We still find ourselves thinking about The Boys’ third season five days after it ended. We did not know we needed Butcher and Homelander working together until we witnessed it for ourselves.
The action, the drama, the storyline twists. However, The Boys Season 3’s trademark humour was the one aspect that was noticeably lacking. Do not get us wrong; there were certainly humorous moments this season; for more on that, see the Herogasm section of the Herogasm episode.
However, the tone was noticeably darker than it had been in the show’s first two seasons. We wished for something more boisterous, disobedient, or college instead. And since The Boys: Varsity will not only premiere on schedule but will also have an impact on the events of the entire Vought Cinematic Universe, we will not have to wait too long to get that type of comedic depravity back in our lives!
Here is all you need to know about The Boys: Varsity – The College Spinoff that we have all been waiting for! The notion of Supes in college had us intrigued before, but the possibility of crossovers with the main show has us drooling.
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What is Varsity all about?
You are aware that The Boys is a satire of popular culture in general, including business and celebrity culture. Are you not? You must not have seen The Deep’s cover of Imagine. Or the “filming” Dawn of the Seven. Or really everything Ashley does during the three seasons? Come on folks , keep up! The Boys does not pull any punches when it comes to revealing the murky underbelly of global power structures, but that does not mean it is “light-hearted”—all jokes aside.
There’s a lot of heavy emotional and psychological stuff in there that, if not conveyed through the medium of black comedy, would’ve given us sleepless nights. But here’s the thing about The Boys; it focuses on adults playing their own, twisted game of chess to see who comes out on top of who. Okay, we know how that sounds, but you have to admit that that isn’t an inaccurate description of the series.
And it also would be correct for The Boys: Varsity, but that’s where the similarities end; because where The Boys is a drama at its core, Varsity has all the potential to be a black comedy gold with dramatic moments peppered in between. And we say that because the very premise of this series is- drumrolls please- college!
That’s right, folks; if the name Varsity was not a dead giveaway, then the January 2022 edition of Seven on 7 with Cameron Coleman should’ve given you a hint as that was where Godolkin University School of Crimefighting was first referenced. And if that name rings a bell for you comic book fans out there, then you’re not far off the mark here, because it is indeed an adaptation of the G-Men from Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s original work.
To know more about that particular team of Supes, go check out our G-Men Spin-Off Series video where we break down the team, their leader John Godolkin, the role they played in the comics, and how the show might adapt their story because trust us when we say; Varsity is going to be nothing like the G-Men from the comics, and that is a great thing.
How did the spin-off come about?
It came into fruition off the success of the second season of The Boys. Following its conclusion, Amazon announced a live-action spin-off series within a couple months. Though it was untitled at the time, that September announcement did mention that this series would be “irreverent, R-rated series that explores the lives of hormonal, competitive Supes as they put their physical, sexual, and moral boundaries to the test”; and that was enough to rope us in, if we’re being honest.
Because the idea of The Boys But College is endlessly fascinating to us and given series creator Eric Kripke’s claim that the portrayal of the environment would be “as realistic as possible”, our hopes were high from the very onset. In an interview with The Wrap, he explained that the spin-off wasn’t exactly an intentional creation.
It was more of a rap session between him, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg- executive producers of The Boys- and they really liked the idea of diving deep into college culture and really bringing a youthful sense of delight and terror at the same time to the franchise. And so they pitched the idea to Amazon, and they agreed to green light the project, thus giving birth to Varsity.
At the time, Kripke described the show as being loosely-inspired by the G-Men from the comics, but stated that no characters would necessarily spin-off into the series and that it would simply be connected to the larger VCU. But it looks like he has changed his mind on the subject, because in interviews following the season 3 finale, he has stated that crossovers between the two shows would be “inevitable”.
We saw evidence of this in that same Seven on 7 segment we referred to earlier, where we learnt that Queen Maeve, A-Train and The Deep are all alumni of Godolkin University, and that they were drafted to New York City and The Seven when it was time for them to graduate. If you can’t tell already, G.U. is run by Vought International- a major departure from the comics- and has already been referenced and included in Easter eggs all throughout the entire run of The Boys so far.
