Why The Boys Season 2 Genderswapped a Comic Character

The second season of Amazon's hit superhero series The Boys is about to descend on the streaming service, offering even more raunchy and grotesque adventures into the underbelly of superpowered warfare. The show will introduce a lot of new key characters from the original comic series in the upcoming episodes, including the debut of actress Aya Cash as Stormfront. This is a major change from the comic series by Garth Ennis, Darrick Robertson, and Tony Aviña, which featured a male version of Stormfront, who was secretly created in Nazi Germany but continues to operate in the United States after World War II.

So why did The Boys Season 2 change the character's gender? Showrunner Eric Kripke addressed the reasoning during a virtual junket for the TCAs this week.

"We wanted to sort of create Homelander’s worst nightmare. And his worse nightmare would be a strong woman who wasn’t afraid of him and proceeded to steal his spotlight," said Kripke. "I think that would hurt him way more than if it were a male character because he is a gaping hole of insecurity."

The character of Stormfront in the comics is a deeply racist pastiche of Thor and Shazam, though the comic was published and set before the prominence of social media allowed white supremacist ideology to become as normalized as it is now. Kripke and the writers room on The Boys decided to use that to their advantage, showing this new version of Stormfront who has mastered social media to frame her message in a way that garner's support for her ideology.

"A lot of hate and negative thought these days, if you look online, is packaged in really slick, social media-attractive ways," Kripke said. "It’s not like the old dudes with crew cuts in the 1960s newsreels anymore."

The showrunner went on to explain that Cash's version of Stormfront will show how new hate movements are led by "young people, who are trying to hook in a new generation and we sort of wanted to reflect how insidious that is." So while Homelander is a symbol of nationalist pride, fans should expect Stormfront to take those aspects to an insidious level reflective of modern society.

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The Boys Season 2 is on track to debut on Amazon Prime Video in September 4th.

[h/t theWrap]