Here are the 5 biggest details we learned about Soldier Boy’s origin and backstory in Amazon’s first The Boys season 3 trailer. The class of 2022 brings a host of exciting super-powered additions to The Boys, but by far the most eagerly anticipated is Soldier Boy. A minor character in Garth Ennis’ original story, The Boys‘ comic books depict Soldier Boy as a World War II Compound-V hero killed by Mallory for being woefully incompetent and getting his entire squad murdered by Nazi soldiers. In the present day, Vought has assigned its “Soldier Boy” title to another hero – a man who’s terrified of his own shadow, and will quite literally do anything to impress Homelander enough to join the Seven.
That’s not the Soldier Boy we’re getting in The Boys season 3. Reuniting with Supernatural creator Eric Kripke (now The Boys showrunner) is Dean Winchester himself, Jensen Ackles. Although The Boys‘ marketing folks have already showcased Soldier Boy’s live-action costume, firm character details have been conspicuously scarce, with only the odd vague interview comment from Kripke/Ackles to base our assumptions on.
Amazon’s The Boys season 3 trailer has now arrived, debuting Soldier Boy in all his patriotic glory. There’s no dialogue, but an outline of the supe veteran’s backstory can be pieced together from the footage regardless. Firstly, the trailer shows grainy video footage of Soldier Boy giving some kind of public speech. From Stan Edgar in The Boys season 2, we know Ackles’ incarnation of Soldier Boy fought during World War II, but this image quality looks closer to the 1960s. It stands to reason that after debuting against the Nazis, Soldier Boy would’ve been utilized during Vietnam and other conflicts through the decades, and we see an old newspaper clipping about his Payback group gaining popularity.
Next, The Boys season 3’s trailer offers two Soldier Boy action shots – one getting punched by an army officer in a tent; the other fighting goons with his shield. Soldier Boy’s modernized costume would seemingly rule out WWII as a setting here, but there’s a dated aesthetic that implies these scenes are flashbacks to Soldier Boy’s past missions and former glories. Annoyingly, the nature of Vought means you can’t rule out these moments happening on a Dawn of the Seven-style film set either. Assuming these shots derive from genuine flashbacks, however, Soldier Boy gives off a cocky showman vibe – someone more interested in his reputation than the mission – and the supe has clearly upset the actual soldiers he’s fighting alongside. This quality might be drawing from the source material, where Soldier Boy’s lack of military nous puts his men in danger of death by incompetence.
A second newspaper clipping visible during The Boys season 3’s trailer features a Soldier Boy obituary, confirming season 2’s hint that the hero died during the 1980s. Of course, the trailer’s final moments show Soldier Boy being awoken from stasis, now very likely in The Boys‘ modern day timeline. Rumors of his demise must’ve been grossly exaggerated, therefore, but it’s not yet clear whether Vought faked Soldier Boy’s death and kept him caged, or whether Soldier Boy really did die and Vought managed to revive him. In either scenario, Amazon’s TV narrative looks to be shifting away from the comic mechanic of multiple Soldier Boys going under the same title from generation to generation. We can also surmise that a glittering career on the battlefield ended badly, but Vought has decided now is the time to thaw out their wintry soldier.
There’s still plenty The Boys hasn’t revealed about Soldier Boy, but season 3’s trailer offers 5 key pieces of information. Soldier Boy fought in various conflicts throughout history, but is probably the same man throughout – unlike the comics. He was an arrogant hero not well liked by his comrades in spite (or perhaps because) of his public popularity, and flashbacks will likely cover his backstory in The Boys season 3. Vought faked Soldier Boy’s death before locking him in some kind of cryogenic chamber, but Soldier Boy is resurrected in the modern day, just like Steve Rogers – likely a direct response to Homelander’s season 2 meltdown. Where The Boys takes Soldier Boy from there is anyone’s guess.
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