The Boys Season 2 First Reviews: Superhero Hit's Return Is 'Hugely Diabolical,' Say Critics

Eric Kripke's comic book adaptation ups the action and violence in its new season, making the superhero satire darker, more hilarious, and way more terrifying this time around.

by | August 24, 2020 | Comments

From the very beginning, Amazon’s The Boys set itself apart within the superhero television realm. Based on the comic books by Garth Ennis and Darick Robinson, the program, from executive producer Eric Kripke (Supernatural), explores an alternate reality in which superheroes not only exist, but are mostly supreme a-holes. The Seven, as they’re known globally, is made up of seven “supes,” as they call them: American flag–caped sociopath and leader Homelander (Antony Starr), Wonder Woman–esque hesitant sidekick Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), lightning-fast and egocentric A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), rape-y ocean-dweller The Deep (Chace Crawford), electrified newcomer Stormfront (Aya Cash), and starry-eyed outlier Starlight (Erin Moriarty), the only one among them with a moral compass.

On a mission to keep the supes in check, and quite possibly eradicate them all entirely for good, is the “Boys” — a ragtag team led by Karl Urban’s constantly-grinning, yet completely self-destructive William Butcher. As the first season’s episodes progressed, Butcher’s reasoning for this mission of violence was eventually revealed: His wife Becca (Shantel VanSanten) had been presumed dead and Homelander, as Butcher understood it, was the one who killed her.

The Boys s2 keyart
(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

In season 1, Butcher and his crew — Frenchie (Tomer Kapon), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Hughie (Jack Quaid), and the mysterious and powered Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) — uncovered a plot involving “Compound-V,” a drug that makes supes, and Vought Industries, the company commoditizing The Seven.

The first three episodes of The Boys season 2 land on Amazon on Friday, September 4. How do these new episodes compare to the show’s freshman season, which is currently Certified Fresh at 88% on the Tomatometer? Here’s what the critics are saying about season 2 of The Boys.


Season 2 is an attempt to re-contextualize modern ethical heroics and our relationship to publicly anointed figures. It also dispels any romantic notions we have about the agendas of powerful institutional bodies such as big business, government and religions; pillars of “civilized” society that are meant to provide security and structure. Instead, they sow chaos. — Brandon Katz, Observer

 A major part of The Boys Season 1’s appeal — and of the comic, too — was its deconstruction of superhero culture, which worked especially well considering the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe. While that exploration still plays a role in Season 2, the focus is much more on politics, particularly contemporary alt-right and Neo-Nazi discourse. — Liam Nolan, CBR

The Boys’ critique of the rise of an anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States is abundantly apparent. The show repeatedly draws attention to the fact that Vought purposefully uses racial animus to its advantage. Even when the camera is trained on someone’s head exploding—something that happens an alarming number of times this go around—the show is trying to make a number of valid points about the destructive influence megacorporations can have on society. That message is still rather rich coming from a show produced by Amazon Studios, but The Boys makes no pretense of trying to hide what it is. — Charles Pulliam-Moore, I09


Urban’s Butcher, so single-minded and reductive in season one, finally gets to start digging into some ambiguities with his grizzled antihero, teasing out the guy’s darker side while finding ways to reveal some weaknesses. — Alex McLevy, The AV Club

Jack Quaid and Erin Moriarty are the heart of the show as Hughie Campbell and Annie January (aka Starlight), two characters yet to have their moral compasses bashed entirely out of alignment. That said, both have been forced to evolve in order to survive their toxic surroundings, pushing them in interesting new directions. — David Craig, Radio Times

Kripke expands The Female’s story with some new elements that we won’t go into too much detail on here for fear of spoilers. But Fukuhara’s emotive expressions and body language effectively communicate the nuanced emotions she’s feeling throughout. Her friendship with Frenchie continues to develop and is one of the more tender-hearted relationships in this otherwise-cynical take on superheroes. — David Griffith, IGN

But Homelander (Antony Starr) has more important things on his sociopathic mind. Now that he knows he has a son, he can’t wait to provide the kid with the father figure he never had, and his simmering, unpredictable bouts of ultra-violence have never been so pronounced when faced with his own failures in the family department. — Jon Negroni, The Spool


The action scenes are tight, smart, and surprising, there are delightful moments of dialogue that deliver both character, humor, and heart, and there are world details so skillfully embedded into the backgrounds of certain scenes that they almost at times serve as spoilers. — Liz Shannon-Miller, Collider

With so much hype surrounding this second batch of episodes, we’re sure you’ll be glad to know that it doesn’t just live up to what came before, but exceeds it with a bigger, crazier, and more violent season. — Josh Wilding,


Aya Cash’s Stormfront has all of the edgy humour and some of the best jokes of the season. — Brian Lloyd,

Season 2 introduces a new member of The Seven named Stormfront (Aya Cash), a social-media savvy supe who pokes fun at the stiff and overly-produced nature of her colleagues and infuriates Homelander with the way she so easily pulls the spotlight away from him. — Hannah Lodge, Screen Rex

She’s the livewire that creates chaos wherever she goes, and that chaos is a big reason why the season works so well as a whole. Trust me, you’ll hate her plenty by season’s end, and I couldn’t envision the season working so well without her. — Matthew Aguilar, Comic Book


With a higher budget, they’ve polished the special effects that were glossed over in the first season, the romance between some of the characters has improved strongly, and the villains are still, well, super. Here’s hoping The Boys really will return in Season 3. — Jon Negroni, The Spool

If the rest of Season 2 stays on the same path as the first three episodes, it’s going to prove the perfect commentary for the tense times in which we live. — Michael Rougeau, GameSpot

Rude, crude and ultra-violent; The Boys are back with another hugely diabolical but enjoyable outing! — Nicola Austin, We Have a Hulk

