10 Insane Differences Between Herogasm Comics & Herogasm The TV Show – Explored – The Boys!

    The Boys’ creator Eric Kripke uploaded a picture of the episode 6 script for the third season of the viral Amazon series with the description, “Challenge Met Mother-Effers.” And we have to admit that after seeing the episode with our own eyes, he truly did go for it.

    Herogasm is one of The Boys’ most contentious plotlines in the show’s history, which is saying a lot. The Boys’ most recent episode was set against the backdrop of the six-issue miniseries, and it would be an understatement to call it the most ambitious R-rated episode in television history.

    We are shocked that Amazon even permitted Kripke to film this, but season 3 has already gone in directions that could be categorically labelled “too far,” so what the heck? However, as is customary with The Boys, the overall premise of the episode suits its title. However, astute viewers and comic book enthusiasts will notice that a LOT of adjustments were made to make the graphic nature of Herogasm more easily-digestible.

    Additionally, Kripke used a superhero orgy to advance multiple intricate plots with his trademark seamlessness. Here are all the main distinctions between Herogasm from the TV series and Herogasm from the comics, explored, without further ado. Oh, and if you have not seen it yet, consider this your spoiler alert since there will be significant spoilers ahead.

    Herogasm is not organized by Vought and doesn’t involve the Global Wellness Retreat

    Herogasm is not organized by Vought and doesn’t involve the Global Wellness Retreat

    So, in the comics, Herogasm is a 6-part mini-series that sees Earth’s Superheroes go off to a private location where they spend an entire week engaging in, as the name suggests, a massive orgy. And what’s more, is that it isn’t a hero-led venture; it is organized by Vought themselves as a means to allow their hardworking Supes to blow off steam before returning to their daily duties.

    Usually, the cover story for such a massive mobilization of Supes involves alien invasions and off-world action, as in the first issue of The Boys: Herogasm, Homelander gives a speech to the citizens of the world claiming that all heroes were being called in for intergalactic duty on a distant planet in the Milky Way; when really, he was just covering for the Supes to go off and indulge their depravities whichever way they chose to do so. Fans were speculating that we were going to see something similar on the TV show when Ashley brought up the Vought Global Wellness Retreat in episode 5 in reference to Queen Maeve’s current location.

    This makes sense, given that originally, Herogasm was supposed to be a Vought-backed activity. However, in the Kripke-verse, Herogasm is not so much of a corporate getaway as it is a secret society party for C-lister Supes; which makes a lot more sense if you ask us. Episode 6 of The Boys revealed that Herogasm was organized by the former members of Payback- the TNT twins- and that it was something of an off-the-books fable among heroes if you go by The Deep’s reactions to the whole thing.

    This does raise the question of where in the heck is Queen Maeve after all. We’ve seen the Vought Global Wellness Retreat come up a couple of times in the show so far. In season 3 episode 1, Termite was sent there after he was apprehended by Butcher with a bag of cocaine; go watch it. The first time was in an earlier season, where we saw A-Train exiting the facility after his body started violently rejecting Compound V.

    If you look closely, right before he meets up with Nathan, you can see the Wellness Retreat’s logo flash up on the building he exits. So this is the first major difference between Herogasm from the show, and Herogasm from the comics. But that raises the question; if Vought didn’t create Herogasm, then who did? Well, that’s where America’s Most-Patriotic Soldier comes into the picture.

    Soldier Boy doesn’t make his first appearance at Herogasm; he created the whole thing!

    Soldier Boy doesn’t make his first appearance at Herogasm; he created the whole thing!

    Garth Ennis introduced the character of Soldier Boy in the first issue of Herogasm, and while his first appearance saw him dealing with a rather sticky situation; that is not at all the case with Jensen Ackles’ character. See, Soldier Boy in the comics is more like Black Panther, in that it is a legacy title that is passed on to others without the knowledge of the public. The version that Garth Ennis introduced to us in The Boys: Herogasm #1 – Babylon is the 3rd incarnation of the superhero, a cowardly, goody-two-shoes character that is the leader of Payback in the current timeline.

