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Why did Homelander bully A-Train?

Homelander and A-Train are two of the main superheroes in the TV series The Boys. Throughout the show, Homelander is shown bullying and belittling A-Train on multiple occasions. This raises the question – why did Homelander, the leader of The Seven, repeatedly target A-Train? There are a few potential reasons explored in this article:

Homelander’s desire for control

As the leader of The Seven, Homelander expects complete obedience and loyalty from the other members. He wants them to follow his orders without question. By asserting dominance over A-Train through bullying, Homelander reinforces his position as the alpha leader of the group. He reminds A-Train and the others who is really in charge.

Jealousy over popularity

In the early seasons, A-Train was extremely popular with fans and media. His super speed made him an exciting hero to watch in action. Homelander, despite being the leader, didn’t get the same level of public adoration. He likely felt jealous and threatened by A-Train’s popularity. The bullying was a way for Homelander to cut A-Train down to size and make sure he knew his place.

Punishment for defiance

When A-Train went against Homelander’s wishes, such as secretly working with Starlight, the bullying intensified. Homelander used it as punishment to remind A-Train not to defy him again. The verbal attacks and physical aggression kept A-Train afraid and compliant.

Key Examples of Homelander Bullying A-Train

To understand the dynamic better, let’s look at some key scenes where Homelander targets A-Train:

Belittling A-Train’s health issues

Early on, A-Train suffers heart issues due to Compound V side effects. When he tells Homelander about his health problems, Homelander dismisses them entirely saying A-Train just needs to “man up.” He shows zero empathy or concern for A-Train’s suffering.

Forcing A-Train to show loyalty

After Starlight goes public about Compound V, Homelander tests the loyalty of the Seven. He makes them all join in chanting his name and slogan, except for A-Train who he tells to stay silent to humiliate him.

Blaming A-Train for Madelyn’s blackmail

When Homelander finds out Madelyn Stillwell has blackmail on him, he immediately accuses A-Train of helping her obtain it, even though there is no proof. He speculates A-Train may have turned against him as retaliation for bullying.

Scaring A-Train about his heart

Homelander gives A-Train compound V to help stabilize his heart condition. But then he threatens that if A-Train disobeys him, Homelander can cause his heart to explode at any moment.

Mocking A-Train’s personal life

When A-Train shares that his brother died of a heart attack, Homelander laughs and belittles him, saying his brother was weak. He shows no empathy about A-Train’s loss.

Why A-Train Tolerated the Bullying

This begs the question – why did A-Train put up with the constant bullying and abuse from Homelander? There are a few reasons he likely felt powerless to stop it:

Fear of retaliation

Homelander is an incredibly dangerous and volatile supe. A-Train feared that standing up to Homelander would only make the bullying worse, or even put his life at risk. It was safer to remain compliant.

Lack of options

As part of the Seven, A-Train gained status and privilege he otherwise wouldn’t have. He also needed V to keep his powers. Leaving would mean giving all that up, so he tolerated the toxicity.

Addiction issues

A-Train was dependent on Compound V which Homelander controlled. The addiction kept A-Train stuck in the abusive dynamic instead of seeking a healthier environment.

Reason Explanation
Fear of retaliation Homelander could seriously harm or kill A-Train if challenged
Lack of options Leaving The Seven meant losing status and Compound V
Addiction issues A-Train’s V addiction made him dependent on Homelander

Impact of the Bullying on A-Train

Being subjected to Homelander’s ongoing bullying clearly took a psychological toll on A-Train. Some of the effects included:

Loss of confidence and self-esteem

The verbal putdowns and belittling from Homelander severely damaged A-Train’s self-confidence. He became unsure of himself and his abilities.

Increased anxiety and stress

A-Train had to be constantly on guard around Homelander, never knowing what might trigger an outburst. This resulted in high anxiety and tension.

Withdrawal from others

To avoid more bullying, A-Train withdrew from relationships. He broke up with his girlfriend and became closed off even to Starlight’s help.

Suppressed anger

A-Train bottled up anger at the injustice of the abuse. But as the weaker party, he couldn’t express that anger at Homelander directly.

Sense of powerlessness

Against the force of Homelander, A-Train felt utterly powerless to make the bullying stop, even as it took a devastating toll.

Impact Explanation
Loss of confidence Homelander’s putdowns damaged A-Train’s self-esteem
Increased anxiety A-Train felt constant stress around Homelander
Withdrawal A-Train isolated himself to avoid more bullying
Suppressed anger A-Train could not express anger at the injustice
Sense of powerlessness A-Train felt he couldn’t make the bullying stop

How A-Train Started to Fight Back

As the show progresses, we see A-Train begin to challenge Homelander’s bullying in subtle but important ways:

Secretly helping Starlight

Despite orders to shun Starlight, A-Train covertly aids her investigation into Vought and helps her expose the truth. This defiance empowers him.

Blackmailing Homelander

After learning Homelander’s weaknesses, A-Train uses the information to blackmail Homelander. For once, he has power over the bully.

Refusing Homelander’s orders

When Homelander tells the Seven to find Starlight, A-Train refuses. He even dares Homelander to kill him, no longer fearing retaliation.

Warning Starlight

A-Train overcomes his isolation and warns Starlight that Homelander is targeting her. He now acts to protect others.

Seeking independence

In later seasons, A-Train focuses on reviving his own career separate from Homelander. He finds self-worth outside the Seven’s shadow.

Act of Resistance Significance
Helping Starlight secretly A-Train defies Homelander’s orders
Blackmailing Homelander A-Train gains power over his bully
Refusing Homelander’s orders A-Train stands up to Homelander
Warning Starlight A-Train overcomes isolation to help others
Seeking independence A-Train finds self-worth outside Homelander


In summary, Homelander’s bullying of A-Train seems motivated by a desire for control, jealousy, and a way to punish disobedience. A-Train initially tolerates the abusive behavior out of fear, lack of options, and addiction. But over time, he begins to subtly challenge Homelander’s authority and regain his self-confidence. The complicated evolution of their relationship reflects how difficult it can be for victims of bullying to extricate themselves from the hold abusers have over them.