If there’s one thing Amazon’s famous superhero series The boys caught the eye is that superheroes aren’t just for kids. Say goodbye to your friendly neighbor Spidey or your man of steel, The boys is here to blend superpower fantasy with gore, swearing, sex, and violence for a gleefully despicable viewing experience.
The boys premiered on Amazon Prime Video in 2019, followed by a second season in 2020, and it received praise from critics and fans, especially those who felt the superhero genre as a whole was becoming obsolete. The graphic novel adaptation of Garth Ennis (in both senses of the word) brought a fresh, violent, yet hugely funny take on superheroes that, despite its boyish humor and gruesome deaths, never fails to tackle deeper themes of family, racism, sexism. , abuse of power and toxic relationships. That’s what keeps The boys endearing because it can balance adult content with adult themes, making it more than an excuse to show gratuitous violence.
If it rings down your street but you haven’t watched yet The boys, so go ahead and fix that as soon as you can. Get acquainted with The Seven, a Justice League-like team of superheroes led by Homelander, a parody of Superman with severe rage issues and an extreme Oedipus complex. On the other side are The Boys, a group of (mostly) non-superpowered individuals, all with personal vendettas against The Seven; here led by Billy Butcher, a badass played (with a slightly Cockney accent) by Karl Urban. None of the characters on this show are inherently good, you’ll just have to figure out who to root for and who to hate (but also secretly like to watch).
The Boys’ third season begins today, and once you’ve all caught up, you should give these adult superhero shows a try the same way.
Invincible (2021) – Amazon Prime Video
This animated superhero series received rave reviews for its stellar cast and brutal action when it launched on Amazon Prime Video last year. The show and the comics it’s based on were written by Robert Kirkman who also wrote The Walking Dead, and he even shares a few cast members with the apocalyptic survival series, including Steven Yuen, who plays the titular hero. .
JK Simmons, Sandra Oh, Mark Hammill, Zazie Beetz, Seth Rogan, John Hamm and Mahershala Ali also round out the cast, so expect to recognize a few voices. But a few words of warning: don’t get attached to their characters because Invincible has no problem laying out a few heroes when fists fly. And when they do, you can expect some very brutal fights – much like those found in The boys – with heroes, villains, and often spectators watching these epic clashes that often end in grisly endings.
Like with The boys, Invincible also has a heart, with plenty of family drama and twists and turns to keep you invested between bloodshed and property destruction. The first season is now available on Prime Video (opens in a new tab)and a second season is in the works.
Watchmen (2019) – HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video
Not to be confused with Zack Snyder’s feature film adaptation, HBO’s watchmen is a limited series of Lost creator David Lindeloff, with Regina King, Yayha Abdul Mateen II and Jeremy Irons.
This mind-bending, twisted tale can spiral into seemingly unrelated tangents, but it always pays off with shocking revelations and is a real storytelling treat. There’s some truly stunning cinematography in watchmenalongside a soundtrack that ranges from hard-hitting beats to heartbreaking strings from the brilliant minds of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, making it a great choice to test out your AV system.
Since it’s a limited series, it’s a one-season deal, but if you don’t mind a slightly frustrating cliffhanger ending, then watchmen is a captivating and quality show that we warmly recommend. And don’t take our word for it – it’s a show that’s won no less than 11 Emmys. You can rent it now on Amazon Prime Video (opens in a new tab) in the UK or using a VPN to access HBO Max (opens in a new tab).
Harley Quinn (2020) – Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV
Another animated gem, this time from DC, harley quinn features the titular antihero in an animated action-comedy that’s an easy and genuinely fun watch – though it’s definitely not one for kids. The humor is dark and raunchy while poking fun at everything from “cancel culture” to some of DC’s most popular flagship heroes. In this respect, it shares much in common with The boys in terms of crude parody of today’s popular superhero franchises.
Harley Quinn also does a great job of adapting classic comic book designs into her fairly simple but still superb animation style, and with Kaley Cuoco, Alan Tudyk and Giancarlo Esposito voicing these iconic characters, harley quinn is a cool watch that is effortlessly fun and entertaining.
There are two seasons of Harley Quinn that are now available to rent on Apple TV (opens in a new tab) and Amazon Prime Video (opens in a new tab), but he also occasionally appears on All 4 to stream for free, so keep an eye out for that. A third series is in preparation.
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