Gen V is Prime Video’s newest series set in the deranged world of its crowning jewel, The Boys. Like its parent series, Gen V borrows from the comic books by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, specifically, the We Gotta Go Now story arc. The plot centers on a group of young superheroes or “supes” forced to fight in battle royale-like challenges while at the Godolkin University School of Crimefighting, run by Vought International.
The Boys is full of great characters, biting social commentary, clever humor, and over-the-top violence- of course, Prime Video would want to expand its universe. However, if you’re watching Gen V, chances are you already watch The Boys. So, if you’re looking for more superhero mayhem outside Prime Video‘s Boys-verse, here are five shows you should watch to scratch that itch. These series are riveting, intelligent, visually striking, and every bit as memorable as Gen V.
Academy Award winner Regina King stars in Watchmen, a quasi-sequel to Alan Moore’s seminal 1986 graphic novel and one of HBO’s best superhero shows. Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the show follows several characters dealing with a radicalized white supremacist group, the Seventh Kavalry, and uncovering a plot concerning Doctor Manhattan and the original hero, Hooded Justice.
Clever and full of social commentary concerning race relations, Watchmen is a worthy follow-up to Moore’s game-changing story. King confidently leads an impressive cast, including Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons and Emmy-winner Jean Smart. Although far less violent than The Boys and Gen V, Watchmen offers a thought-provoking and nuanced take on the superhero that will satisfy fans of Prime Video’s beloved franchise.
Doom Patrol (2019-Present)
Based on Grant Morrison’s take on the titular superhero team, Doom Patrol is among the most pleasantly surprising superhero shows currently airing on Max. The series follows the adventures of the Doom Patrol, a team of superheroes who received their powers through tragic circumstances. Shunned by society, they investigate the world’s unexplained phenomena until their leader, the Chief, mysteriously disappears, sending them into action.
Both Gen V and Doom Patrol center on superhero groups, exploring their broken psyche and the damage their superhuman abilities inflict on them. They employ dark humor to deal with potentially troubling and disturbing issues without forgetting the over-the-top aspect innate to their genre. And while Gen V has higher production values, both shows are gems of the superhero canon.
Netflix won big with its Marvel shows, especially Daredevil. The Charlie Cox-led series centered on Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who moonlights as a vigilante in Hell’s Kitchen. His fight against crime pits him against the ruthless businessman and crime lord Wilson Fisk, played by the always-reliable Vincent D’Onofrio.
Daredevil stands out because of its ruthless approach to the superhero genre. Although not quite as overblown and violent as Gen V or The Boys, Daredevil is every bit as brutal, tackling vigilantism with a refreshingly unadulterated lens. The show seamlessly blends the best elements of prestigious legal dramas with the top-notch action sequences of the best superhero movies and shows, delivering a unique take on the comic book adaptation that remains unmatched.
John Cena returns to the role of Peacemaker in James Gunn’s eponymous 2022 series. A sequel to the 2021 film The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker follows the character as he is forced to join the mysterious “Project Butterfly,” an A.R.G.U.S. black ops squad on a mission to save the world from an alien invasion.
Peacemaker is the perfect companion to Gen V. Both shows are cut from the same cloth of chaos and deranged humor, featuring violent action sequences, larger-than-life action, profane language, and charming performances from their ensemble. Peacemaker benefits from new DC honcho James Gunn’s trademark style, mixing dark and shocking humor with genuine heart and gravitas, resulting in a unique superhero show that defied expectations and turned a D-list character into a major star.
The Umbrella Academy is among the most consistent and best shows on Netflix. An ensemble cast stars in the story of a group of dysfunctional adopted superhero siblings who reunite following their father’s death to prevent an impending apocalypse. The show featured multiple science fiction tropes, including time travel and alternate timelines.
Like many other superhero shows, The Umbrella Academy often bites more than it can chew. However, it remains a daring, original, and impressive effort, featuring stellar performances, high production values, and an increasingly engaging storyline. It might lack the overt violence of Gen V, but both series focus on the bonds formed among superhero teams. The Umbrella Academy has more heart, but its bite is just as impressive.
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