23 Differences Between The Comics & The Show


Summary

  • The Boys TV series parodies comic book movies and superhero culture, while the comics parody classic characters from Marvel and DC.
  • The show introduces new characters and storylines, deviating from the comic book source material.
  • Significant changes include the origins of characters like Godolkin, Soldier Boy, and Stormfront, as well as the development of Ryan and the role of Black Noir.


While the hit Amazon Prime Video series lovingly recreates the world of its source material, The Boys comic vs. the show highlights the major differences in the adaptation. From the mind of Garth Ennis, The Boys is set in a world in which superheroes, or “supes”, are real and treated as everything from soldiers to movie stars to products. These supes can also be ego-manical, reckless and evil, which leads to a secret government operation in which Billy Butcher and his team seek to keep the supes in line by any means necessary.

Using the premise of the comic books as a jumping-off point, The Boys series has built its own unique story while taking some liberties with Ennis’ work. While it retains the comics’ bloody sense of humor and satirical wit, Amazon’s series has scrapped several guy storylines, reworked several characters, and created new characters of its own. Gen V has continued to expand the universe while setting up The Boys season 4, bringing in more intriguing changes to the universe of The Boys that make the live-action version of Garth Ennis’s world distinct from the comic books.

The Boys is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.


23 The Vought Cinematic Universe Doesn’t Exist

The Comic Book Version Of Vought Isn’t A Media Empire

The Dawn of The Seven Movie Poster Vought Cinematic Universe The Boys Season 2

One of the most interesting differences between The Boys show vs comics is how they tackle different eras of superheroes in their satire of the genre. The Boys comics feature characters that are clear parodies of the classic comic book characters of the Marvel and DC universes, warped into twisted and deranged new versions within this darker universe.

However, The Boys show deals with the genre during a time when it has become one of the biggest things in mainstream entertainment. The Boys is less a parody of comic books and more a parody of comic book movies. Vought’s supes even star in superhero movies of their own origin stories with jokes about the MCU and Snyder Cut making their way into the series.

22 John Godolkin Was A Supe Manager Rather Than A University Founder

Godolkin Was Changed To Lean Into Gen V’s Setting

Godolkin and G-Men the Boys

Godolkin University is the main setting of Gen V, introducing the prestigious supe school that prepares young superpowered people for a future in crime fighting and celebrity. The university was said to be founded by Thomas Godolkin and is revealed to simply be a front for Vought’s observation and monitoring of supes to learn how to control them better.

Thomas Godolkin is not a character from the comics but shares the name with John Godolkin, a supe manager of the team G-Men and a dark spoof of Prof. X from the X-Men. Godolkin is one of the most disturbing characters in the comics with the revelation that he has been abusing his young students for years.

RELATED: 5 Gen V Characters Who Could Shake Things Up In The Boys Season 4

21 Tek Knight Was A Batman / Iron Man Spoof

The Live-Action Tek Knight Is Almost A New Character

Tek Knight Gen V introduction

One of the memorable new characters introduced in Gen V is Tek Knight, a supe whose powers basically make him a living lie detector. He uses these powers as host of a true-crime docuseries where he attempts to expose guilty parties and is known for taking his interrogation tactics too far. However, The Boys comics do not specify if he is actually superpowered.

The comic book Tek Knight seems to get his abilities from a supersuit, like Iron Man while fighting crime with a younger sidekick, like Batman. However, the show does feature one memorable aspect of his story as Tek Knight has a brain tumor that gives him a strange sexual compulsion. In the comics, this leads to his imagined scenario of him saving the world from an incoming meteor in a hilariously vulgar way.

20 The Origins Of The Name Mother’s Milk Is Toned Down

The Comic Book Mother’s Milk Still Breast Feeds

M.M. wears a De La Soul t-shirt in The Boys

Mother’s Milk is very different in The Boys comic vs the show, especially when it comes to his memorable name. In The Boys comics, his mom ended up infected with Compound V when she was still nursing him as an infant and this meant Mother’s Milk had to have his mother’s breast milk to survive. This lasted into his adult years, and she was always on hand to provide him with what he needed to remain alive.

The Amazon Prime Video version of The Boys gives two much simpler explanations for the name with Mother’s Milk, or MM as the show often calls him, being Marvin Milk in real life while he also explains it was a nickname given during his time as a medic due to his parental ways. It is not hard to see why the show decided to change to name origins of this fan-favorite character.

