The Boys Season 4: Who is Firecracker?

You won't recognize Firecracker (Valorie Curry) from The Boys comics. But you might recognize what she represents.

Sister Sage (Susan Heyward) and Firecracker (Valorie Curry) in The Boys season 4.
Photo: Jasper Savage | Prime Video

This article contains spoilers for The Boys season 4 episodes 1, 2, and 3.

Through its first three seasons, Amazon Prime Video‘s superhero satire The Boys has drifted further and further from its comic book origins. While the series continues to borrow characters from Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s long-running comic, those characters often end up changing significantly in adaptation.

Season 3’s Soldier Boy was not a cowardly Captain America pastiche but a powerful super-fascist from America’s golden age. Gen V‘s Tek Knight isn’t a Tony Stark-esque metal man, but a true crime streaming host with the ability to sniff out lies. Now, in season 4, The Boys has introduced two major characters who are completely original to the show with no obvious comic analogues: Sister Sage (Susan Heyward) and Firecracker (Valorie Curry).

While both are sure to play important roles in the weeks to come, the first three episodes of this season (available now on Prime Video) delve into Firecracker’s backstory in particular. In the process, this gun-toting spar-spangled supe becomes emblematic of just how deranged the political landscape of The Boys‘ world has come…and ours as well.

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Remember when J.K. Simmons returned as J. Jonah Jameson to the Spider-Man franchise in Spider-Man: Far From Home? This time around, Jameson wasn’t merely a sleazy newspaper editor but an Alex Jones-style conspiracy theorist with a popular social media presence. Firecracker represents a similar acknowledgement of how the media environment has changed for The Boys.

The world of The Boys already has its own J. Jonah Jameson type in the form of Cameron Coleman (Matthew Edison), host of “The Cameron Coleman Hour” on Vought News Network. But even with Coleman slinging out propaganda goodies left and right, his increasingly radicalized audience wants something more…something that accuses Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey of running a secret pedophile ring. That’s where Firecracker comes in.

Season 4’s first three episodes chart Firecracker’s quick rise from YouTuber to full on member of The Seven. As the host of “The Truthbomb” online, Firecracker serves as the consummate Homelander apologist, pointing out that the innocent man he killed “had photos of his quote, unquote niece naked in the bathtub. He’s an ANTIFA pedo who fucked around and found out.” That’s how, after a live-taping of The Truthbomb at TruthCon in episode 2, Firecracker finds herself called up to the biggest superhero team in the country … even though she has barely discernible superpowers.

That’s right, Firecracker’s “power” consists of generating a firework-like effect that is seemingly even less powerful than an actual firecracker. Thankfully for her, Homelander is always looking for someone to “tongue his taint” even if he claims otherwise.

If Firecracker seems familiar to you, there’s a good reason for that. According to Valorie Curry, the show drew inspiration from real life media figures to craft the character – though she pointedly doesn’t reveal who.

“It really didn’t take a lot of effort to find inspiration,” Curry tells Den of Geek. “A lot of the dialogue is actually lifted from certain people.”

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Even though Firecracker has some obvious real life analogues, Curry sought to craft the character from within.

“When I was building the character, I leaned more into her hurt and her past her backstory. It would be so easy for her to just disappear into parody. It was important to ground her so that the commentary and satire could still rise in contrast.”

As we find out in episode 3, Firecracker’s backstory concerns Annie January a.k.a. Starlight (Erin Moriarty) and an ugly incident they shared on the young super pageant circuit. Starlight sabotaged Firecracker’s (then known as “Sparkler”) reputation with a particularly gross rumor. Starlight was able to move on from that past, while Firecracker wasn’t. Her desire for destruction isn’t solely political, it’s personal. And that probably sounds pretty familiar to us all too.

The first three episodes of The Boys season 4 are available to stream on Prime Video now. New episodes premiere Thursdays, culminating with the finale on July 18.