The Boys season 3 will see the introduction of Soldier Boy played by Jensen Ackles — here’s everything you need to know about the character’s comic book origins, powers, and more. Created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The Boys‘ titular group made their comic book debut in 2006. Set in a world where superheroes exist and have mostly become corrupted by the culture of celebrity surrounding them, Billy Butcher and his group take it upon themselves to hold them to account, by any means necessary.
Following the success of Preacher – which was also created by Ennis – Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg sought to bring to life the equally violent and quirky universe of The Boys. Finding a home on Amazon, Rogen and Goldberg produced the series, with Supernatural creator Eric Kripke serving as the showrunner. The series premiered in mid-2019 to immense popularity and acclaim. After suffering a personal tragedy at the hands of a superhero, Hughie was recruited by Butcher and given a chance at revenge, starting with the gruesome murder of superhero Translucent. Joined by Mother’s Milk, Frenchie, and The Female, the group ultimately went to war with the world’s premiere superhero team, The Seven, and their overseers at Vought International.
The Boys season 2 picked up with that war still very much raging. Having discovered that his wife was still alive, Butcher committed himself even more aggressively to the cause. Season 2 also saw new threats emerge in the form of superpowered terrorists and a new addition to The Seven, Stormfront. Before the first episode of The Boys season 2 had even aired, however, it was already renewed for a third season, and it was confirmed early on that Supernatural star Ackles would join the cast as Soldier Boy. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the character.
Who Is Soldier Boy?
In the comics, Soldier Boy was a member of a team called Payback alongside Stormfront. Though Stormfront was the team’s strongest member, Soldier Boy was deemed the original superhero and served as their elected leader. He was extremely naive, however, especially compared to other superpowered individuals. He never resorted to cursing and largely avoided joining in with his teammates’ sexually depraved antics. Soldier Boy was also categorized as a coward and extremely weak-willed, a fact emphasized by Soldier Boy wetting himself on the cover of The Boys #33. Eager to join The Seven, he was tricked into having sex with Homelander — believing it to be a recruitment test. Extremely patriotic to the point of jingoism, Soldier Boy had a tendency to recite the names of American states during combat, as something of a battle cry.
Soldier Boy had a good relationship with Payback members Tek Knight and Eagle the Archer. The others, however, he stated were simply mean. Alongside the rest of Payback, Soldier Boy was tasked by Vought-American (as per the comics) to aid in the capture or defeat of The Boys. It is stated throughout the source material that he had been around since World War II. That fact is something Billy Butcher takes personal issue with — calling it a lie and an insult to those who actually served. It was later revealed that Butcher had been right and rather than one hero working throughout the decades, it emerged that Soldier Boy was actually a legacy title. The modern incarnation that’s seen in the present-day going up against Butcher and his group was stated to be the third in the line.
Who Is Soldier Boy Based On?
Soldier Boy is a clear riff on Marvel’s leading Avenger, Captain America. Like Steve Rogers, the original Soldier Boy was enhanced by a serum (Compound V in his case) during World War II. And like the future incarnations of Soldier Boy who would follow suit, the original also lacked Captain America’s heart. Despite that, he was given an extremely similar costume, right down to the white star emblazoned around the chest area. He was also blessed with a shield, albeit one of a slightly different shape. During the war, Soldier Boy headed up a group called The Avenging Squad, which parodied several of Captain America’s affiliated teams.
Also lacking Cap’s intelligence, training, and experience in military tactics, however, The Avenging Squad met a bloody end. After Soldier Boy tasked scouts without authorization, their camp was discovered by German forces. What followed was a massacre from which only he and The Boys’ eventual founder, Greg Mallory, survived. Coming across a mortally wounded Soldier Boy, Mallory finished him off personally with the help of a grenade. After the original Soldier Boy’s death, the title and patriotic attire were passed on to others across the decades.
Soldier Boy Powers Explained
The similarities between Soldier Boy and Captain America also extend to their respective powers. Soldier Boy has enhanced strength, reflexes, and agility. He also has enhanced durability, able to survive and fight through injuries far beyond that of a normal human being. That durability doesn’t quite extend to the level of healing power that Captain America is known for, though. Soldier Boy also lacks the enhanced senses or mental processing capabilities of his Marvel counterpart. As such, he’s often belittled for his lack of awareness and intelligence.