19 Soldier Boy Is Much More Capable

The Comic Book Soldier Boy Is A Pathetic Character

Soldier Boy holding a shield in The Boys

Jensen Ackles joined The Boys in season 3 as Soldier Boy, instantly becoming a standout character on the series, albeit one that was similar to his comic book counterpart in name only. In The Boys comics, Soldier Boy is the leader of the supe team Payback who had hopes of joining the Seven. However, when he leads his team against Butcher and The Boys, he ends up badly beaten and tortured for information.

Soldier Boy in The Boys show is much more capable and seen as the only supe who can take down Homelander. He is an unlikable version of Captain America with his patriotism really just an excuse for his prejudices. He was one of the first Vought superheroes, fighting in Vietnam, while the comic book version lied about his military past.

18 Queen Maeve’s Redemption Gets A Happier Ending

One Of The Boys Most Tragic Heroes Has A Bleak Comic Book Ending

Featured Image: Queen Maeve from Amazon's

There is a similar arc followed by Queen Maeve in The Boys comics and in the show, as she eventually finds her conscience again and decides to stand up to Homelander and his cruel ways in both. However, the outcome of her redemption is very different between the two versions. In The Boys comics, Maeve goes up against Homelander only to be brutally killed by him without even getting a chance to put up a fight.

However, at the end of The Boys Season 3, her fate improved, and she plays a much more important role than the comics. Not only does she stand toe-to-toe with Homelander, losing an eye in the process, but she takes down Soldier Boy as well. This supposedly kills her only to reveal she survived and is using her “death” to start a new life.

17 Herogasm Was A Smaller Scale Party

The Boys Herogasm #1 cover.

Herogasm was a notorious aspect of the comics that was always questionable if the show could ever pull it off. In The Boys comics, Herogasm is an annual orgy that offers a vacation filled with debauchery to every superpowered person on the planet for a vacation, all officially organized and sponsored by Vought International. While The Boys Amazon Prime Video series did its own version, it is a much smaller scale.

In The Boys show, Vought International has no hand in helping plan it as a way to blow off steam, and this isn’t about all heroes attending. Only select people show up, but it is still the raunchy and deadly orgy, where normal people get hurt for the supes pleasure. The show also has a major battle with Homelander, Hughie, and Soldier Boy showing up to crash the party, which didn’t happen in the comics.

16 Stormfront Is A Male Character In The Comics

Aya Cash’s The Boys Character Underwent Significant Changes

Aya Cash as Stormfront The Boys Comics and TV Show

Stormfront is one of the most evil characters in the universe of The Boys, and one of the characters with the biggest changes in The Boys comic vs the show. Introduced in season 2, Aya Cash played the character in the show, who was originally a man in the comics. The Nazi Supe led the team Payback, a group of Nazi creations similar to the Seven.

The Boys comic, Stormfront doesn’t have the same relationship with Homelander or the storyline she does in the show. Though her origin is somewhat similar, with her true past and identity as a real Nazi being hidden from the public, she is made a much more prominent character in the show. The character’s fate is also different, as The Boys comic version is beaten to death by The Boys, while the show has Ryan nearly killing her, only for Stormfront to end her life due to her injuries.

15 Development Of Ryan

Ryan Dies As A Baby In The Boys Comics

Another major change in The Boys comic vs the show is how it develops Ryan, the son of Homelander. In the Garth Ennis comics, the existence of Ryan is a small and disturbing aspect of Butcher’s backstory, as his wife gives birth to a supe baby after Homelander’s assault of her while kills her before Butcher kills it. In the show, Becca and Ryan survived and are kept hidden away in secret.

After Homelader finds him, Ryan develops quickly into a powerful young boy with shocking potential. His developing powers, specifically his eye lasers, are eerily similar to Homelanders. It also leads to unexpected character developments for Homelander, who is far more complex in the show than he is in the original comic books. Season 3 of The Boys ended suggesting Ryan was embracing his father’s deadly ways.

14 Black Noir Was A Homelander Clone

The Boys TV Show Completely Reinvented Black Noir

Black Noir from The Boys TV show with image of true identity from the comic books.

The changes to Black Noir are among the most widely discussed differences in The Boys TV show vs. comic book. The true identity of Black Noir was a major mystery in The Boys comics, teased over time until it was revealed that he was a clone of Homelander. This clone is a deranged murderer, behind some of the most shocking crimes in the comics, including the assault of Butcher’s wife. It eventually kills Homelander and is subsequently killed by Butcher.

