5 Awesome References In ‘Herogasm,’ ‘The Boys’ Wildest Episode Yet
Where will the show go next?
Last week saw the release of the long-awaited Herogasm event for The Boys’ Season 3, cranking up the already over-the-top show straight to 11.
With an awesome final fight, plenty of drama, high-stakes reveals from Starlight, a redemptive move from A-Train, and the ‘world’s longest penis’ – there’s no shortage of stuff to unpack for fans, so let’s get started.
Herogasm: Comics Vs Series
The Boys’ original comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson took a much ‘grander’ approach to the Herogasm event – which gets framed as a parody of the various ‘crossover’ events that we find in Marvel and DC’s comic book narratives.
In more traditional comics, we usually see the heroes cross paths on some different planet or alternate dimension, largely because it leaves Earth safe and unharmed, at least continuity-wise. The comic-book Homelander begins the event much like this, announcing to the world that all the supes are heading off to space to save the world from alien threats.
Instead, the supes head off to a private island to get their freak on with a multi-day, non-stop celebration of sex, drugs, and superpowers. Who would have guessed?
The series takes a fairly straightforward approach to adapting this, toning it down significantly. In order to fit neatly into the ongoing plot of Soldier Boy hunting down his former teammates, it’s held by C-list superhero has-beens TNT. The twins, who haven’t aged as well as their bloodthirsty ex-leader, hold a huge orgy at their residence for several supes – all taking out their hubris on a host of unfortunate sex workers.
Bookended By Phone Videos
The episode begins with The Deep singing a rendition of the classic Lennon song Imagine, in a direct parody of the actual video shared by a bunch of celebs back in 2020.
The cringe-inducing video managed to bring together millions of people alright… in united disgust at a bunch of celebrities putting together performative BS to shine the spotlight on themselves as millions of less-fortunate people suffered on a daily basis. The Boys did the same here – featuring Vought mainstays, a ticker ad for The Deep’s ‘tell-all’ autobiography, and even ring lights reflecting off his eyes.
The video also featured cameos from Patton Oswalt, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Elizabeth Banks, Kumail Nanjiani, and more.
The video stands in direct contrast to the final scene of the episode, which also features a portrait-oriented clip. Instead of The Deep’s deeply insincere PR exercise, the final video shows an Instagram Live clip of Starlight, coming out as Annie and denouncing her relationship with Vought, Homelander, and regretting not outing their evil practices earlier.
Soldier Boy’s Dated References
Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy has been a big hit so far, as one of the standout supes of the season. Able to go toe-to-toe with Homelander later in the episode, we see him hanging with Hughie early on, watching his old films on TV.
The first old reference he makes is towards ‘killing Emmanuel Lewis’, an actor who played the main lead in 1980s sitcom, Webster. He then follows this up by watching his own 80’s film Red Thunder, an anti-communist war flick featuring bad Russian accents, US-USSR tensions in Afghanistan, and the US’ pro-Mujhaideen stance during the era. The film also clearly parodies Rambo 3, which was released in the late ‘80s.
Solider Boy also raises an eyebrow at an ad for ‘Starlight Diapers’, which shows a man carrying diapers and wearing a baby carrier. The supe then muses about multiple-rape accused Bill Cosby as a ‘real man’ and ‘America’s Dad’ – a title he held long before several allegations of abuse flared up in recent years.
He then mentions that Cosby made ‘strong drinks’. Cosby has been accused of using date-rape drugs on his victims… implying that the supe may have been one himself. Yikes.
Homelander and Donald Trump
In one of the show’s not-so-subtle references, we see Homelander go on a talk show, only to derail and deny all accusations against himself. We’ve definitely seen a blond-haired, all-American mascot do this before, haven’t we?
Homelander shuts down a female journalist on Vought News by dismissing her ‘nasty question’. The vocabulary is ripped straight out of Donald Trump’s rulebook, who has both said ‘nasty question’ multiple times, and referred to political rival Hillary Clinton as a ‘nasty woman’ after being accused of being a tax evader.
A-Train Leaves The Station
During the Herogasm scenes, Hughie comes across A-Train. Already dealing with fragile masculinity issues and the high that comes with superpowers, he forces A-Train to apologise for accidentally killing his ex-girlfriend in Season 1 – which the conflicted supe finally does.
A-Train even takes off his visor to sincerely say sorry for his past misdeeds, and comes out as a conflicted character – even though Hughie socks him in the face anyway. This likely makes him realise that playing nice with his enemies doesn’t really work and he soon finds himself face to face with racist cop archetype Blue Hawk.
Frustrated with the systemic crackdown on his people, A-Train finally decides that enough is enough, and essentially carries out a reverse-lynching on the bigot. This is another historical reference to the horrific crimes against African-Americans throughout American history, where innocents were tied to horses, and dragged through streets as a form of humiliation and torture.
Doing the same – albeit at over 300 kilometres per hour – A-Train reduces Blue Hawk to a bloody pulp, before passing out from what seems like a heart attack.
With two more awesome episodes left to get through, we can’t wait for the aftermath of Annie’s massive episode-ending reveal. Is this all part of Edgar Stan’s plan to burn Homelander’s self-styled empire down?
We’ll find out when episode 7, Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed, airs on July 1.
(Featured Image Credits: Amazon Prime Video)