The Boys challenges the traditional superhero genre, making Marvel and DC more difficult to watch afterward. The show satirizes classic superheroes and their powers, making it difficult to take them seriously. The Boys tackles political issues, surpassing major franchises in its commentary and relevancy.

Despite the MCU and DCEU’s extensive movie and TV lineups, The Boys has become one of the strongest superhero properties of the 2020s — and the show’s biting approach to the genre is making it more difficult to watch and appreciate the likes of Marvel and DC. The Boys season 1 made its debut on Prime Video in 2019, introducing viewers to the dark and humorous world of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comics. The series’ success spawned three seasons, with The Boys season 4 set to premiere in 2024. It also branched out via spinoffs, with Gen V and the upcoming The Boys: Mexico vowing to expand the franchise further.

Part of what makes The Boys so refreshing is its approach to superhero stories, which defies many conventions of the genre. The series satirizes traditional superhero tropes and narratives, questioning what would actually happen if flawed individuals were given extraordinary powers. The answer The Boys universe provides is a far cry from Marvel and DC, but that’s precisely what makes it so compelling. For numerous reasons, standard superhero fare might be less appealing after watching The Boys.

The Boys seasons 1-3 are streaming on Prime Video.

6 The Boys Ruins Marvel And DC’s Idealized View Of Superheroes

The Amazon Series Shows What Real Superheroes Would Be Like

The Boys’ premise alone makes it difficult to watch Marvel and DC properties, as the Amazon series destroys their idealized view of superheroes. Although Marvel and DC embrace morally grey heroes in the form of characters like Moon Knight or Batman, their protagonists are generally well-intended. Most classic superheroes don’t get into the profession for money or glory, whereas The Boys’ supes have realistically dark motivations. They also allow their fame and strength to corrupt them, something viewers rarely see from Marvel or DC heroes.

The Boys takes a realistic approach to supes — who, at their core, are still just humans — and the show is the better for it. One gets the sense that The Boys is right about what would happen if superpowers existed in real life. That makes it harder to suspend disbelief while watching the heroic and honorable heroes of other franchises.

5 The Boys Makes Fun Of Classic Superheroes & Their Powers

It’s Hard To Take Them Seriously After The Boys’ Spoofs

In addition to satirizing the concept of superheroes as a whole, The Boys spoofs individual heroes and powers from Marvel’s and DC’s lineups, making it harder to take them seriously later on. Many of the Amazon show’s characters poke fun at well-known heroes, from The Deep’s ridiculous take on Aquaman to Soldier Boy’s darker iteration of Captain America. After witnessing The Deep’s sexual attraction to sea creatures or The Boys’ Ant-Man spoof with Termite, it’s difficult to take the characters they’re based on seriously. Naturally, this makes Marvel and DC projects harder to watch.

4 The Boys Isn’t Afraid To Get Political

The Show Surpasses Major Franchises With Its Commentary

While major franchises like Marvel and DC often shy away from political discussions and real-world issues, The Boys dives fearlessly into such issues. Through Vought International’s corruption and Homelander’s increasingly tyrannical behavior, The Boys comments on modern-day topics. This makes it more relatable than standard superhero fare and offers a feeling of catharsis. It also makes The Boys feel more grounded in reality despite its outlandish antics and fantastical characters. After witnessing The Boys’ approach to the news cycle, it’s jarring to return to a world that barely addresses its own in-universe issues, much less real-life ones.

3 The Boys Appeals To A More Mature Audience

Franchises like Marvel and DC must appeal to younger and older audiences alike, but The Boys directs its storytelling solely at a mature viewership — and proves how much better such stories can land for adults. Given its target audience, The Boys can depict violence, gore, and nudity without a problem. This doesn’t just make the show feel more realistic; it also allows it to embrace darker humor and more interesting scenarios than other franchises. While some DC properties have undoubtedly veered into adult territory, they generally haven’t come close to The Boys in terms of explicit content.

2 Gen V Shows What Interconnected Storytelling Should Look Like

It’s Too Soon To Say If It Will Face The Problems Of Other Franchises

With so many Marvel and DCEU projects coming out in the past two decades, it’s safe to say that some audiences are facing superhero fatigue. It’s not just the sheer number of movies and shows causing this, either. The studios’ goal of turning their franchises into massive, interconnected universes isn’t working as well as they hoped. While Marvel’s Infinity Saga masterfully handled this task, recent additions are struggling to connect in a meaningful way. Meanwhile, the DCEU has always had issues with continuity, something it’s hoping to address following The Flash.

The Boys is still in the early stages of expansion, but Gen V demonstrates what interconnected storytelling should look like. It features a story that stands on its own and even rivals that of The Boys. Its in-universe connections are evident, and the spinoff leads directly back to the main show. None of its cameos or connections feel forced, and one could arguably watch Gen V without knowing everything about The Boys. This is a nice change of pace, especially for Marvel and DC fans tired of keeping up with every new release.

1 The Boys Embraces Fresh Storytelling Other Franchises Are Struggling With

The Amazon Show Continues To Surprise Viewers

Perhaps the biggest reason The Boys is making it so hard to watch Marvel and DC properties is the fact that the Amazon show has been around for less time, and thus, hasn’t lost its magic. While the MCU and DCEU are struggling to redefine themselves after years of storytelling, The Boys and its spinoffs are offering something fresh and new. This approach is being taken by other shows, like Invincible, but The Boys is unique in its ability to consistently surprise viewers. Some might have expected The Boys’ antics to get old after multiple seasons and a spinoff. However, it feels as though the show is reaching new heights with each release,

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