[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Boys, Season 2, Episode 6, “The Bloody Doors Off.”]
The Boys once again delivered a ton of shocks in the latest episode, which featured not just a character whose massive penis can serve as a deadly weapon, but the reveal that Stormfront (Aya Cash) isn’t just a vaguely racist hipster from Portland — she is actually a very long-lived full-blown Nazi, born in 1919 in Berlin, married to the original founder of Vought, and the very first test subject to ever try Compound V.
Stormfront’s Nazi past, and its implications as to the history of superheroes, is just one of the big swings that creator Eric Kripke isn’t afraid to take when it comes to making this show feel as relevant as possible to the real world, as he explains below. He also gets into how they filmed the wild superpowered fight at the Sage Grove Center, casting Goran Višnjić as the charismatic leader of the Church of the Collective, and answers the question “What’s up with all the Fresca?”
I love anytime that I’m inspired to look up 19th-century philosophers and try to remember the exact origins of the word Ubermensch.
KRIPKE: Yes. Yes. I don’t thank Nietzsche for much, but the one thing I will thank him for is he allowed us to use the term Superman in our show for the first time, which was fun.
Yeah. I mean, were you worried about getting away with that?
KRIPKE: We weren’t talking about Superman as the hero in the cape — we were talking about Nietzsche’s term for superman, which was a genetically superior character, which maybe inspired Superman, I don’t know. I mean that’s a longer conversation, but superheroes inherently have fascist roots. Just the notion of them are fascist, so the idea coming from Nietzsche, it feels pretty organic to me.
It’s one of those things where I think we dance around that topic a lot when it comes to talking about superheroes, but this is where it gets you’ve gone beyond explicit. You have a literal, actual person from the Nazi party in the show. Is that a swing you were nervous about?
KRIPKE: No, not at all. In fact, I think it’s insane that it’s controversial to say that Nazis are bad. I was a kid, I grew up with Indiana Jones movies. There were no think pieces about Raiders of the Lost Ark saying geez, aren’t there good people on both sides of hunting for the Ark? It’s just not the world we lived in, and it shouldn’t be the world we live in.
Stormfront was a Nazi in the comic books, we always knew that she was a real Nazi. Our version of her, we just wanted to unveil it and it sort of makes sense to us that a lot of what’s passing for white nationalism today is dressed up in new modern clothes, but it’s really the same fascism and Nazi-ism that existed then. It’s come around again.
Yeah. I feel like a lot of the conversations to be had around this show are about the theoretical line, whatever it might be and how you feel about deliberately crossing it.
KRIPKE: In my perspective, there is no line. The line is a mental construct. I don’t want to say it’s our responsibility, because it’s a superhero show, but in a show that’s about the exact moment we’re living in, it feels like we wouldn’t be living our full potential if we didn’t charge headlong into controversial issues without being afraid of them.
So this week, we get our first look inside the Sage Grove Center and we get to see what’s what all these experiments that have been happening. Was it fun coming up with what these kind of not quite great superpowers would be?
KRIPKE: It was an incredible amount of fun and actually a lot of trial and error, coming up with things like acid vomit guy. If you look actually in the video surveillance screens, there’s a little Easter egg, which is a little mini hero that ran across the table and episode one and dove into that woman’s vagina. He’s there, for some reason, I don’t know what his story was but he ended up in one of those cells at Sage Grove. Don’t ask me why, he just is.
But, my favorite part of all that was having the opportunity to bring back Love Sausage. He’s such a beloved character in the comics, probably after terror, that’s who I get asked about the most. When are you bringing back Love Sausage? So, the idea of being able to finally present that character was a real honor, an honor for me.
I can only imagine what it was like for the actors on set.
KRIPKE: There’s like a 10-foot kind of prosthetic animatronic penis — I think it was able to move — and then a lot of it ended up being CG. It was like one of those 50s movies where you’re fighting a tentacle — they’re all acting with it wrapped around their necks. Poor Laz [Alonso]. That’s all I have to say.
This isn’t the first episode where we see Goran Višnjić, but I think this is one of the more substantial scenes we’ve actually gotten with him. Talk to me a little bit about that casting — was he someone you automatically thought of for this role?
KRIPKE: I did, I did. He had reached out kind of like how I ended up casting everybody on the show. They reach out and they say, “Hey, this is a really good show.” I always respond, “well, would you like to be in it?” He said, “Yeah, if you ever have a part for me, let me know.” We had not come up with Allister at that point, but we knew we needed to create this mysterious, slightly odd head of this church and established them as a character. As we were starting to talk about the character really very early, I said we should write this for Goran because he’s able to really nail that combination of charming and just a little bit ominous. We had him use that to great effect on Timeless, I certainly knew he could do it. The idea of just sort of bringing that slightly menacing energy, but still very civil and civilized was sort of exactly what we needed. We wrote that character for him.
Wonderful. This is something I’ve been meaning to ask about for weeks, too, is Fresca favorite beverage amongst the writers?
KRIPKE: No, I wish there was like a really specific deep reason. It just kind of came out of we were thinking about, way back in the beginning, what would cult members drink. Fresca just made sense to us. So, there’s going to be a tie in with the show and their new ad slogan is going to be “Fresca, the official beverage of cult members.” They’re really excited about that.
New episodes of The Boys debut weekly on Fridays. Check out this week’s recap as well.