In season 1, Billy Butcher brought up the G-Men and Nubian Prince was referenced multiple times; his wife, Nubia, is an original member of the G-Men in the comics. In season 2, we saw the #GToo Movement gathering steam in the background of Victoria Neuman’s meteoric rise to prominence on national TV. In the YouTube web-series Seven on 7 with Cameron Coleman, we found out about Vought’s Annual Hero Draft and one of the front-runners to win the whole thing, and in Season 3 we saw several members of the G-Men taking part in the American Hero reality TV show.
All of these things have been laid out in preparation for the arrival of the young heroes of Godolkin University to our screens in 2023, and though the series spent 2 years in pre-production, filming has been going strong since May 2022 and is expected to wrap up by October. But that’s how the show came about; let’s talk about who’s going to be in it now, shall we?
What We Know about the Cast So Far
Casting for Varsity has been a bit all over the shop given the series changed creative direction midway into pre-production. As we’ve noted before, Eric Kripke did not necessarily intend for a crossover, but because of the events that took place in Season 3, we feel like he had no choice but to tie in both shows with a stable shared narrative base.
If you’ve seen any of our videos on The Boys in recent times, you’ll know that we predicted that Season 4 will probably not come out next year given that Varsity was already slated for a 2023 premier. The only question we had after making that prediction was whether Varsity would tie into it or not, given Kripke stated it wouldn’t in 2020. But now that it’s clear that both shows are going to have a crossover and that their stories- while different- will have certain shared narrative points, we are glad to have clarity on why certain stars left the cast while others stuck by it.
Lizzie Broadway and Jaz Sinclair were the first members of the main cast to be assigned their respective roles. They were brought on-board in March of 2021, well before anyone else, and are most-likely set to play the lead protagonists of the show because Sinclair’s character has already made her soft debut in the VCU thanks to Hughie’s visit to Red River Institute in Season 3 and Broadway’s character is named Emma Shaw, which is very reminiscent of a certain mutant from the X-Men comics; if she is meant to be a parody of Emma Frost, it will be very interesting to see just how her character impacts the show.
Apart from these two, only Maddie Philips remains from the original cast of The Boys. After an entire year of now filming activity, Shane Paul McGhie, Aimee Carrero & Reina Hardesty left the cast to pursue other ventures. McGhie was replaced by Chance Podermo and London Thor took Hardesty’s place in the line-up of what we’re guessing is going to be the new G-Men in the series.
Derek Luh, Asa Germann, and Shelley Conn also joined the cast as series regulars in May 2022 although nothing has been revealed about their characters or their roles in the story so far. But given the fact that they’re going to be series regulars, we have no doubt that we’ll find out soon enough. Now that we’ve introduced you to the main cast, let’s get on to the recurring players in this story, starting with Patrick Schwarzenegger who has been cast as, well, the literal Golden Boy of this story.
Golden Boy is a 22-year-old G.U. freshman with the highest prospects of winning the Vought Annual Hero Draft and has been described by Vought as an exceptionally calm and stoic character; so you guys know he’s going to be one crazy S.O.B and probably the major antagonist of the series. Other than that, we have Marco Pigossi joining the cast as Dr. Edison Cardossa and Sean Patrick Thomas bagging the role of Polarity- a Supe with a sensational backstory and a relationship with his father that mirrors the one between A-Train and Nate; at least on paper.
This isn’t Thomas’ first outing with The Boys as he portrayed one of the male hostages in the season finale of the animated show Diabolical, but speculation as to whether he plays the same character or not can be answered by simply watching that episode; because only Homelander and Black Noir make it out of that Chemical Plant alive, and Thomas’ character, well, doesn’t.
By the look of things, Polarity is going to either be a speedster or be the Magneto of this story; either way, he’ll be one to keep an eye out for. As will Golden Boy, but the reason behind his relevance to the story will be far more intriguing for the simple reason that he isn’t the first person we’ve seen with his particular set of powers.
