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Vic.

This guy just totally destroys suspension of disbelief. A borderline retard who can barely speak coherently and can't even put on a condom? That's something you'd expect in Preacher, in a locked basement somewhere, but absolutely not in politics.

  • Actually, if they guy can read lines convincingly then you could probably make it. Not trying to knock Sarah Palin here, but when she was off script, she was somewhat incoherent, didn't stop her from being taken seriously.
    • But that part where he attacks the President with a fire extinguisher? Why didn't they shoot him for high treason and then tell the fighters to shoot?
      • Vic didn't personally attack the President. No one saw who did (although it was presumably one of the subverted Secret Service guys). Admittedly, the ease with which the attack was smoothed over and the extinguisher removed from evidence strains credibility, but with nothing to connect Vic to the attack, they had no choice but to accept his order as acting President. (I'm not sure this fits perfectly with American constitutional law as it stands — that is, in Real Life there may have to be some sort of official declaration of the President's incapacity before the Vice President can assume his powers — but don't quote me on that. It's not quite my field, or at least not my specialty.)
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  • I read the condom scene more as him getting a thrill from asserting his authority over the poor, traumatized Secret Service agent than anything else.
  • I fail to see how this is such a big deal. If someone like Dan Quayle managed to be a vice president, Vic the Veep is just the next step taken to the illogical extreme.
  • Vic The Veep had an armed faction supporting him in the White House. The Secret Service were this close to shooting each other in the halls over the situation. Once the Boys stepped in, they did start shooting each other dead. It was Civil War writ small.

Why the HELL didn't someone at Vought-American, especially Stillwell, not consider the possibility that the photos of Homelander raping and murdering a family might have been of Black Noir?

I mean, given what we've found out about Homelander in issue #65 and assuming people with access to knowledge of the contingency plan had all the details, it's something they should have looked into. I mean, why have a clone of The Homelander that's even MORE powerful if you're worried that the first one might snap?

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Fuckin' idiots.

  • It's pretty much the whole point of the story. The whole theme is 'Competence Vs Incompetence', and the fact that Vought-American, despite having so much money, power, and pull, still has people make the most head-deskingly stupid decisions because, well, they have so much money and so much power that they think they don't need to do things like think ahead. Or think at all. It's like the scientists who built the Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb without checking which form of Lithium they used: when these kind of mistakes explode, they explode REAL GOOD.
    • Even still, I expected better of Stillwell, who said the most important aspect of preparation is "Everything". Looks like he should have been following his own advice.
      • Until the final arc plays out, perhaps we could say he still IS...how? Guess we'll find out.
    • It's even outright pointed out in the issue, how stupid was to build a contingency plan that ended actually causing the problem that it was built to contain.
    • In their defence, it's not like the people involved aren't full well aware that the Homelander has a fairly lengthy list of his own monstrous actions and conduct that they've helped cover up at this point. Like Stillwell himself says to the Homelander, the Homelander doing this is an escalation in many ways, certainly, but in others it's also par for the course with him.
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  • Also, if Black Noir is meant to kill the Homelander if he goes nuts, and Black Noir is a more powerful clone of the Homelander, part of their plan should really have involved regular psychiatric evaluation for Black Noir, to make sure HE didn't go off the rails.
  • The point is, you don't even *need* to know that there is a clone around to have the first doubt. Is a universe were both superpowers and photo/video editing exist, and no one knew the true source of the pictures or their objectives but the Homelander didn't remember doing those things (and, while he was a pretty horrible person already, he was pretty open about it, not to mention likely not smart enough to hide it). There are dozens of other possible explanations, and yet no one seems to consider them. Not even the "competence vs incompetence" holds, first because such a level of incompetence would make impossible for the Vouch-America to even exist, let alone being a powerful corporation running a multi-billion bussiness, second because even the supposedly clever and competent characters fail to see that and just fall for it. It becomes so blatant that it only happens because the plot requires it to happen that is painful.

