Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson‘s dark superhero satire comic, ‘The Boys’ was anything but politically correct. But since it was published from 2006-12, the world has changed in a lot of ways– some for the better, some for the worse. While the Amazon TV adaptation will retain the over-the-top violence and twisted humor, certain things just couldn’t remain the same from the page to the screen.
In this world, the superheroes, created by the Vought-America corporation, appear as virtuous champions of justice in public, but behind the scenes, they have drug-fueled orgies and indulge in every hedonistic desire they choose. The show’s real heroes, ‘The Boys’ are a group of gritty assassins used to keep this population in check.
In particular, there is one graphic scene from the comic was perhaps not handled as sensitively as it should have been. After a member of The Seven– this world’s equivalent of the Justice League– dies, they recruit a new recruit. Enter the wholesome Annie January, a.k.a. Starlight (played by Erin Moriarty on the show), a former member of a group of Christian teenage champions. Upon arriving at The Seven’s headquarters, she is forced to perform oral sex on three adult male teammates. While this scene is certainly not treated as a joke in the comic, it is sort of brushed aside pretty quickly.
“You approach something like that with an incredible amount of thought and conversation. You welcome and need an incredible amount of diverse points of view from the women on the staff, from Erin [Moriarty]… I’ve never done anything that heavy before, so I felt an extreme responsibility to get it right and to, in certain ways, step out of the way of peoples’ feelings about the issue and just try to accurately get it right — and hopefully we did.”
To add insult to injury, in the comic, Starlight gets no sympathy from the only other woman on the team, Queen Maeve, and she is later told she must trade in her modest costume for a skimpy suit that basically looks like Borat’s thong-unitard.
It remains to be seen how Kripke, and his fellow show creators Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg will handle Starlight’s introduction to the team, and her development afterward.
But Kripke assures that the show isn’t a lesson on how to be PC and that the violent and comedic elements that made the book successful will remain. “If you just want to watch a shocking superheroes-behaving-badly show, you can. If you want to get connected to the characters, you can,” he stated.
‘The Boys’ hits Amazon Prime Video on July 26th.