Season 1 of Amazon's adaptation of The Boys is absolutely killing it out there (*wink*) - viewers can't get enough of Garth Ennis' masochistic motley crew! Each member is as fascinating and deranged as the next, but Billy Butcher probably has all the rest beat; while everyone else harbors a personal grudge against Vought's Supers, Billy seems to enjoy maiming and brutalizing them!
One can't help but wonder what could drive a man to such depravity. While the show's first season gave viewers a glimpse into Billy Butcher's past, viewers only have a surface level understanding of The Boys' leader. However, the Amazon show may eventually touch on the following ten topics - unless the series diverges further from the comics.
10 Why Billy's So Angry In The First Place
To gain a fuller picture of Billy Butcher's mental state, we have to go back to his roots. In the miniseries "Butcher, Baker, and the Candlemaker," we learn that Billy and his younger brother Lenny came from a broken home; Billy's father abused his mother regularly. The only reason Billy didn't kill his father was because of Lenny's insistence not to.
When he was able, Billy Butcher joined the Royal Marines, fought in the Falklands War, and lived as a miserable drunk for years. Things got better once Billy met Becca, but we all know what happens from that point onward. Or, at least, most of us know as much as the show will currently tell us.
9 Butcher Had To Battle A Monstrous 'Baby'
In the comics, Billy Butcher wakes up one day to find Becca lying dead right next to him! Moreover, Butcher spots a super-powered fetus hovering over his wife's remains - implying that a Super impregnated his wife without his knowledge. While Billy's still in shock, the fetus fires laser beams from its eyes - attempting to cut Billy down!
In a panic, Billy Butcher grabs a lampstand and bludgeons the terrible infant to death! The experience leaves Billy traumatized, grief-stricken and angry beyond all reason. It's the straw that breaks the camel's back - pushing Billy over the edge and prompting him to accept Mallory's offer with glee.
8 He's Got A Man-Eating Dog
Sometime between joining up with Mallory and recruiting Hughie to the cause, Billy Butcher found himself a dog. Billy bonded with the Bulldog, named him Terror, and taught him to do ghastly things to his foes on command! Terror also has a bit of Compound-V in him, making him more than a match for most of the Supers The Boys encounter.
Billy will sic Terror on his enemies when he feels it's necessary (which it never is). Back in the early promos for the show, you can spot a dog sitting next to the team. We're pretty sure that's Terror, and we imagine he'll leave his mark in Season 2 of the show.
7 Billy Might Be A Cannibal
Terror might have developed an appetite for human flesh because of his master's eating habits. When Billy Butcher comes face to face with Jonah Vogelbaum, the creator of Compound-V, things get ugly fast. Billy takes Vogelbaum to task for creating a literal super-drug, then kills him. When Billy leaves Vogelbaum's home, we see him spit a thick chunk of unidentifiable matter on the ground.
The implication is that Billy Butcher bit or ate a piece of Jonah during his assassination! Later on, Billy swears that he spat out jam - not human flesh. To this day, fans of the comics are still debating what went down.
6 He Wants To Kill All Of Superduper
Billy Butcher's most defining trait is his hatred for anyone with Compound-V flowing through them. That includes the Seven, Payback, and even himself! However, Billy seems to make exceptions in regards to his team and Terror - after all, he's the one who rallied them to his cause in the first place.
Conversely, Billy Butcher showed no sympathy or mercy towards Superduper - a team of low-level heroes that genuinely want to help people. When Klanker, a member of Superduper, inadvertently offended him, Billy prepared to kill Klanker and the rest of his team by proxy!
5 Billy Doesn't Expect To Survive His Mission
Karl Urban's done an excellent job depicting Billy Butcher as a man that's mean-spirited and somewhat untrustworthy. What might not be abundantly clear at the moment is the lengths Billy's willing to go for his cause. Butcher isn't fighting for 'a better tomorrow' or 'fate of the world' - he's looking to end his miserable life with a bang!
As the series progresses, viewers will see just how far gone Billy Butcher is. Characters like Hughie, Mother's Milk, and Frenchie are messed up, but also have families they want to return to. Billy, on the other hand, cares only for his crusade. In his mind, ending the Seven's reign is the endgame.
4 Butcher Genuinely Cares For His Team
Despite his self-destructive mindset and overall callous demeanor, Billy Butcher cares for his team. No parts of this man are warm and fuzzy in any fashion, but his actions speak louder than his words could. Billy commands his team with strategic precision because he wants them to survive his war, even if he doesn't.
Billy Butcher might talk down to his teammates and act aloofly around them, but always tries to do right by them. Specifically, Butcher's taken a special interest in Hughie - who he views as a younger brother.
3 Billy's Manipulating Hughie
To that end, Billy Butcher tries to mold Hughie into his successor with every interaction. Whenever Butcher challenges Hughie, it's to see if the former will back down or stand his ground. Should Butcher send Hughie on a particularly dangerous assignment, it's for the sake of hardening him in the fires of war.
Billy Butcher even purposefully withholds info from Hughie to see if the amateur detective can figure things out on his own. The relationship between Butcher and Hughie will likely become much more toxic as the show progresses. We only hope that things end differently between these two - for Billy's sake.
2 He Doesn't Want His War To End
We guess the ending of Amazon's adaptation will all depend on Billy Butcher's character arc in the show. In the comics, Billy continues his campaign after the Seven are no more. Billy targets anyone and everyone with even a trace of Compound-V in them - including many of his old friends.
When the rest of the team protest against Billy Butcher's new mission, he ignores them. In Billy's mind, there's no such thing as a good Super. Even people whose actions suggest otherwise are just accidents waiting to happen from his perspective. Billy intends to either wage his war for this rest of days or meet an abrupt, brutal end.
1 Why Garth Ennis Created Him
The Boys wouldn't be possible if Garth Ennis wasn't so upset with the state of superheroes in the late-2000s. This Irish author is no stranger to creating controversy and challenging the beliefs of others - just look at Preacher for proof. However, Ennis doesn't hate all superheroes; he loves Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Punisher.
It's that last hero that inspired Billy Butcher the most; both men have similar backstories and use extremely violent methods against villains. However, whereas Gerry Conway created The Punisher to highlight the flaws in the justice system and vigilantism, Ennis feels that Butcher is largely a model hero - he kills villains rather than allowing them to live and cause more havoc, and he constantly takes the government to task. The degree to which one agrees with Ennis - and Billy - will vary from person to person. We'll see where The Boys' showrunners stand by the adaptation's end.