    Ackles’ Soldier Boy is different in that he is 1) the original Soldier Boy character, 2) he is a “real man’s man”, and 3) he was not introduced to us via Herogasm; he is the one who invented the damn thing. That’s right, folks; Soldier Boy is the person who created the concept of Herogasm in the TV show. To hear the man himself tell it, he came up with the idea in 1952; nearly a decade into his existence as America’s First Superhero.

    That makes the “event” we see in season 3 episode 6 the 70th anniversary of the first Herogasm, something that is acknowledged in the show as well. While this is a drastic departure from his comic book persona, we’d argue that it keeps very much in-line with the character that we’ve been shown so far. Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy is the OG; he’s basically a racist grandpa existing in the 21st century who thinks dads carrying their children on their bellies isn’t “manly”, scoffs at gay people and has a hard time accepting the fact that he is no longer “the strongest”.

    And if you’ve seen any of the promo material Amazon released in the lead-up to Season 3, you’d know just how much of a hedonist he is, too. So while it might have been a bit of a shock for comic book fans to see that Soldier Boy, the character who pretty much abstained from partaking in Herogasm entirely- except, of course, for his “annual test” which we’ll get to- is the one who created the damn thing, it makes sense in the context of the Kripke-verse. Now that we’ve addressed how Soldier Boy got involved in this whole thing, let’s address what he was doing there in the first place, shall we?

    Soldier Boy Crosses Swords with Homelander; just not how you’re thinking

    Soldier Boy Crosses Swords with Homelander; just not how you’re thinking

    Eric Kripke’s creative genius is such that he can swap out characters and shift entire personality details from one to another in the process of adaptation so easily, it makes it hard to accept that The Boys is an adaptation in the first place. And nowhere is it more evident than the moment where Homelander and Soldier Boy engage in battle, because in the comics, their fight was a lot more…submissive, shall we say? As we’ve already mentioned, the Soldier Boy who showed up for Herogasm in the comics was a very different character.

    He wasn’t even the original Soldier Boy, and even on Payback, he mostly served as a token leader. What he really wanted was to join the premier team of Supes under the employment of Vought; that being The Seven. And so, despite not being a sexual deviant like most of his Supe-peers, Soldier Boy would show up to every Herogasm in hopes of achieving his goals by doing an annual favour for the leader of The Seven.

    And if you still can’t see where we’re going with this, let’s just say Soldier Boy and Big Homie crossed swords in the private setting of a bedroom. Whilst this was another one of the many sadistic jokes that Homelander plays on “his lackeys” in the comics, that is not the case at all in the TV show. Herogasm does show us interplay between Ackles’ Soldier Boy and Starr’s Homelander, but the crossing of swords is more literal and less sexual.

    Over the course of the episode, Butcher manages to convince Soldier Boy to help him take out Homelander if he helps him get payback on Payback. So when Homie shows up in the aftermath of Soldier Boy disintegrating a bunch of Supes- including the TNT twins- Boy tries to keep his word and engages him in battle.

    Their exchange perfectly embodies how their encounter is similar yet different from the comics, as Soldier Boy is the one ridiculing Homelander for his gawky outfit, saying that he was clearly the weaker of the two because he was wearing a cape. Big Homie quickly shuts him up, though, when he starts going to town on him, Butcher and Hughie at the same time. It takes all three of them to even subdue Homelander, and even then he manages to escape before Soldier Boy can fire off his radioactive Compound V-negating power beams. And Big Homie isn’t the only one who avoids biting a bullet, as you’ll see in a second.

    Victoria Neuman is not the target of The Boys in Herogasm; it’s the TNT Twins

    Victoria Neuman is not the target of The Boys in Herogasm; it’s the TNT Twins

    We’ve talked a lot about the Supes, now let’s go over to The Boys for a bit. The entire point of the surveillance op that Butcher and Co. ran in the comic book mini-series was to dig up usable dirt on Vic the Veep; aka Victor Neuman, the Vought-controlled Vice President of the United States of America. Vic had surprisingly decided to participate in Herogasm in the comics, giving Butcher a golden opportunity to take down Vought from the inside. There, he had his Boys take the VP’s Chief of Staff captive and torture him for information, which worked out for the most part.

    But as you might have guessed already, Neuman is an entirely different character in the TV show, even though she does retain some facets of her comic book counterpart. For starters, she is not the Vice President; at least not yet, anyway. Instead of working in favour of Vought’s interests- and her adoptive father Stan Edgar’s by extension- she dupes them and starts criminal proceedings against them.

    And to top it all off, she isn’t even the objective of The Boys in this episode, despite them being well aware of what she’s doing and even having evidence on her that could change the complexion of the game in an instant. That isn’t to say that Neuman is not involved in the episode at all. In fact, some of that “sting operation” atmosphere lent itself to her encounter with Starlight, where she tries to manipulate the real superhero of the series into allying with her and fails; but not before showing off her own powers to her in the process.

    But that is about it for Vicky, because The Boys aren’t here to extort her; they’re here to help Soldier Boy get the revenge he so desires. Butcher had already taken care of Gunpowder and Soldier Boy was just leaving after blowing up Crimson Countess’ place to smithereens. The next name on their list is the TNT Twins, who co-incidentally are the hosts for the 70th annual Herogasm, which is how the episode incorporates the theme of the mini-series into its storyline. And Vic the Veep isn’t the only character who gets a major storyline shift in the process of adaptation; that also happens to the woman whom she clashed with.

    Hughie and Starlight’s relationship dynamic is reversed from the comics

    Hughie and Starlight’s relationship dynamic is reversed from the comics

    Arguably the character with the biggest glow-up from comics to TV has been Starlight. In Garth Ennis’ work, Starlight is more of a secondary character that is allied with The Boys but is not nearly as central to the storyline as her on-screen counterpart is. Eric Kripke seems to have decided that Starlight is going to be the only “real superhero” of his creation, and has done everything in his power to get that point across.

    Starlight is the one character who has gone through all her adversities with her head held high and without compromising on her own morals and values. She is a legit inspiration, which is funny, because her comic book counterpart is pretty much a trope and her involvement in Herogasm is not nearly as heroic. In the comics, Starlight and Hughie are still pretty much in the honeymoon phase of their relationship.

    In fact, the couple even finds time to engage in the phone nasty whilst the latter tries to infiltrate the facility the former is vacationing at. Hughie and Starlight are at their peak as a couple here. Now, contrast that with what goes down in the TV show, and you’ll see why we say their relationship dynamic has been reversed in essence. Season 3 has been all about Hughie and Butcher willingly crossing the line between brutality and humanity, and the consequences that has had for everyone around them.

    Both men seem to have developed a concerning taste for V24 and are getting increasingly unstable in their quest to kill Homelander. Starlight notices this and so far, she has tried to stay supportive of her boyfriend as much as she can be. But in this episode, Hughie takes one step too far, and that spells out the end for their relationship. It’s clear to Annie just how hypocritical Hughie is, and how hooked he is to the V24, when he randomly teleports into the Herogasm venue and tries to “save her” from a problem that she can clearly handle herself.

    Even though their characters spend some time in the full breeze with each other, there is nothing intimate about it. You’d think that not jerking off on the phone would be an upgrade for the lad, but somehow, it turns into a toxic masculinity metaphor. Starlight comes to the realization that the V24 isn’t messing with Hughie’s perspective; it’s amplifying what was already there.

    She ends up attacking Hughie to get away from him, in a scene that is just as heart-breaking as it is disturbing. Hughie and Starlight’s relationship has been one of the only good things about The Boys in-universe at least, and while they were on the up-and-up in the comics at this point in time, it doesn’t look like Annie is ever going to get back together with Hughie again; especially after what she did at the end of the episode.

    The Deep is the only member of The Seven to “participate” in Herogasm

    The Deep is the only member of The Seven to “participate” in Herogasm

    Well, it looks like Eric Kripke has finally gone all-in on his twisted My Octopus Teacher analogy with The Deep. In the comics, Herogasm was “initiated” by Homelander, who memorably landed on-location as if he was going to ask his fellow Supes to save the day; only to yell out “it’s time to eff” in full force, kicking off the super-orgy in grand fashion. In the TV show, it’s made clear that Homelander is a much more private person; he doesn’t share his teammates’ indulgent habits and even sex is a bit of a touchy topic for Homie.

    Not that it stops him from “taking what’s his”, but we digress. The only time he shows up at Herogasm is after Soldier Boy obliterates the TNT twins’ home, and then, too, it’s only to throw down with his “outdated model” and his mortal enemy. In fact, the only member of The Seven who takes part in Herogasm both in the comics and the TV show is The Deep; but even there, it isn’t what you’d expect it to be.

    In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Eric Kripke, Chace Crawford and Antony Starr revealed that the primary inspiration behind The Deep’s infatuation with cephalopods is the Oscar-winning documentary My Octopus Teacher. Kripke said that the only thing that was on his mind throughout the entirety of its duration was whether the narrator was going to “eff the octopus” or not.

    Well, he gave himself that answer by having The Deep engage in, um, intimate relations with the 8-legged cephalopod. We’ve seen Deep’s literal affection for sea animals before on the show; the dolphin he escaped with could’ve been his girlfriend, he was seriously traumatized by Homelander making him eat his boyfriend Timothy the Octopus, and well, the sex metaphor has come full-circle thanks to season 3 episode 6. We were just as shocked as Starlight was when she walked in on him, and honestly, just glad that Deep was the only member of The Seven at this “soiree”. God knows what the rest of them might have gotten up to if they were left unsupervised.

    Stormfront is involved in Herogasm; but not how you’d imagine

    Stormfront is involved in Herogasm; but not how you’d imagine

    Aya Cash’s portrayal of the evil Nazi Supe was a rather ingenious re-imagination of the character, because in the comics, Stormfront is rather unidirectional. He is the de-facto leader of Payback, despite Soldier Boy being the actual leader on paper, and usually serves as a Hulk-type figure in that he is a mindless brute who is only interested in power and sex. The former is something he chases after constantly, and the latter is how he is related to Herogasm, because in the comics, Payback was one of the dozens of superteams that had gathered for the event.

    Stormfront was rather prominent in the storyline, too, as his actions revealed just how big of a tool Soldier Boy is, and he even got into a tiff with Vic the Veep for trying to steal a girl he was currently engaged with. The gender-swap and continuity changes already guaranteed that Aya’s Stormfront wouldn’t be directly involved in the Kripke-verse’s Herogasm. Well, that and the fact that her character committed suicide on Homelander’s birthday.

    Go watch that episode. But that doesn’t mean that she isn’t a part of the event itself; in fact, Stormfront’s DNA is practically the blueprint for Herogasm itself, because Soldier Boy wasn’t alone in coming up with the idea for the supe-orgy. As Butcher and Hughie scout the TNT twins’ home, Soldier Boy reveals that he created Herogasm alongside a “firecracker” of a female Supe who went by the name Liberty.

    Fans of the show will remember that Liberty was the name that Stormfront used before she became Stormfront; back when she was openly operating a minority-killing Supe. And the way Soldier Boy called her a firecracker, you can bet your ass something shady went down over there; perhaps not unlike the relationship Stormfront had with Homelander for a brief time in season 2. Hughie’s reaction at the mere mention of Liberty tells you all you need to know about how this seemingly minor change in detail has massively impacted the context in which we see the story.

    We know that Stormfront was pure evil, and that her main goal in life was to establish Aryan supremacy with the help of Supes. To think that she might have started Herogasm as a method of recruitment is something that sends literal chills down our spine; and Blue Hawk’s presence at the party didn’t help change our perception. Oh, and speaking of Blue Hawk…

    A-Train has a surprising moment of quasi-redemption

    A-Train has a surprising moment of quasi-redemption

    One of the more-intriguing character adaptations has been that of A-Train. Till the end of season 2, A-Train on-screen was nearly identical to A-Train from the comics; which is to say that he was a self-absorbed, narcissistic celeb-athlete-Supe who would go to any length to stay relevant. To that end, A-Train starts abusing Compound V to artificially keep himself at top speed well beyond what his body naturally allowed for; and in season 3, we start seeing the adverse effects it has on his life.

