The Boys: 10 Times Comic Characters Received Temporary Superpowers Like Billy Butcher

In Season 3 of The Boys, Billy Butcher gets his hands on V24, a variation of Compound V that was manufactured at the Sage Grove Center. Upon learning that the drug can grant someone superpowers for 24 hours, Butcher uses it, and so does Hughie. Consequently, viewers get to witness a much stronger version of the vigilante duo.

However, this isn't the first time that individuals in superhero tales have acquired temporary powers. In Marvel and DC comics, it happens occasionally. Not only have ordinary citizens managed to acquire superpowers but the same has also happened to superheroes and villains who briefly got an extra ability to add to their existing skills.


10 Lois Lane Becomes Superwoman

Lois Lane as Superwoman in DC Rebirth comics

During the concluding events of All-Star Superman #2, Lois Lane acquires Superman's powers after taking the formula known as Exo-Genes. She then takes up the Superwoman mantle for a few hours.

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Unlike Butcher, Lois's time with powers isn't a particularly enjoyable one. Just as she is figuring out how to save the world, she gets targeted and kidnapped by two supervillains named Atlas and Samson. Instead of going on rescue missions, she is forced to spend her time trying to figure out how to escape. But the artwork team does a great job on her, making her look stunning as Superwoman.

9 Small Hands Takes MGH

Small Hands tries to kill Wilson Fisk in Marvel comics

In Spider-Men II, the notorious New York gangster, "Small Hands" takes a dose of one of the most powerful performance-enhancing substances in Marvel comics, the Mutant Growth Hormone (MGH), which grants people powers for a day. He then makes plans to kill the former Rigoletto crime family member, Wilson Fisk, who he blames for his cousin's disappearance.

Taking MGH proves to be not so beneficial to "Small Hands" in his quest for vengeance because of one major problem. The drug doesn't grant its user any secondary powers. Logic dictates that for a major power to work, one has to have other minor powers such as strength, flight, or speed. Sadly, that doesn't happen to "Small Hands," so his mission falls apart.

8 The Joker Alters Reality

In Superman: Emperor Joker, the Joker tricks one of the best Superman villains, Mister Mxyzptlk, into donating 99.99% of his reality-altering powers to him. The Gotham villain then creates a world where people are praised for evil actions.

It's one of the most ambitious things that the Joker does as he is finally able to live in a world of extreme chaos that he has always wished for. However, a complication arises. Since being good is considered a crime, everyone tries to kill Batman, and the Joker definitely doesn't want that because he is aware that he and Batman complement each other. He is, therefore, left with no option but to give up his powers.

7 Elongated Woman

Sue becomes the Elongated Woman in Detective Comics (Vol 1) #456

In Detective Comics (Vol 1) #456, Ralph's wife Sue becomes frustrated about having to live in his shadow. When he gets captured, she takes a drug that turns her into the Elongated Woman for a day.

Taking the drug known as Gilngold isn't the fun ride that Sue expected because she turns out to be allergic to it. This serves as a lesson for her to never chase fame again. Having had a change of heart, she focuses on rescuing Ralph, something she does by sneaking into the building he is being held captive and passing Gilngold to him.

6 Crusher Absorbs Sentry's Powers

The Avengers fight the Absorbing Man in Marvel Comics.

In Civil War: The Return #1, Carl "Crusher" Creel, aka The Absorbing Man, absorbs the powers of Robert Reynolds, aka, the Sentry. This happens as the two are fighting over whether they should sign up for the Superhuman Registration Act.

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Since Crusher can absorb anything on Earth, getting Sentry's powers ends up being easy for him. However, keeping them is the problem. Though he uses his newfound powers to defeat Sentry, his body is unable to contain them, hence it disintegrates. He is thus left with no choice but to give up the powers.

5 Red Skull Gets The Cosmic Cube

Captain America fighting Red Skull in Marvel comics

In Tales of Suspense #80, Red Skull mind-controls the Cosmic Cube's keeper into handing it over to him. Using the powers it gives him, he creates a humanoid monster, using it to attack Steve Rogers.

Despite being one of the Marvel characters that have taken the Super Soldier serum, Red Skull is never content with his powers hence he always seeks to acquire more. But he is somehow justified in trying to be stronger since Captain America has always proved to be a nuisance to him. By using the Cosmic Cube, he finally gets some sort of victory as he is able to send Captain America to another dimension.

4 Doris Lee Takes The Gravity Rod

Doris Lee teams up with Wonder Woman in DC comics

In Adventure Comics #61, Doris discovers that her boyfriend is Starman and that he has been keeping it a secret from her. She then steals the Gravity Rod and experiences what being him is like for a day.

Doris' time with the Gravity Rod is a very productive one. In the absence of Starman, she steps up and helps Wonder Woman to defeat Braivwave. Afterward, she also gets to have fun when she hangs out with other love interests of the Justice League of America. Together, they have a mini-party.

3 Tim Drake Takes A Serum

tim drake talks to oracle

After the death of Jason Todd in Teen Titans Vol 4 #1, Tim Drake becomes the third Robin. In order to make himself more competent, he takes Man-Bat's serum, which grants him super speed.

Like many other characters that acquire temporary powers, Tim's experience isn't a good one. The serum makes him lose his sense of morality, making him break every code that previous Robins have kept. At first, he is arrogant about it but he eventually realizes he is doing the wrong thing and stops using the drug.

2 Tamara Devoux Is Possessed By The Enigma Force

Tamara Devoux becomes Captain Universe in Marvel comics

After Tamara gets involved in a crash in Avengers (Vol. 5) #1, the Enigma Force feels pity for her and possesses her, transforming her into Captain Universe. She briefly becomes a member of the Avengers before going back to her previous job when the force leaves her.

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It's a touching and unique story because viewers get to see an ordinary citizen become a member of the Avengers. Most importantly, the force cures Tamara of all the serious injuries she sustained during the accident. It's a sad moment when the Enigma Force finally has to leave her but that was always inevitable since it never stays with one individual for long.

1 The Phoenix Force Possesses The X- Men

The cover of Avengers Vs X-Men comics.

In Avengers vs X-Men, the X-Men are granted additional powers by the Phoenix Force due to a heated series of events. The X-Men then use their newly found powers to reshape the world into a strange utopia.

Thanks to the Phoenix Force, the X-Men see themselves as superior to the Avengers, hence a battle breaks out. And the mutants prove very hard to defeat because once a single X-Man is taken down, the force leaves them and bonds with the rest, making them even stronger. Luckily, the Avengers are able to stop the mayhem by defeating all the X-Men, causing the force to return to Hope.

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NEXT: 10 Comic Characters With Power-Negation Abilities Like The Boys' Soldier Boy

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About The Author Philip Etemesi (1329 Articles Published)

Philip Etemesi is an author, journalist, screenwriter, and film critic based in Nairobi. Kenya. As a child, he preferred watching movies like Goodfellas instead of Home Alone. His girlfriend constantly has to pull him from the front of the TV but he just keeps returning. Stubborn dude! An animal lover, Philip also has a pet giraffe called Refu.Twitter: @Etemessy

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