Amazon’s “The Boys” Boasts a Bisexual Superhero named Queen Maeve, Long May She Reign

Bisexual superhero Queen Maeve found herself the perfect hiding spot: she’s on a show that’s A) on Amazon Prime and B) called The Boys. So on my own, I may never have found her. But luckily my brand is so strong that even this perfect storm of camouflage couldn’t keep her from me, because a coworker wasn’t even done with the series yet before she knew she had to alert me to her existence. And so now I’m here to share her with you.

I imagine the concept meeting for The Boys being something along the lines of, “What if Captain America was secretly an asshole.” (In reality, it’s based on a comic book by the same name…though I suppose the origin of that could have been the same.) The show imagines a universe where superheroes in the United States are celebrities of the highest esteem, but are actually backed by a high-powered, very corrupt marketing conglomerate who cares more about the money these heroes rake in than the people they may or may not save. If you’ve ever watched a Marvel or DC movie or read a comic book, you’ll be able to recognize the archetypes represented in the most famous group of “supes”, called The Seven. You have your All-American hero, your speedster, your warrior woman, the wide-eyed ingenue, etc.

When I say I was in love with Queen Maeve within the first 30 seconds of her being on screen, I am not exaggerating, because, I mean, LOOK:

queen maeve being badass

Armor on her body, armor on her heart.

She’s got the style and strength of Wonder Woman and the misandry of Captain Marvel, all mixed together with some heavy bonus baggage. Basically my ideal woman. Tough exterior with a squishy center is my entire jam.

We’re introduced to this world with Queen Maeve saving some kids, Homelander (the Captain America/Superman type) taking all the credit, and said kids wanting selfies after. A few scenes later, the speedster supe, A-Train, runs directly through a woman, exploding her on contact. And you thought Arrow was dark.

So instantly we know what this show’s about: it’s gritty, it’s fucked up, and it’s here to turn everything you thought you knew about a superhero show on its head.

The show largely follows two main characters, a “normal” man named Hughie, boyfriend of the ‘sploded girl, and the newest member of The Seven, a supe named Starlight. Starlight is the wide-eyed ingenue who grew up with her state mom putting her in Miss Hero Pageants, idolizing The Seven and always dreaming of being one of them someday. But on her very first day, she’s sexually assaulted by The Deep (the supe with water-related powers) and she soon learns that being a superhero isn’t the glamorous life full of saving people she had always dreamed it would be, which even leads her questioning her faith (since she was lead to believe God made her a supe and wanted her to be a hero.)

starlight questions the man + woman = marriage banner

Me when I left my Catholic High School for college in NYC.

I really enjoyed this show overall, for all its grit and gore, but also the very human themes throughout. Starlight was literally “superabled” – she can harness electricity and use its energy as a weapon – and yet even she didn’t know her own strength when faced with a manipulative douchebag she once looked up to.

starlight with fire in her eyes

My favorite Starlight quote: “Since when did hopeful and naive become the same thing?”

The show follows Starlight’s journey as she learns about the world in a sort of trial-by-fire kind of way, the only other woman on her side being Queen Maeve, who frankly at first feels very “suck it up, kid” about the whole situation.

maeve gives Starlight a tissue

The girls of The Boys are very important to me.

But Queen Maeve has her own shit going on, which we learn a bit about when she goes to see her ex-girlfriend Elena. It’s clear things are complicated there, and I hope in Season Two we learn a little more about what exactly went down and why Queen Maeve is a little more breakable than she dares let on.

Maeve kisses Elena

Can you imagine just DATING someone who dressed like this for work? Casual battle armor??

Maeve is a very “love is a weakness” kind of gal, whereas Starlight comes in all “love is all we need,” but maybe together they can find that there’s a middle ground for both of them.

maeve pours starlight a drink

I won’t lie, I spent most of this show just shouting BE FRIENDS, YOU NEED EACH OTHER at these two idiot beauties.

Overall, I really enjoyed this show, but I cannot overstate enough that it is not for everyone. When I say it’s gory, I mean it. And I don’t give that warning lightly. (In fact, I’m notoriously bad at registering gore enough to warn people about it, but I noticed it in this.) I’d offer some light trigger warnings about sexual assault and animal death, and of course people death. Among the men, it doesn’t rate too poorly on racial diversity (there are some supes that are definitely poking fun at the lack of diversity in big-budget superhero franchises, but there are also some men of color in the main cast) though the only woman of color in the main cast is Kimiko, an Asian woman who never speaks (though she IS pretty kickass).

The Boys was already renewed for a second season, and hopefully we learn more about Maeve and Elena’s history, and maybe their future. Either way, I’ll be tuning in to watch Kimiko kick some more men’s asses, learn more about Starlight’s journey, and revel in Maeve’s continued badassery.

Just a nerdy, TV-loving, Twitter-addicted Hufflepuff who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 167 articles for us.

5 Comments

  1. I’m honestly surprised I liked this as much as I did? Eric Kripke doesn’t have a great track record with lady characters and this show didn’t improve much on that – with the Karen Fukuhara’s character and the kinda-maybe-definitely fridging of some minor lady characters, but I was also very into Queen Maeve! Hope she gets more to do in season 2 as well.

  2. I won’t spoil things too much, but if they follow this character’s story from the comic then you won’t be happy about it. Hopefully they change things up cause they’ve already made some big ones with Starlight that handled things much better and more feminist than the comic did.

  3. I am just so cautious about this show. I know it’s based on a graphic novel written by and for dudes, and though I know the show has adapted things better, it shows throughout. Not only the early fridging, but even the parts you point to with Queen Maeve and Starlight–especially Starlight–seem like roles that exist merely to justify the fucked up things The Boys will do on their own supervillain journeys, and not about advancing the narrative of the show for themselves. It just all *feels* so dude-centric in a very violently patriarchal way.

    That all said I was compelled by the production and performances. However messed up everything is, there’s also something compelling about it. And I’m not usually a giant fan of nihilism. I need hope for something good to come out of things. So I’m keeping a very firm side eye on it, and consuming it with salt. Hopefully they deviate from the comics in a more feminist, less man-centered way as least regarding character storylines, etc.

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