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The Boys’ Ending Shows Why There’ll Never Be Another Homelander


The Boys' Ending Shows Why There'll Never Be Another Homelander


Summary

  • The Boys comic series ends with Homelander’s downfall, ensuring no malevolent supe like him will rise again.
  • Dear Becky epilogue offers one last adventure for Hughie investigating the source of a mysterious journal.
  • The world in Dear Becky hints at a future without superheroes, indicating they will never have the same influence.



Warning: contains spoilers for The Boys comic series!

The ending of The Boys comic book series featured Homelander’s downfall, while the subsequent epilogue miniseries indicated that no malevolent supe like him would ever rise to menace the world again. Garth Ennis’ denouement to his infamous superhero satire didn’t tie up every thread from the series, but the author did go out of his way to reassure fans the world truly had changed for good by the story’s ending.

The Boys: Dear Becky – written by Garth Ennis, with art by Russ Braun – offers one final chapter in the bloody tale, set over a decade following the conclusion of the main series. The tale sent protagonist Hughie on one last adventure, investigating the source of a mysterious journal detailing the earliest days of the Boys.


As part of the story, fans were offered a glimpse of a world where “superheroes” no longer exist, leaving fans with the implication that even if a new generation of supes were to one day rise, the world would never let another Homelander happen.

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The Boys is famously disgusted by superheroes, but one moment goes further than any other in showing why Homelander is so despicable.


Homelander’s Actions At The End Of The Boys Permanently Turn The Public Against Supes

The Boys: Dear Becky – Written By Garth Ennis; Art By Russ Braun, Tony Aviña, & Simon Bowland

Readers might have expected that returning to the franchise would yield a pessimistic take on the post-supe future; surprisingly for such a cynical series, the
Dear Becky
epilogue suggested otherwise.


By the ending of The Boys, Billy Butcher’s team of CIA-backed anti-supe operatives had successfully dismantled every major superteam; the Seven, as well as teams like the G-Men, and Payback, were disbanded, and before his own demise, Butcher enacted the slaughter of numerous supes throughout his campaign of terror and retribution, leaving the world’s population of superpowered individuals substantially reduced. Considering the tone of The Boys, readers might have expected that returning to the franchise would yield a pessimistic take on the post-supe future; surprisingly for such a cynical series, the Dear Becky epilogue suggested otherwise.


The Boys ended with only a single member of the eponymous group left alive. In the series’ final arc, Billy Butcher executed his own team, as part of his plan to kill everyone on Earth with any trace of Compound V in their system. He was only stopped from committing genocide by Hughie, whose moral center won out over Butcher’s brutal ideology. Butcher died at Hughie’s hands – making it one of Garth Ennis’ patented tragic ironies that, in Dear Becky, it is revealed Hughie took over Butcher’s role of keeping watch on the remaining Supes.

The Boys Dear Becky, Hughie sitting on the toilet at night reading Butcher's journal by the light of his phone

As Hughie explains in Dear Becky, while the final battle against Homelander’s Supe uprising destroyed the public’s faith in the idea of superhuman protectors, there are still those who wish for their return. When Annie asks if there’s any chance they’ll succeed, Hughie reveals that the CIA subtly destabilizes such groups by sowing confusion and dissent among them, and that the Boys’ job is now done almost exclusively online. That said, Dear Becky also depicts unhinged former Vought corporate executive James Stillwell raving about a potential relaunch, despite knowing deep down that superheroes are “bad product.”


“Dear Becky” Emphasizes The Tragedy Of Billy Butcher’s Ultimate Fate

His Campaign Of Violence Proved Futile

As
Dear Becky
explains, the Boys’ very public final battle against Homelander, and his uprising of supes, firmly turned the tide of public opinion against its former “heroes.”

Hughie offers a notable example of the CIA’s current anti-supe activity in Dear Becky, telling Annie about a group calling themselves the Stormfronters – after the Nazi supe Stormfront –who turned on each other after the CIA targeted them and stoked dissent among the group. Hughie acknowledges that supes still exist in the world, and that Compound V is still out there and able to empower more – but prevailing world sentiment is now against them to the point that the governments of the world, or at least the CIA, have an interest in keeping them and their supporters out of power.


As Dear Becky explains, the Boys’ very public final battle against Homelander, and his uprising of supes, firmly turned the tide of public opinion against its former “heroes”, as well as creating enough of a power vacuum that the CIA could step in and prevent Vought, or anyone else, from recreating the system that had previously led to such rampant abuse, as depicted relentlessly throughout The Boys. In a way, this also adds another dimension to the tragedy of Billy Butcher’s final villainous turn.

The Boys, Butcher coming to terms with his decision to kill supes en masse.


Butcher’s plan to commit genocide was always painted as a horrific and unjustifiable reaction to what he saw as the cancer of superhuman supremacy, but The Boys: Dear Becky also confirms it was unnecessary. The story emphasizes that Homelander’s actions were damaging enough to destabilize the entire superhero system, leaving those that did remain no viable foothold to make a comeback. In other words, The Boys‘ typically grim vision of American politics shows that with Homelander off the board, the existing power structure would be more than capable of suppressing what it came to view as a threat.

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In many ways, Garth Ennis’ frequently provocative superhero satire “The Boys” distills the essence of the best and worst of Generation X art.

No Supe Will Ever Achieve Homelander’s Level Of Power And Influence

The Era Of “Heroes” Isn’t Coming Back


The idea that over ten years later, the world would still remain resolute that supes not be given unchecked power ever again, is effectively as close to a happy ending as
The Boys
was ever likely to get.

From beginning to end, The Boys did not evince much faith in humanity as a whole, instead focusing on the value and beauty of individual relationships. From start to finish, however, it held true to the central thesis that the concept of superheros – as most potently exemplified by Homelander – is a bad idea, one that couldn’t survive after people saw through the lies propping it up. While Dear Becky doesn’t suggest that superpowered individuals might not pose a threat in the future, it does indicate that they will never hold political or social power again.


The idea that over ten years later, the world would still remain resolute that supes not be given unchecked power ever again, is effectively as close to a happy ending as The Boys was ever likely to get. Even as some characters are depicted in Dear Becky inevitably plotting a supe revival, the comic series’ final note makes the prospect seem unlikely. Whatever role supes have to play in the future of The Boys version of reality, Homelander’s violent coup at the end of the main series effectively ensured that ‘heroes” will never have the influence they once did.

In this way, no supe like Homelander could ever possibly rise in The Boys‘ world again. It is not that a powerful Superman-analogue could not be born, but that they would never be idolized, and venerated, by an unwitting populace, as Homelander was for so long. This is the ultimate legacy of superpowered characters in series, one of a brutal fall from grace. As The Boys epilogue series made a point of emphasizing, even a pessimistic view of the future didn’t involve the return of supes to any level of prominence.


The Boys Season 4 Poster Showing Homelander with Victoria Neuman Surrounded by Confetti

The Boys

The Boys is a superhero/dark comedy satire series created by Eric Kripke based on the comic series of the same name. Set in a “what-if” world that reveres superheroes as celebrities and gods who experience minimal repercussions for their actions. However, one group of vigilantes headed by a vengeance-obsessed man named Billy Butcher will fight back against these super-charged “heroes” to expose them for what they are.

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