9 Mind-Blowing TV Shows to Watch If You Liked Amazon's The Boys
TV shows that look at superheroes from an unusual perspective.
The animated series based on Robert Kirkman's comics of the same name follows a high school student, Mark Grayson, whose father is Omni-Man — an alien from Viltrum and the strongest superhero on the planet.
When Mark turns 17, his superpowers finally begin to manifest. At the same time, someone kills the entire team of superheroes known as the Guardians of the Globe, leaving only Omni-Man alive. Invincible doesn't have as much dark satire on modern society as The Boys, but it has plenty of graphic superviolence and selfish superheroes.
The series was created by James Gunn, brought to DC to shake up the fading cinematic universe. Gunn began with making the second part of The Suicide Squad, which introduced the Peacemaker, aka Christopher Smith.
The superhero presents his life motto as follows: "I cherish peace with all my heart. I don't care how many men, women, and children I need to kill to get it." In his solo series, Christopher Smith wakes up in the hospital after the events in The Suicide Squad and is immediately enlisted by Amanda Waller to join the team of Project Butterfly fighting insect-like aliens that can control humans. Like The Boys, Peacemaker offers another ironic take on superheroes, who are portrayed as jerks with superpowers, all spiced up with good old ultra-violence.
The Umbrella Academy
On October 1, 1989, 43 children with superpowers were born. Seven of them were adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves, a mysterious billionaire who set out to turn the children into a team of world-saving superheroes. But things don't work out as planned. First, Umbrella Number Five disappears — he's the superhero who can move through time and space — and soon after, Number Six dies on a mission.
The superheroes grow older, and their team breaks up — only to reunite after the death of Hargreeves, which coincides with the return of Number Five. He hasn't aged a bit during his time travels and claims that the world will end in eight days…
The stop-motion animated series by Jordan Blum and Patton Oswalt, who also voiced the main character, centers on the crisis in the life of MODOK — a leader of the crime organization A.I.M. and megalomaniacal villain with a penchant for unmotivated aggression and self-mutilation.
Life is crumbling down for MODOC as his company goes bankrupt, his relationship with his wife is shattered, and his dreams of taking over the world remain unrealized — while, on top of all that, a midlife crisis is creeping up on the villain.
This is another series that shows superheroes as not exactly clear-cut characters.
David Heller, also known as Legion, is one of the world's most powerful telepaths (his father is Professor X himself) who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Adding to this already explosive cocktail is the Shadow King, a powerful telepath who has parasitically embedded himself within David's mind and is secretly controlling him. The series creator Noah Hawley has crafted a tense psychological superhero thriller with plenty of terror and death caused by its main antagonist Shadow King, who isn't exactly committed to humanistic values.
The once-iconic Batman cartoon, Batman: The Animated Series spawned Harley Quinn, who was previously non-existent in the comics, and the new film greatly expands on her character.
We meet Harley just after she broke up with Joker and attempts to join the supervillain organization, the Legion of Doom, to prove her own badass credentials to the entire villainous world. She starts her own evil squad made of failed criminals, including Poison Ivy, Clayface, Doctor Psycho, King Shark, and Sy Borgman. The show is characterized by an abundance of black humor and the bright red flowing profusely from the heroes' victims.
One of the first shows to treat superheroes as ordinary people was, not surprisingly, filmed in the UK. As in The Boys, superheroes are commonplace in the series — you get to see them wearing their funny bright costumes on the subway or in line at the supermarket.
They even have to pay the "sidekick tax" — even if they don't have one! No Heroics also features anti-cape leagues, reminiscent of Butcher's crew in The Boys, who hate superheroes and sometimes go around "cape-bashing."
The series follows Jesse Custer, a small-town preacher from Texas who has become a vessel for Genesis, a powerful but disembodied spirit.
Accompanied by his ex-girlfriend Tulip O'Hare and the Irish vampire Cassidy, who suffers from alcoholism, Custer travels across America in search of God — not metaphorically but quite literally. By the way, Preacher's writer is Garth Ennis, the same guy who created The Boys.
The Boys Presents: Diabolical
The animated spin-off of The Boys is no less inventive and violent than the live series.
Every episode is a different story told in a different style of animation — from anime to the classic cartoon style of the 90s. Nevertheless, the cruelty and ambiguous nature of the superhero characters is still the same as in the original show.