“The Boys” may be getting ready to riff on a very specific Marvel Cinematic Universe joke.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, actor Jensen Ackles — who joined Amazon’s Prime Video series in Season 3 as the gruff Captain America-analog Soldier Boy — casually revealed that his character will appear in the upcoming spin-off series “Gen V.” The 45-year-old former “Supernatural” star played predictably coy about what exactly his role would be, though his wording implies that it will be in a brief cameo capacity — and we have an idea of what that cameo might look like.
“Gen V” takes the diabolical action of “The Boys” to an academic setting, not unlike what “Spider-Man: Homecoming” did for the MCU. A running gag in Spidey’s film involved the school’s faculty showing bored students various school PSAs filmed by Captain America (Steve Rogers) from the time period of the original “Avengers” film. Given Soldier Boy’s explosive end following his fight with Homelander (Antony Starr) and subsequent detainment, he’s most likely to appear via “archive footage” from when he was a superhero, and in what better scenario than one that apes an iconic superhero movie moment like the Captain America “Homecoming” PSAs? Though, with “The Boys'” predilection for satirical social commentary and vulgar humor, Soldier Boy’s PSAs would be very different from Captain America’s.
Why Soldier Boy PSAs would be perfect for Gen V
Just as “The Boys” uses the superhero genre to satirize and comment upon consumerism, militarization, and American politics, “Gen V” will likely use it to explore the current state of the American education system. Though there are many issues, both recent and historical, for the series to mine from, a Soldier Boy PSA would lend itself perfectly to one of the oldest debates on academic policy: sex education.
Many Americans have argued that sex education in U.S. schools is woefully under-instructive, lacking in practical sexual safety information and the necessary candor about contemporary sexuality. In fact, some rare instances have seen sex ed courses use outdated “educational” videos from decades past — and in the universe of “The Boys,” who better to film an out-of-date sex ed video than Soldier Boy?
Aside from the obvious irony of any Vaught superhero preaching sexual morality and the comedic well of comically archaic sex-ed PSAs, there would be an opportunity for an additional layer of irony in a Solider Boy sex ed PSA, specifically. The primary focus of many older sex ed videos is scaring children with the threat of unplanned parenthood — something Soldier Boy actually experienced in Season 3, when he uncovered Homelander’s true parentage. If there were ever perfect spokespeople for using contraception, it would surely be the most unlikable father-son duo on “The Boys.”