TV

Gen V Review: The Boys Can Be a Superhero Franchise After All


The Boys’ cynical satire of superheroics seamlessly translates to the world of teen drama.

Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair) and Emma Meyer (Lizze Broadway) in The Boys spinoff Gen V.
Photo: Brooke Palmer | Prime Video

This Gen V review contains spoilers for episodes 1-3.

As a wise man in a superhero movie once said “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Despite being only a youthful three seasons old, Prime Video’s The Boys currently finds itself in danger of violating Harvey Dent’s rule.

Based on a (mostly awful) comic of the same name, The Boys is about as cynical a superhero satire as you’re ever likely to find. The “supes” in Boys-world are rapists, murderers, fascists, and freaks. And what’s worse, the Vought Corporation propaganda apparatus built around them exists to make them as popular and inoffensive as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The Boys is absolutely scathing in its depiction of a late stage capitalistic system built upon nationalism, hero worship, and misplaced nostalgia.

And now, in a meta twist, The Boys has been compelled to participate in that late stage capitalistic system, itself, in the form of Gen V – the first Boys spinoff of what Prime Video surely hopes is many. Gen V could be dismissively called The Boys‘ own perverse Muppet Babies as it catches up with young supes training at Godolkin University to become the next household name heroes. With this spinoff’s mere existence, The Boys becomes a superhero franchise by default and is therefore the “villain” in its own canon.

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