‘The Boys Presents: Diabolical’ – Episode Ranking

With The Boys Presents: Diabolical now available via Amazon, we rank all of the episodes from worst to best.

Amazon recently released its very first The Boys spin-off, Diabolical. In the same vein as the popular Disney+ experiment Star Wars: Visions, the project is an anthology series made up of animated shorts from a wide range of creative teams and directors. As a result, no two episodes are exactly the same. In fact, more often than not, they are shockingly different. The short stories, likely non-canonical and clocking in at around twelve minutes each, range from grand spectacle pieces to small, personal tales set within the context of The Boys‘ universe. Those working behind the scenes on each installment were seemingly given a fair amount of freedom, allowing for multiple unique explorations of Vought International, the Seven, Compound V, and their collective impact on the world at large.

Unfortunately, despite a fairly strong first season overall, not every episode can be a home run. While no entry is entirely bad, some are definitely better than others. Which episodes are better, of course, is subjective, and will ultimately be up to the viewer. However, that fact hasn’t stopped me from compiling my own ranked list of the episodes. So, without further ado, here is The Boys Presents: Diabolical, ranked for Murphy’s Multiverse from worst to best:

8. Boyd in 3D

This might end up being a controversial last-place pick among fans, but I’m sticking to it. Boyd in 3D was conceived by sibling Broad City alums Eliot and Ilana Glazer, and directed by DreamWorks’ Naz Ghodrati-Azadi. The story, which focuses on an insecure man using experimental new Vought facial cream to land the girl of his dreams, is designed to comment on superficiality and popularity in the age of social media. Maybe it’s because there are already countless versions of this story in existence, but something about the episode just isn’t all that engaging. Aside from a nice little twist at the end, it’s mostly predictable and cringe-inducing. Though, bonus points for using a traditionally family-friendly animation style to tell a rather adult story.

7. One Plus One Equals Two

One Plus One Equals Two is perhaps the only episode of the season that could potentially be viewed as canon, and that’s exactly its biggest problem. Helmed by Avatar: The Last Airbender director Giancarlo Volpe, alongside veteran Ben 10 animator Jae Kim and Invincible writer Simon Racioppa, the short acts as a sort of origin story for Homelander’s time as Vought’s poster boy. The problem is that, while it would probably make for a good sequence in the mainline series, it misses the point of Diabolical altogether. It’s essentially just a lot of stuff we’ve seen before placed at the tail end of an otherwise inventive season. A handful of fascinating scenes between Homelander and the mysterious Black Noir are the only reason it’s not ranked lower.

6. I’m Your Pusher

I’m Your Pusher, the second directorial effort from Volpe, largely suffers from the same problems as One Plus One. With art ripped straight from The Boys comics and a script from franchise creator Garth Ennis himself, I had pretty high hopes for this one. Sadly, it doesn’t have much to offer aside from some truly hyper-violent antics and the short-lived excitement of seeing Simon Pegg‘s Hughie come to life. It only ranks this high because it dares to try something fun and charming with its presentation.

5. Laser Baby’s Day Out

This is where things start to get really fun. Laser Baby’s Day Out is an ode to Saturday morning cartoons and a parody of, as the title implies, the 1994 John Hughes‘ film Baby’s Day Out. The straightforward and comedic story comes from series producers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, and is directed by Futurama‘s Crystal Chesney-Thompson and Phineas and Ferb‘s Derek Lee Thompson. It concerns a downtrodden Vought scientist stumbling after a super-powered baby he helped escape, causing immense violence and chaos along the way. It’s the perfect first episode for the show, an entertaining example of how concepts from The Boys can be displayed in new and original ways. It’s ranked in the middle of the pack strictly because of its simplicity.

4. Nubian vs Nubian

Nubian vs Nubian, the better relationship episode from the season, comes from the mind of Aisha Tyler and Young Justice‘s Matthew Bordenave. Dissecting the fake realities conjured by Vought, the story revolves around a young girl attempting to save her parents’ failing marriage by way of their former nemesis. It’s a genuinely interesting look behind the curtain of Vought’s staged, WWE-like heroes and villains, and how fulfillment on paper doesn’t always translate to the real thing. Its ranking is also helped by an excellent performance from voice acting legend John DiMaggio.

3. BFFs

There is no doubt this will be the most divisive episode of the season. Its ranking was frequently moving up and down in my head before it finally landed near the top. Written by Awkwafina and directed by Madeleine Flores in her signature Star vs. the Forces of Evil style, BFFs is about a lonely teenage girl who gets her hands on Compound V and is granted the power to bring poop to life. No, that is not a joke. The ensuing shenanigans, which put her at odds with Chase Crawford‘s The Deep, are wholly original and often hilarious. Once you get past the shell-shock of the premise, you realize it’s actually exactly the sort of thing Diabolical promised to deliver. High marks.

2. John and Sun-Hee

The emotional tour de force of the season, John and Sun-Hee packs a heavy punch and is sure to be ranked highly on nearly every list. In what feels like a surprise reveal, the episode was written by comedian Andy Samberg and directed by Voltron: Legendary Defender maestro Steve In Chang Ahn. Done in the style of a classic anime, the story sees a humble Vought janitor steal Compound V to save his dying wife, only for her cancer to take on a life of its own. It’s a surefire tearjerker, combined with some striking visuals that make it must-watch television. It was very close to taking the number one spot on this list.

1. An Animated Short Where Pissed-Off Supes Kill Their Parents

This one may be unbeatable. I won’t retype that title, but it’s a pretty self-explanatory plot synopsis. A group of “Supes” with ridiculously terrible powers team up to exact revenge on the parents that left them behind as children, with results that are somehow both extremely grotesque and sidesplittingly funny. Of course, this balance could only be achieved by the writing team of Justin Roiland and Ben Bayouth, known for their work on Rick & Morty and Blark and Son, and director Parker Simmons, of Mao Mao fame. It’s everything that makes The Boys great, wrapped in an exceedingly clever bow. It remained ranked at the top spot from my first viewing through my last, and will likely stay there for its sheer rewatchability.

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