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Homelander: The Greatest Villain In TV History

Gordon Lipton



Homelander The Boys image
Amazon Prime

Seasons one and two of The Boys is streaming now on Amazon Prime. Would it be fair to say that Homelander is the greatest villain in TV history? I think so, and here’s why.

To put it mildly, this is a phenomenal show. It has excellent action, and intriguing story, and – most notably – incredibly well-designed characters. All of the characters have multiple layers. The good guys of the show (notable the titular Boys) all have flaws. The villains (such as most of the members of The Seven) all have at least one trait that make them even semi-redeemable.

However, none of the characters are as expertly designed and portrayed as Homelander.

Homelander, as portrayed by Antony Starr, is one of the most fascinating TV characters in recent years. It is still early in the show’s run, but one could argue that he might even end up in the upper echelon of the all-time great TV show and movie villains.

But why is he such a phenomenal character? What makes him stand out among his peers in villainy? In this article I will take a look at exactly those questions. So let’s don our America capes and dive in!

Before we move any further, an obvious note, there are SPOILERS in this article. If you haven’t watched the show yet and want to appreciate Homelander in all his glory on your own, turn back now.

Who is he?

In The Boys, Homelander is the leader of The Seven.

On paper, he is the Greatest American Hero. He even wears a cape that is decorated with the American Flag. He has super powers such as flight, near invincibility, and powerful heat vision. If that sounds familiar, it should – he is very much analogous to other All-American DC Comics stalwart, Superman.

He appeals to the masses and inspires them to love their country. He is represented as the Greatest American, representing true American values and all that is great about his country. When a documentary is filmed about his upbringing, his childhood home is presented as a vaguely Midwestern locale where farmland, fresh air, and baseball rule the day. He seems wholesome and true, and unlike his brethren in The Seven he is driven by his desire to help others and make the world a better place.

In reality he is…very much not any of those things.

Well, when you really stop to think about it, he might actually be all of those things. But just not in the way that you might think on the surface level.

To put it mildly, Homelander is essentially the Evil Mirror Universe version of Superman. If Superman is everything that is good about America, Homelander is everything that is wrong about it. Or perhaps, everything that is accurate about it. Superman is how America sees itself; Homelander is how the rest of the world tends to see America (there are actually quite a few excellent memes about this topic).

Superman is everything that makes America great. Homelander is what Makes America Great Again. Like Superman, Homelander is an assumed to be an alien who crashed into earth as a baby. Superman then did grow up on a quintessentially American farm and lived an idyllic life early on. But Homelander? He only pretended to grow up on a farm, as noted earlier in his documentary. In truth, he grew up in lab being experimented on using Compound V. He was either an alien or a baby stolen from his family and warped to become the American Ideal.

He seems like he does it for the people, but he only does it for himself. And while he seems like the best and purest of The Seven, he is actually the most ruthless and violent of all of them.

What makes Homelander such a great villain?

Perhaps it was a coincidence that Antony Starr, who portrays the All-American Homelander, is from New Zealand. Or perhaps it was a calculated decision intended for ironic effect. Either way, it is just one of many ways in which Homelander is inauthentic.

Like so much of America, or at least of how the rest of the world sees America, Homelander seems authentic. But is instead a carefully crafted creation of a laboratory setting. He is therefore completely inauthentic, a False God for a country that adores him but he does not care about. He’ll care about you but only for as long as it helps him. If you don’t fit his needs or help increase ratings or movie sales, he’ll drop you (sometimes very literally).

It is this duplicity and in-authenticity that is the biggest reason that Homelander is such an amazing villain. He seems like the greatest hero but only cares about himself. He, like his fellow heroes in The Seven, only want to save the day and beat the bad guys when the cameras are watching.

There are many times in The Boys in which we see this duality play out. One of these instances comes in the first episode when Homelander shoots down the Mayor of Baltimore’s plane, killing everyone inside (including the Mayor’s young son). The Mayor has just essentially blackmailed Madelyn Stillwell, the bureaucrat in charge of handling The Seven, into getting more money for a Baltimore-based superhero based on circumstantial evidence about the mysterious Compound V.

Not an honourable move you’d think. But it was a necessary one to get the protection he needed for his city.

Then, on the way home, the Mayor’s son notices a flying figure outside their aircraft. A heroic one. It’s a bird, he thinks. It’s a plane! No, it’s Superm Homelander! And he’s here to…murder everyone on board and cover up all evidence of wrongdoing and maintain the status quo.

