Gore in superhero movies and television is almost inevitable these days. Prime video The young has undoubtedly been a trendsetter since its premiere in 2019, followed by other recent examples such as that of James Gunn The Suicide Squad and peacemakerthe cartoon Invincibleand Sam Raimis doctor strange in the multiverse of madness, each offering their own version of gore and guts in a superhero story.
The third season of The youngwhich premiered its first three episodes on Prime Video on Friday, takes this to new heights with an expanded and extremely X-rated gag featuring an Ant-Man-like character named Termite.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for The Boys season 3 episode 1.]
In the first episode of the new season, Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) hunt down a superhero named Termite. He can shrink to a tiny size, similar to Marvel’s Ant-Man.
When we meet Termite, he’s the life of the party – the guests all watch as he simulates sex with a doll in a dollhouse. Soon after, he retires to a private room with a romantic partner. The pair snort cocaine together, and then, if desired, Termite shrinks and jumps into his romantic partner’s penis, like a caver entering a gigantic phallic cave. Inside, he playfully touches the walls of this “cave” to stimulate his partner.
Unfortunately, Termite (who, it must be repeated, has a ton cocaine) sneezes while inside the penis, accidentally reverting to human size, exploding his partner’s lower half in the process. On a show with a lot of “You have What?!?!” Gags, it’s a standout in the sex and guts department.
How much of an inspiration for the gag was Ant-Man from the MCU? A lot of, including the well-established “asshole theory” about Ant-Man’s fight against Thanos. After discussing which superheroes they had yet to parody, the show’s writers room settled on Ant-Man.
“At the time there was this meme like, ‘Why doesn’t Ant-Man just get in Thanos’ butt and blow him up, right?’ Showrunner Eric Kripke told Polygon. “And so we said Well, let’s give that to the audience because we can give them what they want. But Marvel just can’t give them. And then, funnily enough, one of the authors […] raises his hand and says: Did we do an ass blast in Season 1? And it’s true, we did. And when you get your butt off the table, there really are only so many openings you know a guy can go in.
The scene includes an image of Termite jumping into the huge (at least from his point of view) penis and also a sequence of him inside. And yes, the giant penis is a handy effect. The young team really built this.
“My favorite little fact about this scene, although visual effects sweeten it, is that it’s a practical penis,” Kripke said. “11 feet high and 20 feet long, built at great expense. So when he jumps up into that hole, this really happens. And it shows 7,030 why I love this job.”
Kripke acknowledges the gore trend as something he’s also seen in the superhero genre, but isn’t willing to attribute the shift to that alone The young.
“There’s certainly a trend to deconstruct the superhero genre,” Kripke said. “But I think ultimately that’s inevitable when you have such a big cultural force. Remember the comic trend, how long have you had very straight-forward superhero stuff? And then there was this British invasion of Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman and Garth Ennis doing that The young, and then they deconstruct and tear it apart, but rebuild it and pay homage to it and just start playing with the shape? I think you see the same thing on TV. So I don’t know if anyone takes inspiration from anyone else. Just kind of the smell in the air.”
The first three episodes of the third season of The young are now available on Prime Video.