How will Varsity connect to The Boys? And Will We See Characters Cross Over?
Well, we have been hammering home the point that Varsity will be a tie-in show for the VCU, so we might as well explain how that will happen and why Golden Boy might be the key to it all. Because in all the promotional material Amazon has put out about him so far, his powers have simply been defined as “thermonuclear”, and the one image we have seen of him so far is suspiciously similar to Soldier Boy’s Y-frying chest blast; which leads us to think that the two Boys might link up at some point in time, because Eric Kripke explicitly brought up Soldier Boy as a plot point they will explore through the medium of Varsity, alongside a couple other things too.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly following the conclusion of Season 3, he revealed that while the focus of Varsity will be on capturing a realistic college experience, it will be set in the purview of the events that took place in Season 3, which basically means that yes, The Boys and Varsity will be connected, and he even went so far as to say it will be on the level of the MCU shows on Disney+.
Kripke told Deadline that he really respects Kevin Feige for what he has done with the MCU because he personally found out just how difficult it is to weave together two stand-alone shows with intertwining plot points, basically confirming that that will be the case.
And in the same interview, he mentioned two of the biggest cliff-hangers from Season 3: 1) How will the Presidential Election unfold now that Neuman is involved? And 2) Will Soldier Boy wake up again? Based on Kripke’s statements, it looks like we’ll find out the answers to both of those questions; and in the case of the latter, it might even involve Golden Boy, because as we’ve already mentioned, their current powers are oddly identical and that might just be an intentional thing.
And if the stories are going to overlap, it is inevitable that characters from the main show will show up in the spin-off, and we’re going to go ahead and predict some for you guys: Antony Starr will invariably end up being a part of Varsity, simply because he has reprised Homelander’s role across all iterations of the character and Season 3 ended with a brewing conflict between his supporters and those that supported Starlight.
Expect to see that tribalism cross over into Godolkin University, though be heavily-skewed in favour of Homie given his status as the current unofficial head of Vought. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a few Homelander fanatics either, though spotting Stormchasers is our biggest concern when it comes to such things. We might also see A-Train and The Deep turn up to show the kids their ropes and further their own plots within the extended franchise; Maeve is unlikely to show up in Varsity, but she will definitely be a part of Season 4 of The Boys.
Someone who is also likely to show up in Varisty is Victoria Neuman- the current VP pick for Dakota Bob Singer and the head-popping Supe who stands to gain immense political power thanks to Homelander. She might show up as a lecturer, a guest on a TV show, as an assassin; it’s hard to pin down how, but we’re sure she will be there. And as for the rest of the main cast, it is quite possible that we might see The Boys turn up for a cup of coffee amongst all this college madness, but we aren’t sure how that will figure into the story; yet.
The only thing that comes to our mind is if they run a sting operation of John Godolkin in an attempt to expose a connection between him and Neuman, but that is reaching too far with nothing to go on, so we won’t go there for now. Having said that, Varsity will be an intriguing bridging point between Season 3 and 4 of The Boys, and we can’t wait to see what Kripke & Co. have come up with.
Marvelous Verdict – What You can Expect from Varsity
You can expect the show to act as the perfect, exuberant companion piece to The Boys, we can tell you that much, because Eric Kripke has already said that some of the events that happen in Varsity will carry over to Season 4 of The Boys, thus making it essential viewing.
But more than that, you can expect this series to be a bit more relatable, because in The Boys, the only person you can kind of relate to is Starlight apart from the human characters of the show, of course; unless you’re a Homelander supporter, in which case, you are right, and Heil Homelander.
But Varsity, with its youthful cast and its college setting, can become the perfect medium for exposing just how human these Supes were before they chugged Vought’s Kool-Aid at max-speed. It’s a chance for the show-runners to explore how Supes like Maeve end up becoming cynical in the first place, and also why. The Boys Presents: Varsity is going to be a thrill-ride if nothing else, and that is something we’re always happy to go on, so fingers crossed, Craig Rosenberg takes us on one helluva journey.