Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for The Boys: Herogasm comic book mini-series.
The Boys season 3, which premieres on June 3, is adapting Herogasm, a storyline from The Boys comics centered around an annual superhero orgy. It’s an infamous miniseries from Garth Ennis’s comic book storyline and one that The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke has been building to since the show premiered. Surprisingly, the biggest difficulties in adapting Herogasm from page to screen may lie not in how the show presents the incredibly adult subject matter, but in how it adapts the storyline to fit this world in The Boys season 3.
The Boys was a controversial franchise long before it became Amazon Prime’s most popular original series. Originally published under DC Comics’ Wildstorm imprint in 2006, the series was abruptly canceled after six issues due to its extremely graphic content and the satirical strikes made against the idea of superheroes in general. Thankfully, the publisher allowed ownership of the series to revert back to writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson so they could try and sell the series to another company. It was later picked up by Dynamite Entertainment, who published another 66 issues of the monthly The Boys comic, as well as four tie-in miniseries.
Herogasm was the first of The Boys’ miniseries releases and it proved to be controversial, even by the standards of The Boys. Beyond the fact that the story contained obvious parodies of many popular superheroes engaging in practices that were kinky at best and illegal at worst, the storyline also added context to one of the most shocking moments in the comic’s original storyline and the role that the superhero team The Seven played in 9-11. This means that the storyline will probably be heavily adapted for The Boys season 3 because this incident didn’t occur within the reality of the TV show.
Herogasm Is Coming In Season 3 of The Boys
The announcement that The Boys season 3 would be adapting Herogasm came directly from showrunner Eric Kripke, as he was discussing the news that Supernatural star Jensen Ackles would be playing Soldier Boy, a parody of Captain America. Kripke revealed on his social media that the show’s take on Soldier Boy would be the “Homelander before Homelander” and described him as a John Wayne figure. Given that Wayne built his career on playing soldiers, cowboys, and other tough guys despite never serving in the military and being scared of horses, this suggests that, much like Steve Rogers in the MCU, Soldier Boy was a mascot meant to inspire people rather than a real soldier.
When asked if there was any chance The Boys season 3 would replicate a scene from the comics in which Soldier Boy and Homelander had sex, Kripke quickly confirmed that Jensen Ackles and Antony Starr (who plays Homelander) would not be shooting said scene. Kripke did confirm, however, that season 3 would feature Herogasm: “There will be a Herogasm in season 3,” affirmed Kripke. “You’ve earned it, you deserve it, and you’re gonna get it.”
What Is Herogasm?
In The Boys comics, Herogasm is an annual festival in which most of Vought-American’s superheroes meet in secret at a remote tropical resort for a company-sponsored orgy. For one weekend, virtually anything goes and all manner of amusement, both legal and illegal, is made available to the people responsible for protecting the planet, with various sex workers being paid $100,000 each to make themselves available for anything and everything. What made this spectacle even more disturbing was that it was always covered up by a public announcement that all the heroes were joining forces to face some fake crisis that required all of them to work together. After spending several days getting drunk, stoned, laid, and generally debasing themselves as they saw fit, the Supes returned home to a hero’s welcome with the world none the wiser as to what they were really doing in private.
Everything The Boys Season 3 Has Already Revealed About Herogasm
As for what shape Herogasm will take in The Boys season 3’s story, it’s already clear that certain plot elements (like Homelander’s sexual manipulation of Soldier Boy or the 9-11 backstory) have been altered to better suit the trajectory of Amazon Prime’s series. Based on what Kripke, the actors, and the crew have revealed, however, the episode “Herogasm” in The Boys season 3 will still emulate the spirit of the comic miniseries, which is mainly to shock and appall. Back when The Boys season 1 was still new in 2019, Kripke stated that Herogasm would be in season 3 if it got greenlit and that the writing team “needed to figure out our twist on it, so it’s not just an hour of hardcore porn” (via EW). Thankfully, they seem to have done just that, but without compromising the outrageousness that the adaptation calls for.
The gritty details will remain a mystery until The Boys season 3’s imminent premiere, but Jensen Ackles revealed this about “Herogasm”: “even the director was like ‘I don’t know what I’m shooting anymore.’ Our crew looked traumatized. You can’t unsee it. That toothpaste will not go back in the tube.” Until The Boys season 3 actually drops, comments like this are the only substantial reveals about Kripke’s Herogasm adaptation, other than its omissions and the fact that it takes up just one episode. Nonetheless, it’s enough to build sufficient anticipation (or dread) for what could prove to be The Boys‘ most controversial moment yet.
Why Herogasm Might Be The Boys’ Most Controversial Moment Yet
As the name eloquently alludes to, there is a healthy dose of shocking material in The Boys: Herogasm, even without the controversial scene in which Soldier Boy sleeps with Homelander in the hope that it will earn him a place in The Seven. Most of it involves the shenanigans that occur in the background of various scenes and the events that take place off-panel but are still discussed, such as an apparent four-way between Fantastico, a parody of the Fantastic Four. (A-Train, who witnessed the event, said he thought it was a three-way between the male members before he realized Invisi-Lass was in the middle.) Some of the panels of the comic come close to being pornographic and it might be difficult, even with the standards of streaming television and the free-hand Amazon has given the showrunners, to justify going as far as the source material.
Herogasm also featured a shocking scene involving Black Noir and Hughie Campbell. While in the middle of their mission, Hughie was discovered by Black Noir, who pulled down his pants and sexually assaulted him with his thumb. It was implied that Black Noir might have gone even further, calling Hughie “good soldier” as he did so. The deeply humiliated Hughie didn’t speak of the incident to the rest of The Boys until much later.
Beyond the sexual content, Herogasm was controversial for how it built upon one of The Boys most shocking moments. It was revealed in The Boys #21 that, in the reality of the comic, The Seven made a bumbling attempt to stop one of the planes seized by terrorists on September 11, 2001, causing it to crash into the Brooklynn Bridge and killing over 1,000 people. In Herogasm, after Butcher and his team used the event to question one of the Secret Service agents assigned to Vice President Victor Neuman (Victoria Neuman’s comic counterpart), it comes out that Vought-American had apparently used “Vic The Veep” as a sleeper agent to temporarily neutralize the President during the 9-11 attacks. This put Neuman in position to give the order for NORAD to stand down and allow The Seven a chance to neutralize the last plane approaching New York City, despite there being fighter jets ready to shoot the plane down. Had The Seven been successful in saving the hostages and landing the plane safely, it would almost certainly have allowed Vought-American to change the laws prohibiting superhumans from getting involved in military matters and for the company to start turning superheroes into super soldiers, making a fortune in defense contracting.
What The Superhero Orgy Can Mean For The Boys
Beyond pushing the envelope to see if The Boys season 3 can get away with outrageous sexual content to match the violence seen in the first two seasons, there seems to be little reason for the series to adapt Herogasm. It seems unlikely the show will have Hughie get sexually assaulted by Black Noir, given how they’ve avoided depicting other rapes that occurred in the comics and they’ve already confirmed that the infamous scene between Soldier Boy and Homelander won’t be happening. Then again, the show did put its own spin on the character of Love Sausage, who is said to be returning in season 3, and Herogasm would be an ideal venue for his power. Still, it seems the most likely way in which Herogasm will be adapted for The Boys is that the event will be used as the background for The Boys discovering the truth about Victoria Neuman’s secret role as the head-exploding Supe.
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