The Boys is an Amazon Prime Video show that asks the question: what if superheroes were real, and what if they were a bunch of amoral monsters? The series is a tonic for people burnt out on the multiversal mayhem of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the fumbling grittiness of the DC Cinematic Universe. The Boys is its own thing, and it’s here to spit in the eye of every other superhero franchise out there.
That said, The Boys has increasingly begun to resemble some of those other super-powered cinematic universes. Spinoffs have been growing like mushrooms. First there was The Boys Presents: Diabolical, an animated anthology series spotlighting characters from the original show. And now Amazon is airing Gen V, a spinoff set at a superhero university.
Amazon is in a precarious situation here: The Boys has become a hit based in part on its willingness to take the piss out of the concept of the superhero cinematic universe. But Amazon is also tempted to turn it into a new cinematic universe. Is The Boys becoming the thing it mocks?
The Boys producer “would love to have multiple shows”
Producer Pavun Shetty talked to ComicBook.com about walking the line. “We’re lucky that fans love the show so much and there’s real anticipation for Gen V, and there’s a lot of characters to build upon. There’s a lot of different areas from the books across time periods that we could really capitalize on,” he said. “But, I think the most important thing for us there is that we are really diligent and thoughtful about what we do next.”
We’d love to have multiple shows, but I think audiences are really savvy and sophisticated, and I think they understand when there’s a reason a show is coming out for the proper reasons and there’s a real story to tell and it feels of the same world, but different. I think they can sniff out when it’s just a show for a show’s sake, and so we are really thinking about what the next show could be and how it can be thoughtful and fit into the universe and feel like it’s a puzzle piece that fits in with everything else, but is not just a show for show’s sake.
Shetty sounds like he has good intentions, but I sense danger. The more shows you make, the thinner you’ll spread the attention of the people who make the series special, and the more you’ll risk making a show that no one is interested in. It’s a precarious dance between art and commerce. And usually, commerce wins.
But with Gen V going over fairly well with audiences, there’s no reason to start doomsaying just yet. New episodes drop Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.