Saturday, May 28, 2022

‘The Boys Presents: Diabolical’ Review: A Hilariously Depraved Fever Dream of Chaos

Prime Video’s animated anthology spin-off of the hit series The Boys, The Boys Presents: Diabolical, is set to land on the streaming service this Friday. Coming from a group of creative minds that includes Awkwafina, Garth Ennis, Eliot Glazer, Ilana Glazer, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, Simon Racioppa, Justin Roiland, Ben Bayouth, Andy Samberg, and Aisha Tyler, and an epic voice cast to boot, Diabolical dives into a series of untold stories from the world of The Boys over the course of eight bite-sized episodes.

The Boys is a wildly entertaining and darkly twisted take on the superhero genre, based on the The New York Times best-selling comic series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. With two seasons on the roster thus far and another coming soon, the crew behind The Boys continuously pushes the envelope in terms on just how wild, destructive, and bloody the episodes can possibly be — from a room full of exploding heads to a whale decimated by a boat. But, understandably, there are limitations within a live-action production, both for technical reasons and also in terms of what believably fits into the context of the show in its current format. So what happens when you tear out the seatbelts, cut the brake cables, and toss the rulebook out the window? Enter — The Boys Presents: Diabolical. All bets are officially off.

This anthology series is a fever dream of unhinged chaos that looks its live-action counterpart in the face and laughs maniacally to the tune of horrified screams. Each episode has a different writer at the helm, but a common theme runs throughout: anything goes. Mass destruction and casualties? Check. Talking feces? Check. A gang of angry Supe kids killing their parents one by one? Yep. Homelander brutally eviscerating innocent bystanders? Check, checkity, check. Homelander and Stormfront’s debaucherous lovemaking sessions and Hughie’s first experience with A-Train (R.I.P. Robin) almost feel tame compared to this.

The Boys Presents: Diabolical Still
Prime Video
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“An Animated Short Where Pissed-Off Supes Kill Their Parents,” which was written by Justin Roiland and Ben Bayouth, is essentially The Boys meets Rick and Morty, and there’s now a mighty need to see more stories from the show’s universe with this particular brand of humor and style. And “I’m Your Pusher,” which was penned by Garth Ennis himself, will be particularly exciting for fans of the comics. While “One Plus One Equals Two” will undoubtedly be the centerpiece of the series, as it offers audiences the opportunity to chew on a sordid story from Homelander’s beginnings with The Seven, Andy Samberg’s “John and Sun-Hee” was a personal standout for me. Inspired by Korean drama and horror, this episode tells a wonderfully weird story that’s equal parts endearing and horrifying.

With a unique animation style bringing each episode to life and plenty of new, different characters to meet, there’s a bit of something for everyone here. You can sit back and enjoy “Laser Baby’s Day Out” as it somehow manages to create a new genre — murder (lighthearted!) — or you can watch dysfunctional Supe family matters unravel at the whims of a cunning child in “Nubian vs Nubian”. “Boyd in 3D” offers up a strange, compelling story of love, but ultimately, only the strong will survive the ick factor of “BFFs,” which is thankfully offset with a cute, dreamy animation style.

So as we all eagerly await the arrival of season 3 of The Boys, which was sorely missed in 2021, Diabolical is a brilliantly twisted appeteaser that serves to sate viewers’ hunger for the show’s signature dish of wickedly humorous depravity. It’s an outrageous, hilarious, blood-soaked ride from start to finish that will leave audiences eagerly waiting to hear if and when more animated episodes are in store in the future. Unhindered by the main show’s (necessary) focus on matters between Vought, The Seven, and the Boys, Diabolical has virtually limitless potential to continue exploring untold stories large and small, working hard on the sidelines to paint a full picture of just how absolutely bonkers the world of The Boys truly is.

Don’t miss The Boys Presents: Diabolical when it premieres exclusively on Prime Video this Friday, March 4. The Boys season 3 will then arrive on June 3. Follow along with all of our coverage on the series here.

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