The Payback from 'The Boys'
(Amazon Prime Video)

A Brief History of Payback in ‘The Boys’

It is safe to assume that fans of the TV show The Boys will be in a bittersweet mood in the coming days, with season 4 set to premiere soon and the confirmation that season 5 will be the series’ final season.

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[Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Boys]

The show has myriad outstanding characters, with Karl Urban’s Billy the Butcher and Antony Starr’s Homelander leading the way as the respective poster boys of the opposite factions, The Boys and The Seven. Another such group in the show is Payback, an antagonistic crew that serves as the overarching villains in season 3.

In the comics the series is based on, Payback were a team of superheroes that were active in the ’80s. They were considered to be the best superhero faction of their time, until the emergence of The Seven. Payback consisted of seven members: Soldier Boy, Crimson Countess, Gunpowder, Black Noir, Mindstorm, Swatto, and the TNT Twins.

A major shift in the group’s storyline happens when they turn against their leader, Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), and hand him over to the Russian government while they go their separate ways amid Homelander’s ascension as the leader of the pack, prior to the events of the series.

The members take up different jobs after disbanding: Countess becomes a singer and cam girl, Gunpowder an advocate for arms rights, Mindstorm a recluse, and the TNT Twins take on the role of TV stars and hosts of the annual herogasm event. Black Noir goes on to become one of the founding members of The Seven.

As of season 3’s ending, the majority of the group has been killed, with Soldier Boy being responsible for the deaths of Crimson Countess, Mindstorm, and the TNT Twins. Gunpowder dies at the hands of Billy, while Black Noir is killed by Homelander. Swatto was killed by the Soviet Army in 1984.

Soldier Boy, meanwhile, is put in a cryogenic chamber in the season 3 finale and potentially exits the storyline. Since then, there has been heavy speculation about the character’s return to the show.

The writers of the show made a major change while adapting from the comics, removing Tek Knight, Eagle the Archer, and Stormfront’s affiliation with Payback. In the source material, the trio is a core part of the group.

The Boys season 4 premieres on Amazon Prime Video on June 13.

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Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.