Amazon Prime's The Boys are back, here to save the world from indoor ennui. With Season 2 set to debut on September 4, the cast and crew brought their wares to the Comic-Con at Home panel, including clips and insights into the newest season.
Moderated by Archer star Aisha Tyler, the panel featured creator Eric Kripke and actors Karl Urban (Bill Butcher), Jack Quaid (Hughie Campbell), Antony Starr (Homelander), Erin Moriarty (Annie January/Starlight), Jessie T. Usher (A-Train), Laz Alonso (Mother's Milk), Chace Crawford (The Deep), Tomer Capon (Frenchie), Karen Fukuhara (Kamikio/The Female), and Aya Cash (Stormfront), a new superhero joining the Seven. The group answered questions about the new season and offered a little insight into the future of their characters.
Eric Kripke: "When we pick up Season 2, it's a lot more intense. We worked hard to make Season 2 crazier, but also more emotional and with higher stakes. Everyone is in a really tight spot.
The Boys are wanted fugitives coming off of last season. They are hunted, basically totally screwed.
Season 1 was a big loss for them.
Conversely, Homelander killed the only person who can control him (Madelyn Stillwell), so he's increasingly out of control. He is making Vought [Industries] a scarier place, and Starlight is sort of trapped in this living nightmare.
I think everyone is pushed to the limits in Season 2.
In Season 1, we really explored the Me Too phenomenon with Starlight; we talked about the American weapons industry, a lot of politics. I think in Season 2, we continue that and make it more edgy. We are going after white supremacy in Season 2; we are going after white nationalism in Season 2; we're going after systemic racism in Season 2. And all those things effing suck."
Karl Urban: "End of Season 2 was a complete game-changer for Butcher. It was a paradigm shift that changes everything going forward for him. His objective through Season 2 is to really find Rebecca, rescue her, and get his wife back.
Season 1 was [him] focusing on blind revenge for the perceived death of his wife. Season 2 is about getting her and saving her. The moral questions that arise from that [are] how far is [he] willing to go? Willing to sacrifice?
There is a certain evolution in Season 2 where he has tough choices to make whether he'll be able to achieve that goal to get close to Becca - will he jeopardize his team?"
Antony Starr: "Through Season 1, we are seeing this guy is painfully lonely and desperate for connection. A big part of that was the lovely Elisabeth Shue/Stillwell, but she wasn't willing to let Homelander expand in Season 1 and fulfill what he thought he was capable of. His mission, so to speak.
He dealt with his Oedipal complex in Season 1; Season 2 is a lot about trying to find his place. Season 1 is very external, and Season 2 is very internal.
The strongest man on the show is the weakest emotionally. It's fun to bounce around. Every time Homelander does something horrible and deranged, it's the best day's work for me. I have such a great time."
Jack Quaid: "Butcher essentially, from Hughie's perspective, betrayed everybody; now he's just left there. He feels very alone. He feels terrible about lying to Annie for all of Season 1. He has nothing.
At a certain point, he starts realizing, 'What do I do now? Do I keep this fight going?' I kind of have to, because I don't have anything else and it is the right thing to do.
He sneaks a few conversations with Annie, even though they are not technically supposed to because he is on the run. It's not something romantic yet, but he's hoping it will be.
In Season 1, he latches on to a lot of people that tell him what to do and navigate this... world. In Season 2, he's starting to realize how to do that on his own.
There is one moment early on when [he] comes back and Hughie's not excited about it, and gives Hughie the old classic, 'Are we going to do this thing? It's going to be great. You'll love it.' But after that, Hughie says, 'No, I never love it.' That was the point I realize, this guy is standing up for himself. He's owning himself a little more. He's still Hughie; he's still going to scream a lot, but he's coming into his own."