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In a media landscape saturated with superheros, one show manages to stand out from the rest. Eric Kripke’s “The Boys” follows a ragtag group of human vigilantes in a world where superheroes are not only real, but just as flawed as the rest of us. The Prime Video series is bursting with super-abled people, each of whom possesses a unique set of powers. The fun of the series lies in not only watching what these “supes” can do, but seeing how they inevitably use their abilities for mischief and debauchery.

However, while they’re incredibly fun, these powers can be hard to fathom; some are downright confounding. A supe called Termite (Brett Geddes), for example, loses control of his ability to miniaturize when he sneezes, while a hero named Love Sausage (Andrew Jackson) has no discernable power aside from amplified control of his massive … appendage. And these examples are merely the tip of the iceberg. If you’re interested in more superpowered madness, here are the 14 top superheroes on “The Boys,” with a breakdown of their head-scratching abilities.

Homelander

Homelander (Antony Starr) is the world’s strongest man, but his power is undercut by crippling insecurity. Not only does he have a warped sense of morality, but this seemingly-perfect specimen’s abilities also possess a number of inconsistencies. One such power is his invulnerability. Homelander has the strongest skin on the planet, and we’ve seen him break the sound barrier without damaging his ears. However, during their fight at Vought Tower, Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) punctures his eardrum with a metal straw.

While this can be explained away — Maeve is also pretty strong — his super hearing presents more problems. At points, Homelander employs this power to eavesdrop on Vought executives’ meetings from afar. He can sense the tiniest motions, like swipes on a keyboard or the rapid increase of a heartbeat. However, he only seems to use this power when it’s convenient for the plot. Otherwise, he would overhear Starlight (Erin Moriarty) plotting against him in the Vought building. One could argue that Homelander selectively filters the sounds he hears, but then why doesn’t he use his power while searching for Translucent (Alex Hassell)? He looks inside a van with his X-ray vision, but he should be able to hear his teammate talking just feet away.

Billy Butcher

Once the Boys get their hands on Temp V, some members of the team find it impossible not to use it. Butcher (Karl Urban) experiments with the substance first, giving himself superpowers for the next 24 hours. In addition to enhanced strength and increased durability, Butcher gains the ability to shoot destructive beams from his eyes. While speaking to Variety, creator Eric Kripke described this heat vision as both a blessing and a curse. “It’s a different, self-punishing, self-flagellating power. The beams are really rough and they’re smoking because they’re burning his eyes as it’s happening,” Kripke said. “It’s a natural extension of his inner rage and his inner hatred, both toward Homelander and toward himself.”

This begs a question: How can Butcher use his heat vision without permanently damaging his eyes? We know from Maeve’s gory ocular injury in the season 3 finale that a supe’s eyes are particularly vulnerable, and we watch as Butcher uses this power to slice both a car and a supe in two. With his super endurance expiring right after the Temp V wears off, his eyes don’t get time to fully heal, right? The experimental drug has already cut Butcher’s life expectancy down to a year or two — who’s to say it won’t cost him his vision, too?

Soldier Boy

Homelander’s predecessor — and father — Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) is the world’s first public superhero, famous for his super strength, his super endurance, and fighting with an enormously heavy shield. Fierce patriotism hides the man’s vicious cruelty; his teammates sold him out to the Russians to escape his abuse. In addition to debilitating PTSD, Soldier Boy’s imprisonment added a new power to his arsenal. Now, his body constantly emits radiation, and he can produce a nuclear blast from his chest. Not only is this massive explosion powerful enough to destroy entire buildings, and it also burns away the Compound V in other heroes’ blood, effectively removing their powers.

Soldier Boy’s ability to reduce supes to ordinary people is a game-changer, but why don’t the blasts take away his powers, too? Although he’s extra-durable, Soldier Boy is not invincible, as evidenced by the small scratch on his face after he receives a direct blow from Butcher’s heat vision. Further, building up a charge seems to cause Soldier Boy pain, so he’s not immune to the radiation itself. It sure seems like the energy blasts should make the cruel supe into just another regular human.