Covering tracks

And how does Homelander celebrate this heinous act? By pursuing Madelyn sexually, even though she has a young child. A child that Homelander is not the father to or a being that he even cares about. But don’t worry, everyone! Homelander will ultimately remedy this situation by…murdering Madelyn and framing Billy Butcher for it. Why does he murder her? Because she covered up the fact that Homelander had a son with Butcher’s wife Rebecca.

Homelander, the true American patriot, decides to make up for lost time and be a father to his son by teaching him to fly, just like his dad! Except he does this by throwing his son off of the roof of his house. When his son can’t immediately fly, and in fact gets injured by this act, Homelander doesn’t show concern. He just gets…irritated. Father of the year, everyone!

But no act in in The Boys is more illustrative of Homelander’s character than that of the doomed airplane flight that Homelander and Queen Maeve attempt to rescue. In short: terrorists hijack a plane full of innocent people. And Homelander and Queen Maeve (who Homelander had a relationship with…and it’s always unclear how mutual the feelings were) arrive to defeat the terrorists and save the day. But unfortunately the terrorists have also infiltrated the cockpit and taken out the pilots. When Homelander tries to defeat the terrorists, he accidentally takes out the airplane engines and sends the plane into a tailspin.

As the plane begins to spiral into the abyss, panic sets in. The people on board panic and plead for the great Homelander to save them. Queen Maeve desperately wants to help and save the children if nothing else. But Homelander senses that the mission is a doomed one. He and Maeve cannot save those on board, and since they cannot save the innocents and increase their popularity with the general public, Homelander decides to cut his losses.

It is better to save oneself and still look like the hero than try to save the innocents and fail. At least that’s what Homelander believes. So he convinces Maeve to leave with him. The plane crashes. And everyone on board dies a tragic death that could have been avoided had Homelander done something. Anything.

But he doesn’t do anything. And why? Because Homelander evaluated the risk against the reward, and he believed that letting the people on board the plane die. And then blaming those responsible as terrorists that threatened the fabric of America would be better for his brand in the long run.

And this is why Homelander is such a despicable, yet exquisite, villain.

Hate for America

He is the representation of why people hate America across the globe. He tries to act like he is the hero but he only does things that are good for him. Things that best represent his brand. Will trying to save a plane full of innocent people cause more risk to his health and well being than letting them all die to make America seem like the great martyr but making him look like the tragic hero?

It doesn’t matter in the long run. There is no morality. And there is no good vs. evil. There’s only good ratings and money drawn from tragedy. Homelander, and America, only cares about helping those than improve his “Q” rating and increases his merchandise sales.

Homelander’s America: where the bottom line and t-shirt sales outweigh the costs of human lives. And that is why Homelander is the great modern villain: for him, capitalism outweighs altruism.

And that’s why Homelander from The Boys is the greatest villain in TV history. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.

Catch our review of The Boys season two HERE.

Read IMDB information about The Boys HERE.

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TV News

A Cheat Sheet For The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers

Sarah Casserley



Mighty Ducks Game Changers Emilio Estevez image
Disney Plus

A few weeks ago, the long-anticipated full trailer, and date, for the new Disney Plus The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers series finally dropped. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here.

The series will go live on 26th March. Which gives us plenty of time to catch up on the best sporting Disney trilogy to come out of the 90s. All three films are on Disney Plus for our viewing pleasure. But, other than Emilio Estevez, it looks like it’s a completely new cast. Understandable, as most of the original Mighty Duck members are now in their 40s and ineligible to play in a peewee hockey team.

But, we thought we’d give you a recap of the films anyway. A cheat sheet of sorts to refresh your memory of The Mighty Ducks past before we get into the present.

So, grab the popcorn and get ready to look back. Back at a time when Joshua Jackson was better known for being a cute child star and not one of the horny teenagers from Dawson’s Creek.

Go Ducks!

SPOILERS below, but if you’ve never seen the films before, what have you been doing?

The Mighty Ducks

In 1992, we got the first instalment of The Mighty Ducks, which brought in a massive $50,752,337 worldwide at the box office.

In this film, we follow Gordan Bombay (Estevez) who gets sentenced to community service. This after being caught driving under the influence. Let’s be honest here, it’s not a bad community service sentence. Instead of picking up rubbish or removing graffiti for hours on end, he’s asked to coach a peewee ice hockey team. They’re called District 5 (D-5 for short), deemed the worst hockey team in the league.