Soldier Boy is an accomplished fighter, though not quite as adept at hand-to-hand as many characters around him — often defeated and incapacitated by Billy Butcher. It’s unclear whether Soldier Boy has Cap’s comic book immunity to toxins and diseases. For a time, it is believed that he has slowed aging, too, but that’s just part of the Soldier Boy ruse.
What To Expect On The Boys From Soldier Boy
When Ackles was announced, Kripke stated, “he’ll bring so much humor, pathos, and danger to the role.” Based on the “danger” part of that statement, it’s almost certain that the show’s version will be just as much an antagonist as in the comics. So far, the show has avoided introducing groups outside of The Boys and The Seven. That could change, of course, but it’s more likely that Soldier Boy will be the latest addition to The Seven — potentially filling the gaps left in the roster after The Boys season 2. He would certainly be a more earnest and old-fashioned addition to the team, generating some fresh conflicts within and without. Equally, it would tie into the ongoing story of superhero militarization and themes of a carefully crafted public image hiding darker, more dysfunctional realities.
Equally up for debate is whether The Boys will have Soldier Boy be a legacy title or if Ackles’ version really will be from a different era. The former would be in keeping with Vought’s deceitful M.O. established in The Boys seasons 1 and 2, but the latter would allow for the aforementioned humor, and some truly inspired Captain America mockery. Soldier Boy’s cowardice could also be a great source of comedy — especially if it manifests in a similar fashion to Supernatural‘s classic “Yellow Fever” episode.
The “pathos” will no doubt come from the show rounding out even the more villainous characters from the comics. Several characters, including The Deep, have been afforded sympathetic moments. Soldier Boy will likely be given a similar room to grow. Whether he will be the newest member of The Seven or someone merely eager to join, the character’s naivety and ignorance will likely be played for both laughs and an empathic response. As Supernatural illustrates, Ackles can be equal parts funny and sympathetic in his sleep. The Boys, however, will give him an opportunity to show fresh elements of his range. As well as being potentially more earnest than the cynical Dean Winchester, Soldier Boy will no doubt be far less naturally capable than his celebrity persona suggests. Kripke already confirmed on Twitter that Ackles will be like nothing fans have seen from him before. As such, he will embody a wholly different kind of character and The Boys could mine some true horror and dark comedy from a simple, ignorant, and eager-to-please individual having superpowers.
Both The Boys comics and the show have demonstrated a tendency to push boundaries. However, the latter has often shown somewhat more restraint than the source material. To that end, it’s doubtful that Amazon’s The Boys will feature the sexual encounter between Homelander and Soldier Boy. The show has already been down that route more than once already. Though Homelander has increasingly tested loyalty to his cause, it’s mostly been by having other supes engage in violence. As such, Soldier Boy’s blind fervor will likely be channeled in other, more brutal ways. Besides, with the show already having diverged somewhat from the graphic novels, Kripke will likely devise scenarios that will more specifically play to Ackles’ strengths. The deviations from the source material will apparently also extend to this Soldier Boy being a lot more sweary, with more changes no doubt to follow.
In terms of brutality, it also remains to be seen whether The Boys TV series adaptation would go as far as subjecting Ackles’ attractive visage to that which his comic book counterpart’s suffered. Though only appearing in fifteen issues, Soldier Boy has quite the bloody and disfiguring journey — not least of all having his nose bitten off. Even if not, the episodes will still be packed with bloody mayhem. And Ackles will no doubt more than shine in the role, either as a genuinely sympathetic character or one that viewers love to mock and hate.
The Other New Super Characters In The Boys Season 3
In addition to Soldier Boy, The Boys season 3 will also introduce several other new super characters. Some of these have been revealed already, and others could end up being a surprise. As far as the confirmed characters go, the most significant is probably Crimson Countess, a riff on Marvel’s Scarlet Witch. The comics version of this character works with Soldier Boy as part of the Payback team and is ultimately killed by Butcher after only playing a minor role. Also appearing in The Boys season 3 will be Drummer Boy, an ex-flame of Starlight’s who’s been rebranded as Supersonic after extensive rehab from Vought. Gunpowder, who has gun- and projectile-related powers, is joining the cast, possibly as another Payback member. A character called Blue Hawk has also been revealed, who may be a riff on the comics’ Wolverine parody, Groundhawk. Finally, a character called Moonshadow debuted in the September 2021 Seven on 7 with Cameron Coleman episode, which means she could also appear in The Boys season 3.
More: The Boys: Every New Super Confirmed For Season 3 (So Far)
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