The Boys TV show kept Black Noir’s identity secret for a long time before revealing that he is a Black supe named Earving who served with Soldier Boy back in Vietnam where he was badly scarred. However, following his death at the hands of Homelander in The Boys season 3, there have been teases of Black Noir’s return, suggesting the cloning storyline could still happen in the show.

13 The Love Sausage Was An Ally Of The Boys

The X-Rated Supe Played A Much Bigger Role in The Boys Comics

Love Sausage in The Boys

The Love Sausage is an imposing Soviet Supe from The Boys comics who plays a bloody role in the death of the comics version of Stormfront. He is a larger-than-life character, similar to Marvel’s Red Guardian, and becomes a valuable ally to The Boys. This powerful Russian man plays only a bit role in The Boys TV show, effectively making a cameo appearance.

He makes his only appearance so far as a patient at Sage Grove Center with his powers revealed to be abnormally large genitals. The only other hint the show gives of the connection to the comics is when MM refers to the “love sausage” after his shocking run-in with this memorable supe.

12 Victoria Neuman Was The Male Vice President

The Boys TV Show Chose Not To Include Vic The Veep

The Boys Victoria Neuman from the TV show and Victor Neuman from the comic books.

A number of characters have different genders in The Boys comic vs the show. One of them is Victoria Neuman, who appeared in the comic books as Victor Neuman. The original was known as Vic The Veep, a political figure who was effectively the stooge of Vought Industries. He was the dim-witted Vice President of the United States who was there to give the corrupt corporation influence in the White House.

The Boys TV show plays it somewhat differently, swapping Vic The Veep’s gender, completely changing her personality, and giving her unique powers and an agenda. Victoria is a member of Congress and a supe herself. She is now on the path to becoming Vice President in the show, but she is far from a political tool. She is working for her own motivations, which seem to take aim at Vought rather than help them.

RELATED: Gen V’s Surprise Cameo Proves The Boys Season 4’s Real Story Is Bigger Than We Realized

11 New Superheroes

Many Of The Supes In The Boys On Amazon Prime Video Were Created For The Show

A collage of new superheroes from Amazon's The Boys

The Boys on Amazon Prime Video added dozens of new superheroes that aren’t in the comic books. Some of these newcomers include Ezekiel, Mesmer, and Translucent. However, while they may be new characters, many are based on existing supes from The Boys comics. The televangelist Ezekiel is a watered-down version of the sex offender Oh Father from the Garth Ennis version, for example.

Translucent seems to be the series’ version of the alien-themed Jack From Jupiter – one of the original members of the Seven who also had impervious skin, although not invisible. Mesmer, on the other hand, is a wholly new character who reads people’s minds and was a child star on a 1990s television show. Continuing to expand the world of supes, Gen V introduced an entirely new group of characters, including the blood-powered Marie Moreau and the mind-controlling Cate Dunlap.

10 TransOcenaic Flight 37

The Seven Intervene In 9/11 In Garth Ennis’s Comic Books

Side by side images of the plane disaster in the The Biys show and comics

The airline disaster in season 1 of The Boys highlighted how selfish and careless superheroes are in this world. After failing to save the hijacked Flight 37, Homelander uses the disaster he caused to advance Vought International’s agenda of contracting superheroes to the military. As unethical and sleazy as this already is, it was much worse in the comics.

In The Boys comics, the Seven intercepted one of the planes headed for the Twin Towers during the September 11 attacks. The heroes kill the terrorists but fail miserably at everything else, causing the plane to instead crash into the Brooklyn Bridge. Vought did everything to cover this up to make sure the catastrophe never affected its top assets.

9 All The Boys Use Compound V In The Comics

Butcher’s Crew All Have Powers In The Original Version

Compound V in The Boys

Except for The Female, Billy Butcher and his men don’t have any powers in The Boys Amazon Prime Video series without using Temp-V. They may be skilled in black ops missions and weapons handling, but The Boys don’t stand a chance against the heroes in a fair fight. To them, the heroes are nigh unstoppable monsters they have to exterminate. This is different in the comics because The Boys can go toe-to-toe with any of the Seven thanks to the super-soldier serum Compound V.

