The Boys Season 4 is Copying Marvel's Worst Idea

You either get canceled or air long enough to become a franchise.

Prime Video

The Boys has never been a subtle show, and a group of commodified, corporate superheroes who star in a blockbuster film franchise was an obvious callout of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But once it became a success, The Boys could only capitalize on its momentum by becoming what it ruthlessly mocks: a franchise.

With Season 4 only a few weeks away, we now have our first glimpse of what’s in store. Ironically, it seems like the MCU similarities are only growing, as characters from The Boys’ first spinoff have now circled back to appear in the main show. Check out The Boys Season 4 trailer below.

In the fall of 2023, Prime Video launched Gen V, a younger-skewing spinoff focused on the superpowered students of Godolkin University as they learn to use their powers and discover the school’s terrible secrets. At first, it was a smaller-scale adventure focused on a side of the Boysverse we never got to see. But by the end, the stakes had risen astronomically. Gen V ended with the reveal of a deadly virus that only affected superheroes, and once several major characters from The Boys showed up, Gen V ended up being more of a companion piece than a spinoff.

Now, if the Season 4 trailer is to be believed, The Boys is following an annoying franchise trend by treating everything in its universe as essential viewing. Just as watching Ms. Marvel was required viewing for The Marvels, or WandaVision was required to understand Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, anyone who didn’t catch Gen V will be confused by what’s going on in The Boys Season 4. We even see two Gen V characters, Sam and Cate, in the trailer.

Gen V’s Sam and Cate are seen in The Boys’ Season 4 trailer.

Prime Video

Maybe the story will find a way to circumvent this issue with a quick summary, but it certainly seems like The Boys is becoming the very thing it was created to skewer. At least, judging from the trailer, its trademark ultraviolence and twisted plots aren’t going anywhere, so the transformation isn’t complete yet.

The Boys Season 4 premieres June 13 on Prime Video.

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