The Boys on Prime Video is an original series that deconstructed how we saw superheroes and the world in which they existed. So of course, The Boys animated series does the same, but through animation. The Boys Presents: Diabolical goes deep into various animation styles, but still within the framework of a very adult-orientated and explicit R-rated world. With The Boys spin-off Gen V just completing its first season, and season 4 of the original show coming later this year, I thought it best to look back at the first-ever series that grew The Boys world. So check my The Boys Presents: Diabolical review.
Please note that this The Boys Presents: Diabolical review is spoiler-free.
How The Boys Animated Series Actually Works In The Canon Of The Show
The Boys Presents: Diabolical review is an anthology series that features 8 short stories set in the world of the original Prime Video show. In a lot of ways, The Boys’ animated series is similar to Star Wars: Visions. Both shows explore different stories set in their respective universes, done in a variety of animation styles. Visions for Star Wars was more of an expansion of the universe by allowing various creators to play in that world. Whereas The Boys animated series is just a bunch of hilariously gory and vulgar short stories set in the explicit and adult world of Eric Kripke’s original show.
Some of the stories I’ll discuss in The Boys Presents: Diabolical review are directly connected to the events of The Boys season 1. But many others are absolutely bonkers and act as just standalone stories. Prime Video is going all-in with its selection of adult animated shows. The Boys animated series comes on the heels of their recently successful The Legend Of Vox Machina series, which followed the Invincible comic book adaptation. With these instances, I think it’s safe to say that Prime Video may become the home for adult animated content of various genres.
The Boys Presents: Diabolical Review Is Kind Of Spoiler-Free
The Boys Presents: Diabolical on Prime Video starts with the Boys-version of the classic 1994 movie, Baby’s Day Out. In the Looney Tunes-style animation, the episode is cutesy and funny until you’re quickly reminded of the very hyper-adult nature of this series’ predecessor. And that juxtaposition of adult content with an animation style that we all recognize with family-friendly cartoons is even funnier on screen. Then there’s the anime-inspired episode titled BFFs written and starring Awkwafina, which takes things to such a ridiculous level of gross-out comedy, that Mr. Hanky from South Park would be proud. My least favourite episode, by the way.
But the show isn’t just all shock and gross-ness. Some of the shorts have a lot of heart and some deep substance. In the world of The Boys, parents make deals with a corporation called Vought to inject their children with a compound that promises to give them superpowers. In exchange, the parents are promised fame and glory. The short about what happens to those kids whose powers aren’t marketable is equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. Especially when it’s in the animation style of the Rick And Morty show. Boyd In 3D expands on the corruption of everyday people when living in a world of super-powered expectations and impossible standards of beauty. And John And Sun-Hee starring the Oscar-winning Your Yuh-Jung is just a sweet and tragic tale wrapped up in some cool action sequences. Written, surprisingly, by Andy Samberg.
There Are A Lot Of Possibilities To Explore With The Boys: Diabolical On Prime
One of the better episodes of The Boys animated series is directly how it connects to the larger live-action show. Without spoiling too much, the episode acts as a prequel to the origin of the show’s big villain, Homelander. The character is one of the most interesting in the entire live-action series, and they keep mining his tragic past for even more content. The Boys: Diabolical on Prime focuses specifically on his early days, and actor Antony Starr returns to voice an unexpectedly different kind of Homelander.
While reviewing The Boys Presents: Diabolical, it’s hard to let some of these stories go. Some characters and shorts are just full of so much story and possibilities that I wonder if they might reappear in some way down the line. Given that all the stories of this animated series from The Boys are in the same universe, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched for some of them to re-appear in live-action. Especially given the massive star cast involved in the show.
The Boys Presents: Diabolical Voice Cast & Writing Talent Is A Surprise
On top of all the unique things that The Boys: Diabolical on Prime Video does right, its cast and talent are also insanely good. The voice cast includes the original The Boys cast members of Starr, Elisabeth Shue, Simon Pegg, Giancarlo Esposito, Dominique McElligot and Chase Crawford returning. But the series also features other stars like Grey Griffin, Ben Schwartz (The Afterparty), Seth Rogen, Kumail Nanjiani (The Eternals), Jason Isaacs (Star Trek: Discovery), Christian Slater, Aisha Tyler, Michael Cera, Don Cheadle (Endgame), and so many more. It’s a who’s who of genre stars.
But what’s even more surprising is the writers of each episode. As mentioned Awkwafina does her own episode, while Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote their own. But even the comedy star Andy Samberg from Brooklyn 99 writes an episode that is completely not in line with his usual comic content. Even Aisha Tyler writes her own episode, and both are among the more emotionally driven episodes of The Boys animated series.
The Boys Presents: Diabolical is streaming now on Prime Video.
What did you think of this animated The Boys series that came out before Gen-V? Let me know in the comments below or follow me on X (Twitter) at @theshahshahid to talk more about The Boys when season 4 premieres.
The Boys Presents: Diabolical Is An Anthology Of Rated R Superheroes
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 8/108/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 7/107/10
- Setting/Theme - 8/108/10
- Watchability - 9/109/10
- Rewatchability - 8/108/10