WARNING: The following article contains mild spoilers for Season 1 of The Boys, streaming now on of Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon Prime’s The Boys spends a sizable chunk of its first season gathering the members of the titular superhero-hunting team of misfits. By the second half of eight-episode season, Billy Butcher, “Wee” Hughie, Mother’s Milk, The Frenchman and The Female (of the species) are accounted for and working together in some capacity. However, one key member of the violent cape-crushing crew is oddly absent. The season contains a few references to The Boys’ sixth member, but the notorious quadrupedal brute known as Terror never makes a full appearance.
Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic book series, upon which the television show is based, pushed the limits of poor taste to distributing extremes, frequently involving Butcher’s leviathan-sized bulldog, Terror. Thus, his absence is a bit of a disappointment. Butcher’s furry companion is more than a sidekick: Terror collars renegade superheroes and other enemies throughout the comic series, often in horrific manners that can’t be discussed in public.
Much like the other members of The Boys, Terror is sometimes given Compound-V, the drug superheroes use in order to gain their powers. That makes him an unwieldy weapon of destruction in the hands of anyone but Billy Butcher, who frequently gives Terror a vulgar command that urges the dog to not only attack their targets, but to also ... get a bit too up-close and personal. Terror is basically a leg-humping attack dog dialed up to 11, but somehow worse. Most of Terror's disgusting behavior is played for shock and awe, which means that even if he had appeared on the show properly, he'd probably be toned down.
As disappointing as it is, the omission of Terror onscreen is completely understandable from a logistics standpoint. In the comics, Terror is presented as more of a lovable monster than a everyday canine, so finding a real dog who could match that stature and girth would be nearly impossible. Sure the special effect team could render Terror digitally, but that would add to the budget of what already appears to be a rather expensive show. (The production quality on The Boys is nothing short of stellar, by the way.) And of course there's the matter of Terror's curious sexual predilection, which would certainly turn away some viewers.
Whatever the reason is for leaving Terror on the narrative chopping block, the show tips its hat to the loyal pooch. We see a collar, chew toy and other pet paraphernalia in the back of Butcher’s car. When Hughie asks whether Billy has a dog, he gives the new recruit a perturbed glare and simply replies “no.” That certainly leads to the notion that, at some point, Terror did exist in the world of the television series and is lost, or worse. It’s a moment that might seem like an Easter egg for fans of the comic book, but later in the season, during one of Butcher’s flashbacks, we see a young Terror being a good boy. from what we can tell.
With the startling revelation of The Boys’ season finale, the door is open to including Terror next season (which recently received a green light). We won't get into spoilers, but the glimpse we see of Terror in Butcher's head can still show up in some capacity. Not to mention he was featured in some of the promotional material for the show. Terror doesn't need to be the sexually aggressive attack hound from the comics, but having a good boy on the show would be nice.
The Boys stars Karl Urban as Billy Butcher, Jack Quaid as Hughie, Laz Alonso as Mother's Milk, Tomer Kapon as Frenchie, Karen Fukuhara as the Female, Erin Moriarty as Annie January, Chace Crawford as the Deep, Antony Starr as Homelander and Simon Pegg as Hughie's dad.