- "It's this drug. It, um...it gives the Supes their powers. Vought will do anything to cover it up."
- —Hughie Campbell to Annie January[src]
Compound V is an alchemical super serum that was created by Frederick Vought for the Third Reich. The serum was formulated to enhance the human body and mind, and was intended to be utilized by the Germans during the second World War in order to create super soldiers for Nazi Germany.
- "They call it Compound V. It's some kind of booster or steroid for Supes. Jacks 'em right up."
- —Billy Butcher to Susan Raynor[src]
For reasons unknown, the modernized Compound V formula showcases its best results in children, with adult subjects being at a much higher risk of disaster. It appears that Vought has been secretly trying for years to rectify this complication by establishing the Sage Grove Center; a psychiatric hospital in Pennsylvania where Vought scientists have been illegally injecting their adult patients with updated variations of the Compound V formula with the hopes of creating a perfected serum that can successfully transform fully grown adults into well-functioning Supes with minimal negative side effects.
Note: It appears that Compound V is not only capable of providing human beings with superpowers, but other animal species as well. This was proven after the Boys discovered a super-powered hamster named Jamie who demonstrated a number of different super-abilities including flight, speed and supernatural strength.
The original Compound V formula was created by a Nazi scientist named Frederick Vought at some point during the second World War. According to Stormfront, the original formula was a purified and perfected serum that was not only capable of turning fully grown adults into Supes, but also produced significantly stronger and better superpowers than any of the modernized formulas being manufactured by Vought. This is presumably the explanation behind both her and Soldier Boy's supreme super-abilities as well as their prolonged lifespans, something of which very few Supes in modern day have yet to showcase. Whilst unconfirmed, it is more than likely that the cost to produce this purified serum was too expensive for the Nazis to mass produce and therefore Fredrick was forced to create an inferior, diluted formula that produced considerably less powerful Supes with a much higher casualty rate amongst adult subjects. Nevertheless, it seems that in addition to the perfected serum that Fredrick gave to his wife, he made at least one other serum that was given to the American military after he converted to the Allies. This serum would later be injected into a volunteer troop named Benjamin, who would later become known as the ultimate "American Hero", Soldier Boy.
- "It's Temp V. One shot makes you a Supe for 24 hours. I mean, they think. It's still in R&D."
"Oh, great, so powers, maybe. Maybe my bollocks swell up like footballs. Yeah?"
- —Queen Maeve and Billy Butcher[src]
V24, also known as Temp V, is a modified version of Compound V that was created by Vought International as a result of the unethical experiments that were conducted at the Sage Grove Center. As implied by its name, the serum provides an ordinary person with extraordinary powers for approximately 24 hours.
According to Stan Edgar, with the legal implications that were brought on by the public revelation of Compound V, all testing of the serum were forcibly halted. As a result, V24 is still considerably flawed and continues to exhibit numerous side effects including migraines, muscle spasms, nausea, and projectile vomiting. Further testing of the drug has recently revealed the adverse effect of causing brain lesions. Vought geneticists have estimated that an approximate use of five doses will become lethal to the patient. These estimates were confirmed after Billy Butcher developed numerous tumors on his brain after his sixth dose of the serum and was given a life expectancy of 18 months to live.
In the Comics
Compound V was a super serum that was created by Jonah Vogelbaum and was originally intended to create super soldiers for the Third Reich. Fearing for his life after the realization that the Nazis would lose the War, Vogelbaum escaped to the United States with the help of Vought American, who continued to fund his experiments. Months later and billions of dollars spent, the company nearly went bankrupt but ultimately regained their wealth after Vogelbaum successfully created the Compound V formula which Vought American immediately began to prescribe to pregnant volunteers as a means to manufacture superhero teams such as The Seven. Though these trials were successful, they were also extremely costly, forcing Vought American to inject future subjects with an inferior version of the serum. Furthermore, it appears that varying traces of the Compound V formula were passed down through familial bloodlines, often resulting in the births of natural born Supes with at least one super-powered parent.
Modified versions of Compound V were often sold on the black market and were able to temporarily provide ordinary humans with extraordinary strength and durability. It was widely known for sex workers to dose themselves with these diluted serums as a means to withstand the powerful strength of their super-powered clientele.
Furthermore, Vought American was secretly working to perfect the Compound V formula to point where they could control exactly what superpowers would manifest from each recipe. However, after the death of Dr. Jonah Vogelbaum, no other scientist was able to make any further progress with the serum, forcing Vought to remain in the relatively less lucrative niche of costumed superheroes.
- Contrary to its comic book predecessor, it appears that natural-born Supes in the televised version are an extremely rare and unpredictable anomaly with apparently only one natural-born Supe in existence.
- As seen with both A-Train and Popclaw, the recreational use of Compound V can temporarily enhance superpowers whilst also intoxicating them with a euphoric high.
- Ironically, in spite of their fragile nature, infants are much better adapters of the Compound V formula and are much more likely to survive the mutation process. Adults, however, have a much lower chance of survival with only 20% of the adult recipients to have survived the mutation process and to have manifested well-functioning superpowers as a result.
- For reasons unknown, Compound V differs from V24 in terms of both color and prescription with the Compound V manifesting as an ocean blue that provides stronger abilities the higher the dosage and weaker abilities the lower the dosage. Whereas V24 manifests as an emerald green and provides standardized abilities that are seemingly based on personality traits regardless of the dosage amount.
- Compound V can be seen as a parallel to the Super-Soldier Serum from the Marvel Universe. The temporary, yet consistent, properties of the V24 variant can also be compared to the performance-enhancing drug known as Miraclo from the DC Universe.
- Similar to how the Super-Soldier Serum was created in the Marvel Comics, Compound V was also created during the Second World War by a Eastern European scientist who later defected to the Allies.