    And not just from a physical perspective, either, because we find out earlier that his Compound V abuse has left him with a larger heart and bones so brittle they might break if he keeps using either the drug or his superpower. We see A-Train undergo a true crisis of faith, as we witness first-hand the internal struggles of a man who wrapped up in his own self that he can’t differentiate between being greedy and doing something good.

    He kept deflecting Popclaw’s death onto Hughie, he neglected his brother’s advice and continued to use V, and perhaps the worst thing of all, he re-branded himself as a Supe proud of his African roots in an effort to maintain his star status. But amidst this smoke show, you started seeing that A-Train had the capacity to do actual good. He was the one who gave Starlight the files she needed to expose Stormfront and throw Vought into the line of fire. He was the one who indirectly helped The Boys stay safe by threatening to expose The Deep.

    And the pivotal moment that changed A-Train as a character for us was when Blue Hawk landed on his radar. After he checked out of the Global Wellness Retreat, A-Train met with his brother Nathan and expressed his desire to do something for the black community.

    Nate pointed him towards Blue Hawk- a white supremacist Supe who was over-patrolling black neighbourhoods and dishing out mortal punishment to innocents and criminals alike. A-Train tries to go through all the right channels and get Blue Hawk to make an apology to the black community but things go left rather drastically when the latter attacks the town hall meeting where he was supposed to apologize and leaves A-Train’s brother paralyzed. This ticks him off proper and he decides that it’s up to him to do something about it.

    And so, A-Train shows up at Herogasm and takes out Blue Hawk himself, literally dragging him through the streets to his death. He falls down after, clutching his heart, his fate uncertain. Though it is a clear act of vengeance, you can see that A-Train is understanding the cost of justice in this moment, as he even apologizes to Hughie for killing Robin when he bumps into him.

    And all of this is a complete 180 from his comic book counterpart at Herogasm because there, A-Train doesn’t even take responsibility for assaulting Starlight! In the comics, A-Train is not a multi-layered character you feel invested in; he’s yet another unidirectional Supe whose depravity knows 0 bounds. If you think a super hero orgy is already as bad as things can get, wait till you find out what A-Train snorts during his week-long vacation.

    Trust us; you will not see him in the same light ever again. Suffice it to say that Kripke and Co. have done a brilliant job of re-imagining A-Train as a character with more complexity than one would give him credit for, and we can’t wait to see where his destiny eventually takes him. We have a feeling that he will end up joining the eventual anti-Homelander Supe team that we are currently fantasizing about; it’s just a shame that his most-silent teammate will probably be dead before that day even comes.

    Black Noir doesn’t even see Hughie and is apparently the mastermind behind Soldier Boy’s disappearance!

    Black Noir doesn’t even see Hughie and is apparently the mastermind behind Soldier Boy’s disappearance!

    We breathed a heavy sigh of relief when we realised that the Black Noir of the Kripke-verse is not the same as the one from Garth Ennis’ creation, because things would’ve gotten way more uncomfortable than they already are if he was. Go check out our video on Black Noir’s origins and wait for our list of his worst comic book deeds to get the full picture. You’ll probably be sorry you even asked.

    But getting back to the point, Black Noir has served as an exceptional comedy-relief/ninja assassin character ever since he was introduced to us through The Boys; and both of those aspects were on full display in the opening minutes of episode 6. After turning Crimson Countess’ trailer into ashes, Soldier Boy’s presence is detected by Vought, and Homelander is pissed off to say the least.

    He immediately turns to Black Noir and questions him as to where Soldier Boy might be headed to next, but doesn’t realise in his naivety that Noir had sold him out along with the rest of Payback. No sooner had Homelander left him, that Noir ran into an elevator and horrifyingly removed his tracker chip from his arm and made a break for his life. Poor Homie couldn’t believe it when The Deep told him what Noir had done; after all, the guy was his best friend! And as if to make matters worse, the TNT twins frame him for selling out Soldier Boy, to which even he remarks that Noir wouldn’t lift a muscle without Vought’s permission.

