With more swears and bodily fluids than even the most X-rated series, The Boys is like giving the Marvel Cinematic Universe a shot of adrenaline and sticking it in an adult book store — and fans can’t get enough.
If you wanted a souped-up superhero smorgasbord, there’s no denying Eric Kripke delivered just that with season 3 of Amazon’s The Boys.
Based on Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic series of the same name, there’s still plenty of source material for the show's creators to punch their way through.
With news that the streaming giant has picked up The Boys for season four, here’s everything you need to know about who’ll be squeezing back into their spandex, where we’re heading next, and what THAT explosive finale means for Billy Butcher and co.
The Boys season 4 trailer
While no full trailer for The Boys’ fourth season has been released just yet, we have received a very brief glimpse at what’s in store - and it’s pretty chilling stuff.
While Homelander practices his explainer speech after that climactic season three moment, he slowly but surely becomes unhinged.
Elsewhere, the team behind the show have continued to release some meta viral marketing for their new episodes, with Vought’s Ashley Barrett getting the ball rolling on the PR spin surrounding her main supes’ situation.
The Boys season 4 cast
Although the writing was on the wall for Hughie (Jack Quaid) and Starlight (Erin Moriarty), the star-crossed lovers scraped it through the finale alive. The show’s very own Ross and Rachel are sure to have more trouble in paradise in season 4.
The fact that all of The Boys survived Soldier Boy’s assault on Vought Tower means Laz Alonso's Mother's Milk, Tomer Capone's Frenchie and Karen Fukuhara's Kimiko will all return for more action. Front and centre, we’ve got Karl Urban, destined to lead the pack as the unhinged Billy Butcher. Given Butcher’s grim diagnosis due to the effects of V24, season 4 could be his last - but something tells us this won’t be the case.
Even though the ranks of The Seven might be scattered, Jessie T. Usher and Chace Crawford are poised to reprise their roles as A-Train and the Deep — under the tyrannical lead of Antony Starr's Homelander. Colby Minifie’s Ashley still has a shaky hold as Vought CEO, but with questions about what puppet master Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) has been up to, don’t count the Breaking Bad legend out just yet - despite not being officially confirmed to return.
In terms of villains, there’s a double threat of Claudia Doumit’s Victoria Neuman setting her sights on the White House, and Cameron Crovetti’s snivelling Ryan realising his potential as the son of the psychotic Homelander.
Finally, there are question marks over Dominique McElligott’s Queen Maeve, Jensen Ackles’ Soldier Boy and Nathan Mitchell’s Black Noir for very different reasons. Maeve, got her seemingly happy ending with her ex, but with Ashley hiding this secret from Homelander, the vengeful Supe could seek her out. So far, she's not expected to feature in season four.
Despite his best efforts, Soldier Boy was put back on ice, where a mournful Grace Mallory (Laila Robins) watches over him. Homelander has some serious daddy issues and might try to break papa out of his incarceration. While not expected to appear in the show's fourth outing, Ackles has teased a cameo appearance in The Boys spin-off series Gen V.
Even though Noir was seemingly killed by Homelander, those up on the comics will know there’s a twist the show seems to have completely ignored. While it might not be our Noir that returns, there’s still room for a Black Noir on The Seven.
Ironically, Kripke told Entertainment Weekly that Mitchell will be back (in a different role): “It's definitely not the last we've seen of Black Noir as a hero.
"It's just that the guy who was inside [the Noir suit] in season 3, he's gone. But we have Nathan playing a really interesting and hilarious character who wears the suit next season."
Elsewhere, Simon Pegg is back as Hughie's dad Hugh Campbell Sr, with The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan also joining the show in a role that's currently a mystery.
American Gothic star Elliot Knight, Supernatural's Rob Benedict and Black Mirror actor Rosemarie DeWitt will also star. While Knight and Benedict's roles are still undisclosed, DeWitt has been confirmed to play Hughie's mum and Hugh Sr's ex-wife.
Blair Witch star Valorie Curry and Orange is the New Black's Susan Heyward both join season four as new supes Firecracker and Sister Sage respectively.
The Boys season 4 plot
As for where season 4 goes next, the comics give some indication of the plot. Going from promising Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez homage to full-blown Trump, Victoria Neuman is on track to be the most powerful Supe on the planet.
If the ability to pop heads wasn’t enough, she secured her position as Vice President when the Deep drowned her opposition in the finale. In the comics, Victoria is the male Vic the Veep, who eventually makes it into the White House when Dakota Bob is killed by a wolverine. Neuman has already shown herself to be a master manipulator, so we guess Stan Edgar trained his adoptive daughter well.
Starlight has officially joined The Boys full-time, and with her new ability of flight, it’s a major win against Homelander. Then again, the star-spangled psychopath has his own little protege to mould in the form of Ryan. Teasing Ryan’s expanded role, Kripke told Variety that there’s still hope Butcher can win Ryan back, knowing that he’s half Homelander’s and half Becca’s.
There could be a suitably dark twist on the horizon, as the showrunner explained: “If Homelander wins the kid over, that’s apocalyptic because then there’s two Homelanders. It’s like a child drama with apocalyptic stakes. It’s like ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ meets ‘Avengers: Endgame’. So that will be a really rich story moving forward.”
Speaking of Butcher, his diagnosis that he only has about a year to live gives Kripke the perfect chance to lean into the Butcher we see in the comics. With Ryan now Team Homelander and the ranks of The Boys bigger than ever, expect Butcher to have the leader of The Seven firmly in his sights. Whether it’s taking a full dose of Compound V to make him a permanent Supe, or finding someone with the powers to cure him, we don’t see Butcher leaving in a box yet. In the meantime, he’s sure to be his usual 'no f***s given' self.
Much like Ackles and the Payback joined the fight in season 3, we expect some new characters to step up to the plate. There are four gaps on The Seven, and let's be honest, The Three doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
Namely, fans are asking for the character known as Tek Knight, who is effectively The Boys’ very own Batman. Fans previously counted Tek Knight out because he’s too NSFW but after Herogasm, all bets are off.
Speaking of Herogasm, while that super-sex-party episode certainly raised the bar on The Boys' dedication to shock tactics, according to scene producer Stephan Fleet, the worst is yet to come.
I think I just saw the most disgusting thing I have seen working in this business thus far. #TheBoystv
— Stephan Fleet 🏳️🌈 (@stephanfleet) January 12, 2023
The same comments were echoed by returning star Pegg, who told Collider that the show somehow "gets crazier" - which is saying a lot.
The Boys season 4 release date
Amazon renewed The Boys for season four in June 2022 with filming taking place from August that year and lasting into early 2023. However, we're still no closer to discovering its air date. Looking at the show’s history, there was a gap of 13 months between seasons one and two, followed by 20 months between three and four.
The pandemic didn’t help, but this means The Boys season four release date could logically be anywhere between late 2023 and March 2024. According to the blurb in Urban's Instagram picture with Morgan, we can expect to see The Boys back at it "soon... ish" - which could be late 2023.
The Boys season 3 is streaming on Prime Video now. Watch a trailer below.