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In The Boys Season 2, it is revealed that Ryan Butcher is:

actually Homelander's biological son.

As such he started developing powers of his own.

However, I believe it's established that only babies and children injected with Compound V have super-human powers. We are never shown or told that Ryan was injected with Compound V. People were shocked when his powers suddenly manifested.

In Season 3, we see another biological child born from a supe.

Victoria Neuman has a biological daughter. She did not have any powers. Victoria had to inject her with Compound V in hopes that she gains super powers to protect her from Vought.

Why is Ryan Butcher seemingly the only supe that has natural powers without the use of Compound V?

3 Answers 3

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It's because Ryan (through Homelander) is the result of experiments by Vought.

Ryan is unique, being the only known natural-born supe in the world of The Boys. In Season 3 Episode 7, it was revealed that Ryan's biological father, Homelander, is the result of an experiment by Vought on Soldier Boy's genetic material. Homelander is Soldier Boy's biological son. In addition to being the result of an experiment on Soldier Boy's genetic material, Homelander was subject to further experiments by Vought since his early childhood.

Ryan is the offspring of Homelander, a Vought lab rat, who is in turn, the result of an experiment by Vought on Soldier Boy's genetic material. The unique circumstances of his lineage made Ryan the first and only natural-born supe.

Related dialogue (emphasis mine):

Soldier Boy (to Homelander): Fall 1980, I get called into Vogelbaum's lab for an experiment, some shit about genetics.
[...]
I beat my meat into a cup. Turns out... Vogelbaum made a kid. Born spring 1981.
A boy.
You know what the bitch of it is? If they'd have just kept me around, I'd have let you take the spotlight. What father wouldn't want that for his son?

- The Boys S03E07 "Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed"


Another answer states that the premise in OP's question is unclear because of a small sample size issue; OP has only mentioned two examples. I want to explain why this is not a sample size issue.

Aside from Victoria Neuman, the supes: Translucent, Mesmer, Stormfront, Nubian Prince, and Nubia were also revealed to have offspring. None were shown to be supes. Also, and more importantly, Stormfront has remarked that Ryan is the first natural-born supe in S02E07 "Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker". This remark is significant, given that Stormfront is the first person to become a supe, and is over a hundred years old. In her entire life, she had not known of any other natural-born supe apart from Ryan. It is clear that Ryan is the first and only natural-born supe.

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  • 1
    From what I remember Ryan is the result of Homelander raping Becca, which wasn't planned by Vought.
    – Oliver_C
    Jul 3 at 7:18
  • @Oliver_C True. However, Ryan is the progeny of Homelander, who was the result of experiments by Vought. Vought must have done something to Homelander that allowed him to have a natural-born supe offspring. Jul 3 at 9:22
  • Were there any hints in the show that make it clear that Vought wanted natural born supes? With Compound V they can control who gets superpowers, but if supes can create more supes without them, how does that benefit Vought?
    – Oliver_C
    Jul 3 at 12:09
  • @Oliver_C It is more likely that Vought didn't intend for Homelander to have a natural born son, just like they didn't intend Homelander to be the head of Vought. And like they didn't intend Soldier Boy to still be alive. It is shown throughout the show that a lot of Vought's actions have unintended consequences. Aug 2 at 2:50
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Consider your sample size.

You're talking about a sample size of only two. At this point:

  • One or the other could be a rare anomaly that happens sometimes...
  • Or Ryan could have been given V by Vought...
  • Or Victoria's daughter could have been given a suppressing agent...
  • Or it could have been some environmental factor in-utero.
  • Or supe genes are only passed by the father...
  • OR maybe it's a genetic trait like any other. My dad had blonde hair and blue eyes and my mom had brown and brown--I had my mom's hair and eyes and my sister had my dad's. Even recessive traits manifest sometimes.

Unless there was some subterfuge somewhere (Vought injecting Ryan with V), then there's simply not enough data to tell why. In that case it's doubtful anyone in the show's universe knows, unless Vought has been doing studies of supe offspring. Given the Supes' healthy libidos and the decades they've been around, it's difficult to believe there are only two supe babies, but until the show reveals more to us, we can't know.

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  • Also adding that Homelander is also special even among superheroes, having been exposed to V far younger and with far higher doses, so rules on normal superheroes may not be the same for him
    – DrakaSAN
    Jul 1 at 11:59
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We don't (yet) know why. Yes, he has been named as the first naturally born supe, but the truth is not completely known at this time.

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