Content Warning: This article contains discussions of sexual assault.
The Boys is finally back for its long-awaited third season and many fans of the show couldn’t help but skip ahead in the story by reading the comics during the wait. Most fans know by now that Annie January, aka Starlight, is one of the few members of The Seven who is morally right and ends up going against the villainous superhero organization. However, much like the other characters in the streaming series, Erin Moriarty’s portrayal of Starlight is slightly different from that of her comic counterpart.
Even though her costume, powers, and relationship with Hughie in the series are more or less similar to the comics, there are a few details about her backstory and her relationship with The Seven that the Prime Video show leaves out.
She Was Pretty Bored During Herogasm
Herogasm is an infamous event in the comics in which all the Supes let loose and engage in sexual activities during a weekend getaway. Disgusted and disinterested, Starlight decides to not participate in this debauchery and instead spends her time talking to Queen Meave. Even though Maeve used to give her a cold shoulder, both open up to each other and rant about the sheer disgust that they feel towards their male counterparts in The Seven. She also calls Hughie to check up on him (who is actually planning a secret mission to infiltrate the Herogasm with The Boys).
The Herogasm then concludes with an awards night during which Starlight offers a Lifetime Achievement award to the Supe known as Uncle Dreams.
Queen Maeve Risked Her Own Life To Save Her
Around the final story arc of the comics, Homelander figured out the loyalties of Queen Maeve and Starlight, realizing that both had been working with The Boys. As he plans to finish them for once and for all, Meave throws Starlight out of a building hoping that she lands safely.
She then goes on to attack Homelander with her sword, which surprisingly turns out to be a metal prop. Homelander easily overpowers her and beheads her. Starlight survives in the end and owes her life to Queen Maeve.
Was A Part Of The Young Americans
True to her Christian upbringing, Starlight started her superhero career after joining the Young Americans. This collective of conservative right Christian superheroes was sponsored by Vought International and also had affiliations with similar groups like the Young Republicans.
Around this time, Starlight is shown to be a devoted Christian with a generally optimistic outlook on life. Of course, after joining the Seven, she becomes more cynical and also starts losing her faith in religion.
Drummer Boy Was Her Ex-Boyfriend
During her tenure at the Young Americans, Starlight shared a brief romantic relationship with Drummer Boy, the leader of the team. They had first met at the Christian camp called Capes for Christ and had a non-sexual relationship.
Later, to her surprise, she found out that he cheated on her with another member of the Young Americans, Holy Mary. This led to her eventual fallout with Drummer Boy. It’s ironic to note that Holy Mary was otherwise presented as a chaste superheroine to the media.
She Temporarily Blinded A-Train In One Eye
A-Train has been very abusive and patronizing to Starlight (just like The Deep in the show). Initially, Starlight bears the brunt of this behavior, but when she reaches her breaking point, her threats are enough to intimidate him.
Then, A-Train attempts to sexually assault her in a hangar, proudly proclaiming that he’s a member of the Seven and he won’t face any consequences for his actions. Starlight then uses her light-emitting powers to blind him in one eye, and ever since, A-Train has kept his distance.
She Blinded Her Parents
In the comics, Homelander burnt up everyone in the vicinity at the time of his birth. Similarly, Starlight’s powers were pretty unstable when she was an infant, so much so that she accidentally blinded her parents and the doctors.
Unable to bear the stress of parenting her, they allowed Vought to take custody of her, who eventually assigned her to two foster parents. These guardians ensured that Annie joins superhero pageants right from a young age. This contrasts with the show in which Starlight’s biological mother has a major role in her story arc.
Joined The Seven After Lamplighter’s Death
Lamplighter, a disgraced Supe, was introduced in the second season of The Boys. In the comics, he was killed by the CIA (as revenge for killing Mallory’s children), rather than being discharged from his duties. Hence, Starlight gets a place in the team following Lamplighter’s death.
It’s revealed later that Lamplighter still exists as a zombified version of himself. He is resurrected mainly because of the side effects of Compound V in his system. He however lacks human mental abilities and is imprisoned in Vought’s headquarters.
The Induction To The Seven Was Even Worse In The Comics
In the show’s pilot episode, it’s revealed that The Deep attempted to sexually assault Starlight. The polarizing scene was even more extreme and appalling in the comics, as Homelander, Black Noir, and A-Train are collectively involved, asking her what lengths she would go to in order to join The Seven.
This was toned down for the show, though The Deep’s assault is still also very bad.
She Settled Down With Hughie In Scotland
The Boys ended its run with a happy ending for Starlight and her romantic partner, Hughie Campbell. Even though every other major character doesn’t survive, both lovers settle down in Hughie’s childhood home in Scotland.
The eight-issue spinoff miniseries, Dear Becky, gave a further glimpse at their future. In the year 2020, their life is tranquil and they plan to have children. However, Billy Butcher’s disturbing past catches up on Hughie as he chances upon Butcher’s old diary in which he muses over his late wife Becca and his general disdain towards Supes.
Resemblances To Doctor Light And Shazam
The Seven seems to directly reference the classic DC superteam the Justice League, with Homelander functioning as Superman, A-Train as the Flash, and so on.
While no clear comparisons can be made in the case of Starlight, she does bear a few stark similarities with DC characters. Her powers of projecting luminescent energy can be compared to that of Kimiyo Hoshi. Under the guise of Doctor Light (a title held by a DC villain of the same name), Hoshi can absorb as well as radiate all forms of light energy. If that wasn’t enough, Starlight’s yellow-and-white costume is also heavily similar to that of Mary Marvel’s (Shazam).
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