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If you're a fan of Amazon Prime Video's superhero satire series The Boys, you've already seen quite a bit. In Season One you saw a guy blown up via a bomb in his rectum. In Season Two, you saw a speedboat fly through a big-ass whale, with blood, guts, and gore flying everywhere and covering everything. Already in Season Three, you've seen someone explode via Ant-Man analogue in their penis and someone else—a friend-of-sea-creatures superhero—eat one of those friends whole (even if the friend was an octopus, it's still sad! RIP Timothy). But, as The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke has warned anyone who dares to listen, there's really nothing that can prepare for the episode and happening known as "Herogasm."
A recently released content warning for the episode described it as featuring "airborne penetration, dildo-based maiming, extra strength lube, icicle phalluses and cursing," adding that it was "not suitable for any audience." Kripke added some additional warning during an interview with TVLine. "It's probably one of the more graphic hours of mainstream television that I think anyone will have seen," he said. "I think you have to really turn to porn to see things that are more graphic."
So, given what we've already seen in The Boys, um, well, that's a pretty big claim. So what the hell even is Herogasm? What does this word mean and why do people keep saying it over and over again? Luckily, we can explain.
What is "Herogasm" in The Boys?
In the world of The Boys (sometimes referred to as the Vought Cinematic Universe), Herogasm refers to a top-secret but quite famous (or perhaps infamous) annual happening of, well, exactly what it sounds like. 80 or so Supes gather for the biggest superpowered orgy event in the world; the participants are usually sponsored by Vought, though they're typically of the C-list variety, as the show makes clear. You won't see Homelander or Black Noir taking part any time soon.
Which makes the events of "Herogasm," Episode Six of Season 3 of The Boys, all the more surprising. When The Deep goes to check in on the TNT Twins—washed-up former team members of Soldier Boy's from his Payback days, and likely targets of his revenge tour—he discovers that they're hosting the annual festival. The Deep being, well, The Deep, of course wastes little time in joining in on the festivities. Not to get too far into the nitty gritty, but he proves that getting over the late, great, Timothy the Octopus wasn't all that hard after all.
A-Train, of course the speedster of The Seven, also makes an appearance. Homelander himself later shows up, though not for any orgy-related reason, but rather to fight both Soldier Boy (the presumed-dead star hero of decades past) and Butcher (now Suped up himself). Herogasm 2022, it turns out, is quite the spectacle of stars.
Throughout the course of the episode, we see scenes inside the Herogasm of present, where we see returning Supes like the penis-exploding Termite, the extra long-penised Love Sausage, and the racist Blue Hawk, who had just finished terrorizing A-Train's community and paralyzing his brother.
We also learn about the history of the event—Soldier Boy, just before entering with the intent of destroying the TNT Twins, claims that he invented the party way back in his hey day. Should we believe him? Probably not. Do we have any reason to think other wise, though? Also probably not.
What is "Herogasm" in, uh, the real world?
If you look up "Herogasm" in the dictionary, you're going to find...absolutely nothing. But if you Google it, you'll find that "Herogasm" was a six-issue comic miniseries, published back in 2009 as a spin-off from writer Garth Ennis' main series of The Boys comics.
The story took place between issues #30 and #31 of The Boys series, and was meant as a spoof of the idea that has become so popular in comics: the big event run, with some examples being stories like Marvel's Secret Wars, Civil War, or House of M. Ennis made clear that while it was intended as a satire, they didn't want to give too much trouble to any Big Two arc in particular. "While we're having a pop at the notion of mass crossovers within a shared universe, we're not picking on 'Crisis' or 'Secret Wars' or 'Countdown' or whatever in particular," he said in a CBR.com interview.
One major Herogasm difference is the treatment of the character of Soldier Boy. Where the Soldier Boy we've gotten to know in Amazon Prime Video's The Boys is a dryly hilarious and also terrifying supercharged hero straight out of the '40s, the Soldier Boy of the comics was a much smaller character. Introduced in the spinoff series, Soldier Boy was simply a patriotic-themed Supe who had sex with Homelander once a year at Herogasm in an attempt to make his way into The Seven. Quite the change!
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