Where are the kill switches?
It seems like if you’re going to throw ethics out the window, might as well install a safe-guard. Its implied if Homelander goes rogue, there’s nothing really stopping him. In fact, there’s no really understood way to kill them. It makes sense to have a fall back plan if that happens.

Since Vought-American wants to weaponize superheroes, and Black Noir proves that they were able to successfully clone The Homelander, why haven't they produced more clones of him instead of relying on lesser powered heroes?
Okay, Black Noir proved to be insane, but that was because of the specific mental conditioning he had undergone to serve his role. So why doesn't Vought-American produce more Homelander clones and train them into super soldiers?
  • Because it would have been hard to market them as unique "heroes" without concealing their faces. Or because the cloning and enhancement processes may be as expensive as producing Compound V. Or they actually DID and they were just saving them until after they could shift their business away from Superheroes and towards defense contracts. We have some more issues to see what happens, and one of those three seem likely to me.
    • In issue 64 The Homelander claims to Stillwell that the last of these is the case: "You're growing the new me right now. Some camo-clothed tactical genius version that does exactly what it's told." He cites this as the reason for his rampage.
  • Because of the price. "Kid, the shit Butcher pumped into your neck cost nineteen billion bucks a pop, an' all it does is guarantee a permanent boost to the system in one shot; which puts you aheada four outta five supes, by the way. You imagine what it costs to grow one of these assholes from the ground up?"
  • Also in the final issues it's revealed that they only had around a 60% success rate with Compound V. That would seem to imply that growing such clones would be cost prohibitive with a lot of wasted material. Not that that sort of thing is a problem for VA. "Bad product" indeed.
Maeve's Strength. SPOILERS AHOY. Can't really talk about this one without em.
Spoilerrific, but this one bugs the hell out of me.

Maeve is built up as a seriously powerful individual throughout the entire series. Several major characters say she, Black Noir, and the Homelander are heads and shoulders above the others. But when she squares off against the Homelander near the end, she barely scratches him before he takes her head off in seconds. Now I'm willing to take this as everyone playing her up and even as Homelander just plain outclassing her like the three of them outclass everyone else, but if that's true, Why did Black Noir (who is provably MORE powerful than the Homelander) back down when she stood up for Starlight in an earlier issue? She obviously couldn't make him. And I don't really see someone with Black Noir's psychosis allowing a bit of trouble within the Seven spoiling his fun.

  • I chalk that one up to Black Noir having as equally a low opinion of Starlight as the others in the Seven, but taking out one of Vought's 3 biggest money makers on the team might cause him more drama than he's willing to deal with.

  • Just because Black Noir is completely insane, does not mean he's stupid. His plot to gaslight the Homelander took a lot of time, and would have required careful planning and execution of individual parts, even if the plan itself might have been more of a Xanatos Speed Chess plan than anything else. Point is, he was created to kill the Homelander, and killing/maiming Queen Meave would definitely be a roadblock to that end, a roadblock he was unwilling to deal with. He would never be able to hide that in the same way he did his other victims. He is probably created to be completely loyal, which is why he can't get his mind off the task, driving him nuts. But he is still focused on his sole reason for living.

Speaking of Maeve, why did she take out the bugs from The Seven HQ? Only to put them back in again later?

  • Answered. She panicked and got scared. Legend talked her into putting them back.

Why did the Homelander decide to launch his coup d'tat?

He knows that doing so will get Butcher to release the photos, which will result in him and his fellow heroes loosing everything.

  • Because he's a power-mad psycho fed up with taking orders from Vought-American and wants to run the show, and is convinced (not entirely unreasonably) that basically being an Evil Superman means that no one's in a position to make him lose everything if he doesn't want to. This is pretty clearly established. Besides which, it's pretty clear that part of his coup involves settling scores with Butcher, so ultimately he clearly plans to deal with Butcher one way or another anyway.
    • Yeah, it's important to note here that the only reason that the Homelander's coup failed was because Butcher gave Kathryn early warning and a line on specific anti-superhuman weapon systems. If they'd just hit out of nowhere one day, there wouldn't have been much that could stop them. Even with what little warning the U.S. was given, the superhumans still inflicted a lot of damage, including a successful decapitation strike against the U.S. government.

