In the second episode of The Boys, Translucent had a bomb implanted in his colon and later on, when it exploded, I expected that his body would not explode as the explosion would be contained in his body (due to the thicker skin).

Why was that possible?

2 Answers 2


Frenchie gives a better description of his powers:

He can re-order his carbon on his skin into metamaterial. It's hard as diamonds. It's nearly impossible to penetrate.

Based on the wording, it implies that his skin is not always impenetrable. He has to activate it. So the in-universe answer would be that he didn't turn his skin in to metamaterial on explosion.

Out-of-universe answer was answered in this AMA by co-creator Erik Kripke.

Yes, you're absolutely right, the skin should have contained the blast, but then we'd have missed out on that amazing bloody explosion of "blood and meat" (cause Translucent predicted his own death). One solid writer's room rule: "Keep Your Rules in Mind but Never Logic Yourself Out Of Entertainment.

  • 3
    E.g., a variant of "the ship moves at the speed of plot." :-) Oct 13, 2020 at 7:14
  • 7
    While there's no in- or -out-of-universe source for this necessarily applying to Translucent, it's worth mentioning that being "almost impossible to penetrate" from the outside does not necessarily that it's the same story from the inside. Lots of physical objects (e.g. car windows) have a material structure that's much harder to break from the outside than from the inside. That's at least some plausible support for Kripke's decision not to logic us all out of Hughie's big dramatic "cherry pop".
    – jez
    Oct 13, 2020 at 18:35
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    Also, 'lucent shows his skin transforming on that talk show, indicating it's a voluntary action. Once that bomb goes off, and he is dead due to internal organ destruction, there is no volition to keep the skin in it's carbon/diamond state.
    – mcalex
    Oct 14, 2020 at 3:28
  • But wouldn't that mean that when he is knocked out that he will be vulnerable? And if I correct remember he was electrocuted and he was unconscious, but still they couldn't cut him apart.
    – Edwin
    Oct 14, 2020 at 9:45
  • It's also worth noting the small detail that if his skin is as hard as diamond, that doesn't mean it can't be broken with enough force. They can't cut him, but applying a huge amount of force outwards all at once? Oh yeah, that smashed him up real good lol.
    – Carson
    Dec 18, 2020 at 21:59

In terms of his skin being nearly invulnerable - the butt-bomb is not an attack where an object is trying to pierce or break the skin. It's a matter or tremendous force and power being universally exerted outwards. To the degree that there is a "weakest link," one doesn't have to find and attack it like this. The pressure and shockwave from a massive explosion will naturally exert, find and focus on any areas of weakness.

Think of an actual grenade. You would probably have a hard time, with a knife or screwdriver, finding a way to pierce the outside of it. But it's designed for an explosive charge, from the inside, to burst it.

I'm also reminded of Robert De Niro's solution to penetrating the safe and the metal chambers he couldn't cut in the movie "the Score" - he created a tiny hole to the metal shell, filled it with water, and then set off an explosive charge from the inside which created too much pressure for the strong, impervious, metallic outer shell to contain (which is, essentially, the exact scenario we're talking about with Translucent).

Here's a scene from Myth Busters where they test the scenario from "The Score" -

YouTube: Mythbusters - Safe Cracking (at 4:07)

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