Just when everybody thought there weren't any more superhero stories that could be so fundamentally different to the ones we'd already seen over the past 20 years on the big screen, The Boys dropped on Amazon Prime Video.
The series has become a smash hit with comic book and non-comic book fans alike, as it upends the traditional world of superheroes and promotes the humans who secretly plot to bring them down.
Following a group of rugged anti-heroes, The Boys is a gritty, sweary, no-holds-barred series that focuses on the corporate world of heroism—along with the heroes it created.
The character-driven show has its own unique flavor, with actors who never play their roles down and writers who are always pursuing an insane path that other shows avoid. The fully-realized characters are what make The Boys such a successful hit.
Here are our picks for the best characters in The Boys and why they're so awesome in a sea of clichéd superhero archetypes.
8. Marvin Milk
Laz Alonso's Marvin Milk is the calm one of the renegade group. He keeps everybody as level as they can possibly be, while also letting Billy Butcher know that he's a lunatic at every opportunity.
More widely known as "MM," Milk is reluctant member of the group as he has a wife and daughter to protect. His antics with Butcher and company have caused great strain upon his relationship with his wife, though he knows what he's doing is for the greater good.
This conflicted trait makes him such a great and compelling character to watch. He has human compassion and does what he believes is right, no matter the consequences.
The guy who's good with his hands, Frenchie builds and creates all of the stuff that the eponymous group use during some of their more planned-out operations.
Frenchie is a willing member of the fight. He's also a soft soul at heart, with a particular soft spot for Kimiko, whom he rescues from the outside world (and herself) on several occasions.
He doesn't put down Butcher's insane impulses; instead, he tries to work out how he can make things happen given the circumstances. His past failure is what drives him towards redemption, though it's through his bond with Kimiko that he will likely achieve that.
Played by Tomer Kapon, Frenchie is the glue that keeps the crew from tearing itself apart in the worst of times.
Stormfront is a hateful Nazi supervillain who's practically immortal. She's the very first hero that Vought created and has never given up her fascist ideals, even after living for nearly 100 years and seeing the world evolve several times over.
Her manipulation of Homelander is one of the best aspects of the series. She uses sex to keep him under her grasp, knowing that he's as messed up in the head as they come.
Stormfront is perfectly played by Aya Cash, who brings a menace to her that makes the audience fearful of what she's capable of.
Given life by Erin Moriarty, Starlight's journey through the show is similar to that of the viewer.
Initially, she's a staunch believer in The Seven, thinking that they're a force of ultimate good in the world. However, as her worldview is brought into cold reality, she realises what Vought has done and changes her stance. Now, Vought is the real evil.
Her relationship with Hughey is one of the few bright points in her life, as he's a constant for her. He's somebody she can trust when the chips are down. And though their friendship is tested at times, it doesn't stop her from falling for Hughey.
Kimiko has never uttered a word in all of The Boys. She's the silent, deadly assassin in the night.
Kimiko is such an important character because she provides the scope of how terrible creating superheroes can be. She didn't want to be injected with Compound V and she's scared when The Boys find her. It's no wonder she lashes out violently.
She's quick to violence and her abilities make her ferociously deadly, as well as near-impossible to kill. But she has a heart in her, too, which is delivered by the inch-perfect performance of Karen Fukuhara.
Her close bond with Frenchie is a highlight of the series, as he learns sign language to communicate with her.
What if Superman was... demented? Anthony Starr's Homelander gives us the answer to that. He's the leader of The Seven—the seven-person superhero squad created by Vought—and the one who has the most powerful abilities. He'll anything in his path without blinking.
Homelander's private persona is antithetical to his public persona. He's selfish, uncaring, unable to discern right from wrong, and suffers from severe mommy issues.
He comes across on screen as a deadly force that can't be reckoned with. We hope he'll get his comeuppance for the crimes he's committed, which is why watching him is so enjoyable.
2. Billy Butcher
The leader of the underground superhero-killer resistance group known as The Boys, Billy Butcher is a psychotic and borderline suicidal guy who's determined to rid the world of super-powered people. (That said, he happens to like Starlight and Kimiko.)
Initially, he was driven by the loss of his wife. Later, when he learns the truth, his mission changes. His unapologetic, brash, and unfiltered nature is one of the series' brightest sparks, along with his friendship with the rest of the crew.
Butcher is a magnetic character, played brilliantly by Karl Urban.
1. Hughey Campbell
Hughey is the lens through which the audience experiences The Boys. He's a nobody who loses his girlfriend in a tragic accident—she's obliterated when A-Train accidentally runs through her at supersonic speeds. From then on, Hughey wants revenge.
But he's not exactly the vengeful type. He always tries to steer The Boys' operations in a direction more constructive than murder and mayhem, leading to many disputes with Butcher. Fortunately, they always align and work together when it counts.
He is portrayed by Jack Quaid, who imbues Hughey with the beating heart of the entire series.