The second season of The Boys is on the way to Amazon, and it promises to be even wilder than the first. While part of that is likely to do with what Butcher and Co. will have to do to continue evading the Supes (including driving a boat through a whale), a lot of the upcoming craziness seems to revolve around new villain Stormfront. The social media-savvy Supe comes from the pages of the comics that inspired the series, but with a major change: Stormfront will be a female character played by Aya Cash, and showrunner Eric Kripke explained the change.
Speaking at the TCA panel for Season 2 of The Boys, Eric Kripke shared why the show flipped Stormfront's gender:
It's a good question. Really, we gender-flipped Stormfront for two reasons. One is we wanted to sort of create Homelander's worst nightmare, and his worst nightmare would be a strong woman who wasn't afraid of him and proceeded to steal his spotlight. I think that would hurt him way more than if it were a male character because he has a gaping hole of insecurity. So that was part of it. And, two, we wanted Stormfront to, you know, she has certain hateful ideologies, I would say. And the truth is, there's a lot of hate and negative thought these days, if you look online, that is packaged in really slick social media attractive ways. It’s not like old dudes with crewcuts in the 1960s newsreels anymore. It's very real and slick and charming young people who are trying to hook in a new generation, and we sort of wanted to reflect how insidious that is.
Stormfront is a male character with Nazi ideology in the comics, which makes for a good character on the page but not the most ideal for Season 2 of The Boys. Based on Eric Kripke's comments (and the trailer packed with wild moments), Aya Cash's Stormfront will be a modern villain who will make an enemy of Homelander as well as the Boys, and her status as a seemingly charming young women will package her hate in ways that hide her negativity.
Homelander does have issues with women, to say the least, and the first released scene of Stormfront showed her already making trouble for him with social media. The footage released so far indicates that Stormfront will prey on the fears of the public and use her heroic image to gain power, perhaps even more than Homelander himself. As the replacement for Translucent, she'll mix the Seven up in some ways that could be dangerous to everybody on all sides of the conflict.
Homelander isn't afraid to kill or throw his power around; how will he handle Stormfront seizing attention? Antony Starr, who plays Homelander, weighed in on the arrival of Ava Cash's Stormfront:
That was a real punch for Homelander having someone coming in. I think, irrespective of her gender, it would have been pretty much a huge problem for him no matter what, but there’s definitely that old-fashioned attitude of not wanting to be told what to do by a woman. However, I lean more into it and more into the angle that Homelander just is an extremely weak figure emotionally and just can’t handle the fact that there’s this new, hot, young chick coming in with reckless abandon and doesn’t respect him and doesn’t fear him, and presents him with a whole new set of challenges that he doesn’t really know how to cope with. So she’s actually the instigator of tremendous evolution.
While Stormfront isn't the only "young chick" who has come into the Seven, Starlight definitely didn't come in with "reckless abandon" and a lack of fear or respect for the Supes. Sure, she came around to become an ally of the Boys, but it took some time for her to make a stand for herself. Stormfront will be ready to go, and not in a way that makes life as the face of the Seven easier on Homelander.
According to Antony Starr, Stormfront will instigate "tremendous evolution," but the question is: what does that mean for a villain? Will he evolve in a way that makes him smarter about his villainy, or will Stormfront be so much worse than him that he sees the error of his ways and she becomes the new big bad? It's hard to imagine that Homelander will make a change before a meltdown or two, which could be very bad for anybody who gets in his way.
As for Aya Cash, the Boys newcomer also shared her thoughts on the arrival of Stormfront in Season 2:
I would just say that one of the fun parts of coming and playing a character like Stormfront is that I was also new to the show and coming in a little intimidated. It’s a group that’s been together. Everyone is very close, and it’s an established show with a very specific tone and a very specific vision. So, getting to come in with Stormfront’s confidence I think helped me feel like I could enter the show as an actor, too. Because I was playing a character who sort of came in and was like this is me, take it or leave it and I'm going to take over. And so, then I, you know, I dominated all the actors with my talents.
Playing a confident character like Stormfront apparently made joining a show with such a strong ensemble easier on Aya Cash! Her character has to be pretty formidable to stand up against Homelander, not to mention any other of the Seven who might not be Team Stormfront to start. I have to wonder if she'll have anybody from Season 1 on her side or if she'll have to bring in her own allies to establish herself.
The good news is that the wait for The Boys Season 2 isn't too much longer, and Amazon is releasing three episodes to start. The first few installments of the second season release on Friday, September 4 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Amazon. The full first season is available streaming now, if you want a refresher on all the craziness that went down the first time around. The Boys has also already been renewed for Season 3, so there's no need to worry that the end is nigh.