TV show, including the show making more superheroes (especially Queen Maeve and A-Train) relatable and sympathetic. The bottom line is that all of these changes were for the better: by doing more than slavishly translating the comic into live-action, the show has far more drama and pathos. As an added bonus, the show’s satire is far-reaching and encompasses everything from the MCU to modern politics, which is far more satisfying than the comic series only satirizing comic books.

The Show Is Taking Scenes From The Comics

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Many fans think that the most recent season of The Boys has taken a nosedive in quality and wonder why, but the answer is right in front of us all: simply put, the show is now worse because it is taking its cues more directly from the comic. For example, some fans thought the idea of Homelander killing a bunch of scientists when he was only a baby was goofy and far-fetched. But this scene was depicted in the comic, right down to the infant still being attached by an umbilical cord when he began flying and killing everyone around him.


Additionally, many fans of the show were dismayed to see that Tek Knight (the show’s clear stand-in for Batman) was a deviant with a strange fetish and greatly enjoyed tormenting others. But that is a feature in The Boys comic as well, with the hero developing an uncontrollable urge involving holes, including inanimate objects. He even tries to assault his butler in the comics, making that butler’s betrayal in the show that much more authentic to the source material.

The Controversial Moment

Speaking of Tek Knight, his darkest moment in the show is assaulting poor Hughie, who had impersonated Webweaver on an undercover mission. Showing such a young member of The Boys getting violated like this seemed like an over-the-top invention of the show, but a milder version of it happened in the comics with another supe. Those comics show him being abducted and partially stripped by Black Noir, and while it’s not entirely clear if his captor did anything but give a thumbs up and say “good soldier,” Hughie is shown completely traumatized by the experience.

The Boys Needs To Right The Ship

Now, we’re not saying that these various moments in The Boys television show are necessarily bad, but they are often cited by disgruntled fans as evidence that the show now cares more about shock than storytelling. For better or for worse, though, those moments are directly inspired by the comic source material, inadvertently proving that this show was better (or at least more popular) when it was doing its own thing.

Now, with only one season left after this one, we can only hope The Boys finds its mojo again before becoming the first superhero series to fail because it was too much like the original comics.