    All of this is drastically different to what goes down in the mini-series, and we’re glad that this is the case; because Black Noir in Herogasm was the most-unsettling character of them all. He was the first person who discovered Butcher’s Boys when he came across their hangar hideout and spied on Hughie knocking one out like a perverted voyeur. Things would get real uncomfortable real quick, though, because when The Boys launched their plan to kidnap Vic the Veep’s Chief of Staff, Black Noir showed up in the sewers where Hughie was hiding and proceeded to brutally assault him with his thumb.

    The potential effects of this violation were worse than those experienced by Starlight because, as A-Train points out, Noir didn’t even make a sound when he climaxed back then. But when he was violating Hughie, Noir kept saying good soldier like a deranged lunatic, which really should have been our first clue that Homelander isn’t the crazy one after all.

    Either way, we’re just glad that Kripke decided to separate Homelander’s descent into madness from an obnoxious clone saga, because if those two things were related, we don’t know how popular this show would’ve been. As for what happens to Black Noir, we’re going to have to wait and see. Our best guess is that Noir is the Supe getting his head bashed in by Soldier Boy in all those Season 3 Trailers, but who knows? As The Boys have proven time and again, anything can happen.

    Frenchie didn’t miss Herogasm in the comics

    Frenchie didn’t miss Herogasm in the comics

    Even though Butcher and Mother’s Milk are technically working against each other in this episode, they both make the same remark when they come across Herogasm; Frenchie would be heartbroken because he missed it! Frenchie is one of the characters that the TV show has really given depth to, mostly through his relationship with Kimiko but especially after his past with Little Nina was revealed.

    Kripke and Co. did a great job of conveying just how terrifying Serge’s past was by introducing his former mistress/boss to the mix, and that’s kind of why he ended up missing Herogasm. See, Frenchie in the show is a wild man; he is a follower of the Sartre way of life, he candy flips to keep him from becoming anxious, and he is a wizard of whipping up bombs and weaponry from literally anything that he can find; though they don’t exactly work as intended all the time. Before he teamed up with Butcher and his Boys under the watchful eye of Grace Mallory, he used to be a violent “attack dog” for Little Nina and the Russian mob.

    Some of the things Nina claimed he had done are too graphic for us to describe, and we don’t want YouTube to take our channel down, so we’ll suggest you go watch the show instead. Suffice it to say, Nina is bad news, and he ends up in her crosshairs once again thanks to Cherie.

    Nina kidnaps both her and Kimiko and makes Serge choose between the two whilst humiliating him by showing off his naked, broken and scarred body as a trophy. Eventually, he’s able to escape thanks to Kimiko’s exceptional fighting skills, but still, he does end up missing out on Herogasm; something he has wanted to be a part of/bear witness to for years.

    Well, in the comics, Frenchie doesn’t have to worry about getting FOMO, because he’s in the thick of things! Frenchie is the one who infiltrates the Vought facility in the comics alongside MM, so he technically even participates in his dream scenario! It will be interesting to see where Frenchie’s character goes from here in the show, because like Mother’s Milk, he seems to be on a path of redemption and peace with Kimiko; whereas Butcher and Hughie just want to watch Homelander burn to death.

    Will Frenchie side with Monsieur Charcuter? Or will he go up against him? Only time can tell, but we have a feeling it might be the latter. But either way, he’s going to be damn disappointed that he didn’t get to experience the glorious depravity of Herogasm in the flesh; and you can bet money on that there claim.

    Marvelous Verdict

    Marvelous Verdict

    And that’s it for this video! Of course, there were a LOT of things that happened in the comics that the showrunners couldn’t show us; simply for the fact that if they did, they’d have to release this episode on Pornhub instead. But even then, and even after making all of the changes we’ve already addressed, Eric Kripke and his team somehow managed to pull off Herogasm without making it all about humanity’s baser needs. We’re sure that we have missed out on a few more changes that the show made to the original story.

    Please feel free to let us know in the comments, we look forward to your reactions to this epic piece of TV history, because that is what it is. It doesn’t matter how authentic Kripke & Co. were to the source material; the fact that they were even able to get an episode titled Herogasm greenlit is baffling, let alone the fact that they actually went ahead and did it. Season 3 episode 6 will go down as one of the most-memorable episodes in The Boys’ history, and we can’t wait to see how the show progresses from here.

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