Is one comic character potentially set to appear in The Boys season 2 too offensive for Amazon to include? When a live-action adaptation of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's superhero story was first announced, one of the overriding concerns from fans was whether a TV show could include all the creative profanities, gruesome deaths and mature themes that the comics were known for, or whether some considerable watering down would have to take place to appease TV bosses. Finally premiering last month, Amazon's The Boys puts those fears to rest in no uncertain terms.
From Butcher's colorful vocabulary to a man imploding after having an explosive placed inside his anus, The Boys is not for the faint-hearted and showrunner, Eric Kripke, has revealed that the streaming service only vetoed one scene from The Boys season 1 - a sequence where Homelander pleasures himself on top of the Chrysler building, emptying out onto the New York streets. Nevertheless, the depravity in the comic version of The Boys deepens as the series progresses, and its hard to imagine everything making it onto TV, despite Amazon clearly being fairly lenient with what they'll allow.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for The Boys season 2 will be Tek-Knight. Riffing on both Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark, Tek-Knight is a billionaire who uses an advanced mech suit to fight crime, operating out of a cave secreted under his grandiose mansion. Tek-Knight featured prominently in the second volume of The Boys' comic series and has already been mentioned in the Amazon TV show. In the scene where Butcher takes Hughie to a group therapy session for victims of superhero collateral damage, a woman explains how Tek-Knight shattered her spine in the process of saving her.
It appears that Tek-Knight, under normal circumstances, would be a prime candidate to appear in The Boys season 2, but "normal circumstances" is not a phrase usually associated with Billy Butcher's line of work. Tek-Knight has a crippling addiction to sex. Not just sex with people, but also animals and inanimate objects. Anything that can remotely be construed as a potential orifice, Tek-Knight will attempt to insert himself into. His victims include an unsuspecting male superhero, his therapist's coffee cup and the ear of long-serving butler, Thomas (The Boys' version of Batman's Alfred). Most disgusting of all, Tek-Knight is forced to send away his Boy Wonder sidekick because he starts having thoughts in that direction.
Clearly, this is quite a step-up in terms of gross-out humor than anything seen in The Boys season 1. Even if none of the "interactions" are shown directly (they mostly aren't in the comics either), just the idea of this character represents several challenges. For one, there's the controversy Tek-Knight could generate. Even if the sidekick element was removed, the way Tek-Knight commits his assaults with a general sense of nonchalance is simply not how sexual crimes are depicted on TV. And if Amazon balked at the idea of the Homelander masturbation scene, the idea of a live-action Tek-Knight would probably haunt Jeff Bezos' dreams for all eternity.
The second issue is how to make such a ridiculous character fit into the darker and more grounded TV version of The Boys. The comic book medium allows authors to pull off some seriously out-there scenes, but pitching the Tek-Knight character on TV could be seen as jumping the shark, if he's not handled in a more realistic way.
For comic readers who remain keen to seen how Amazon's The Boys portrays Tek-Knight, there is still hope. While the company did insist on cutting the previously mentioned Homelander scene, Kripke suggested that this was because they felt it was gratuitous and didn't add anything to the story. This might imply that, should Tek-Knight be deemed an important inclusion for The Boys season 2, Amazon would be willing to find some way of adapting this sex-crazed character.
The Boys season 2 is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.