It’s a good job Bombay used to be an ice hockey player, right? But, his memories of being the star player on the championship peewee team, The Hawks, is haunted. Haunted by the moment he missed a championship goal, which led to the loss of the game. Then the disapproval of his coach, Coach Reilly (Lane Smith), and the end of his hockey career.

Unfortunately for Bombay, the first game of the series is against The Hawks. They’re still coached by Reilly, a demanding, unforgiving coach and, all in all, not a very nice man. As you can imagine, the uncoached D-5 lose by a country mile. With this, and some added jibes from his old coach, Bombay starts to get frustrated. Instead of training D-5 to get better, he teaches them how to cheat and dive for penalties. But, after a lot of disapproval from the players and their parents, plus a strong pep talk from his old mentor, Hans (Joss Ackland), Gordan gets back out on the ice himself. He finally starts to coach the team properly.

Throughout the film, three new players are added to the team. Figure skaters Tammy and Tommy (Jane Plank and Danny Tamberelli) and the misunderstood Fulton Reed (Elden Henson). As the team’s skills and bonds develop, so does the bond between Bombay and Charlie’s mother, Casey (Heidi Kling). This turns into the film’s romance story, of course!

Before the next match, Bombay announces to the team that they are being sponsored by his law firm. Plus that they have a new name, The Ducks, named after his boss Gerald Ducksworth (Josef Sommer). At this point, the team isn’t too thrilled with the name. But, after yet another pep talk, they agreed to it, starting the game with a united ‘Quack, Quack, Quack’.

With their new skills, The Ducks are soon on a winning streak. Due to district lines, Bombay adds another new member: The Hawks star player, Adam Banks (Vincent LaRusso). Due to both Banks and the team not being happy with this decision, and a minor misunderstanding, the team storm off and forfeit a game. This is soon sorted though. The team go from strength to strength, straight to the Championships, against, you guessed it, The Hawks.

Obviously, this is a problem for Banks who has just moved teams. Especially as Coach Reilly and a few of his ex-teammates engage in some dirty tactics. This leads him to getting injured and sent off. With this, The Ducks are even more determined to win and, like all good Cinderella stories, they do win with Charlie, who’s known for missing shots, scoring a penalty.

The message behind the film: Winning isn’t everything, but having fun is!

D2: The Mighty Ducks

Two years after the original in 1994, D2: The Mighty Ducks, arrived at the cinemas and bagged $45,604,206 at the box office.

Once again, we are led by Bombay, who was back playing ice hockey for a minor league. But he had to leave due to a knee injury.

Fear not, though! Don Tibbles (Michael Tucker), head of Hendrix Hockey, a highly corporate hockey company, hires Bombay to be the new coach of Team USA for the Junior Goodwill Games in California.

Luckily for Bombay, he knows most of the players, as they are mainly from The Ducks with a few added players from around the country. They also have a tutor for the team: Michele (Kathryn Erbe).

The old and new players take a hot minute to get along. But after some unorthodox training techniques, involving the whole team being tied together and being rounded up like sheep, they start to bond, and quickly get the swing of things.

As the team gets ready for the Goodwill Games, Mr Tibbles starts to load team USA with merchandise. Including a breakfast cereal named after them and a brand-new kit. With no mention of the Ducks. Bombay takes the ‘corporate’ life in his stride, even accepting a swanky apartment in Hollywood. However, it starts to bother captain of Team USA Charlie.

Once in Hollywood, Team USA win their first game and meet enthusiastic spectator, Russ (Kenan Thompson). They also encounter the very intimidating Iceland team, led by the formidable Coach Wolf Stansson (Carsten Norgaard).

As they go through the competition, the team get a little cocky and Bombay even starts wearing a suit to games, instead of the normal hockey jacket. During their first game against Iceland, they predictably lose and star player Banks is injured (again). Bombay also gets a bit of a talking to by Mr Tibbles- he is not a fan of losing.

One loss away from elimination, Bombay decides to take out the fun and push the team harder. Which as you can imagine, does not end well. It ends up with the whole team, including Bombay, getting fed up with each other. Russ, once again makes his presence known, and takes the team to his brother’s street hockey team where they learn some new moves. The team is soon back in shape and ready to face the next game, but Bombay is nowhere to be seen. So, teacher Michele, a hockey novice, has to step up and pretend to be coach.