The Acid Vomit Patient

Of all the insidious acts that Vought is responsible for, experimenting on humans ranks among the top. At a secret facility called Sage Grove, teens and young adults are given injections of Compound V for the purpose of creating a version of the drug that’s safe for public consumption. When the Boys infiltrate the compound, they encounter a variety of supes with strange abilities. One, a young man credited as the Acid Vomit Patient (Nick Alachiotis), pukes up a corrosive substance that instantly dissolves anything it touches.

The Acid Vomit Patient is not immune from the destruction himself, and dies when his own bile melts off his face. This is not only a horrific way to go, but also reveals a frustrating inconsistency: If the Acid Vomit Patient can be harmed by his own fluids, why don’t they burn him internally? Even if the substance is activated by oxygen, the acid should hurt him as it passes from his throat into his open mouth. Unfortunately, we’ll never know the answer, as the Acid Vomit Patient perishes after literally getting a taste of his own medicine.

Kimiko

Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara), aka The Female, received experimental doses of Compound V as an adult. Though the formula usually has disastrous side effects, the silent woman bucks the trend and develops her own mighty abilities. Along with super strength and speed, Kimiko can also recover from almost any wound. After Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) guts her in an alley, Kimiko lays dead on the pavement for nearly a minute before suddenly springing back to life. Are there any limits to her talents? Is Kimiko actually immortal?

During this vicious attack, the Seven’s silent warrior rips through Kimiko’s torso and partially disembowels her. If she can withstand this level of destruction, is there any injury from which she cannot heal? If not, how does the recovery process work? If an enemy rips her in two, will her body slowly pull itself back together, or would she regenerate into two versions of herself? Perhaps, at this point, her body will simply give out. As a beloved member of the Boys, we’ll hopefully never see the limits of Kimko’s regenerative powers. Ideally, she’ll keep protecting the people she loves until the bitter end.

Lamplighter

When the Boys infiltrate Sage Grove, they’re shocked to find a legendary supe working at the facility. Retired from the Seven, Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) serves as a lowly orderly at the secret research center, tasked with using his pyrokinetic powers to murder unruly test subjects when Vought decides they are no longer useful. Filled with shame and regret, Lamplighter reluctantly agrees to testify in front of Congress and leaves the center with the vigilantes. However, Lamplighter has his own agenda; upon reentering Vought Tower, he dies by self-immolation in the same place where his statue once stood.

While this is the end of an interesting character arc, Lamplighter’s shocking act raises a question: How is the supe vulnerable to his own flames? Unable to create fire on his own, Lamplighter carries a lighter to produce small sparks that he can manipulate. During his time in the Seven, he lugs around a giant torch, which is continually lit to provide access to a blaze. This is extremely dangerous if he does not have some sort of tolerance to burns. Further, Lamplighter routinely produces infernos that can instantly cremate a living body. Surely proximity to that level of heat would cause blisters — at the very least — without a protective ability. We also see him withstand the Acid Vomit Patient’s bile. If he can heal from those wounds, why not burns created by his own powers?

Starlight

Starlight possesses one of the most impressive and beautiful powers of The Seven. With the ability to absorb and conduct energy, she builds power from the electricity surrounding her and releases it as beams of light or as heat that emanates from her hands. However, this talent has one major drawback: When not surrounded by an electrical charge, Starlight is effectively powerless. She’s not the only supe who manipulates a force she cannot produce, of course, but Lamplighter carries around a lighter or torch so that he’s always able to use his pyrokinetic abilities. Why doesn’t Starlight follow suit?

After all, she successfully breaks out of a heavy vault with only a flashlight, and uses the power from a car battery to cauterize Hughie’s (Jack Quaid) wounds. Why wouldn’t she carry around her own electric device? Kimiko has been known to fight with a walkman. Could Starlight carry around a similar gadget? After all the times she’s been left unable to use her powers, how has she not realized that her own pen light would at least provide a tiny spark of energy? Hughie nearly dies when a power outage renders Starlight incapable of building up a charge; as smart as the eventual co-captain of The Seven proves herself to be, it’s baffling that she hasn’t yet figured out this simple supe hack.

