REVIEW / SERIES REVIEW – While waiting for the release of “The Boys” season 3, Amazon Prime Video has just offered a spin-off animated series called “The Boys: Diabolical”. A pleasant little nugget, which also connects to the main show.
What’s this The Boys: Diabolical?
Exit Friday, March 4, 2022, on Amazon Prime Video, The Boys: Diabolical is an animated series derived from the universe of The Boys. Also directed by Eric Kripke, this show introduces new characters to the universe of Amazon Prime Video’s flagship series. It’s about an animated series in eight chapters, lasting 10 to 15 minutes, in various styles. Completely independent episodes from each other, which, in addition to being a delicious candy to wait until season 3 of The Boys, are more useful than they seem.
Each episode is led by different teams and sees big Hollywood names join the project. In addition to Eric Kripke returning to his post, The Boys: Diabolical offers the intervention of the duo Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, Justin Roiland (the little genius behind Rick and Morty and Solar Opposites), Andy Samberg (the star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine) or the actress Awkwafina. On the voice casting side, we can note the presence of Michael Cera, Don Cheadle, Giancarlo Esposito, Kumail Nanjiani, Christian Slater, or Simon Pegg. Holy program!
Uneven but enjoyable episodes
In the manner of Love, Death & Robots or of Star Wars: Visions, The Boys: Diabolical is an animation anthology that offers episodes totally disconnected from each other. Inevitably, via this principle, each chapter transmits a different identity, and therefore variable qualities. All opuses are not equal, and if some are small masterpieces, others are largely forgettable. Among the most successful are the first four chapters of the show. They make it possible to approach the universe of The Boys through very different approaches.
The first, The Ballad of Baby Laser, directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen offers a mute journey in an animation style Looney Tunes tribute. A frankly trashy and very entertaining episode. The second, directed by Justin Roiland allows a meeting at the top between the style of Rick and Morty and the universe of Eric Kripke’s series. Via a hilarious concept that imagines supers with totally fucked up powers, this second chapter mixes absurd humor and eccentric violence. Justin Roiland’s winning recipe.
In the third episode, I am your dealer, let’s bring Butcher and Hughie back to animation, the time of a particularly violent mission totally in line with the continuity of the main show. Finally, in the fourth episode, Boyd in 3D conceived the impact of Vought International on ordinary mortals. A fascinating and critical account of the social networks and influencers. Brilliant!
Unfortunately, the quality is not 100% there. If episodes 6 and 7 are not shameful, they are easily forgotten. As for episode 5, written by Awkwafina, it is placed at the bottom of the basket. The actress imagines an offbeat “kawaii” story, inspired by Japanese manga, where an ill-tempered teenager becomes friends with her poo (yes, you read that right). But the result does not work and quickly transposes an inevitable form of discomfort.
A skillful connection with The Boys
Then, comes the final episode of the show. Entitled One plus one equals two this final episode offers a real connection with the main series. This eighth chapter concentrates on Homelander’s youth, still voiced by comedian Antony Starr. 14 minutes of fun that takes viewers back to the genesis of the most powerful super. A way to develop their fears, obsessions, anxieties explaining where his mental problems and invincible powers come from.
We learn that the character had A difficult childhood (to put it mildly) and was particularly violent within Vought International. The public is also encouraged to discover its very first mission and how he actually becomes a Homelander. Likewise, Black Noir is also present. And the relationship between the two characters makes it possible to learn more about the role of Black Noir, and its special status in The Boys. In any case, The Boys: Diabolical is the perfect format to wait until the exit of The Boys season 3, scheduled for June 3.
The Boys: Diabolical by Eric Kripke, available on Amazon Prime Video from March 4, 2022.