Without their powers, The Boys live-action version of Butcher and his crew lose their original premise of being super-powered humans who hunt down superheroes for the government. However, season 3 found Butcher and Hughie taking small doses of Compound V to give them temporary powers, albeit with deadly effects.

8 Madelyn Stillwell Was A Cold-Blooded Male Executive

The Figure Feeding Homelander’s Oedipus Complex Isn’t In The Boys Comics

The Seven may be the most powerful superheroes in the world, but they still have to answer to their boss. Their superior in tThe Boys comics is James Stillwell: an emotionless and sociopathic corporate executive with nothing but Vought’s welfare in his mind. Looking at The Boys comics vs the show, the Amazon Prime Video series replaces James with Madelyn Stillwell as the Seven’s handler.

Unlike her counterpart in The Boys comic books, Madelyn Stillwell is more human and vulnerable, showing real fear of Homelander — despite the two having an incredibly strange relationship — who eventually murders her. She may prioritize Vought’s dealings, but she’s not as inhuman as James, who ordered the massacre of the comics’ version of the X-Men for becoming too uncontrollable and unmarketable.

7 A-Train And Popclaw Were Never A Couple

The Couple’s Entire Arc On The Boys Was Created For The Amazon Prime Video Show

The relationship of the superheroes A-Train and Popclaw led to some of the most shocking moments in the first season of The Boys TV series. The former Teenage Kix heroes’ love turns into tragedy when A-Train kills her to keep his dependence on Compound V hidden, but this only makes things worse. This relationship never happened in The Boys comics, and the two never even shared a panel together. Everything about them was exclusively made for the series, and the two are considerably more sympathetic than their original selves. By the comics’ end, it’s A-Train who dies while Popclaw is (presumably) still alive.

RELATED: The Boys – Hughie’s Very First Kill Redefines His Tragic Origin

6 The Deep Was Not Part Of Starlight’s Assault

In The Boys Comic A-Train, Homelander, And Black Noir Are Responsible

The Deep in The Boys TV show and the comics side by side

Much to Starlight’s horror, her idol The Deep – the Seven’s meathead version of Aquaman – turned out to be a terrible person who sexually abused her in The Boys TV show. She later exposes his crimes to the world, leading to him becoming a public outcast and beginning his misguided and self-centered search for redemption. While the harassment occurs in The Boys comics, it wasn’t The Deep who was responsible for the horrific crime.

What happened to Starlight was actually worse in the comic book version of The Boys, and The Deep wasn’t involved. In the Garth Ennis version of Starlight’s sexual assault, three other heroes (A-Train, Homelander, and Black Noir) pressured her into oral sex. Ironically, the original Deep was the most mature and business-savvy of the Seven. His live-action incarnation shares more in common with the original A-Train, who was just as cocky and self-absorbed.

5 Homelander Was A More Childish And Manipulated Villain

The Cold Calculated Villain Played By Anthony Starr Isn’t Like The Garth Ennis Version

The Boys’ version of Superman is The Homelander, a psychotic individual in both versions, though he was changed dramatically for the show. In The Boys comics, Homelander is a spoiled brat with the powers of a god and an endless list of vices. Everything he does is motivated by his childish desire to be taken seriously, though half the time he acts impulsively and proves peoples’ fears right. In the end, he is revealed to be a puppet on a string and not the real threat after all.

In The Boys Amazon Prime Video series, Homelander is cunning and unpredictable, making him more dangerous than ever. Now, he calmly threatens and manipulates people to make things go his way instead of throwing a tantrum. He also has a sexual relationship with Stillwell — something that would never happen in the Garth Ennis comics since he despised the corporate representative.

4 The Female’s Origins Were Less Dramatic

Kimiko Doesn’t Even Have A Name In The Boys Comic Book

The Female in The Boys Tv show and comics side by side

From the beginning of The Boys comics, The Female was the most powerful member of The Boys. As a baby, she accidentally ate some Compound V and became a brutal killing machine. Save for Frenchie, no one understands what she’s thinking, but she can be counted on to rip people’s faces off. She also works part-time as a mafia assassin.

Meanwhile, The Boys show gives her an entirely new backstory while also giving her the name of Kimiko. The live-action version of The Female was a child soldier who was injected with Compound V by her guerilla compatriots. Inadvertently, she was a byproduct of Vought’s plans to create supervillains, as the company shipped the compound to terrorists to bolster the artificial demand for superheroes only they can satisfy.



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