While the brutal murder of superheroes is a pretty common occurrence in The Boys universe, there’s one kill that stands out, which was that of The Boys’ version of Marvel Comics’ The Thing, as this supe was easily Butcher’s most inexplicable victim.
As explained in the comic series, the Boys is a group of trained, government-backed operatives who secretly investigate crimes committed by people with superpowers. While they usually only collect information on any given supe, and primarily punish them for their proven crimes through blackmail and intimidation, there are instances when murdering a supe (or team of supes) is the Boys’ only option. While Butcher (the leader of the Boys) is never opposed to killing a supe – given his immense hatred of them – he never jumps to that option right away when working a job. At least, not usually, which is why the murder of The Boys’ ‘The Thing’ was so odd.
The Boys’ ‘The Thing’ Didn’t Deserve To Die, Yet Butcher Killed Him
In The Boys: Herogasm #3 by Garth Ennis, John McCrea, and Keith Burns, Butcher and the Boys are investigating Herogasm, which is an event supes from around the world attend where they can pretty much do anything they want. Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll is the usual setup at Herogasm, and aside from those who are working the event (in one way or another), the only people allowed to be there are supes. In other words, Herogasm is the perfect time to get some serious dirt on practically any supe in attendance, which is exactly what Butcher and the Boys were doing. However, in this issue, Butcher takes things a bit too far by killing a supe named Doofer – who was meant to be a parody of the Thing from Marvel Comics – to act as a distraction for the other supes, making it look like a drug overdose.
In previous storylines within The Boys comic book continuity, the team usually took great care to not kill supes unnecessarily, only doing so if they are attacked directly. And even if they are attacked, the Boys still make efforts to avoid needless murder. One of the best examples of this was during the Boys’ fight against the Teenage Kix, where Hughie accidentally kills Blarney Clock, and the rest of the Boys tell him that he took things too far. That’s why the murder of Doofer is so shocking, as it’s strange the Boys would outright execute someone who either didn’t try to attack them first, or who didn’t deserve it. If Doofer did something to earn this grisly fate, it wasn’t made clear to the reader, giving the impression that the Boys just murdered him for no other reason than to act as a distraction, which is pretty off-brand for them.
While it is true that, by the end of the series, Butcher tries to kill every supe in the world just for having superpowers, good or bad, that’s not how he operated for the vast majority of the series. A supe that attacks them, or a supe that committed an atrocity so heinous that there was no other punishment than death – those are the only two reasons the Boys would kill. When looking at the scene in this comic that way, it’s easy to see why The Boys’ version of Marvel’s The Thing is Butcher’s most inexplicable victim.