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What Only Comic Fans Know About The Boys' V24 Powers In Season 3 Episode 4

When superpowers come in an injectable form, the question who is — and who isn't — a superhero gets determined by money and connections, rather than morals. The world of "The Boys" highlights this distinction rather perfectly, by showing an environment where most superheroes fall under the jurisdiction of the corporation Vought International. This conglomeration controls almost every aspect of the superheroes in their employ, and it helps them present a good face to the public ... while at the same time aiding in the cover-ups of their reckless transgressions. After all, when one can move fast enough to obliterate any hapless civilians in the way or fire laser beams from the eyes, there is going to be a fair amount of public relation nightmares to contend with.

Instead of being sent to Earth as an alien baby from a dying planet, or given powerful abilities through a radiation accident, the supes in "The Boys" are all intentional constructs, and they don't tend to live up to the typical ideals of being a superhero. Compound V is the mechanism in which Homelander (Anthony Starr) and others have gained their powers, but in the Season 3 of "The Boys," a new tool is introduced -– V24. 

V24 grants normal human beings individualized powers for a 24-hour duration. Not everybody gets the same powers, much like Compound V. We have already seen one example of V24's use with Butcher (Karl Urban), but what is one thing that only comic fans may have noticed from Episode 4, regarding the utilization of V24?

Hughie's V24 powers aren't the same as the comics

Although Butcher gains powers that are very similar to his arch-nemesis Homelander, such as laser-beam eyes and super strength, not everyone that takes V24 gains those same abilities -– just look at the varying powers of The Seven! 

As such, during Episode 4 of "The Boys," Hughie (Jack Quaid) reveals that he has stolen a dosage of V24 from Butcher, despite Butcher's protests. Hughie's actions aren't immediately apparent, and once the team discovers Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) and are attacked by Russian soldiers, Hughie uncharacteristically leaps into the fray by teleporting and punching a hole straight through the chest of an attacker. The teleportation leaves Hughie completely naked, while his friends stand there aghast.

Hughie's powers from V24 represent a pretty big change from his comic book counterpart. In the comic for "The Boys," once Hughie is forcibly injected with the standard issue Compound V by Butcher, the powers that he gains do not include naked teleportation, though they do share one similarity –- super strength. From there, beyond the ability to make any bodybuilder blush, Hughie's comic powers include incredible resistance to physical harm and increased intelligence. The changes work well for the screen, and this does lead to a highly memorable scene which is an interesting departure from the source material. 

It will be fascinating to see if there are any further changes occur involving "The Boys" and superpowers going forward.