The Boys Season 4 Parodies Batman With Tek Knight

Hughie manages to infiltrate Tek Knight’s party because he is disguised as Web Weaver (a parody of Spider-Man, right down to the costume that hides his entire body), a superhero who is auditioning to become Tek Knight’s new sidekick. The main qualification is the willingness to be Tek Knight’s sex toy; Tek Knight’s last sidekick, Laddio (Reid Miller), is chained up in his Tek Cave in a red slave suit, after apparently somehow displeasing him. Once Hughie, Annie (Erin Moriarty), and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) subdue Tek Knight, Laddio retaliates by giving them access to all of his mentor’s bank accounts. The only way to torture a masochist like Tek Knight for information is to send his millions to Black Lives Matter and the Innocence Project.

The “Batman” movies do their best to portray the Dark Knight as a brooding loner (the last time we had a real live-action Robin was in 1997). However, the comic book Batman has had six Robins and four Batgirls; these days, the Bat-family is a dozen vigilantes strong at all times. Batman is basically a benevolent Fagin figure, taking in troubled young orphans and running an army of costumed child soldiers.

Tek Knight sorting through his fellow sex objects and then discarding them parodies not only the modern glut of bat-children but also long-standing queer readings of Batman. In 1954, child psychiatrist Fredric Wertham wrote “Seduction of the Innocent,” a book that attacked the comic book industry, arguing, for example, that the dynamic between Batman and Robin promoted homosexuality in children.

Wertham’s words sparked a moral panic. Before rushing to respond with how Batman is totally straight… stop and think. Remember, the best Batman of all, Kevin Conroy, was gay. Of all the horrible things Tek Knight does in “Gen V” and “The Boys,” his sex life isn’t at the top of the list. I just wish the show would realize that.

“The Boys” is available to stream on Prime Video.

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