Stormfront

When Stormfront (Aya Cash) first joins The Seven, the feisty feminist feels like a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, she quickly shows her true colors and proves to be not only a murderous bigot, but a literal Nazi. As the wife of Frederick Vought, Stormfront received the first successful injection of Compound V during World War II, and operated for decades under the name Liberty. She reemerges after a long absence with the moniker Stormfront, as well as the power to create bursts of lightning from her hands and feet. She’s also one of the few supes with the ability to fly. But with such distinctive powers, how was she able to completely reinvent herself without anyone in this Vought-obsessed culture recognizing her from the past?

We know very little about Stormfront’s time as Liberty, except that she gained her powers at roughly the same time as Soldier Boy. However, while there are a variety of images, clips, and commercials featuring Soldier Boy, there seems to be considerably less material starring Liberty. Did Stormfront’s first super alter-ego have different powers, ones more aligned with her uber-patriotic moniker, or did the world simply forget about a flying woman who electrocuted her enemies? And, while we’re at it, does she age or not? Given Stormfront’s cathartic demise, it’s likely these questions will remain unanswered.

Supersonic

Stormfront’s death leaves a gaping hole on Vought’s headlining team. Hoping to capitalize on this problem, the company stages a reality competition called “American Hero” to choose The Seven’s next member. A kind young man called Supersonic (Miles Gaston Villanueva) emerges as the winner and accepts the position despite Starlight’s warnings about Homelander. Formerly known as Drummer Boy, Supersonic can produce a “sonic clap” with his hands, unleashing a powerful wave of energy that breaks glass and disrupts major bodies of water. An escaped Sage Grove resident demonstrates similar abilities and not only rolls a nearby van, but also causes a large power outage.

While it’s certainly exciting, Vought’s commercial use of the sonic clap throws its effectiveness into question. Before joining the Seven, Supersonic was the lead singer of a boy band called Super-Sweet. The music video for the group’s biggest hit, “Rock My Kiss,” spotlights the sonic clap during a key moment. If this is a deadly power, how is it safe to perform for entertainment purposes? If Supersonic only performs the move in the video, won’t concert-goers be disappointed? Either the supersonic clap is a weak power and not actually effective for fighting crime, or Vought is putting audiences in danger with each live performance of “Rock My Kiss.” Given the company’s callous disregard for human life, either option is plausible.

Black Noir

Because of his menacing persona and deadly martial arts training, Black Noir has long been one of the most feared members of The Seven. However, he’s also shrouded in mystery. In season 3 of “The Boys,” flashbacks to Soldier Boy’s time in Payback finally reveal the face — and voice! — of the silent supe, while also explaining the tragic reason why he prefers to stay in the shadows. The cruel and abusive Soldier Boy delivers two devastating beatings to the bright young Noir as he attempts to make a name for himself in showbiz. During a mission in Nicaragua, Soldier Boy repeatedly smashes Noir’s head with his shield and holds his partner’s face against a burning car, giving Noir brain damage and disfiguring him so badly that he refuses to take off his mask.

But Noir has withstood other severe injuries, surviving both explosions and gunfire. He also recovers from anaphylactic shock when Maeve force-feeds him an Almond Joy. Decades later, why do his facial wounds and brain damage remain? His suit wouldn’t protect him from a nut allergy, and his healing powers can’t be limited to his skin. These flashbacks answer some questions about Noir’s history, but they open up even more about the nature of his abilities.

Queen Maeve

The pilot episode of “The Boys” introduces us to this fantastical world via Maeve’s long, graceful bounds — and the total destruction of an armored car, which she achieves simply by standing in front of it. Like other supes, she’s very strong — at one point, Homelander says that she’s almost as strong as he is — and heals fast. She can fly, too. In a charming story from Maeve’s childhood, she single-handedly prevents a school bus from falling off a bridge, breaking every bone in her arm in the process. Maeve claims they never healed correctly, and shows Starlight her disfigured forearm as proof.

