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In The Boys, we learn of Vaught's

Compound V

which:

1. appears to have been given to babies to create the Supes
2. can be used by Supes to enhance their abilities
3. has side effects similar to heroin
4. has similarly addictive properties

What happens if a non-superhero uses this substance?

Obviously here, I mean an individual who wasn't already enhanced as an infant. Do they develop powers? Do they still experience narcotic effects? Addiction? Death?

I will accept answers as relate to either/both the comics and the Amazon Prime series.

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  • 2
    This is what was done to Kimiko (The Female). She was kidnapped as a child and turned into a child soldier in Homelander's supe-terrorist group. She was injected with the stuff as an adolescent/young adult (not sure on exact details hence why comment not answer), not as a baby. Aug 29, 2019 at 18:37
  • 3
    They go over this in later episodes. IIRC, most die but some survive and gain powers.
    – svenvo7
    Aug 29, 2019 at 18:47
  • @svenvo7: Care to submit an answer? Aug 29, 2019 at 19:29

4 Answers 4

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Answering from the context of the Amazon series


As far as Season 1 of The Boys is concerned, only two people have been shown to injected forcefully or willingly injected with Compound V.

  1. The Female: A former member of the Shining Light Liberation Army. She managed to escape, however, and was taken prisoner and experimented on with Compound V. The Compound V gave her extraordinary abilities, but left her unable to talk making her the first on-screen character in The Boys who was given powers using Compound V as an adult. Her powers are listed here.

  2. Naqib, the Super-terrorist: In Season-1 Episode-7 (The self-preservation society), it is revealed that Compound V has made its way to the middle-East and some terrorists got their hands on it creating a Super-Terrorist. Naqib, as he is called, was also injected with the serum while he was an adult. It is also later revealed that

    it was Homelander who was responsible for smuggling out Compound V to the middle-East and creating this super terrorist.

So, in short, Compound V has a similar effect of providing superpowers when injected in adults, as was the case for infants.


Added note: Compound V has been shown to create a sense of addiction in supes as seen in case of A-Train as he loses concentration and control if he doesn’t consume it on a regular basis.

It is also seen that his girlfriend (Popclaw) is addicted to Compound V.

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  • It is mentioned (I believe by Stan Edgar) in the show that the results of administering compound V to a normal adult specimen are unpredictable and potentially fatal. Sep 20, 2020 at 6:53
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Homelander tells Madelyn Stillwell that he flew around the Middle East and forcefully injected many people with Compound V. He says that

Enough Survived to call this little experiment a success

Implying that the injection into a normal adult is probably pretty painful and violent, and that only a few survive the transformation to actually gain super powers.

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From the comics:

Hughie, after he joins The Boys, intentionally receives a 'full-strength' dose of Compound V in order to permanently make him much more durable, so that he wouldn't immediately get torn apart by a low-level Supe in combat. Images from issue #4:


Butcher injecting Hughie


Hughie and Butcher discuss Compound V

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Compound V is unstable. It could result in either powers or death if injected into a non-supe adult. According to Lamplighter in Season 2 Episode 6 "The Bloody Doors Off":

Lamplighter (to M.M., Frenchie and Kimiko): Infants handle it best, but adults? I mean, you saw what happens-- sometimes you get powers, sometimes you get a freak, sometimes you just explode.
Vought is trying to stabilize it, so that you put the V in any adult arm, anywhere, anytime, you get a solid Supe, solid powers.

In Season 3 Episode 1, it was revealed that Vought has developed Temp V (V24), a modified version of Compound V that will give the user temporary supe powers, lasting around 24 hours. Butcher and Hughie use it and they become supes temporarily. In Episode 7, it was revealed that Temp V is lethal after 3-5 doses.

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