The Boys’ New Breakout Character Borrows a Trick From a Classic Superhero

Sister Sage is a genius addition to Amazon’s anti-supe series.

Sister Sage (Susan Heyward) and Firecracker (Valorie Curry) face off in The Boys
Prime Video

The latest season of The Boys introduces a few new supes to the Seven, the Justice League-esque squad that work under Vought International. The departure of heroes like Starlight (Erin Moriarty) and Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) has given Homelander (Antony Starr) leeway to do whatever he wants. No one within the Seven has the guts to stand up to him anymore, as heroes like the Deep (Chace Crawford) and Black Noir (who mysteriously returns after being disemboweled by Homelander at the end of Season 3) have been reduced to henchmen status.

It’s everything a megalomanic Superman stand-in could possibly want. Hilariously, however, Homelander actually hates it. That leads him to recruit a new member of the Seven, one whose subtle powers threaten Homelander’s own supremacy.

Homelander’s push for power gets a major boost in Season 4.

Prime Video

Having conquered Vought, Homelander now wants to conquer America, and he realizes he needs someone on (or above) his level to do it. So he visits Sister Sage (Susan Heyward), a new candidate for the Seven. She doesn’t seem to have any physical superpowers, but what she lacks in strength or invulnerability, she more than makes up for with her infinite intellect.

Sage is literally the smartest person in the world and possibly the only person who can bring Homelander’s vague aspirations to fruition. Before he can recruit her to the Seven, however, Sage has to prove how smart she is, which she does effortlessly by pointing out Homelander’s latest insecurity.

“You’ve got a lot of power,” Sage says, “but you do age.” Not only does she clock that Homelander’s hair is greying and his prostate is swelling, but she ties all that stress to his encounter with Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) in Season 3. Her intellect obviously goes beyond this particular “party trick,” but The Boys makes a clever choice in tying her powers to another, better-known genius: Sherlock Holmes.

The Seven gains a master strategist in Sister Sage.

Prime Video

What sets Sherlock apart from other high-IQ heroes is his fondness for deductive reasoning. He’s typically able to “guess” things about people after taking a quick glance at their clothing, posture, or skin. Most adaptations already depict this skill as a kind of superpower: see Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes or the BBC’s much-memed modern-day reboot. That The Boys has turned deduction into an actual superpower (or, at least, the manifestation of one) is clever. By making Sage a modern Sherlock, the series creates an effective shorthand. We don’t waste much time wondering how smart Sage actually is — and neither does Homelander — which means the unlikely duo can get on the same page that much faster.

Sage might be the most interesting addition to the Boys-verse, if only because she brings nuance to a show that otherwise lacks ambiguity. In just one episode, she’s established as Homelander’s most valuable ally, someone who can turn the nation into the supe-first empire he dreams of. That essentially makes her Homelander’s evil campaign manager, which may be enough to give him an edge over the Boys.

The Boys is streaming on Prime Video.

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