Between its graphic violence and extremely NSFW language, Amazon Prime Video's blockbuster superhero satire The Boys isn't shy about potentially offending audiences. So it's no surprise that creator Eric Kripke is equally direct — and unapologetically R-rated — when it comes to expressing his own opinions.
The first three episodes of The Boys's third season directly targets the always-controversial National Rifle Association, which is back in the news after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed the lives of 19 children. Even though this season of The Boys was written well before current events, Kripke tells Yahoo Entertainment that it reflects the status quo when it comes to the NRA's role in America's ongoing battle over guns and gun control.
"I think the NRA is f***ing insane," he says with maximum candor. "And I think our gun culture in this country is insane. It was insane when we wrote [these episodes] a year-and-a-half ago, and it's insane today and it keeps happening. I just wanted to point out the absolutely terrifying insanity of it. It's f***ing tragic that it's current, but it also happens again and again and again and again and again."
— Ethan Alter (@ethanalter) June 6, 2022
One of the major narrative arcs of The Boys's third season concerns Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), a Captain America-esque hero from America's past who has been missing and presumed dead for decades. In his heyday, Soldier Boy operated with kid sidekick Gunpowder, who survived the bloody battle that supposedly killed his mentor. As an adult, Gunpowder — played by former Young Indiana Jones Chronicles star Sean Patrick Flannery — is a star on the gun-show circuit, where he espouses relentlessly pro-firearm rhetoric in front of approving audiences.
Speaking in front of one such crowd at a show organized by the VRA — the Vought Rifle Association, a subsidiary of Vought International, the mega-corporation that also manufactures the serum that creates superheroes — Gunpowder echoes real-world right wing talking points.
Not only does he accuse a progressive presidential candidate of following the "George Soros globalist playbook," he also promises that kids will be taught to "hate America, the Constitution and the Second Amendment" in their public school classrooms. "Good for us — the silent majority," he concludes. (It's worth noting that a number of children are glimpsed on the VRA convention floor, handling guns while their parents look on approvingly.)
Gun control isn't the only hot button topic that Kripke and his writing team take on in the current season of The Boys, which is adapted from the comic book created by the equally outspoken writer Garth Ennis. There's also an entire narrative arc that comments on the Black Lives Matter movement, which was front page news when the season was being written in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder while in the custody of Minneapolis police in the summer of 2020. And with 2022 headlines already being dominated by mass shootings — from Buffalo to Uvalde — Kripke suggests that the NRA will continue to be a target as a potential fourth season takes shape.
Kripke expects a potential Season 4 to keep addressing the issue. "The gift about this show is that I have the opportunity to process and write about the things I'm furious about." pic.twitter.com/XTAnnTL05z
— Ethan Alter (@ethanalter) June 6, 2022
"The gift about this show is that I have the opportunity to process and write about the things I'm furious about, as do the other writers," he explains. "We're not picked up for Season 4 yet, but we're hopeful. [This season] I definitely came in one morning and said: 'We really have to target the NRA and how they use lobbying to amplify the voices of the smallest minority of people, and somehow have tricked the country into thinking that's what the vast majority of people want.' The way they manipulate politicians is just so hateful that I would love to talk more about that."
The Boys is currently streaming on Prime Video.