It’s around the time of year for Amazon to drop a new series of perennial fan-favourite series, “The Boys”. Unfortunately, due to pandemic delays, we won’t be seeing the third season for a little while.
To tide fans over, is a new animation anthology series. Featuring some of Hollywood’s most creative people, either behind or lending their vocal talents to a wide variety of standalone stories.
The series is set in the crazy universe of The Boys. Like The Animatrix or Star Wars Legends before it, Diabolical is a series of vignettes that expand on certain aspects of The Boys universe. Have you ever wondered what would happen to somebody if they drank Compound V instead of injected it? Or what happens to the kids who develop less practical, world-savey powers than the fortunate members of The Seven? Then this is the series for you.
Any series of this nature will inevitably have both highs and lows. Some of the episodes are less engaging than others. For example, a collaboration between the talented Ilana Glazer (of Broad City fame) and her brother makes some heavy-handed observations about our society’s relationship with social media-driven status. This is the material we’ve seen executed better in different hands.
Not All Vignettes are Created Equal
The quality vignettes are usually from people who have a proven track record with animated stories in particular. One of the strongest vignettes is “An Animated Short Where Pissed-Off Supes Kill Their Parents” is written by one half of the creative duo behind the monster hit Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland, with its animation in the same signature style.
One of the less strong vignettes is a divorce storyline about two Supes who met in the heat of battle but the realities of marriage in the eight years following their initial meeting have driven a wedge between them as a couple. Aisha Tyler (of Archer fame) helms this effort and while it does have its moments it’s perhaps not quite as funny as some of the others.
One of the big surprises of the bunch is Andy Samberg’s effort. Playing like a version of Up where Compound V exists, it’s the story of an elderly janitor who works for Vaught and tries to get an experimental cancer treatment to help his dying wife. What makes it a surprise is how heartfelt and emotional it is.
Something For the Fans
Ultimately, your enjoyment of Diabolical ties directly to how much you enjoy previous offerings within the universe. The Boys is one of Amazon’s more popular offerings, and many find its fresh take on the mythology of superheroes. The reality-style storytelling reflects what these people would actually be like. This really stands out in the landscape of cookie-cutter comic book adaptations.
While not quite as satisfying as the impending Season 3 fans have been waiting on tenterhooks for, Diabolical provides a mostly quality stop-gap to keep them entertained while they wait. And hey, it involves an anthropomorphic turd and its unlikely friendship with a teenage girl, which is pretty much worth the price of admission on its own.
The Boys Presents: Diabolical is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
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