Warning: spoilers for The Boys comic book series!Among the many Supes in The Boys, few characters have a more tragic origin than Homelander. However, one of the most overlooked aspects of his comic book backstory is his secret mother, who Vought-American chose to birth him, knowing full well that she would likely die in the process. As a result, Homelander's origin is even more tragic, as his original and perhaps most horrifying victim wasn't by choice.
In The Boys comic book series, Homelander has two separate origins: One the public has been tricked into believing, and a much more tragic backstory that is the truth. Vought-American meticulously crafted a fake origin for Homelander, which - like Superman's - features the hero crash-landing from an alien planet to become a beacon of hope on his new world. However, the truth is much darker, as Vought-American used the Nazi Supe Stormfront's DNA to try to construct the most powerful hero in existence - with Homelander being contained, experimented on, and monitored for the first 18 years of his life. However, it wasn't just Homelander who Vought-America victimized to meet their goals.
In The Boys #19 by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Tony Avina, and Simon Bowland from Dynamite Comics, the Legend tells Hughie the truth about Homelander's secret origin and connection to Vought-American. The Supe expert explains that Homelander was grown by Vought-American and implanted into a woman with an unspecified disability, selected from one of the corporation's drug trials due to her lack of legal guardian. It's a horrifying origin that underlines the series' focus on the amoral, unaccountable corporation as its scariest 'villain' - an entity which is almost impossible to 'defeat' in any meaningful way.
Homelander Killed His Mother
Homelander was robbed of any human connection with his secret mother in The Boys, as due to his powers activating at birth, he killed both his mother and the entire Vought medical team. The woman was chosen specifically because she was vulnerable and had no family to ask questions, allowing Vought-America to cover itself and prevent Homelander's actual origin ever becoming public. Unfortunately, due to Vought-American's careful planning and Homelander's birth killing his mother, the powerful Supe never even knew the truth. What's more horrifying is that the rest of the Seven were produced via the same process, suggesting the same practise was carried out repeatedly.
The Boys' most important and most frequently recurring theme is how the powerful mistreat the powerless, almost as an inherent aspect of possessing power. This is shown in Homelander's lack of empathy and even in Butcher's genocidal endgame, but Vought-America is this idea in its purest form, sacrificing lives and destabilizing entire countries in the name of continued profit. In The Boys: Butcher, Baker, Candlestickmaker, Butcher explains how he learned from his father that those who possess power will come to disdain the people they hold it over. For Vought-America, that's everyone, and Homelander's mom is just one occasion where the company treats people as resources to spend on corporate whims. Indeed, despite his fearsome reputation, Vought ultimately sees Homelander in the same way.
Homelander's greatest flaw is his lack of empathy for others, so it's hard not to wonder how he'd be different if he'd had some kind of family to connect with. Sadly, not only did Vought ensure this would never be the case, but they then buried even the existence of Homelander's mother with a fake story, underlyingThe Boys' overall message of how unchecked power breeds greater and greater cruelty.