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The Untold Truth Of The Boys' Billy Butcher

There are numerous characters to root for in "The Boys." Everyone is, after all, the hero of their own story. The Prime Video series features characters who sway between good and evil. Even the superheroes of "The Boys" have more than their share of flaws, to say the least. Speaking of flaws, let's take a look at Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), who's the leader of the titular squad of anti-superhero renegades. Though the series makes it clear that Butcher isn't a fan of Homelander (Antony Starr) — the twisted ersatz Superman who leads the show's ersatz Justice League known as the Seven — there are plenty of other tidbits that audience members might not know about the black-bearded protagonist.

Billy will pretty much do anything to punish the Supes in the name of his own definition of justice. His distaste for superheroes pretty much started when Homelander sexually assaulted his wife Becca Butcher (Shantel VanSanten) and played a role in her disappearance. Following Becca's death in "The Boys" Season 2 and the survival of her superpowered son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti), it's anyone's guess what Butcher's next mission will entail. While fans wait for the new season to arrive, it might be riveting to take a look at Butcher's past, present, and possible future. Here's the untold truth of Billy Butcher.

A bad childhood explains his outlook

Though Billy Butcher is technically one of the heroes of "The Boys," he's got a nasty disposition. You don't just wake up one day and embrace a demeanor like his. In order to get so curmudgeonly, some form of trauma must be eating away at a person's insides. In terms of trauma, the brutal childhood abuse both the comics and TV versions of Butcher endured at the hands of his father should do the trick.

One thing is certain — you don't want to get on Butcher's bad side. Though his father's behavior clearly left a bad taste in Butcher's mouth and gifted him with perpetual inner anguish and rage, this ruthless streak led to Butcher being a successful distributor of misery himself, whether he's serving in a war or fighting Supes. From childhood to adulthood, Butcher has dealt with a lot. An abusive upbringing is only just the beginning.

Butcher served in a war

Billy Butcher has a certain bravado that's fit for the TV screen. He's strong, violent, and refuses to back down from anyone, even if his enemies are supercharged with Compound V. Viewers might be wondering where he gets this mentality from. It's important to note that according to the 2011 comics series "The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker," he fought in the Falklands War of 1982 as a Royal Marine. During his military tenure, his destructive behavior was a problem for everyone involved, as he used drinking as a crutch and assaulted people as an additional crutch. 

It wasn't until he met Becky Saunders, his future wife, that he started to settle down. Though, as fans witnessed on "The Boys" TV series, Butcher went back into full-on rampage mode when his wife disappeared. He suspected Homelander was involved, and his suspicions were entirely warranted. Throughout Butcher's quest to bring down Vought International, it's evident that Butcher is highly trained in combat. That part of his life shines through with his tactics and fighting skills.

A short-lived relationship with his wife's kid

Though viewers of "The Boys" witnessed Butcher's wife disappearing and having a kid who inadvertently kills her while trying to protect her from Stormfront (Aya Cash), the comics version of Becca's death was even more upsetting, if that's even possible.

In "The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker" #4, Butcher finds his wife dead as a result of giving birth to a superpowered son. Despite the baby's powers, Butcher manages to beat the infant to death. Clearly, that's a wildly brutal scene — it's even very messed up relative to the deranged standards of Garth Ennis comics — so it's no wonder the creators of "The Boys" TV show decided to go in a different direction. Either way, Butcher's wife dies in both versions of the story, and he's left to pick up the pieces. However, in Prime Video's "The Boys," Butcher doesn't harm his wife's child, who grows up and ends up deciding he'd rather follow Butcher than Homelander. Of course, elements could change the moment Season 3 makes its way to the airwaves.

Butcher's undying mission to kill Supes

Once again, in 2011's "The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker," Butcher finds out that his wife has been raped by Homelander, which lights a match of revenge-based obsession and fury under Butcher. In the TV show, Butcher starts his crusade against the Seven when his wife is only officially missing and presumed dead. At this point, he suspects Homerlander killed her, but there's a little more to the story.   

Oddly, after Butcher detonates explosives to take out Homelander, the leader of the Seven — who could be described as Captain Amazing from "Mystery Men" reimagined as a sexual predator – actually rescues Butcher. Homelander goes on to tell Butcher that Becca is still alive and raising her son. This revelation doesn't stop Butcher from hating Homelander and the Seven. If anything, it makes him even more committed to his mission to take them down.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Butcher hypocritically gains superpowers

Sometimes characters have to take drastic measures to even the playing field, and that's seemingly what Butcher did to take on the Supes. As viewers know, Compound V gives a normal person extraordinary power. In the comics, Butcher decides to dose himself with Compound V, which might be a total shocker for viewers who have only seen the TV show ... unless they've seen the trailer for "The Boys" Season 3 in which Butcher is clearly shooting laser beams out of his eyes as if his name is Scott Summers and someone broke his ruby-quartz visor. The Boys need to stop the Seven, so something like this was bound to happen sooner or later, right?

It's evident that Vought International is the real enemy and they're just using Supes as their pawns and marketing tools. Despite this, members such as Homelander have abused their powers to the max and are monsters of their own makings. All the same, Butcher despises all things Supe, yet apparently takes Compound V anyway.

The worst things he's done ... so far

For the moment, Billy Butcher might be considered a protagonist. But even without discussing what he gets up to in the comics, we can say he's done a lot of shady things on the TV series. In case audience members weren't keeping score, Butcher shoots Starlight (Erin Moriarty), kills Mesmer (Haley Joel Osment), and seriously injures some other people using a superpowered baby. He also uses people for his own benefit and manipulates Hughie (Jack Quaid). For what it's worth, he also kidnaps Translucent (Alex Hassell), although that's definitely one of his more justifiable transgressions.

Butcher will seemingly do whatever he deems necessary for personal gain and-slash-or in the name of killing Supes. What he doesn't appear to comprehend is that not all Supes are inherently bad, and Vought is his real enemy. Considering Butcher uses Compound V in the comics and appears to do so in the trailers for Season 3, it's anyone's guess how he'll continue to push the limits.

He crosses over into full-blown villainy in the comics

Speaking of Billy Butcher balancing good and evil, he actually becomes a villain in the comics. In the paper and ink version of the story, Black Noir kills Homelander and Butcher goes on a warpath and attempts to kill anyone who has taken Compound V. Adaptations don't always follow their source material, so viewers are likely wondering what will become of Butcher after he possibly takes Compound V in Season 3. Karl Urban has talked about this possible date with an evil-soaked destiny.

"That's the dilemma: does Butcher become a superhero or a super villain?" he pondered in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "In order to defeat the monster, do you become the monster? And I think that's one of the cool things about this season is every character is faced with that choice. How far are they willing to go? What line are they willing to cross in order to achieve what they want to achieve? For all the characters on the show, it creates a conflict and it's fun to see who actually ends up on whose side."

Although it's anyone's guess if Butcher will become a villain or not, viewers have already witnessed that Butcher will go pretty far to achieve his goals. In some circles, he might already be the definition of a villain, albeit one that's still clinging to good.

Butcher exists on multiple media platforms

If audience members are looking for more Billy Butcher material while they wait for the next batch of episodes to arrive and they won't read comics for some reason, they'll be happy to find out Butcher appears in the animated spinoff series "The Boys Presents: Diabolical" and in a short film helpfully titled "BUTCHER: A Short Film." 

Karl Urban doesn't reprise his role in "The Boys Presents: Diabolical," but the actor does star in the short film. Without giving too much away, the short film — which you can view on The Boys' Twitter page – features Butcher's whereabouts before the events of the second season.

It remains to be seen what's in store for Billy Butcher in "The Boys" on Prime Video, but luckily, the creators have a lot of hair-raising material to pull from. There's a plethora of engrossing characters in both versions of "The Boys," but Butcher has managed to stay a fan favorite.