The Biggest Big Bad in The Boys Is A Regular Human Being Named Todd

When Peter Parker first got bit by the radioactive spider, Uncle Ben told him, "with great power comes great responsibility." Peter used those words to define the rest of his life not only as a man but as a hero as well. Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) from The Boys went about things a little bit differently. He said, "with great power comes the absolute certainty that you'll turn into a right cunt." Much like Jurassic Park was, at its core, an exploration about why opening Jurassic Park is a bad idea, The Boys continues on after properties like Watchmen by saying that people getting superpowers is probably not the best thing. From the moment the show starts, and Robin quite literally explodes in front of Hughie (Jack Quaid), we know that the superheroes are not the good guys in this show. As the first and second seasons go on, the point continues to get hammered home that some of the worst people in this reality are the people that have the superpowers. Even when Butcher and Hughie have to get their own powers to win in the end, it's never presented positively because The Boys' point is that these powers corrupt and create and elevate the worst traits in people.

The Boys
Image: Amazon/Screencap

However, the third season of The Boys presented something that might be even more terrifying and sickening than Homelander (Antony Starr) letting an entire plane of people die through his own callous actions or [maybe] pushing a suicidal girl off of a building. The Boys has always been about as subtle as a 2×4 to the face and the third season took on the era of the last election cycle and fake news even more so than the second season did. Building off of the manipulation that Stormfront did to her online followers, Homelander, now head of Vought, goes about manipulating the public and building a cult of personality around him the same way that Trump did during his Presidential years. The social media accounts accusing people of lying and fake news, going on a very obvious parody of Tucker Carlson and denying that there is anything wrong when there is something wrong, all of these things are familiar to anyone paying attention since about 2015 or so. And much in the same way that Trump developed his own cult of followers willing to excuse anything he does, Homelander has done the same, and with it created possibly the most despicable and horrifying character in the entire series; regular-ass human Todd (Matthew Gorman).

Todd is just a mild-mannered-looking white dude that Monique (Frances Turner) is with now that she and MM (Laz Alonso) are officially separated. He likes superheroes without any critical eye, and throughout the season, his descent into the void is horrifying to watch because so many of us witnessed it. We all saw someone we knew or loved start to doubt the mainstream media because a man with power told them, then we saw them start to believe that man and only that man, then the excuses for any actions that aren't right, believing a narrative like Starlight's (Erin Moriarty) youth homes are trafficking kids because that is something someone said on the internet [or that kids are being held in the non-existent basement of a pizza place], we all witnessed these things online, and many of us witnessed this familiar decent within our friend groups and families. That is something that this season of The Boys captures beautifully right down to the final moments, with that shot of Todd after Homelander laser beams a guy's head, and he cheers. That stomach-dropping moment when you realize, oh, this is bad, this is so much worse than we thought because they are willing to excuse anything. If laser beaming a guy's head off, or storming the United States Capitol, are acceptable, then the line is gone, and we didn't even realize it.

Throughout The Boys, the idea that people would reject Homelander and the other supes if word got out about what they were doing was the only thing keeping any of them in line. Todd, however, is the sign that it doesn't matter. Homelander said all season that Starlight could release the plane tape, which wouldn't matter, but Todd is proof that it wouldn't. He's just a man with absolutely no powers, yet he is somehow even more powerful than Homelander or Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) because of what he represents. There isn't just one Todd out there; there are hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, who are all willing to clap when Homelander laser beams a dude in the face right in front of them.

the boys
Image: Amazon/Screencap

The Boys is coming back for a fourth season and even now continues to post in-universe viral marketing that the Todds of that world would be eating up. They are praising Maeve (Dominique McElligott) for her "sacrifice" and erasing her bisexuality while condemning and lying about Starlight with the other. Despite the earlier allusion to the storming of the capital, we haven't actually seen The Boys' version of something like that. We saw the version of the pizza shooting, but not the Capitol Storming, and considering how lard Eric Kripke and his team lean on real-world events, no one should be surprised if a version of that ends up in season four. After all, those moments when Todd started clapping and riled up the crowd were just as much the sign of the end times as anything Homelander could have done because Todd, though being the first one to clap, was very much not alone.

While Homelander might be all-powerful with a god complex and no moral compass, Todd is somehow even more stomach-turning because we all know where this is going, and we know he won't be standing alone.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.