Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Boys Presents: Diabolical feels reminiscent of last year’s Star Wars: Visions. Within that anthology, numerous different artists got together to produce a series of different artistic interpretations of its source material, with wild, wacky and wonderful chapters. It wasn’t the best anthology, and it was a little rough around the edges, but for the most part it was largely watchable.
The Boys Presents: Diabolical then is essentially an animated riff on The Boys. It’s nowhere near as gripping or enticing as the live-action series but there’s enough here to like across the 8 bitesize chapters all the same. If you can go in with an open mind, you’re bound to have a good time.
The episodes are a mixed bag across the board with a chapter written by Awkwafina about a sentient turd by far the worst of the season. It’s not only unfunny, it also riffs on ideas that South Park introduced way back in the 90’s.
However, most of these episodes do have a consistent theme, with each using a simple idea – love, loss, revenge, divorce – and then tying a Boys-esque action and violence into that.
Homelander does make an appearance in several of these episodes, including the final chapter which depicts the roles reversed between him and Noir, with Noir actually the number 1 as a fresh-faced Homelander enters The Seven.
The other point of contention here though will come from the violence. Now, The Boys is well versed in that and it makes sense for this anthology to follow the same bloody suit. The trouble is, it does so for the pure purpose of shock value rather than adding to the story.
In The Boys it makes sense that A-Train completely obliterates Hughie’s girlfriend because it makes us care about his plight. Here though, we see a baby hiccup and go on a rampage but it’s done for shock rather than a narrative purpose.
Don’t get me wrong, in the moment these episodes are actually fun and enjoyable to watch – especially given they’re only 14 minutes or so long – but when given time to reflect, this one does present several flaws.
Despite these gripes, there’s enough to like with The Boys Presents: Diabolical, which offers up something slightly different from the norm, with an animated series that takes all the best and worst stuff from The Boys and blends it into an 8 episode anthology. It’s not perfect but there’s enough here to recommend nonetheless.
Verdict - 7/10