The Boys: Are all Supes made with Compound V? Explained

The Boys exposed: The truth behind Supes and Compound V (Image via Sportskeeda)
The Boys exposed: The truth behind Supes and Compound V (Image via Sportskeeda)

In the riveting universe of Amazon Prime's acclaimed series, The Boys, superhuman beings, colloquially known as "supes," were traditionally perceived as the embodiment of divine providence. These super-abled beings were often seen as God's chosen, their powers an inheritance from above.

Considering that the "supes" all seemed to be American, this made the United States seem like the "chosen land of God."

This pervasive mythos, however, was shattered by the public revelation of Compound V, the alchemical super serum responsible for their powers, shattering long-held beliefs and assumptions.


Compound V: The secret behind superpowers in The Boys

Compound V: The hidden elixir that creates Supes in The Boys (Image via Amazon Prime Video)
Compound V: The hidden elixir that creates Supes in The Boys (Image via Amazon Prime Video)

Contrary to popular lore, supes don't acquire their abilities naturally at birth. Instead, they are the product of a scientific endeavor to create super soldiers - initiated by the Nazi regime and later perfected by Frederick Vought, the founder of Vought International and the creator of Compound V.

With parental consent, Vought International acquired the rights to these children and administered Compound V. The resulting super-abled beings then became valuable assets, marketed by the company to perform public services like rescue missions. These heroic acts fueled the supes' popularity, feeding into the adoration and admiration of the public, allowing Vought to reap substantial profits.

This illusion of divine selection was shattered when super terrorists from other parts of the world started appearing, debunking the idea of America's divine favor. Further revelations about Compound V served to debunk the myth of divine selection for superheroes entirely.

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Interestingly, the modern Compound V formula is most effective when administered to children, with adult subjects posing a much higher risk. The children who received the serum were predominantly Caucasian, indicating racial bias within the company's selection process. One exception is Ryan Butcher, the only known child to have inherited his superpowers naturally.

The powers resulting from the Compound V serum vary greatly from supe to supe, with abilities sometimes emerging immediately post-injection or later in life.

The specific powers gained are often random and unpredictable, but most Supes exhibit some level of superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, durability, stamina, and healing factor. The dosage of Compound V also seems to affect the strength of the resulting superpowers, as showrunner Eric Kripke explained.


The emergence of V-24 in The Boys season 3

Introducing V-24: The menace that rocks The Boys season 3 (Image via Amazon Prime Videos)
Introducing V-24: The menace that rocks The Boys season 3 (Image via Amazon Prime Videos)

The Boys' narrative took an intriguing turn in season 3 by introducing a new supe serum, V-24. This serum grants temporary superpowers for 24 hours, turning ordinary people into temporary supes.

The Boys, lacking superpowers but pitted against the supes, consider the strategic value of V-24. Butcher, in particular, uses the serum, experiencing Homelander-like powers temporarily.

But V-24 is not without side effects, as evidenced by Butcher's repeated bouts of sickness after taking the serum. The severity and range of these side effects are yet to be fully understood.

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Compound V has shown adverse effects on adults, hence the initial focus on newborns, and it remains to be seen whether V-24 will follow a similar pattern.

As The Boys continues to unravel the mysteries and intricacies of Compound V and V-24, it's clear that the series is taking bold steps in exploring the implications of power, choice, and the price one must pay for superhuman abilities.

Whether these revelations will herald a new era for the supes or signal the start of their downfall remains to be seen.

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Edited by Upasya Bhowal