The Boys has never shied away from mirroring real life in its fictional plot, whether it be throwing shade at other superhero titles or recreating famous ad campaigns. The same can be said for Gen V, which altered its scope to focus on the issues impacting young people at the Supe-exclusive, Godolkin University.
How Gen V's Homelander Mirrors Real-Life
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Episode 8 of Gen V.
In the Season 1 finale of Gen V, the imprisoned Supes from The Woods are set free upon the God U campus and proceed to kill all the humans they can find. The main heroes, Marie, Andre, and Jordan attempt to stop them but are eventually halted by the arrival of Homelander (Antony Starr), who laments them for attacking their "own kind."
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about this episode, executive producer Michele Fazekas said they "didn't want to squander" the chance for such a big character from The Boys to appear, hence, his appearance had to matter story-wise.
Homelander's appearance comes shortly after an episode where pro-superhero extremists were shown rioting at a political campaign for Victoria Neuman.
Executive producer Eric Kripke noted that any similarities between Homelander and the extreme alt-right movement in America were "wildly intentional." The producer added that they are able to freely write about "what scares us" which is something The Boys has done "from the beginning:"
“We don’t have to pretend that the world isn’t burning. We can write about what’s really happening and what scares us and what upsets us. The Boys has always done that from the very beginning. It’s important that Gen V continues to do that."
Kripke also said that the finale in Gen V is designed to tie into the larger storyline of Homelander's "disintegrating psyche" that draws parallels to patriotism in U.S. politics:
"The Homelander part also ties into the much bigger storyline. If you analyze the seasons of The Boys as the slow disintegration of Homelander’s psyche, he’s been heading towards this spot for a long time with this Nietzsche-an/Nazi belief that there’s a better species that needs control over the lesser species, but are framing it in terms of patriotism and ‘Make America Safe Again.’ "
Having Homelander like this in Gen V allowed the creators to show that character in a "boots on the ground" approach rather than as a main character on The Boys.
"You get to see what it looks like boots on the ground rather than with the characters that are up at the center of the hurricane [on The Boys].”
Where Will Homelander Go in the Future?
The Season 3 finale of The Boys set up Homelander's reign of terror as he forfeited his media-perfect hero image by murdering a protestor in plain sight. The result was cheers from the crowd, which set Homelander onto his alt-right warpath which was picked up on in Gen V.
It seems likely that this will continue to be a main issue in Season 4 of The Boys. Throughout its season, Gen V set up simmering tension between superheroes and humans. And with Homelander at the head of the pro-Supe movement, Billy Butcher and his team will have their work cut out for them next season.
As for whether The Boys will draw any further from the political events within the United States remains to be seen, but it's possible some further hints for Homelander's journey could be adapted from other real-life themes and events.
All of Gen V Season 1 is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.