Butcher's Misplaced Hate?
I get that Butcher hates Superheros and he has every right to. But why is he more focused on taking out Superheros and not Vought-American, who's the real cause behind literally EVERYTHING?
  • Butcher has gone completely cuckoo-banana nutcakes and simply cannot get past his hatred of enhanced supers.
  • Yeah, that's one of Butcher's major flaws in the narrative. He's focused entirely on the superhumans, and only engages with root causes inasmuch as it gives him intelligence and other advantages. To some extent, you can draw a parallel between him and Ennis's take on Frank Castle, where both characters view the unwinnable nature of the situation as a bonus.
  • The superheroes are also visible, individual opponents that can be faced and fought directly. A corporation is a fragmented, distributed intelligence, much harder to effectively fight in that fashion. It's hard to take down a corporation when you can't use the law against it, because the politicians who make the laws have been bought off and the corporation has a legion of lawyers on hand. What actually happens in the course of the series may not have been Butcher's conscious plan, but knocking Vought-American's financial legs out from under it might well have been the only way to "kill the beast" after all.

Strong but unskilled?
Much is made in the series about how the superheroes are powerful but don't really know how to use those powers, and that's how the team manages to take them down. That's the theory. But what actually happens is that the superheroes are much weaker than the Boys. The first fight we see has the Boys ambushed and the opponents showing some tactical thinking which is proven meaningless by the sheer power of the Boys. Even Hugie manages to get a kill a more experienced opponent, and the Legend straight-up tells him that he is better than four superhoes out of five due to the compound V in his system alone. Stormfront is the only enemy they actually fight who is stronger than any one of them individually, but then goes after the whole group (plus Vas) alone allowing himself to be zerg-rushed, and when they are faced by enemies that they can't merely outnumber or overpower they win because someone else arrives fixing the problem for them. So why are they considered a team taking down more powerful foes throught tactics and teamwork while they actually are just a bigger fished being summoned?
  • Ennis's desire to see his heroes (even if he denies that they're that) smash DC's heroes heads in clearly got in the way of the David vs Goliath story he wanted to tell. The Boys fixes this by giving none of the Boys (save the female, who's barely sentient) powers.

Where are the supervillains?
Is the whole "supers fighting against evil" made up by Vought's comics and backstory division, or are there actual supervillains going around trying to Take Over the World?
  • There are supervillains, but they arent the point of the story so they're only mentioned in passing, such as Teenage Kix celebrating at having put a group called the Fearsome Foursome back in Rikers. However, the level of villain YOU'RE talking about are refered to as "rogue supers" because they're pretty much just superheroes with no sense for keeping the status quo. They only show one of them, a super called Professor Banzai who was killed by Homelander. Presumably, they're relatively rare and don't get the benefit of a Cardboard Prison.
  • One could argue that The Boys are this world's equivalent of a supervillain team.
  • Why be a supervillain when you can be a corporate sponsored hero and get away with anything and make money anyway?
    • Maybe the supervillains are even more messed up then the heroes?
    • IIRC in the "Super-Orgy" arc, a couple of heroes actually discuss with glee how they were originally villains until they realised that heroes could do anything that villains could do, with the added bonus that everyone loves them and is willing to look the other way for them.
      • Not all people with powers are going to be treated with equal prestige, and not all personalities can be bought off, especially in a universe that provides more than enough reasons for someone to become a zealous extremist.
      • To be fair, it's possible that the Boys dealt with some supervillains offscreen.
  • Also, VA's handling of the G-Men implies that actual supervillains are swiftly and quietly removed by their highly trained mercenaries.
    • There’s no way to guarantee ‘complete’ coverage for these cases, and the true super villains are smart enough to keep their heads down until they can kill any mercenary teams sent after them.
      • Good point. Since The Boys seem to be more like this world's equivalent of the Suicide Squad in terms of super-powered off-the-books strike teams that are morally ambiguous and are sent in to take down extraordinary threats, perhaps the Boys may have other off-screen members unknown to the original team dealing with both super heroes and super villains alike?

