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Questions We Have About Supe Children In The Boys

There's no shortage of mysteries in The Boys universe, but thanks to characters like Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) and season 1's laser baby, the part of the series that we have the most questions about remains supe children. It's clear that babies are an invaluable part of Vought's ecosystem. The evil pharmaceutical company pays parents in order to dose their newborns with Compound V, which provides Vought with a steady stream of superheroes to market their films, products, and manufactured heroic ideals to the American public. 

But what are the larger ramifications of supes having children of their own, and how exactly does Compound V work on babies?

So far, The Boys has been selective about doling out answers to questions regarding the superpowered children, and the subject is full of unknowns. Since Vought is ... well, Vought, it's not surprising that characters like Butcher, Hughie, and Mother's Milk are just as in the dark as the audience about the ins and outs of superhero tots. In truth, the subject seems more likely to be addressed in The Boys college set spin-off than it is to be fully explored in the original series, but that won't stop us from pondering what happens when tiny babies are dosed with a drug that turns them into full blown superheroes.

Are only babies administered doses of Compound V or can the drug be introduced in utero?

In season 1, MM discovers that the Vought-funded charity Samaritan's Embrace ships Compound V to hospitals where it is then administered to infants — hence laser baby. However, the show has been less clear about whether Compound V could be introduced to a fetus in utero, and what that would mean for the mother. Within the series, it's been established that Homelander (Antony Starr) was essentially raised as a lab rat, but the circumstances of his birth could hold a grisly answer to this question.

The Boys comic books, on which the show is based, reveal that Homelander's mother is a mentally disabled woman that Vought uses to give birth to their purest hero. In the process of giving birth to him, she dies a horrible death. Technically, Homelander is created using Stormfront's (Aya Cash) genetic material — given his intimate relationship with the character, fingers crossed this isn't the case on the show — so it's not exactly the same as injecting a still developing fetus with Compound V. Still, it does suggest that introducing Compound V before a child is born comes with inherent risks to the baby and mother, that make it a less desirable option for a company that wants to keep its superhero-making business quiet.

Is Homelander the only sterile Supe ... and was that by design?

Vought is all about control, and they seemingly wanted to ensure that Homelander, in particular, couldn't reproduce. In the first season, the Seven's leader is shocked when he discovers that he fathered Ryan, because he was under the impression that he couldn't have children. When he confronts Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman) about Ryan's existence, the scientist doesn't have a good answer for him. In the words of Jurassic Park's Dr. Ian Malcolm, "Life ... uh, finds a way."

In terms of sterility, Homelander appears to be the only supe designed in a way that prevents him from having children, and that was no doubt due to the dangerous nature of his powers. Other characters like Translucent (Alex Hassell) and Mesmer (Haley Joel Osment) have children, and it's not surprising to Vought. In the comics, even Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), who is one of the most powerful supes, has children, so Vought's attempts to make Homelander sterile appear to be isolated only to him.

Does Vought monitor every child born to a Supe?

That brings us to one of the show's most baffling questions — why is Ryan the only child born with superpowers? Since it has been established that supes can have kids of their own, it's strange that none of them have inherited their parents' abilities. Surely this is an area of an interest for Vought — after all, the company puts actual trackers inside the Seven and keeps tabs on supes all across the country. It would be weird if they didn't want to study the secondary effects of Compound V on the offspring of supes.

For now, Ryan appears to be a special case, but it wouldn't be at all surprising if Vought is keeping an eye on characters like Transluscent's son, Maverick, just in case they develop powers of their own. After all, Ryan's mere existence is proof that the company's control over the supes is mostly an illusion. The company may not have been monitoring the offspring of supes before Ryan's birth, but in a post-Ryan world, Vought surely understands that anything is possible — and not keeping an eye on potentially super powered kids would be a mistake of the highest order.