The Boys season three sets up a story that causes division among the titular crew. Butcher, whose life purpose is to eliminate supes, becomes one. Well, sort of. In the show’s first three episodes, we see him meeting with Maeve, who has been feeding him information about supes. But what they both really want is to take Homelander down. And that’s for good reason considering how he’s spiraling further and further into pure evil. Maeve discovers a weapon that might kill Homelander and gives Butcher Compound V24 a.k.a. Temp V because he will surely need it. The chemical levels the supe field and make Butcher’s comrades, especially MM, quite angry. However, Hughie takes his side in more ways than one.
What Is Compound V24 (Temp V) on The Boys and Why Does Butcher Use It?
Episode one introduces us to Compound V24 via a meeting Stan has with Bob. According to him, the Compound V24 super serum is “the future” because one dose will allow a regular person to be a supe for 24 hours. It is two million dollars a hit (whew) and supposedly meant for soldiers. Bob says supes shouldn’t be in the army (TRUE) and that V is associated with Nazis (also true). I mean, the original serum was created by Frederick Vought for the Third Reich, after all.
Stan agrees and insists testing still needs to be done. Stan’s goal is presumably to get into pharmaceuticals and out of the supe business. Queen Maeve gives Butcher a few doses of Compound V24, saying that if he wants to pursue members of Payback and Soldier Boy to find BCL Red, then he will need powers. After an encounter with Gunpowder, Butcher realizes that the only way he can fight is on an even playing field. He finds that he’s unable to be hurt and he has the cool laser eye power.
Later one, Hughie swipes some of it and gets the ability to teleport along with an additional boost of strength. The downside is, he loses his clothing in the process. Yikes. Hughie’s reasons are more than just wanting to help, though. He wants to protect Starlight and have some level of power in a world where he feels too normal and powerless.
How Does Compound V24 work?
Well, we do know that it gives a normal person super powers for a full day. After that, it supposedly wears off. But, like any drug, Compound V24 boasts some nasty side effects. We see Butcher vomiting green liquid and sweating profusely. He’s also really irritable (even for him) and has a hard time controlling his laser eyes from surfacing. And Butcher and Hughie appear to be in physical pain at times with black goo coming out of their ears.
Maeve claims the drugs are further along in development that what Stan does but boy does it get worse. Compound V24 doesn’t appear to be addictive outside of the ego boost. But, we later find out via Starlight that Compound V24 is fatal with more than three or so uses. Butcher tricks Hughie into not taking more doses but he does it and finds out in the finale that he will die in 12-18 months. Yikes.
Will Anyone Else Use Compound V24?
Maybe they will in season four. But we are sure it won’t be a Boys member who does it, especially after seeing how it affected Butcher. If anyone regular gets their hands on all that power, it can be really, really bad.
Will Compound V24 tear the Boys apart?
It nearly did this season. Butcher went against his cardinal philosophy that humans shouldn’t have this kind of power. He’s in a bad place with MM and the others but perhaps a grim diagnosis will change their hearts. Still, it remains to be seen if those bonds can ever fully repair themselves after this Temp V debacle.
Of course, the first three episodes of The Boys only scratch the surface about Compound V24. We will have to wait and see what effects it has as this story unfolds.
Originally published on June 3, 2022.