Amazon Studios’ The Boys has been undoubtedly one of the best superhero shows to have come out in recent years. Created for television by Eric Kripke, The Boys is adapted from Garth Ennis’ graphic novel of the same name. The show follows a group of wildly unpredictable yet resourceful group of misfits and their crusade against taking down superpowered beings, or more commonly known as Supes.
Notorious for its intense gore and overly violent scenes, The Boys became an instant hit among the more mature audience having a liking towards graphic content. From gratuitous violence to horrific fight sequences, The Boys has pushed the envelope for the graphic tone on the digital screen.
Though the show is adapted from Garth Ennis’ graphic novel, showrunner Eric Kripke has taken a few creative liberties with the story. As the show is based in the present time while the source material was created in the 2000s, it makes sense for a few liberties to keep the story relevant. The creative liberties also encompass a few violent sequences, which Eric Kripke has fortunately left out from being adapted.
The Boys is filled with repulsive scenes, undoubtedly. However, the show is yet to match the outrageous levels of violence depicted in the comics. In the first season of The Boys, the plane crash was one of the most horrific moments which cemented the fact that Homelander and the rest of the Seven are far away from being heroes. Yet, the scene was toned down a lot for television, if compared to what really happened in the comics.
In the show, Homelander and Queen Maeve are sent to save a plane that has been hijacked by terrorists in the pilot episode. To show how heroic the Seven really is, Homelander and Queen Maeve swoop in to save the plane on foreign waters. After quickly taking down the terrorists with his laser eyes, Homelander and Queen Maeve receive applause from the passengers. However, it is soon revealed that Homelander also fried the communication channels and controls accidentally while taking down the terrorists.
Instead of devising a new plan to save the passengers, Homelander promptly gives up on the passengers while lying to them that he will save them. As Queen Maeve realizes Homelander’s true intentions, she pleads with him to save a mother and daughter. Considering the threat of exposing his failure in saving all the passengers, Homelander refuses. As the passengers come running to him, he gets furious and scares them off with his laser eyes. Finally, he and Queen Maeve head out, leaving the plane to descent and crash.
In the comics, the scene panned out differently, but nonetheless, with disastrous effects. In The Boys #21, the Seven are sent to save a plane hijacked by terrorists on 9/11. Self-obsessed, over-confident, and without any drill of hostage rescues, the Seven arrive on the plane to take down the terrorists. In the very first step, Homelander rips apart a door, which results in a young boy getting sucked out to his imminent death.
As Homelander and Queen Maeve enter the plane to take down the terrorists, the pleas of the passengers make Homelander furious. As a result, he yells at them to remain silent, resulting in rupturing their eardrums. As the members of the Seven start arguing to devise a plan of action, Deep smashes the plane’s windshield which rapidly increases the turbulence and compromises the plane’s durability.
To make the case even worse, Homelander gets frustrated with Queen Maeve’s plan and knocks her out. As he leaves the passengers to their fate and prepares to fly out, Mister Marathon, the predecessor of A-Train, holds on to Homelander for dear life. However, Homelander flys through the trail of the plane, leaving Mister Marathon decapitated. With Homelander gone, the plane crashes on Brooklyn Bridge, leaving hundreds of passengers dead.
Since the graphic novel was set in the 2000s, the 9/11 incident was still fresh in the minds of people. However, with the show being set in the present time, revisiting the horrors of 9/11 does not make any sense. Also, instead of complicating the scene by bringing all the members of the Seven, Eric Kripke’s decision to only use Homelander and Queen Maeve in the scene was a prudent one. By depicting Homelander as an apathetic psychopath alongside Queen Maeve, who still has some semblance of humanity left, accurately showed the power struggle between the two characters. But undoubtedly, the scene from the comics is much darker than the one we got to see in the show.
The Boys will return with its seventh episode on 2nd October, 2020, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.