Who Is Stormfront?
Most of the heroes in the world of The Boys are intended to be parodies of famous Marvel or DC characters, and Stormfront is no exception. This powerful hero is basically a riff on Marvel’s Thor, with a dash of DC’s Shazam! thrown in for good measure. But while he may look like an All-American icon, Stormfront is actually among the darkest and twisted of Vought American’s heroes, and that’s really saying something.
Basically, it’s no coincidence Stormfront shares his name with the infamous Neo-Nazi website. He’s a deeply racist and hateful person who got his start as a weapon of Nazi Germany. Vought may have tried to repackage and rebrand him as an American icon, but Stormfront is a bully who would just as soon slaughter most of the people he’s sworn to protect.
Stormfront’s Powers and Abilities
Short of Homelander, Stormfront may well be the most powerful superhuman in the world. He has incredible strength and durability and can fly at great speeds. Like Thor, he can also manipulate the weather and generate electricity. Unlike Thor, Stormfront doesn’t rely on an enchanted hammer for any of his powers. It’s all baked into his Compound V-enhanced DNA.
Stormfront also ages very slowly. Even though he gained his powers as a boy in WWII-era Germany, he still looks like a young man in the 21st Century.
Stormfront’s Nazi History
In the comics, Stormfront’s official company-approved origin story is that he’s a reincarnated Viking with godlike powers. But as with so many things in this universe, that glamorous facade hides a much darker reality. Stormfront’s powers are artificially created, just like his fellow super. He’s actually the very first superhuman ever created, a product of Nazi Germany. He was even a member of the Hitler Youth before transforming into a powerful superhuman.
Even the Nazi’s seemed wary of Stormfront’s destructive potential, so he eventually wound up in the hands of American scientists and was given a full image overhaul. While adored by the public, Stormfront harbors a deep hatred of anyone he deems impure or inferior. And as we’ve already seen in the TV series, sometimes that hatred boils over and result in numerous civilian casualties.
Stormfront: The Comics vs. TV
It goes without saying the TV series isn’t following the exact example of the comics where Stormfront is concerned. While the character is a man in the comics, he’s been gender-swapped for the TV series, in the same way James Stillwell was transformed into Elisabeth Shue’s Madelyn Stillwell.
And as it turns out, the reasoning behind both changes was the same. As a glorified test tube baby with no real family, Homelander is depicted as a man with deep-seated mother issues and a twisted sexual relationship with Stillwell. Stormfront is a threat to Homelander in Season 2 because she hits so many of Homelander’s psychological buttons.
“We wanted to sort of create Homelander’s worst nightmare, and his worst nightmare would be a strong woman who wasn’t afraid of him and proceeded to steal his spotlight,” showrunner Eric Kripke said at a recent TCA press junket. “I think that would hurt him way more than if it were a male character because he is a gaping hole of insecurity.”
The emphasis on the Homelander/Stormfront rivalry is another major deviation from the source material. In the comics, Stormfront isn’t a member of The Seven, but rather another super-team called Payback. Based on what we’ve seen of that rivalry so far, we’d guess Stormfront harbors a bit of an attraction to Homelander, even as she tries to usurp his place in the spotlight. It makes sense. As a square-jawed, barrel-chested, blond-haired hero, Homelander is probably Stormfront’s idea of the perfect Aryan man.It remains to be seen how much of Stormfront’s backstory is carrying over into the TV series. Will she be revealed as a secret Nazi super-weapon? Or is she merely the fame-hungry product of 21st Century online toxicity? Again, given her age-defying powers, either one is a possibility.
It’s also worth remembering that Supernatural star Jensen Ackles has been cast as Soldier Boy for Season 3. In the comics, the Captain America-esque Soldier Boy is the leader of Payback and a hero whose legacy also dates back to WWII. It’s a safe bet his history with Stormfront will be a focal point of Season 3. We may also learn what connection John Doman’s character Jonah Vogelbaum has to Stormfront, whether he was her creator or used her as a basis for creating Homelander. Heck, maybe we’ll find out she’s technically Homelander’s mother, at least on a genetic level. Wouldn’t that be fitting?
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.