‘The Boys’ Season 3: Will Butcher Accidentally Give Homelander a Hero’s Death?

If the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is about the heroism that drives people to do what’s right and take crime off the streets, The Boys offers people the flip side of the coin. In this universe, the superheroes are not heroes at all but complicated, often drug-addled people with superpowers that they abuse for power, fame, and corporate overlords. No hero embodies this more than Homelander. However, if one theory is to be believed, the show could be setting things up for a memorable ending. 

‘The Boys’ is about flawed superheroes

The Boys
The Boys | Amazon Prime Video

The Boys is based on the comic book series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. More Watchmen than Spider-Man, the series focuses on the dangers of a society that props its superheroes up like law enforcement and military regardless of what they do.

While dozens of superheroes come and go throughout the series, its main focus is The Seven. Like the Avengers or the Justice League, the seven is made up of the best superheroes on earth.

At face value, they are do-gooders who will stop at nothing in the name of law and order. However, to those victims of the Seven’s darker side, they represent everything wrong with a society that props people up based on title and occupation alone.

Karl Urban as Billy Butcher on Amazon Prime's 'The Boys.'
Karl Urban as Billy Butcher on Amazon Prime’s ‘The Boys.’ | Jan Thijs/Amazon Prime

The television series begins with Jack Quaid’s Hughie Campbell speaking lovingly with his girlfriend Robin before unexpectedly bursting into a floating mass of viscera. It turns out that A-Train, a speedy member of The Seven, was hyped up on a psychoactive drug that acts like steroids for the superhero and runs right through her, killing her on impact. This leads him to an underground group called the Boys, who exist solely to stop the tyranny of the Seven.

A-Train is eventually let off scot-free, but the memorable introduction to The Seven shows that things are not as good as they appear. Led, in theory, by Homelander, the Seven are not so much law enforcers but violent mercenaries who are secretly run by Vought International, which has brought their brand to television, Hollywood, and several other lucrative industries. 

Who is Homelander? 

While all of the superheroes are flawed, Homelander is, perhaps, the greatest picture of this. Though he is not known as a hard-living partier like several other superheroes, Homelander represents a Reagan-era brand of patriotism that puts America as an idea over its citizens’ safety and well-being.

Viewed by many as a savior who is restoring order, Homelander represents a fascistic corporate stranglehold that terrorizes the country. While other superheroes like The Deep are shown as violent monsters behind the scenes, Homelander’s monstrosities are often done in a legal gray area that allows him to keep up his facade as the all-American hero.

Homelander exists to keep up a mask more than he does to keep law and order in America, and audiences see him do some truly heinous acts of terrorism that are written off as honest mistakes or even greater goods. 

However, if ScreenRant is believed, this could all be leading to a heroic ending for the Seven’s tyrannical face. 

Will Homelander get comeuppance? 

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The leader of the boys, Karl Urban’s Butcher, has a personal grudge against them. Homelander was behind his wife’s death, and now Butcher exists solely to bring down the supers and expose them as the monsters that they truly are.

However, regardless of what Butcher does, the public adores the idealized version of Homelander that they’re presented with. Butcher has shown an ability to catch superheroes and ultimately destroy them, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a hero.

Homelander is the face of American exceptionalism, and if Butcher gets his way, the public will likely see Homelander as a fallen martyr. This leads to a theory by ScreenRant’s Hannah Shaw-Williams.

In the comic books, Butcher eventually defeats Homelander but is immediately smitten with grief as he realizes that his late wife would not have wanted it to end this way. The show already deviates from the source material quite often, but its ultimate sensibilities remain faithful to the source material. Shaw-Williams posits that season three could finally emulate the comics by having Butcher kill off Homelander. 

However, if he does so early on, the season could be about the futility of doing so. Much of The Boys is predicated on the idealized version of American heroes rather than the ones that actually exist. If Butcher kills Homelander, he only creates more fanfare behind his death and further secures his legacy as a hero. 

Fans will have to wait a year to find out if this happens. However, for fans of the show, seeing events like this take place would make sense, given everything. They’ve seen. Regardless, season three is sure to dig into the American psyche even more profound as it shows how flawed our heroes can genuinely be.