Issue 141 – Homelander

Issue 141 – Homelander post thumbnail image

  • Intro
  • Background (1:43)
    • Homelander created by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson in The Boys #3 (Nov. 2006)
    • Introduced as the leader and most powerful member of the Seven, a group of corporate-sponsored superheroes
    • Initially comes off as affable, only to reveal he’s actually a misogynistic jerk – and it gets worse from there
    • Public backstory is that he was an alien who landed on Earth, but in reality his mother was a mentally disabled woman who died in childbirth, and he was the byproduct of genetic experiments from Stormfront, a Nazi superhero – he spent his childhood strapped to a hydrogen bomb in case he tried to escape
    • Homelander hates being a hero, but only does so because Vought pays him handsomely
    • Later revealed that Billy Butcher, head of a group of humans who hate the Seven, has special dislike for Homelander because Homelander raped his wife, who died giving birth to a superpowered baby, which Billy then killed immediately #BecauseComics
    • Homelander is revealed to have no memory of this or many other horrific acts which he is blamed for – this causes him to have a psychotic break and begin doing whatever he wants
    • He has no memory because the horrible acts were actually committed by Black Noir, a clone of Homelander that Vought created to keep Homelander in check – since Black Noir’s sole purpose was to kill Homelander, he gaslit Homelander to drive him insane in order to justify killing him – Homelander and Black Noir fight, and Black Noir kills Homelander, but is injured enough that Billy could finish him off with a crowbar
  • Issues (8:46)
    • Matt: Wow. The layers upon layers to this guy. He really is just the embodiment of the nature versus nurture argument writ large, isn’t he? Injected with an artificial compound to give him superpowers in the womb, mother died giving birth to him, spent his entire childhood chained to a hydrogen bomb so he wouldn’t escape from Vought. Raised with no other purpose in life but to become a living corporate-sanctioned product whose image and likeness would be sold for profit while he awed and wowed a company’s customers. Given every single ounce of hedonistic excess he could ever want by his company to keep him happy and cooperative and, basically, to stop him from using his powers to destroy the world and/or enslave the human race. This naturally instilled in him some deep-seated psychological issues:
    • 1. Entitlement. I mean…holy crap. The man’s mantra is, “I can do whatever the fuck I want.” Coercing women into sex? Not a problem. Gleefully using his powers against civilians? Assholes shouldn’t have been standing there. It’s positively bone-chilling the way he doesn’t even give his actions a second thought, or much of a first one.
    • 2. Complete lack of empathy. The man does not even consider non-Supes to be people. Absolutely does not care about the damage any of his actions cause. Also can’t even be bothered to try to help people in need unless it’s his bosses telling him to. On 9/11, doesn’t even want to try and save the plane until someone points out they’ll probably get fired if they don’t. (13:54)
    • 3. Unapologetically racist and sexist. Has a hierarchy, even among his fellow supes. Women are beneath men. Nonwhites are beneath whites. Basically anyone who’s not him or just like him is beneath him. Referencing The Deep, as Bill Burr would say, he drops the hard “r”, hits the dismount, and sticks the landing. Multiple times. Views Maeve and Starlight as sex objects first, superheroes second.
    • But, and this is a but, it’s implied that he at least tried to adhere to the idealism of a hero early on in his career, even if he was a bit of a prick about it. And it was nonstop long-term gaslighting campaign of Black Noir — tricking him into believing he suffered from blackouts where he committed horrific acts of rape and mass murder and had no memory of it — that caused him to go full-blown monster. That he thought to himself, in for a penny, in for a pound.
    • After he’s descended into what we see in the comics, we learn that the major issue that he’s struggled with his whole life is that, as Stillwell points out in their big confrontation, with all his power, he is really nothing special at his core. There is literally not one person chosen at random who couldn’t do everything he’d done in his life if they were given his powers. Oh boy, does that eat at him. He’s nobody, just a guy who won the superpower lottery and decided to treat it like most people do when they win the actual lottery. Man, that’s a lot of meat to chew on right there.
    • Real-life analogue? Ummm…Dance Moms, anyone? Child actors? Child beauty pageant contestants? Kids who are steered into an activity before they have any inkling of whether or not they actually want to do it and pushed on relentlessly by obsessive parents who want their kids to be the best to satisfy their own egos, robbing them of a childhood and making them sincerely believe that they are better than anyone else? You don’t have to go too far to imagine all the real-life Homelanders out there.
    • Gaslighting by Black Noir (28:00)
  • Break (34:41)
  • Treatment (36:33)
    • In-universe – Make it a talk show, and hope to get him to some level of self-awareness
