This animated spin-off from the hit Prime series The Boys takes us into the side of Vought and the Supes that we don’t get a chance to see on the main show.
Over the course of the eight short episodes, we meet a varied array of characters as well as some familiar faces. Don’t let the cartoon format lure you into thinking things will be toned down, though, as the blood, sweat, foul language, and faeces fly just as freely in Diabolical.
Each episode has its own celebrity writer and is presented in a different style. Among the luminaries who make their mark in the Vought universe are SNL’s Andy Samberg and Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland. The Boys’ creator Garth Ennis is behind the first episode, in which Billy Butcher tracks down the drug dealer who ‘looks after’ the Supes and sets up an explosive situation. Without the constraints of a linear narrative, there’s scope to introduce more outlandish ‘gifted’ people that wouldn’t be able to make it to live-action.
Laser Baby’s Day Out is perfectly pitched as a dialogue-free Looney Tunes adventure, Awkwafina’s BFFs channels an anime style (and a talking poop), while Samberg’s John and Sunhee is a quite touching Studio Ghibli-type episode. There’s more room for satire and with the flexibility of animation, things can get even wilder. Diabolical won’t bring anything to the narrative of the main show, but that doesn’t matter as there’s so much fun to be had. Some episodes do build on the rivalry of the Supes in general, though, and there are cameos from some of the Seven (and a few who are desperate to be in that group).
With such a limited running time, these stories pack a lot in. They hit the spot more often than not and will satiate your bloodlust while waiting for the main event.
The Boys: Diabolical is available to stream now on Prime Video. You can read an interview with the showrunner Simon Racioppa in the new issue of STARBURST -available here.