A few months before the release of the third season of The Boys, the most irreverent series of the moment returns with Diabolical, an animated anthology as trashy as it is crazy.
Only a few more months before finding The Boys on our screens. Expected for June 3, the series inspired by cult comics by Garth Ennis will deliver its third season shortly. The opportunity to lift the veil on the character of Victoria Neuman, played by Claire Doumit, but also to learn more about Soldier Boy, Vought’s very first superhero. While waiting for this new burst of episodes, Prime Video unveiled this weekend The Boys Diabolical, a crazy animation series that pushes the limits of the saga a little further. What is it really worth? We take stock.
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In true homage to the original comics, the anthology The Boys presents: Diabolical propose eight independent episodes, and totally decorrelated from each other. The opportunity to discover in a new light the ruthless lore of the comics imagined by Garth Ennis. Worn by talented artists, the show multiplies references and tributes. First by its graphic biases, which juggle between Looney Tunes, Totally Spies and Japanese animation by Miyazaki. Then thanks to his choices of narration, which without being equal (we will come back to this) succeed in forming a merry motley bric-a-bracbut ultimately consistent.
Fans of the original series shouldn’t be disappointed though: true to its legacy, Diabolical takes up the dark humor of Eric Kripke, and does not skimp on the hemoglobin. Trashy, sexually explicit and always so vulgarit is not for nothing that the program is not recommended for people under 18.
In the middle of this big nonsense, Diabolical yet offers itself a sizeable guideline: whether it is Andy Samberg (Brooklyn 99), Awkwafina (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) or even Justin Roiland (rick and morty) and Seth Rogen (future-man), the love of the showrunners for the saga of Garth Ennis is palpable. On the screen, the references multiply, without falling into simple fan-service. Some are obvious, like episode 3 I’m your Pusher, directed by Garth Ennis himself, while others will require reading the comics first. In all cases, the fun remains the same. Be careful though to have seen the first two seasons beforehand: the animated series includes some spoilers on the plot that it would be a shame to spoil.
The Boys Diabolical unquestionably benefits from a very high-flying cast and unlimited graphic freedom. Like other series of the genre, such as Love, Death and Robot or black-mirror, we still regret the uneven quality of the eight episodes. We may take full face, some struggle to stand out. Without being really bad, Nubian vs. Nubian (subtle reference to the movie Kramer vs. Kramer) or I’m Your Pusher will probably not go down in history.
Fortunately for us, some episodes nevertheless manage to establish themselves as real successes. This is particularly the case of the excellent An Animated Short Where Pissed-Off Supes Kill Their Parents (“An animated short film where super pissed off kill their parents”). Directed by Justin Roiland and Ben Bayouth, the animated film brilliantly takes up the drawing and scathing humor of the creator of rick and mortywhile paying the luxury of offering one of the richest rereadings of Diabolical. It must be said that the worlds of Rick Sanchez and Billy Butcher ultimately have more in common than they seem. Funny, gory and completely wacky, this episode 2 will undoubtedly remain our favorite, and would deserve a complete series on its own.
Another favorite of the series, episode 4 Boyd in 3D takes a radically different approach. Imagined by Eliot and Ilana Glazer, the short film follows the almost normal adventures of Boyd, an ordinary guy in love with his neighbor. When the young man has the opportunity to get the physique of your dreams thanks to a new miracle cream developed by Vought, he jumped at the chance, and quickly became the hottest influencer of the moment. A change of life which is not without consequences, since Boyd and Cherry quickly plunge into drugs, violence and dysmorphia. Cruel and disturbingthe episode signs the most virulent societal criticism of the series, in a tone that is reminiscent of that of black-mirror.
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Cynical and completely crazy, Diabolical is not the masterpiece of the year, but succeeds in propel The Boys to the rank of cult series. Behind its disjointed, trashy and sometimes even gratuitous narration, the animated series brings a pleasant breath of fresh air to the license, while questioning the possibility ofextended universe in the years to come. It must be said that the adventures of P’tit Hughie definitely have nothing to envy to the MCU and the DCEU. Originally thought of as a parody, Garth Ennis’ comic strip has plenty to offer a few spin-offs. Amazon has understood this well, since in addition to Diabolical, the director has already mentioned a few additional tracks, and in particular a rereading centered on the G-Men, crazy alter egos of the X-Men, mentioned in volume 2 of the comics.
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