The Boys: Season 2 (2020)

Adjusted Score: 103.924%
Critics Consensus: The Boys comes out swinging in a superb second season that digs deeper into its complicated characters and ups the action ante without pulling any of its socially critical punches.
Synopsis: The even more intense, more insane Season 2 finds The Boys on the run from the law, hunted by the... [More]
Directed By: Evan Goldberg

Tag Cloud

composers Fox News Star Trek DirecTV CW Seed Schedule Masterpiece YouTube Red Sony Pictures south america Interview BBC One laika mutant 45 adventure CBS All Access Apple TV Plus Holidays Pride Month Baby Yoda slashers Cannes Trivia Lifetime Christmas movies Rocky Song of Ice and Fire Nickelodeon teaser worst WarnerMedia Mindy Kaling social media See It Skip It transformers Winners parents LGBT ghosts boxoffice Election History crime Funimation Tarantino Holiday TCA Winter 2020 supernatural Apple TV+ justice league medical drama Polls and Games video FX on Hulu rotten Pop Hallmark FX Freeform Spike Sundance Now Grammys Lionsgate TV HBO Music sag awards canceled TV shows Summer Comics on TV Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TV renewals romantic comedy Rom-Com documentary The Purge Disney Plus X-Men Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Awards San Diego Comic-Con docudrama Tomatazos critics Binge Guide sequel cults Food Network binge remakes Arrowverse romance kids VICE psycho Tubi Black History Month Fox Searchlight Martial Arts Red Carpet war PlayStation GLAAD Classic Film Anna Paquin Toys El Rey breaking bad Comedy Year in Review Fantasy Starz First Look travel harry potter Podcast Avengers football psychological thriller sports hollywood dogs RT History stop motion 20th Century Fox Logo theme song serial killer Infographic dceu cancelled TV shows Biopics films MTV police drama foreign Lucasfilm AMC VOD movie criterion television game of thrones Heroines Nominations french Chernobyl Reality Competition science fiction cancelled Film nature Crunchyroll Action stoner Musical Sneak Peek diversity IFC name the review award winner DC Universe elevated horror Sundance The Academy Mary Poppins Returns crossover Family IFC Films TLC APB Premiere Dates TV Land anime all-time zombie 21st Century Fox Mudbound President spinoff Netflix Christmas movies Country Crackle child's play Winter TV mission: impossible tv talk best TBS HBO Max Character Guide A24 Elton John Opinion blaxploitation aliens Horror Quiz Peacock indiana jones fast and furious Writers Guild of America TIFF biography Amazon Prime adaptation TNT Dark Horse Comics joker halloween FXX cats Superheroes Disney+ Disney Plus Extras Awards Tour RT21 renewed TV shows WGN what to watch Cosplay SXSW Emmy Nominations PBS spain 2019 Pet Sematary Amazon Studios spy thriller TCA movies stand-up comedy Rock game show Animation YA scary movies sequels BET canceled Warner Bros. dragons Musicals Ovation USA Network Disney Channel DC streaming service Photos Hulu Trophy Talk dark NYCC FOX Academy Awards comics The Witch Marathons space Hallmark Christmas movies Brie Larson screen actors guild Ghostbusters archives LGBTQ ratings superhero Superheroe cops TCA 2017 disaster chucky worst movies Star Wars facebook MSNBC directors Universal reboot YouTube Premium zombies Women's History Month venice talk show DC Comics crime drama Kids & Family true crime Vudu obituary spider-man toronto Calendar Oscars dramedy 2016 rotten movies we love BBC The Arrangement DGA Trailer screenings Syfy CMT VH1 Emmys MCU BBC America thriller finale classics discovery franchise Disney streaming service cinemax technology Western green book Amazon BAFTA Countdown robots Captain marvel Spring TV NBC GIFs latino Film Festival GoT unscripted sitcom Ellie Kemper Comedy Central cancelled television TruTV OWN ESPN scorecard nfl nbcuniversal Certified Fresh 2015 free movies spanish based on movie news Video Games E3 golden globes Mary Tyler Moore asian-american documentaries Turner Classic Movies Tumblr CNN vampires Walt Disney Pictures mockumentary Marvel Lifetime zero dark thirty Pirates cartoon 2020 satire Creative Arts Emmys book Box Office Set visit Thanksgiving 2018 Columbia Pictures Disney New York Comic Con period drama Paramount Network Adult Swim Acorn TV werewolf batman ABC quibi Watching Series a nightmare on elm street OneApp Spectrum Originals emmy awards American Society of Cinematographers Epix christmas movies Super Bowl Apple Discovery Channel CBS twilight Esquire italian A&E Teen natural history The Walking Dead Endgame Pixar blockbuster Christmas 72 Emmy Awards miniseries Britbox universal monsters National Geographic dc Fall TV Reality strong female leads crime thriller casting ITV Drama festivals spanish language Comic Book Shondaland PaleyFest First Reviews jamie lee curtis cancelled TV series 71st Emmy Awards hispanic comedies politics SDCC Amazon Prime Video BET Awards Television Academy The CW Marvel Television hist Sci-Fi Rocketman TCM animated Turner reviews cars independent series richard e. Grant Cartoon Network witnail anthology die hard ABC Family 4/20 children's TV cooking Stephen King YouTube Showtime comic singing competition Hear Us Out political drama USA concert Pop TV Travel Channel Netflix comiccon Sundance TV doctor who video on demand E! Nat Geo Valentine's Day Black Mirror versus indie Mystery SundanceTV Shudder toy story streaming festival HBO Go TCA Awards Paramount historical drama halloween tv 007 Bravo Marvel Studios Best and Worst Television Critics Association 24 frames revenge Mary poppins 2017