One aspect of the upcoming third season of The Boys that fans are most excited about is seeing Jensen Ackles suiting up as Soldier Boy. The actor has now shared the first image of himself after arriving in Toronto to quarantine ahead of filming, and it’s safe to say it’s not quite what we were expecting.
Like most of the featured superpowered individuals in The Boys, Soldier Boy is a mean-spirited parody of a popular superhero, in this case Captain America, with the character possessing an excessively clean cut image. This makes Ackles’ appearance that much more of a surprise, with the bushy beard and unkempt hair making him look more like a hobo than a shining paragon of wholesome ‘50s Americana.
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Although in the comics the mantle of Soldier Boy is a legacy title to have been held by two others prior to his modern day incarnation, the TV version seems like it will be all the same person. Showrunner Eric Kripke has previously alluded to the character’s decades-long service as an active supe, although it does raise the question of why someone with such a storied history is yet to be seen, or even mentioned outwith a few throwaway references.
It’s entirely possible that Ackles’ appearance will tie into this, perhaps with Soldier Boy having been incarcerated for years due to some past transgression (in the comics, the original version’s incompetence in World War II led to the slaughter of an entire encampment of American soldiers and the superheroes accompanying them), and is now being wheeled out as part of a PR exercise to attempt to repair the damage done to the public perception of supes by the revelation of Stormfront being a Nazi.
Whatever part Ackles’ Solder Boy will play in season 3 of The Boys, it should be something to look forward to, and until its release, we’ll just have to continue wildly speculating on exactly what it might be.