Supes Ain't Always Heroes: Inside the Complex Characters and Twisted Psychology of The Boys

Supes Ain't Always Heroes: Inside the Complex Characters and Twisted Psychology of The Boys

Supes Ain't Always Heroes: Inside the Complex Characters and Twisted Psychology of The Boys

Supes Ain't Always Heroes: Inside the Complex Characters and Twisted Psychology of The Boys


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Go deeper inside the hit TV show The Boys and its characters with psychologists, media experts, filmmakers, and more—including the original comic series' co-creator and the actors behind Soldier Boy and Stormfront.

Supes Ain’t Always Heroes offers a fresh look at The Boys, delving into the show’s unflinching depiction of celebrity, politics, social media, corporate greed, racism, sexism, and more:

  • The true difference between Homelander and Billy Butcher—and who the show’s biggest villain really is
  • What Soldier Boy’s characterization says about how we define masculinity
  • How today’s media landscape has contributed to The Boys’ success
  • What the evolutions of Hughie, Starlight, A-Train, Mother’s Milk, and other show standouts reflect about addiction, family, identity, and self-acceptance

PLUS: Exclusive interviews with The Boys comics co-creator Darick Robertson and actors Jensen Ackles (Soldier Boy), Jim Beaver (Robert Singer a.k.a. Dakota Bob), Aya Cash (Stormfront), and Nathan Mitchell (Black Noir) provide a unique glimpse behind the scenes. Comments from editor interviews with more of the show’s stars give further insight into their experiences in bringing these complex characters to life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781637744161
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 12/05/2023
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 539,602
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lynn Zubernis, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and a professor at West Chester University. She is passionate about fandom both as a researcher and a fan herself, especially of the Eric Kripke classic Supernatural and (obviously) The Boys. She is the editor of Family Don’t End with Blood: Cast and Fans on How Supernatural Has Changed Lives and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural, both collections of personal essays from the Supernatural cast and fans, including Jensen Ackles’s and Jared Padalecki’s moving stories of how fans inspired and helped them through some of life’s inevitable challenges. She is also the co-editor of Supernatural Psychology, Fan Culture: Theory/Practice, and Fan Phenomena: Supernatural. Together with Katherine Larsen, she has co-written Fandom at the Crossroads and Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls, and with Matt Snyder, Case Conceptualization and Effective Interventions. Dr. Zubernis is the Area Chair for Stardom and Fandom of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Fandom Studies. She writes a regular column on ‘The Science of Fandom’ for Psychology Today, reviews her television favorites for Movie TV Tech Geeks, and is a frequent guest on podcasts, radio shows, and YouTube channels talking about the positive aspects of fandom. Lynn also blogs on her own website at You can find her on social media @FangasmSPN.

Matthew Snyder, PhD, is a Professor at West Chester University and a licensed professional counselor. He teaches courses in grief and loss, substance abuse, helping relationships, group counseling, and theories and techniques of counseling. His research interests include working with drug and alcohol counseling, case conceptualization, and working with resistant clients. Dr. Snyder recently developed a new model of case conceptualization along with co-editor Lynn Zubernis, and has published numerous articles and a textbook on case conceptualization and effective counseling interventions. Prior to teaching at West Chester, Dr. Snyder worked in private practice, inpatient settings, and substance abuse treatment centers, and enjoyed a long stint as assistant director of a college counseling center for over fifteen years. Dr. Snyder also has a private practice in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Toxic masculinity, misogyny, trauma . . . and tights? Zubernis and company have cracked the code to TV's nastiest do-gooders with both humor and X-ray-level insight. Let's hope Vought never gets their hands on this one.”
Damian Holbrook, senior writer for TV Guide Magazine and TV Insider
 "A smart mix of thought-provoking essays and entertaining interviews, diving into the twisted and tangled world of The Boys."
Travis Langley, author of Batman and Psychology
"Supes Ain’t Always Heroes demonstrates the power of popular entertainment to teach us about life, politics, media, and ethics—among many other things . . . Zubernis and Snyder explore the nuances of the popular Prime Video show The Boys, including issues of trauma, extremism, masculinity, race, and many more."
Paul Booth, professor of communication at DePaul University and author of Board Games as Media and Watching Doctor Who

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