There’s a lot to love about this universe of The Boys, and there’s a lot to hate. After all, it’s an entire universe of man-made heroes. However, there is so much to the universe that a single show can’t cover it all. That’s where The Boys Presents: Diabolical comes in. Members of The Seven appear in the episode – Homelander (Anthony Starr), Queen Maeve, Black Noir, and The Deep. Diabolical, however, focuses on the world around these heroes.
Diabolical is a bit of an anthology. Everything is happening within the same universe, but with different characters in every short. Some of the episodes are events that directly relate to things that have happened in the show. Thus confirming, Diabolical is canon. It’s a fun series riddled with twists, turns, and a lot of blood and guts.
Each episode has its own unique and distinct style along with its own director(s) and writer(s). From the very beginning in the Laser Baby episode, they do not hold back at all. Just like in the live-action series they do not hold back. There’s so much talent on board that you can’t help but admire what this show is. An ensemble of folks that can attribute in many different ways.
Crystal-Chesney and Derek Lee Thompson, Parker Simmons, Giancarlo Volpe, Naz Ghodrati-Azadi, Madeleine Flores, Matthew Bordenave, Steve In Chang Ahn, and Jae H. Kim all contribute from the director’s chair. This talented roster helps bring several different styles of directing to compliment some amazing animation. You can tell that Diabolical was a ton of fun to make.
The writer’s room for this series was extremely talented. Justin Roiland brings his Rick and Morty style to the second episode. Awkwafina delivers a Ghibli-style adventure. Andy Samberg gives us a love story mixed with a sci-fi adventure. There’s so much to enjoy as the episodes build up.
The voice cast is great also, Justin Roiland brings his iconic voice in the episode An Animated Short About Pissed Off Supes Killing Their Parents. He voices Paper and The Narrator. Much like Solar Opposites and Rick and Morty you can instantly hear his voice. Caleb McLaughlin and Kenan Thompson also give us some decent performances. Awkwafina also gives us a decent performance in BFFs. Anthony Starr brings us Homelander in a few episodes and he hasn’t missed a step with his iconic character. There are some great voice acting performances throughout each short, but for me these are the standouts.
Each episode had a very unique and distinct animation style to fit the episode. The anime-style episodes had a lot of range. They reminded me of stuff from Studio Ghibli or something from Funimation like Attack on Titan or One Punch Man. Considering Sony just purchased anime streamer Crunchyroll, it makes sense that the animation is so well done. The very first cartoon is reminiscent of Looney Tunes, even has a Voughtoons logo at the bottom and ends on a “That’s All Folks” style note. You can tell there was a ton of effort put into the animation and the studios benefited from it heavily.
The world of Vought has been opened and expanded. Superhero universes are becoming more and more popular. Casual fans of superheroes and comics are finding out about the world beyond DC and Marvel, and it’s beautiful. Dynamite Entertainment has so much material to offer and Amazon letting them create this universe has been very fun to watch. They are not typical “superhero saves the day” stories. It’s far more realistic and dark than anything. Diabolical only attributes this universe in helping create that atmosphere.
While some episodes do miss beats and are hard to watch, for the most part, the shorts are fairly decent. Diabolical is a fun ride and a way for fans of The Boys to stay connected to the IP. If Invincible had a cousin, it would be this. The show includes all the blood and guts while keeping the nuance that keeps us tuned in to The Boys. It’s not a terrible show by any means, but it does have its faulty moments. Each episode is its own thing within a very chaotic universe. The universe of The Boys is something that we all have come to know and love. For me, it was fun seeing things happen outside of the main characters. – Rascal F. Kennedy
The Boys Presents: Diabolical premieres Friday on Amazon Prime!