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2020 hasn't exactly been a stellar year for superhero movies, considering the complete lack of summer blockbusters as a result of the global pandemic. DC FanDome helped quench some of that thirst, thanks to The Batman's trailer and more, but now it's time to turn everyone's eyeballs to the small screen for the return of the most gloriously diabolical comic book adaptation out there, Amazon's The Boys. Season 2 starts up in September, and it is absolutely a step up from the already fantastic first eight episodes.
Below, I'll be running through ten spoiler-free reasons why The Boys Season 2 is a better experience than Season 1 was, with the full understanding that I absolutely loved the first season (as well as Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's comic book series). And while it's isn't listed below, I also think that the show's new release schedule is also an improvement on the all-at-once drop. Now let's kick things off with The Seven's newest recruit.
Aya Cash's Stormfront
Showrunner Eric Kripke chose to make a gender switch for The Boys' Stormfront, and then coupled that with the brilliant decision to bring in You're the Worst's Aya Cash, who steals every scene with a coy and understated confidence. Is her story just as fucked up as everyone else in The Seven? Yes, yes, and yes, but she also manages to anchor a lot of Season 2's more pointed reflections of real-world situations and conflicts.
Hughie And Butcher's Relationship
Throughout much of Season 1, it was easy to view Karl Urban's Butcher as a golden-hearted bully to Jack Quaid's Hughie, given the former's hyper-angst and the latter's gelatin vertebrae. But that dynamic definitely changes in Season 2, with Butcher showing roughly 7% more of his emotional side after learning about Becca, and Hughie growing 7% more confident within his role on the team. They might just be the most outwardly adorable thing about this show, and their kinship adds to this season's overall increase in humanity.
As awesomely intimidating as Karen Fukuhara's Kimiko (a.k.a. The Female) was in Season 1, she got the short end of the ensemble stick. Thankfully, the writers broadened her role in big ways for Season 2, both concerning the current timeline and her past. Her relationship with Frenchie takes interesting turns, and yes, she definitely tears some people to pieces. For a character that can't speak, Kimiko doesn't need to do much to command viewers' attention.
All Kinds Of Other Backstories
Suffice it to say, The Boys Season 2 dips into a lot of characters' pasts even beyond Kimiko. From Tomer Kapon's Frenchie to Giancarlo Esposito's Stan Edgar to Laz Alonso's Mother's Milk to characters that audiences haven't even met yet, this season quickly builds upon the many introductions that were made in the first season, while still leaving much room for all kinds of other backstories in future seasons.
More Black Noir!
One of the least utilized characters from Season 1 – though for obvious reasons – The Seven's Black Noir is also intentionally the most enigmatic, just as he was in the comic book. Fear not, though, for Eric Kripke and The Boys' creative team gave Black Noir more than a few times to shine in Season 2. Not just in terms of showing off his superhuman murdering skills, but there's also a brief but significant moment in the early episodes that quietly lets viewers tap into his emotional side. Yes, really.
Homelander Meets His Match(es)
The Boys features one of the most powerful humanoid superheroes in all of comic book TV, and Homelander spent Season 1 shoving that power in everyone else's faces. In Season 2, a lot of that pompous grandiosity comes hurtling back in his face in many different forms, whether it's Stormfront winning over crowds, Stan Edgar stepping in to handle Stillwell's affairs, or Homelander's own attempts at fatherhood. He even has to face himself, so to speak, as well as his growing feelings of inadequacy. And it's downright glorious to watch Antony Starr throughout it all.
100% More Whale Guts
While Season 2 isn't necessary bigger than Season 1 on the whole, there are definitely some key moments where The Boys rises above and beyond for an action sequence. Perhaps the most glaringly obvious instance is one that has been teased in trailers and early footage, in which Butcher & Co. crash a boat into a whale. However gross you think it is going to be, you are probably correct, if you are indeed thinking "amazingly fucking gross."
The Deep's Wild Storyline
The Deep's sexual assault storyline in Season 1 was quite an interesting one for The Boys, in that the character swam a path to semi-redemption while facing consequences for his actions. (Not jail time, of course.) Though he's still no longer a member of The Seven when Season 2 starts out, that doesn't mean he isn't interested in regaining his former position, even if he ends up taking a life-changing detour to make it happen. And that storyline definitely, definitely does not satirize Scientology. Definitely not.
Season 1 did a solid job of giving Erin Moriarty a chance to shine as both "Annie" and "Starlight," though the character's connection to Hughie hindered her overall development. And while Dominique McElligott's tuned-out Queen Maeve barely became more than just "the one that dated Homelander." Season 2 found mostly enjoyable ways to course-correct their storylines in Season 2, while also throwing Stormfront's outspoken feminism into the mix, which makes for some increasingly awkward and stressful situations as time goes by. But when the cameras are on, it's Girl Power all the way.
More Giancarlo Esposito!
Regardless of whether Giancarlo Esposito has a constant presence in a project like (Better Call Saul) or only appears temporarily (The Mandalorian), the actor commands attention, and viewers love watching him in action. We can all agree his arrival at the tail end of Season 1 as Vought's intimidating CEO Stan Edgar was all too fleeting, and while he may not show up in every Season 2 episode, he makes quite an impact early on, and makes his presence known when it counts. Is it too early to start campaigning for a Stan Edgar prequel series?
The Boys will finally return to fans for Season 2 when the first three episodes debut on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, September 4, at 3:01 a.m. ET. New episodes will then be released weekly after that, giving viewers more time to dwell on the superhero mayhem after each installment ends. While waiting to reconnect with Butcher and Hughie, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are also on the way.