Today was a big day for fans of The Boys and Supernatural – and all fans of Jensen Ackles! After he teased that there would be a reveal of his new character Soldier Boy’s ‘supersuit’ today, just about everyone in the fandom was glued to their social media this morning. I had a dentist appointment, but I confess I kept my phone in my pocket on vibrate, knowing that if it started blowing up, I was missing the big reveal – it actually turned out to be a pretty good distraction for the dental work!
Shortly after I got home, the big reveal happened – and yes, my timeline exploded. And it felt SO GOOD! As a Supernatural fan for the past 15 years (and The Boys for two), I’ve really missed my timeline going nuts over some new information or new photos. There’s nothing that brings fandom together more than having something new to savor, and today was all about that. Fannish differences were put aside and everyone just squeed together over finally seeing Jensen suited up as Soldier Boy.
First we got one photo, with some backstory from articles in Variety and Entertainment Weekly. The suit was designed by Laura Jean “L.J.” Shannon and concept artist Greg Hopwood. Shannon called Soldier Boy the original bad-ass and said her goal was “to highlight a bygone era of overt masculinity and grit.” So they included “an all-American quality grounded in a military soldier’s practicality with a heavy dose of old school cowboy swagger.” Shannon also commented on the casting that they were counting on to do the suit and the character justice: “We knew that the actor had to have Steve McQueen looks and chops with a John Wayne attitude — luckily Jensen Ackles embodies all of that.”
Damn right he does!
LJ Supersuits, the suit designer, posted an additional close up on their Instagram and sent another wave of euphoria and excitement through the fandom, with this message:
“LJ Supersuits presents SOLDIER BOY. This suit was an incredible team effort that required hours and hours of research, planning, and detailed craftsmanship to get it right. We always start with the concept art, and Soldier Boy’s concept was created by @greghops, along with all of his hard surface sculpting. The concept then gets translated into a physical suit by our incredible team. We are so proud of how epic Soldier Boy is and couldn’t be more excited for @jensenackles to take on this character and The Boys Season 3!! Suit sculpting by @cce_inc”
Soldier Boy in the comics on which The Boys is based is the original superhero, created with Compound V to fight in WWII and the leader of Payback, the other superhero team (that’s not quite as prestigious as The Seven). He’s strong, agile, and able to dodge bullets, and has a distinctive shield – which Ackles previewed on Sunday with his tease about the reveal coming up today.
Eric Kripke, creator of Ackles’ previous character Dean Winchester and showrunner of The Boys, seems excited for the two of them to be working together again, though he may have been a little tired of all of us clamoring for the Soldier Boy supersuit reveal (ahem, that was not all me, nope…) Kripke tweeted the photos today with: “You win! Here! You can quit clogging my notifications! This is one of my very favorite suits, designed by the genius @ljsupersuits. If you like this, wait till you see @JensenAckles in action.”
Oh we’re waiting eagerly, make no mistake, Eric.
Kripke also commented on the suit, saying it took six months to make, but the experience surpassed Jensen’s expectations.
And all of ours!
Once fandom had the two photos, the posts on my timeline took a distinctively fannish direction, much to my delight. Every detail of the suit and its wearer were appreciated by a grateful fandom, which resulted in periodic exclamations.
(It brings out Ackles’ green eyes, what can I say? Fandom is right)
(Many of us were hoping fervently that The Boys would trim that insane beard but not too much of the long hair, and we mostly got our wish – also, ROGUE LOCK!)
(Thank you The Boys TV for not covering up one of Ackles’ most popular attributes – I love what is sure to be the incongruous contrast between who Soldier Boy is and the innocence of Ackles’ freckled and boyish face, with that rogue lock of hair in his face.)
(This made me get all emotional – Jensen told EW about choosing boots that were the same brand as Dean Winchester’s for his new role but in a different color, so most fans knew to anticipate it – but he had told me that a little before because he knew how much it would mean to me, so that little detail is always going to be extra emotional for me.)
From there, everyone began to appreciate all the incredible details of the suit – and the care and hard work that LJ Supersuits clearly put into crafting it.
The hilt of the knife is an eagle. The shield includes the distinctive “V” for Vought, and that might be what’s on the equally distinctive kneepads too. The suit itself is full of stars.
My timeline soon looked like this, and I was not complaining.
(Close ups by honeyackles, sleepypercy, casnovak)
Jensen himself joined the fray a few hours in, with an Instagram post that riled everyone up all over again. (Okay, everyone was still riled, but whatever, it kept it going!)
Ackles: My idea of a camouflage banana hammock got overruled. And I’m glad it did. I love this suit.
The Boys IG: Save that costume for your mission to Maui.
I like the way you think, TheBoysTV social media person.
Also, always savvy fandom: Wait, doesn’t Herogasm take place on a tropical island??? (Kripke has teased that the Supes orgy of the comics will be part of the show, but not that Soldier Boy will be there. Hmmm)
Ackles’ post is also responsible for this being all over my timeline too…
The Boys cast also posted their appreciation, as they’ve been doing for “the new guy” since he joined them, which I’m sure has gone a long way toward making him feel welcome.
Good feelings all around.
It’s 2 pm EST now and I haven’t gotten up to eat or drink anything or run to the bathroom, and you know what? I am not complaining AT ALL. This is one of the best things about fandom – everyone coming together to celebrate something we love.
ETA and of course the other two Winchester men had to weigh in also. Jared Padalecki’s enthusiastic support got ‘Yeah baby!’ trending and Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s exclamation sounded like so many of the rest of us. Chaos Machine Productions, Jensen and Danneel’s new production company, also weighed in with their support – and teased more Ackles projects in the works.
I’ll get up eventually and think about things like hydration and sustenance, but for now, I’m just gonna sit here and enjoy this. And feel grateful to Eric Kripke and Jensen Ackles for bringing so much joy into my life. I confess that I will probably not stop clogging up your notifications, Kripke. But it’s with love, I swear!
You can read Jensen Ackles’ thoughts on
Supernatural and fandom, along with the other
actors and fans, in Family Don’t End With Blood
and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.
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