After Butcher makes a throw-away comment to fellow Boys member M.M., fans realize that Marvel Comics actually exists within the universe of The Boys.
While the comic series The Boys is known for poking fun at established superheroes from both DC and Marvel Comics, the series actually incorporated one publisher into its own universe by making Marvel Comics canon. The Boys has a number of Marvel Comics parody heroes including Soldier Boy, who was created to mock Captain America, and the superhero team the G-Men, a clear spoof on Marvel’s X-Men. However, The Boys officially brought Marvel Comics itself into its universe after one character made a comment only a Marvel fan could have made.
In The Boys #35 by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, fans are given the official backstory for M.M., otherwise known as Mother’s Milk. As explained in the issue. M.M.’s mother worked in a factory owned by Vought-American that used to be used for manufacturing Compound V, the serum that turns humans into supes. The remnants of Compound V were absorbed into M.M.’s mother’s bloodstream before the member of the Boys was born. The trace amounts of the serum gave M.M. superhuman strength that doesn’t manifest until he joins the military, and he accidentally uss that power to punch the head off of one of his brothers in arms. Locked in a holding cell, M.M. is then visited by Butcher, the leader of the Boys, who offers M.M. a place on the team.
When M.M. accepts Butcher’s offer to join the Boys, Butcher makes a comment to him that only someone familiar with Marvel Comics could have made. Butcher says to M.M., “You wanna Hulk out and bend the bars, or will I just open the door?” Butcher makes a clear reference to the Hulk even though no such supe by that name exists in The Boys universe. From what has been explained throughout the series, the only comics or other forms of superhero media that exist are those produced by Vought-American that exclusively feature superheroes that actually live in their world. With Butcher’s “Hulk” comment, that fact is called into question and implies the existence of Marvel Comics as well as potentially other real-world comic publishers within The Boys universe.
The idea that Marvel Comics actually exists in The Boys is interesting especially when considering the supes that are very similar to the heroes Marvel has created. If Marvel does exist in The Boys, which the series heavily implies, then Vought-American potentially used the heroes created in Marvel as templates for their own superheroes, banking off the success of the fictional heroes to sell a copy of their real-life versions. If this is the case for Marvel, then perhaps DC Comics also exists in The Boys given how similar Homelander is to Superman, Queen Maeve is to Wonder Woman, and Black Noir is to Batman, as well as The Seven being a parody of the Justice League.
The idea of The Boys’ supes just being rip-off versions of its in-universe DC and Marvel Comics only adds to the greedy and unoriginal nature of Vought-American. Though aside from obvious similarities between The Seven and DC’s superheroes, there is no additional evidence that DC is an established publisher within The Boys. However, there is evidence of Marvel Comics existing as one of its characters is referenced by name by the main character of The Boys series, officially making Marvel Comics canon within The Boys universe.
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