With the return of Amazon's bloody superhero series looming like Homelander on the horizon, anticipation for The Boys Season 2 is steadily building. And piquing the interest of the show's fans is the addition of a powerful character straight out of the Garth Ennis/Darick Robertson comic book series: Stormfront — a formidable supe played by You're the Worst star Aya Cash.
Who exactly is Stormfront and how will contribute to the team while remaining under Vought Industries' watchful eye? We spoke with Cash to get further insight into the character, and her description pretty much sums up The Seven's newest member.
"Stormfront can be a take-no-sh*t, feminist, ballbusting, destroy-the-patriarchy, strong woman," Cash tells Inverse, "At the same time, she's a complete psychopath with huge other issues."
A psychopathic superhero? Homelander (Antony Starr) already fits that bill to a tee. Having another maniacal supe on the team will most certainly bring a fair share of drama. But when you take into consideration that Stormfront was a man in the comics, the inclusion of the gender-flipped character in the series raises some interesting new questions.
“We wanted to create Homelander's worst nightmare.”
Why make Stormfront a woman? Showrunner Eric Kripke says it has everything to do with The Boys’ steal-y eyed, American flag cape-wearing leader.
"We wanted to create Homelander's worst nightmare,” he says, “and his worst nightmare would be a strong woman who wasn't afraid of him who would proceed to steal his spotlight. I think that would hurt him way more than if it were a male character because he is a gaping hole of insecurity.”
The last time Homelander had a strong woman to contend with, he developed a cringe-inducing sexual relationship with her while fulfilling an even more bothersome mommy's boy role in their dynamic. But since Vought's former Senior Vice President of Hero Management, Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue), is no longer in the picture, there's definitely room in Homelander's life for a new commanding female presence to take up that mantle.
The question is: will Stormfront remain a threat to Homelander when all is said and done? With Maeve and Starlight already pressing the blonde monster's buttons, one can only wonder how Stormfront will stir the pot.
The conflict between the supes is just one piece of the puzzle. There's another aspect to Seven's newest member that will be a huge influence in the direction of Season 2: her toxic world-view.
"She has certain hateful ideologies," Kripke says. "And the truth is there's a lot of hate and negative thoughts these days if you look online, that is packaged in really slick social media attractive ways. It's not like old dudes with crewcuts in the 1960s newsreels anymore. It's very real and slick charming people trying to hook in a new generation. We wanted to reflect how insidious that is."
Aya Cash's Stormfront has some similarities to the character from the comic, specifically black hair and racism. But her character on The Boys strays from the original subject matter by embracing the power of social media in the show. The comics first hit the shelves in 2006, which was the year Twitter first launched. It was a simpler time before “fake news,” anti-vax Facebook groups, political memes, and a president who governs by Twitter became part of everyday life. What a difference 14 years can make.
Needless to say, these timely updates to Stormfront not only strike a chord with the multiple conflicts spinning throughout Season 2 of The Boys, they help to keep the superhero series relevant and relatable during this oddball era we're currently living in.
Stormfront first appears in the series in the form of a video being broadcast live through one of her social channels. Up until this point in the series, each member of The Seven has been carefully produced by the Vought publicity team. As we immediately see, Stormfront ain't about that.
"She doesn't need a publicist," Cash says. "She is the publicity machine because she understands that talking directly to fans is the way to have the most influence over her story and what she wants to get done."
While Cash remained a bit tight-lipped as to how Stormfront's racism would influence the other supes, the Boys, and the American public, she gave a few words of wisdom to mull over while we wait for the new episodes to drop:
"How can you be on social media all the time and not be a monster, anyway?"
The Boys Season 2 will premiere its first three episodes on Friday, September 4, with a new episode dropping each week on Amazon Prime Video.