Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Boys season 1 and the comics.
The Boys season 2 should avoid a major, but rather boring, twist from the comics in which the titular Boys obtain superpowers by being injected with Compound V. Throughout The Boys season 1, it’s clear that Amazon Prime’s adaptation is faithful to the comics yet different in many ways as well. So far, one of the ways the show and comics are different is with the handling of Compound V – the chemical serum that Vought Corporation uses to give people superpowers.
In Amazon’s The Boys, the team discovers that Vought has been injecting babies with Compound V to turn them into Supes, meaning that no one was truly born as a superhero. But in order to take the corporation to the next level, Homelander and A-Train started distributing Compound V around the world to adults – many died in the process, though – so that they could ultimately create supervillains for them to fight. By the time The Boys season 1 ends, they had become successful. And now it’s apparent that adults can become Supes by taking Compound V. Which is what happens in the source material.
Early on in The Boys comics, Butcher recruits Hughie to join the team, which is what happens in the show as well. But where the two differ is that, while on their first mission to bring down the Teenage Kix, Butcher injects Hughie with Compound V and then reveals that they’ve all taken it as well (though the story isn’t that simple, as it’s explained later). Even though Butcher is completely against the Supes in Amazon’s series, his comic counterpart understands that they need to be on the same level as the Supes – physically – in order to defeat them.
It makes sense that the Boys would want to have the same powers as the Supes so they could match them in a fight, but translating that twist from the page to the screen wouldn’t befit the story of Amazon Prime’s The Boys. In that version, no matter what happens, Butcher is stuck in his ways believing that all Supes are evil, regardless of how they became superpowered people in the first place. Changing that by giving him and the rest of the Boys superpowers could ruin the story.
What makes The Boys TV show compelling, especially compared to other superhero shows out there, is that it’s truly about non-superpowered individuals taking on superheroes. It’s a realistic look at a world filled with superheroes and seeing the non-Supes acclimate to that world along with figuring out how to combat the Supes is what’s intriguing about the story. Giving the Boys superpowers would turn the series into another superhero-vs-supervillain story, but in this particular case, the superheroes would be the Boys, not the Seven. It’s a tried-and-tested formula that works but is simply boring.
Next: What To Expect From The Boys Season 2