The Boys are back and more violent and off-the-wall than ever. With the first few episodes of the second season now available courtesy of Amazon Prime, Karl Urban's Billy Butcher has now gone solo for this short film, titled Butcher, which has now been released via social media ahead of the season's fourth episode.

The Butcher short film begins with some familiar scenes from the main series before shifting focus to Butcher on the run, where he reaches out to his old war buddy, Jock, for help. The short goes a long way to filling some of the gaps left between the first and second seasons of [The Boys}, which finds Butcher off his game thanks to the nefarious schemes of the tyrannical "superhero" Homelander. Show creator Eric Kripke teased the release of Butcher a few months ago, calling the release a "pretty substantial thing."

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"We had a whole storyline in episode 2, it's not really spoiling anything, season 2 begins with Butcher MIA [after discovering Homelander, Homelander Jr., and Becca Butcher] and then shows up," Kripke said. "In episode 2, we had shot something that really revealed where he went and what his experiences were. It ultimately didn't end up fitting that way into the episode. It made Butcher's story a lot less mysterious and intriguing...It was better to not know in that episode."

Kripke and his creative team could not stand leaving so much material with Karl Urban's charismatic leader on the cutting room floor, and thus came with the rather elegant solution of putting together Butcher to act as a companion piece the wider storyline. "But we had these scenes. We strung them into a short film called "Butcher"... it'll work as a companion piece to the show. There's actually references in the show that you won't understand unless you see this thing as it's really tied into our plot."

Coming courtesy of Amazon Prime, The Boys is based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The series is set in a universe where superpowered individuals are recognized as heroes by the general public and owned by powerful corporation Vought International, which markets and monetizes them. Outside of their heroic personas, most are arrogant and corrupt. The series primarily focuses on two groups: The Seven, Vought International's premier superhero team, and the titular Boys, vigilantes looking to keep the corrupted heroes under control.

Thanks to the chaos of the first season, The Boys are now fugitives and foul-mouthed leader Billy Butcher is nowhere to be found. "It's a bit of a mystery," says Urban, on Billy's whereabouts. "The Boys are on the back foot and spend a lot of their time trying to make an impact and get traction for taking down the Supes. Just because they're wanted and in hiding doesn't mean they're gonna stop doing what they do. So, the objective is still fundamentally the same."

The first few episodes have now been released, with episode releases being staggered weekly before culminating in an epic season finale on October 9. The show has already been renewed for a third season. You can watch Butcher in its entirety on The Boys official Twitter account.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge