Soldier Boys’ original powers seen in The Boys would never work in the television series, as he was drastically changed to be on Homelander’s level.
Spoilers for The Boys comic book and television series below
Despite being one of the few Supes capable of taking out Homelander in The Boys television series, Soldier Boys original powers would never work in live-action as the character was portrayed. In the comics, Soldier Boy was never turned into a walking nuclear reactor but instead had similar powers to the Marvel hero he was based on, Captain America, but used them in a much more pathetic manner.
In The Boys television series, numerous Supes have undergone origin and power changes that make them different from their original comic book counterparts. For example, Black Noir was changed from a clone of Homelander in the comics to an original member of Payback with an entirely different origin. Meanwhile, Stormfront was gender-swapped and had a romance with The Boys version of Superman – a stark difference from the comic’s male Supe. However, nobody in the comics was more buffed in their live-action portrayal than Soldier Boy, as Jensen Ackles’ version of the hero was nothing like the original, especially regarding powers.
In The Boys comic book series created by Garth Ennis and Darick Roberston, Soldier Boy is rarely anything more than a joke. Desperate to join The Seven as a member of the Supe minor league squad Payback, Soldier Boy will do anything the group wants to get a spot on the team – including being sexually manipulated by Homelander. However, Soldier Boys’ powers, which effectively are the same as Captain America’s, would never work on the TV series. Unlike the live-action version, Soldier Boy would never be on Homelander’s level, especially when it comes to powers. He would instantly die in a fight against the hero he admires most.
Making matters worse for Soldier Boy, was the running gag that he repeated US State names while fighting in battle. He also urinated in his costume quite frequently. In reality, he was designed to show how pathetic a Supe could be in The Boys. It made the changes to the character in live-action, where Soldier Boy was much more confident and powerful, that much more surprising, as he acted nothing like the character he was based on – or any of the heroes who sported the Soldier Boy mantle in the comics. It made him a much more formidable opponent to Homelander, as just a Captain America-like hero would stand no chance against him.
Ultimately, the changes made to the character were smart and made a pathetic Supe in Soldier Boy a much more interesting character. His new powers, look, and origin in live-action elevated him as a hero. His unpredictable abilities and attitude made him one of the most menacing figures in The Boys yet – a far cry from the character he was based on. The comic version of Soldier Boy was best left on the page as a total rework proved entirely worthwhile.
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