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The Possible Tragic Ending We Could See On Amazon's The Boys

Amazon Studios' The Boys has always played fast and loose with the source material — mainly bringing the general themes and characters to life rather than a page-by-page adaptation. The best example is Hugh Campbell a.k.a. Wee Hughie in the comics. Jack Quaid brilliantly captures Hughie's humble, timid nature on The Boys, but he's not Scottish, and he definitely doesn't have the comics' Simon Pegg-inspired likeness — although bringing Pegg in as a guest star in the first season to play Hughie's father was a nice touch. Another notable departure: Billy Butcher injects Hughie with Compound V — which was developed by Jewish scientist Jonah Vogelbaum, not Nazi scientist Frederick Vought — pretty early on in The Boys comic book run.

It's clear that showrunner Eric Kripke isn't fazed by all the depravities in the original story, as The Boys season 3 is set to bring the Herogasm arc to the screen. "What's Herogasm?" we hear you cry. When the world thinks all the heroes are teaming up to fight off an alien threat, they retreat to an exotic hotel to blow off steam with plenty of drugs and high-end escorts. And if Kripke's willing to bring that level of madness to the Amazon series, it seems likely he could bring Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson's original ending to the show too.

Read ahead at your own risk of potential spoilers for The Boys.

In the comics, Billy Butcher and the gang unearth the final piece of damning evidence against Homelander: photos showing the universally adored superhero brutally murdering people and literally eating human remains. And after the Supe really snaps and leads an army of Supes in a coup against the United States' president, Butcher is sent in to take him down. Surprisingly, Homelander has no recollection of any of those events and starts to question whether he's lost his sanity. That is until Black Noir unmasks himself as a Homelander clone.

Will we see an Empire State battle on The Boys?

When Black Noir was partially unmasked in season 2, it seemed clear that The Boys would not lean into the Black Noir clone idea, but anything is possible. The original story saw Black Noir briefly take on Homelander (because these are comic books after all) before killing him. And Butcher got a nice, family-friendly dose of closure by ripping out chunks of Black Noir's brain, since he was the one who really raped and murdered his wife. Story over, everyone goes home, and they all live happily ever after.

If only it were that simple. Now that Butcher doesn't have a singular focal point for his rage, he decides to detonate a weapon he's been secretly working on — which would kill anyone that's been exposed to Compound V — at the Empire State building. That would mean the deaths of millions of innocent civilians as well as the spandex-wearing heroes. What makes it even worse, Butcher slaughters the rest of the Boys so there's no one to stop him, believing that Hughie wouldn't have the courage to put him down. But Hughie, in a fit of rage, charges at Butcher and knocks them both out of a window, with Butcher breaking his neck in their fall onto the observatory balcony. In the end, Butcher begs Hughie to kill him so he doesn't get locked away as a quadriplegic. In a last ditch attempt to have some control of his death, Butcher lies to Hughie, whipping up a story about slaughtering his parents back in Scotland. But it does the job, with the last surviving member of the Boys plunging a piece of metal into Butcher's chest.

Jack Quaid v Karl Urban on The Boys?

The Boys has already seeded the conflict between the pair, with season 2 showing Hughie defying Butcher's actions and ideas when returning after a brief absence. Butcher even punches the former shop assistant in the face after Hughie undermines his plans to save Becca. Obviously the pair reconcile over the rest of the second season, with Butcher even bonding with Starlight after Hughie is hospitalized during the Sage Grove incident. Would it not take a tremendous conflict to justify him detonating a bio-weapon above New York City? 

It may sound crazy, but we never thought we'd actually see Herogasm brought to the screen either, so are we really that far from Butcher contemplating dropping a WMD on NYC? After all, he lost the very thing he's been fighting to find across the first two seasons when Becca died in the season 2 finale, thanks to her son's explosive abilities. Perhaps he'll start toying with the idea of what amounts to a massive terrorist attack now that he's lost his True North. Although it's hard to imagine Karl Urban slaughtering the rest of the team, anything's possible with a series that was so cavalier with showing us the inside of a whale.