    • Out of universe – (38:39) Does someone like this get a therapist who looks like them, or one who pushes their boundaries of comfort?
  • Skit (NSFW warning) (46:28)
    • DOC: Hello Homelander, I’m Dr. Issues.
    • HOMELANDER: Good afternoon, Doc. I appreciate all mental health professionals. I may wear a cape, but you’re a true hero.
    • D: Thanks for that.
    • H: So how long you been with the company?
    • D: Company?
    • H: Vought. I figure it has something to do with the casualties from our last appearance. Real shame those people were in the car. Unfortunately, those terrorists were too far away for me to get to in time, and I had to throw SOMEthing at them.
    • D: I don’t work… wait, what?
    • H: You know how it is. Bad guys with guns. So I had to make a choice. There was a car nearby, so I threw it at the terrorists. Wasn’t until I heard the screams that I realized it wasn’t empty. And super though I may be, I’m only so fast. I mean, I’m no A-Train, that’s for sure.
    • D: Oh no…I’ve met many first responders who have had to make snap judgements like that, but not with such…force.
    • H: Yeah, they’re usually crybabies about it. I got over that s**t a long time ago. 
    • D: So you really don’t care that there may have been any other way to handle  life and death situations?
    • H: Do you have any real suggestions? I can see someone like you acting all Monday morning quarterback, but who really gets their hands dirty?
    • D: I’m not disrespecting you by asking to expand your thought process. You said you respect mental health professionals, right?
    • H: Real professionals, yeah.
    • D: What’s that supposed to mean?
    • H: Someone who got where they are through hard work and dedication, not just to fill some quota. You know, like we do with the Deep.
    • D: Glad I have the GPA and scholarships to prove it then. Unless you think the people important enough to run this operation would place any random quack in here to talk to you.
    • H: Anyway, I’m sure the paperwork monkeys have all that taken care of. I’ll do some talk show appearances, a photo op with the family members of the… Johnsons? Johnstons? Johnbergs? Ah, who the f**k cares. 
    • D: Homelander, I’m sorry, I think there’s been a misunderstanding. I don’t work for Vought.
    • H: Oh. Then why the f**k am I talking to you then?
    • D: You are right, it’s because those people died, though. 
    • H: Well like I said, their fault they were nearby. 
    • D: Oh my God, how does anyone believe you’re a hero?
    • H: Because I save poor bastards like you all the time.
    • D: OK, I’m done pretending. Homelander, you are under arrest by the United State military in conjunction with the deaths of four civilians, along with mass property damage. I am here to assess your competence prior to trial.
    • H: What. The. F**k.
    • D: And to ensure your cooperation, you have been placed inside an energy field, which I might as well reveal to you now. *energy hum*
    • H: Are you f**king kidding me?
    • D: So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way
    • H: You listen to me, you pencil pushing c*******er. You have no goddamn right to keep me here, and I assure you as soon as I get out the FIRST f**king thing I’m doing is ramming my fist so far down your throat you’ll be able to chew out your own ass for being so f**king r******d.
    • D: So since you’re being detained, I don’t need to tell you that this is meant as therapy to improve anything. You’ve already given me the information I need to make a decision as to whether or not you’re dangerous.
    • H: You’re goddamn right I’m dangerous. I’m the most powerful f**king thing on the planet. There’s no God, there’s just me. And all you worthless peons can suck my asshole.
    • D: At this point, due to your severe agitation, I’m required to ask if you have any history of medication that has helped you to stay calm and perhaps relax for a while.
    • H: I relax by jerking off. And when I’m done killing you, I’ll jerk off on your f**king corpse. 
    • D: Duly noted. Then it’s my selection with regards to… hmm… how do we deliver medication to an invulnerable being?
    • H: You aren’t going to deliver S**T, do you understand? For someone who’s supposedly smart enough to graduate whatever degree mill you came from, you’re f**king oblivious to how utterly F**KED you are when I break this field. There isn’t a thing that can hold me forever. And the fact that you haven’t run away screaming means you’re even dumber than you look, you stupid ni-
    • D: Alright, that’s enough of that. I was entertaining you up to this point, because your blustering isn’t all that uncommon in my area of practice. But the racism is a special kind of heinous. So with that, we’re done here.
    • H: No, we’re not done. You can walk away, but I promise, I will find you, and I *punch* will *punch* end *punch* you.
    • D: Good luck with that.
    • H: F**K YOU! AHHHHH! *punch* *shatter*
    • D: Oh s***
    • H: *punch* *gory sound effects* I told you I’d kill you. And now to relax. *zip* *masturbates furiously* What the F**K did I tell you? I do whatever the F**K I want, when I want, because I’m f**king GOD. You little *ungh* s**t. 
  • Ending (51:28)
    • Recommended reading: The Boys: Herogasm
    • Next episodes: Polaris, winter break
    • Plugs for social


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