If you’re a fan of the Amazon Prime series, The Boys, which is coming back with Season Three on June 3rd, then you’ll probably love this 8-episode eclectic animated series based on their live-action streaming series. And yes, it’s just as ultra-violent, funny, and crazy as the live-action series is! Each episode has its own unique spin in animation style, context, humor, and violence quotient. Let’s break ’em down.
Episode 1: Laser Baby’s Day Out. Written by Seth Rogan & Evan Goldberg, this classic throw-back to the classic Bugs Bunny/Roger Rabbit shorts is wildly frenetic, extremely bloody, and hilariously over-the-top with nobody ever speaking a word. Based on a moment where Butcher (in Season One) handled a baby with deadly laser-beam eyes, it’s one of my favorites, with callbacks to the old Tex Avery & Warner Bros cartoons of the 50’s. Just listen to the musical soundtrack!
Episode 2: An Animated Short Where Pissed-Off Supes Kill Their Parents. Who else but writers Justin Roiland and Ben Bayouth could come up with this one? Visually, it looks like a Rick & Morty adventure in the same animation style, irreverent humor, graphic violence, and outlandish story. It’s a simple premise (look at the title!) and full of surprises and laughs. Another favorite of mine.
Episode 3: I’m Your Pusher. Imagine a drug dealer that caters exclusively to supers! Butcher, from the series, manages to convince a dealer to lace the Great Wide Wonder’s cocaine and, well, things get sorta out of hand at an outdoor presentation for the newest member of the Seven. It’s both funny and gruesome with the animation like the Warner Bros. Batman or Superman animated movies.
Episode 4: Boys in 3D. A poignant, almost serious tome about two lonely people living next door to each other. Boyd is an unattractive loser who, in a last-ditch effort, tries an experimental cream from Vought. It not only makes him instantly handsome and charming, but does the same for Cherry, his plain-Jane neighbor, by turning her into a cat/human hybrid! Together they become the toast of the town, but (like a Twilight Zone episode) fame is fleeting.
Episode 5: BFFS. Probably the weakest in the link. Written & voiced by comedian Awkwafina, and animated like an exaggerated Japanese cartoon, this simple and dull story tells a strange tale of an outcast teenager who, after taking some Vought serum, finds she can make new super-friends by. . . wait for it. . . pooping them out of her butt! Yeah, you heard me. Need I say more? It’s not funny or clever, but just odd and weird. Skip this one.
Episode 6: Nubian vs Nubian. In another winning episode, this one is written and voiced by Aisha Tyler (Whose Line Is It, Anyway? Archer). Two supers, Nubia and Nubian fight crime against bank-robbing Groundhawk, but eight years later their marriage is on the rocks and it’s up to their little daughter, Maya, to fix it! Fast, funny, unexpected, and animated like Amazon’s Invincible series. It’s one of the better ones.
Episode 7: John and Sun-Hee. You know Andy Samberg from SNL and Brooklyn 9-9, right? Okay, so given that, why he ever wrote this dismal and strange sci-fi melodrama that doesn’t even have an ending is beyond me. Looking like a Korean anime (with some Hayao Miyazaki influences), it has an elderly man stealing some Vought serum to heal his dying wife of cancer, but with disastrous consequences. Samberg has a history of outrageous and unpredictable humor, but this is the complete opposite of all that.
Episode 8: One Plus One Equals Two. If you watch, The Boys, you know about Homelander, the dangerous narcissistic sociopath that heads up the Seven for Vought. This episode is a sorta-kinda backstory of when Homelander was first introduced to the public. But Homelander, his ego beginning to grow, is none too happy that his partner, Black Noir, is getting more press than him. However, when a chemical plant is taken hostage, Homelander goes into action. . . with terrible results! Excellent animation, very violent, and a terrific companion to the Amazon series.
**Now streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime