Ryan Butcher is a main character in The Boys live-action series, but what happened to Homelander’s son in the comics? Here’s how he originally died.
- Ryan Butcher is a central character in The Boys TV series, but in the comics, he is killed shortly after his introduction.
- In the show, Ryan accidentally kills his mother with his powers and is now in Homelander’s custody.
- The show has deviated from the comics by keeping Ryan alive and potentially setting him up to kill Butcher, which would perfectly flip what happened in the original storyline.
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Ryan Butcher has become a central character in The Boys television series on Amazon Prime Video due in part to the fact that he’s the son of both Billy Butcher and Homelander (with Homelander being his biological father). However, the character who would have become Ryan Butcher had a decidedly shorter run in the comics, as he was killed only a few short panels following his introduction.
Ryan Butcher was introduced in the final episode of The Boys season 1. He was raised alone by his mother, Rebecca, until Homelander discovered his existence and decided to play a more present role in his life (much to Becky’s horror). By the end of season 2, Homelander’s interference in Ryan and Becky’s lives led to Ryan accidentally killing his mother with his powers while he was trying to save her from Stormfront. Afterward, Ryan lived with Butcher for a bit before eventually being taken in by Homelander, who currently has custody of Ryan in the show.
From the very beginning of the series, Ryan has been set up as a main character who will assuredly grow into a supe with major influence on the trajectory of the series. While that’s an exciting change-up from the source material while staying true to the core of Becky and Butcher’s story in The Boys, it’s still a vast departure from what happened in the comics, as ‘Ryan’ was killed by Butcher before he even got a name.
Butcher Killed ‘Ryan’ In The Boys Comic When He Was Just An Infant
In The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker #4 by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, readers are shown in gruesome detail the real reason why Billy Butcher became a founding member of the CIA-backed team, the Boys. It’s shown how Becky Butcher was assaulted and impregnated by Black Noir (pretending to be Homelander) as well as the subsequent birth of the infant ‘Ryan’.
‘Ryan’ exhibited superpowers upon his birth, killing Becky as a result, which happened in bed right next to Butcher as they slept, only for Butcher to awaken in utter shock at this horrific scene. Not only was the woman he loved dead, but his own life was in immediate danger as well. The baby flew around the room, eyes glowing with deadly heat vision, and he was seemingly trying his hardest to kill Butcher (at least, that was Butcher’s perception of the event). In the end, Butcher kills the infant supe, both to save his own life and in a fit of unparalleled rage.
‘Ryan’ Nearly Did What Homelander Couldn’t In The Boys Comic (& Could Still In The Show)
If ‘Ryan’ had killed Butcher the night he was born, it’s more than likely the baby would have been picked up by Vought-American, at which point he would be turned into a marketable weapon the same way the other supes were – including and especially Homelander himself. But more than anything else, if ‘Ryan’ killed Butcher as a baby, then he’d have done the seemingly impossible, as supes throughout The Boys comic have tried and failed to get rid of Butcher permanently – again, including and especially Homelander himself. However, ‘Ryan’ obviously didn’t kill Butcher in the comics, and was instead killed by the Boys leader as soon as ‘Ryan’ killed his mother. But, in the live-action show, Butcher spared Ryan after he killed Becky, and now Ryan is in-league with Homelander. Could the show do what The Boys comic failed to do, and actually have Ryan kill Butcher instead of the other way around?
While it’s impossible to tell what may or may not happen within the ongoing continuity of Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys, what fans do know is what happened in the now-complete The Boys comic series, including every gruesome detail of how Homelander’s son, Ryan Butcher, died.