The Boys Season 2, Introducing a New Character the Right Way!
This article will have spoilers on the second season of The Boys, as it looks at how the newest hero, Stormfront, was introduced the right way.
The Boys was a superhero show that hit last year unlike any other. It offered a true perspective of how Superheroes would operate in today's world. With massive PR firms behind the Supes, they effectively get away with absolutely horrendous acts as the PR guru's behind them make twists in the stories of their super antics. With some if not all the heroes, this even comes down to their origin stories, to enable fans the chance to believe even more in these super-beings.
Season 2 of the show has started to land, so from here on be aware of spoilers. With the mess left behind from the first season, the Boys and the 7 were all left in unusual messes to be cleaned up. One mess for the 7 was the need to replace Translucent, who was killed by Hughie in season one. This prompted the top of Vought International to hire the heroine Stormfront to take his place. Her arrival was a sight for fans to see as she instantly rubbed the arrogant and egotistical Homelander the wrong way. All-in-all, her arrival in the show is an example of a show introducing a new character in the right way.
When we first see her, she is live-streaming to her fans and exposing the staged scene Homelander and Queen Maeve are filming. When she breaks the news to Homelander that she is on the team and their is nothing he can do about it, results in a brilliant performance from Antony Starr. He captures completely the frustration the hero feels but how he must retain his composure as she is live-streaming to the world his reaction.
During the first two episodes of the new series, we witness a Stormfront that you actually enjoy. She toys and plays with authority in an attractive way. Starlight even admits to her that she has agreed with everything Stormfront has said about Vought International, but she is too under their PR thumb to be able to say it herself. Stormfront challenges her, believing she is a Vought mole to get information on her. But she does tell her she has it confused, their is a difference between being nice and being good.
That simple statement summed up what The Boys actually represent when it comes to heroes. All the heroes appear nice to the cameras and audiences, but at the core very few are actually good people. This is a mask commonly seen in the real world, with many mistaking being nice and saying the right thing as that meaning that person must be good at the core. Stormfront was appearing to fans to be the voice we all need to hear in life, how you must look at someone's actions to decide if they are good or not.
This is where brilliant writing for the show takes over, as we enter the end of the third episode "Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men". Stormfront (staying true to her comic book counterpart) is revealed to be highly racist. During a pursuit of a "Super Terrorist" and the Female, the fight resulted in the pair being thrown through the wall by Stromfront into an apartment building. There stood a shocked and frightened black father and his teenage son and daughter. Stormfront then throws the pair through another wall and into the corridor of the apartment building.
As they fled, Stormfront brutally kills the father who has done nothing to provoke her attack. His shocked children scream in horror and she then fries them with her electricity powers and casually carries on after the terrorists. In her pursuit through the building she throws another black man out of a high stairwell window and destroys an entire floor filled with residents. It gets pretty dramatic, but she strolls through the smoke and rubble still pursuing her targets.
When she reaches the roof, the terrorist has jumped to the other building, but she is able to grab his sister, the Female. Just as she is about to break her neck, he jumps back over to rescue her. But Stromfront savagely breaks his hands nearly off his wrist to stop him using his powers. She then begins to strangle him and even calls him a "yellow bastard" and orders him to look at her as she "loves to watch the light go out".
You would think the public are set to go mad and outraged as she destroyed an entire apartment building full of black families. However, Vought pull their PR magic and the heroes are actually aiding those who survived for all the cameras to see. During her victory speech to the press she tells them the survivors are the true hero and for all to give them a round of applause. As she turns she looks at an irritated Homelander and gives him a smirk to show she is set to challenge him as the top hero of the 7.
Now you may ask, how was introducing a horribly racist character done well in a TV show? The simple fact is, the set-up was perfect! While many fans knew about the comic book character's racism, it was not presented in the show until the third episode. She was instead introduced as a character you found you liked. The way she threatened the authority around her in such a charismatic way is something people like to see from characters. So it is safe to say the majority of viewers found themselves saying "I like her" for a couple of episode.
When shows do this 180 with a character the way The Boys have with Stormfront, it makes jaws drop. Too many shows and films tend to play it safe, but the Boys made it clear in season one they will cross a line if needed. Stormfront is sure to set some political messages up through the course of the second season, but what will be even more interesting is her going against Homelander. It will be akin to Winston Churchill vs Hitler in WWII. Fans may find themselves torn as they ask which is the better one to win, the racist or the facist?
What are your thoughts on Stormfront? Where you surprised by her actions at the end of the third episode?