While endearing, the story has a few holes. After all this time, why has Maeve’s super-abled body still not repaired itself? And considering her incredible strength, why was she injured while lifting the bus in the first place? We’ve seen Maeve crush a speeding vehicle without ruffling her hair, and we know that Homelander showed incredible strength at a similar age. Given the inconsistencies, it feels like this story was contrived by the writers solely to prove to Starlight that the cynical adult hero was once an idealistic and brave little girl.

The Deep

He may be a villain, but The Deep (Chace Crawford) has emerged as one of the funniest characters on “The Boys.” In addition to his self-serious attempts to revamp his image, his superhuman ability to mentally talk to aquatic animals results in plenty of comedy. The Deep befriends a cephalopod named Timothy, accidentally causes the gruesome death of a grocery store lobster, harnesses the power of a sperm whale named Lucy, and begins a sexual relationship with an octopus. These personal interactions are hilarious, but do they push The Deep’s powers to their real limit? Put another way, can The Deep only talk to animals who live in water?

In addition to conversations with fish, The Deep has talked to both shellfish and aquatic mammals. Further, we know from his doomed attempt to save a flirtatious dolphin that he can talk to these creatures when they’re not submerged. So, what about amphibians, who live both on land and in water? Can The Deep mentally communicate with land mammals, too, especially if they sometimes go for a swim? If so, would that ability extend to humans? The horrifying endpoint of this speculation: Is it possible that the bumbling “fish guy” actually possesses the ability to read all of our minds?

A-Train

A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) may be the fastest man on Earth (for now), but he has an unhealthy obsession with his own image. Constantly worried about losing his title, and thus his place in The Seven, he develops an addiction to Compound V, which he uses to enhance his performance. This leads to heart problems, necessitating an eventual transplant, and brings up some frustrating points about his powers.

For one, why is A-Train the only hero whose powers seem to decline with age? We see Maeve and Starlight training to keep their strength up, but Homelander and Soldier Boy seem as powerful as ever, and they don’t ever set foot in a gym. Additionally, why is A-Train’s ability the only one that seems to negatively affect his health? We know he can heal quickly, given how quickly he recovers from a broken femur. Even if he had some help from Compound V, if he can rapidly mend his bones, why not his heart? Plus, given that his body must be extremely durable to survive moving faster than the speed of sound, why is his heart this weak? Finally, if anything, wouldn’t more Compound V strengthen his heart as well as his legs?

Victoria Neuman

Season 2 introduces a powerful new enemy when Susan Raynor (Jennifer Esposito)’s head abruptly explodes while she’s sharing information with The Boys. The mysterious assassin takes out several powerful leaders before finally revealing herself as Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit). When Hughie discovers her identity early in season 3, we simultaneously learn that Victoria needs to establish a direct line of sight to the body part she’s planning to pop before using her power. This detail creates a major continuity error: Neumann is present at the congressional hearing where heads start exploding. With cameras everywhere, someone would catch her eyes turning white as she unleashes her powers during the massacre.

Nosebleeds usually presage one of Nueman’s attacks, but this too creates more questions than answers. Is the affliction a warning to potential victims, or an inevitable side effect of her power? At one point, she makes Starlight’s nose bleed, but she’s not actually attempting to murder “America’s sweetheart.” It’s simply a threat. However, her childhood friend Tony’s begins to bleed before she kills him; why in the world would she warn him of her plans, potentially allowing him to get the upper hand? Given that Nueman will likely be a major antagonist in the show’s upcoming fourth season, hopefully we’ll get a little more clarity on these terrifying powers soon.

Read this next: The Most Frustrating Plot Holes In The DCEU

The post The Boys superpowers that don’t make any sense appeared first on /Film.

/Film – The Boys Superpowers That Don’t Make Any Sense
Author: Jenn Adams
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March 12, 2023

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