Fortunately, Jan (Jan Rubes), Bombay’s new mentor turns up with yet another pep talk, and after a little memory interlude, Bombay turns up to the game. The team and Bombay sort their issues and win the game.

Unfortunately, due to his arm injury, Banks has to stop playing. But luckily, the team’s captain, Charlie, who is inspired by Bombay, decides to introduce Russ to the team. Team USA go on to win their remaining games and it gets to the final against… once again… you’ve guessed it… Iceland.

Just before this game, a rejuvenated Banks turns up but as they already have Russ as fill in. Charlie decides that he will step down and help coach the team instead, so Banks can play.

Not to be totally predictable and like the first film. This time Team USA must work a little harder to win the game and it goes down to penalties, but they only go and win the cup title… Hazar!

The message behind the film: Teamwork makes the dream work.

D3: The Mighty Ducks

The third and final film instalment, D3: The Mighty Ducks, was released in cinemas in 1996. Bringing in a slightly lower income of $22,936,273 at the box office.

This time, Bombay isn’t the lead, and only has a few cameo parts, mainly to bail The Ducks out with his law degree.

In this film, The Ducks find themselves gaining scholarships to a private high school. The Eden Hall Academy, but without some of the other members. Most notably missing is Bombay, as he has been offered a swanky new job, and Portman (Aaron Lohr), one half of the Bash brothers, who bailed when he heard Bombay did.

The Ducks quickly realise that they are not in their comfort zone anymore, as they meet Dean Buckley (David Selby) and their very intense teachers. But none are as intense as Coach Orion (Jeffrey Nordling), who gives them a whole new set of rules. Including keeping a B average and staying clear from the varsity team, until they play them in the varsity playoffs. There’s also a change in the line-up, Charlie is no longer Captain – in fact no one is . Goldberg (Shaun Weiss) is swapped out of goal with Julie (Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine), and star player Banks is moved to the senior team. They are also stripped of their Duck name and are now known as The Warriors junior team. They also run into trouble with the senior varsity team, who would rather The Ducks weren’t there.

With guidance from their mentor, Hans, Charlie and the team push forward at the new school. However, an outspoken and, dare I say it, brat-ish Charlie gets increasingly frustrated with the demanding Coach Orion. Tensions rise between the senior and junior teams.

After a positive start in their first game of the season, the team ties. But, after some unsportsmanlike conduct and selfishness by Charlie. Dean Buckley and the other members of the school’s board are nervous about the scholarships that they gave out. They start to think about revoking them. On top of this, there is a prank war rising between the junior and senior teams, which starts with kits being soaked and frozen, and ends with an $800 dinner bill being dumped on Charlie and the team. So, to settle the score, they schedule a secret varsity game against Coach Orion’s wishes. Charlie and the team lose, and when Coach Orion finds out, he reprimands the team, which ends with Charlie and Fulton leaving the team.

Hans tries to give Charlie a pep talk, but a defiant Charlie just walks away. Unfortunately, that night, Hans dies. As a result, Fulton returns to the team. After Hans’ funeral, Charlie gets an even stronger pep talk from the visiting Bombay, and so he also returns to the team. Before he leaves, Bombay has one more thing to sort out as it looks like Charlie and the team could seriously lose their scholarships. Yet, after some legal rambling’s courtesy of Bombay, the team gets to keep their place at the school.

Charlie and the team, along with a returning Banks, bounce back and get ready for the varsity game against the seniors. As they improve, Coach Orion realises that he can’t make them into good Warrior players as they are already great Duck players and gives them back their old Duck name for the varsity game.

During the game, it looks like The Ducks might lose again as the senior team is handing out some hard-playing techniques that the Ducks are finding hard to keep up with. But, at half time, it looks like Bombay had pulled even more strings, as Portman shows up with full scholarship papers, and joins Fulton to reunite the Bash brothers. This puts a new energy into the team, along with Coach Orion reinstating Charlie’s Captain badge, and The Ducks go on and win the game and become The Eden Hall Ducks.

The message behind the film: There’s more to Hockey than just playing the game.

So, there you have it, a quick cheat sheet of what happened to get you up to speed and ready for 26th March. We hope you are as excited as we are for The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. Let us know your thoughts on the films and the new series int he comments below.

Check out the trailer for The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers HERE.

Read IMDB information on The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers HERE.

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