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The Boys Comic Fight That Could Spell Trouble For Butcher In Season 3

Spoilers for The Boys show and comics ahead!

Of all the members of The Boys' titular team, Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) is the most... "into it," shall we say. At the beginning of the series, he's the one to round everyone up to fight the good fight against Supes. Whenever somebody needs a beating, he's all too glad to oblige. And when there's a crazy idea, it's usually his. In a world in which so-called superheroes ruined his life and consistently ruin the lives of others, Butcher is a spirit of chaotic vengeance out to tip the scales of justice ... his conception of justice, anyway.

The fight never ends, but it's handled a bit differently by the Butcher of The Boys comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. In the show, Butcher usually relies on his wits and his skills to claim victory, but in the comics, he and the Boys have access to a diluted version of Compound V, the miracle drug which grants Supes their powers. It allows them to go head to head with their super-powered opponents, and holding back isn't really in their vocabulary. Butcher's fight with the Supe team Payback is no exception to that rule.

Payback on Payback

Payback plays second fiddle to no other Supe team except the Seven, and its members certainly earn that reputation. There's Stormfront, who wields the power of lightning (and is gender-swapped on the show), Tek Knight, equipped with a power suit, the size-shifting Swatto, the telepathic Mind-Droid, Crimson Countess and her heat generation abilities, the flying and arrow-shooting Eagle the Archer, and Soldier Boy with his patriotically embossed shield (set to appear in The Boys season three, portrayed by Jensen Ackles). 

Payback is a serious threat in the comics, and Vought sends them to take the Boys out of commission. Stormfront ambushes Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) in a club and, though she manages to rip one of his eyes out, he really does a number on her. Payback then attacks the Boys as they're waiting for her to recover. They acquit themselves well enough, but Butcher insists that the rest of them leave after Crimson Countess hurts Terror, his loyal dog. Terror doesn't play as big a role on the show, but mess with him in the comics, and you've officially earned Butcher's ire. As Frenchie (Tomer Kapon) says, "I almost feel sorrow for [Payback]. They are stuck in there with [Butcher]."

Butcher starts off by snapping Crimson Countess' neck with his own belt. Next, he blinds Stormfront's one good eye with glass shards, causing the Supe to fly off. "You lot still fancy your chances, then?" he says to the rest of them, now practically shaking in their boots. Swatto is the first to go, after that grim message, killed with a pickaxe through the mouth. Last but not least, Mind-Droid and Soldier Boy — now noseless, courtesy of Butcher and Terror — both meet the sharp end of a shovel. Eagle the Archer isn't present, and Tek Knight's fate is entirely separate from this incident, though his death is no more glorious.

Butcher catches up to the Boys just as Stormfront does, and the Supe proves to be no pushover like the others. Together, however, and with the help of Love Sausage, the Boys stomp Stormfront into the ground — literally. 

Not the same Payback?

Though Payback has yet to make a formal appearance on The Boys show, several of its members have been referenced and two have appeared on their own, both quite different from their comics counterparts: Stormfront (Aya Cash) and Eagle the Archer (Langston Kerman). They may not factor in at all, since the former has already been taken care of — courtesy of Homelander's son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) — and the latter is a chilled-out member of the Church of the Collective. With Soldier Boy confirmed and Payback all but confirmed for season 3, however, Butcher is more likely on a collision course with the Supe team than not. The question is, how are he and the Boys going to handle the situation?

They have yet to use Compound V themselves, but that could change given the mounting threat Homelander (Antony Starr) alone poses. Even then, seeing how willing the show is to deviate from the source material, it's hard to gauge the threat level Payback itself will pose. Butcher has its members scared out of their wits in the comics, but who's to say he can pull that off if Payback's show counterparts have more confrontational personalities? Keeping comics fans off balance is part of what makes the show fun to watch, so Butcher may come up with a different solution: he may need to, if Compound V is indeed left out. He's stayed alive this long, so a new group of Supes isn't going to intimidate him all that much, either way.