'The Boys' Includes Spectacular Reference to Marvel's Ant-Man-Thanos Theory

Prime Video's The Boys went there in incredible fashion.

Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
2 min read
Homelander posing hands on hips in a meeting room.

Homelander (Antony Starr) is under more threat than ever in season 3.

Amazon Studios

Prime Video's The Boys is well-known for sending up Marvel and DC. In season 3, releasing a new episode each Friday, it ups the ante. It sends up Marvel's The Avengers like it's never sent up anything before.

The scene in question takes place in the very first episode, toward the beginning. An Ant-Man inspired Supe shrinks down and climbs inside another man's penis. The problem: This Supe has just snorted cocaine and a badly timed sneeze sees him return to normal size, effectively exploding his partner from the inside out.

If this scene immediately made you think of The Avengers Thanus Theory, you're spot on. The Boys' showrunner Eric Kripke confirmed to Digital Spy that the pre-Avengers: Endgame theory -- whereby Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) climbs inside Thanos' (Josh Brolin) bottom and then grows into a giant to kill him -- was the direct inspiration.

"At the time, there was that sort of meme going around of: why didn't Ant-Man just crawl up Thanos's butt and blow him up?," Kripke said. "So the first pitch was: well, let's send our character up a guy's butt, and blow him up, so we can give the audience what they wanted with Ant-Man, but couldn't get from Marvel.

"But then, hilariously, someone else said, 'Yeah, but isn't an ass explosion something we did in season 1 with Translucent?'

"It's wonderful to work on a show, where an ass explosion is on the table but then someone says, 'We did that'. And there's only so many orifices a guy has. So then it became a very logical step."

The Boys is streaming on Prime Video now, with a new episode dropping weekly on Friday.

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