Where are the real super heroes?
If you’re a male with powers, you are definitely evil. If you’re female, you’re somewhere on the cynicism slope.

There aren’t any heroes that went full messiah complex? While its arguable “power corrupts absolutely” there isn’t really a spectrum.

  • That's a primary complaint about the series, and actually undermines its attempt to be a proper Deconstruction. See Shallow Parody over in YMMV.
    • To be fair, there are a few decent superheroes in The Boys Universe. The naive but noble-hearted and noble-minded Starlight, the childish but caring superhero team Super Duper, and Queen Maeve, who even though she became cynical she at least started as idealistic, kind, and compassionate and even afterwards she still had enough of a heart to go as far as even serve as an informant for the Boys, defended Starlight against those who tried to force Starlight to wear skimpy attire, and even bravely fought against Homelander and courageously sacrificed herself to save Starlight.

Maeve and Stormfront?
They say that the Homelander and the Seven come from Stormfront's DNA, right? So, when Maeve and Stormfront had a relationship, it was father-daughter incest? Or what it would happen if Wolverine and X-23 from X-Men had a relationship...

Major spoiler; why the thumbs-up?
If Black Noir is so bad, why would he just jam his thumb in Hughie's ass under Herogasm instead of painting the tunnel red with gore as he seems to enjoy?
  • Because Black Noir ultimately wants the Boys to continue their work of exposing supes, in order for Noir to get material to gaslight the Homelander with, to push the Homelander further out on the edge, in order to get Vaught to give the order to grease the Homelander.

The Boys' combat competence
All right, yes, all the Boys were given a Compound V injection to grant superhuman strength, and much is made that the 'supes' are universally untrained and are basically just flailing around faking fighting trusting their powers will compensate, while the Boys (save Hughie, who learns on the job) are not only trained but lean heavily towards fighting dirty, but the way Butcher's group just often rips through 'Supes' without breaking a sweat, immediately closing in and inflicting incredibly painful strikes that break limbs, smash in faces, and so on, is still odd. It seems almost like they've got a dose of inhuman speed on top of inhuman strength, unless that was just to really drive home just how damn BAD 'Supes' are if an actual fight breaks out.note 
  • One of the points that's driven home repeatedly throughout the book is that while Vought-American provides infrastructure and publicity for its superheroes, it does not provide very much if anything else, and generally tries to stun its "clients" into submission with drugs and vice. It's also repeatedly stated that most of the "villains" in this universe are just other rogue supers, or made up out of whole cloth as an attempt to cover up an indiscretion. It's not simply that the "superheroes" are untrained, but that they're soft, often intoxicated, and usually totally inexperienced in a fight. They're celebrities and media figures, not actual combatants.
    • Which raises another question: why not just sell the Compound V to trained military forces? Just imagine someone like Butcher on the battlefield. They would also be individuals already psychologically evaluated to make sure they won't go off the rails and would require much less trouble to cover up. I mean, look at Nagasaki and Hiroshima: the mass-destruction they would cause could be downright celebrated, particularly in a grimdark universe like that, so why going on with the whole failing superhero charade?

Vought-American: Too big to fail?
  • So, question: How the fuck did Vought-American manage to live from the 40s to the story's present day with all of the shit that they tried and horrifically failed? Bad combat boots, getting two Army units wiped out through both stupidity and faulty equipment and nearly costing the United States the war in the Pacific due to their shit planes, and now a product that attempted to take over the government and had a huge press leak that showed just how terrible their superheroes were as people. You would think that after decades of nothing but failures they would be completely and utterly sunk, even before they created superheroes.

Invisible noticeable flying men
When Mallory talks about the first iteration of Payback and their failure, he claims that the failure was due to Soldier Boy sending flying scouts ahead, so German sentinels noticed them, hid and followed them to the american camp. But why didn't the american sentinels spot them as well?


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