SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not watched “One Plus One Equals Two,” the finale of the first season of “The Boys Presents: Diabolical.”
Amazon’s animated anthology “The Boys Presents: Diabolical” launched Friday, just under two months out for the third season premiere of its parent series, “The Boys.” While the majority of the bite-size shorts that make up the adult cartoon’s first season serve mainly as “a bloody amuse-bouche for Season 3” of the OG show, per “The Boys” showrunner Eric Kripke, there are pieces of the third-season plot that will be served up straight from the delicious chaos in “Diabolical.”
First, there’s the finale episode, titled “One Plus One Equals Two,” written by “Diabolical” showrunner Simon Racioppa, which centers on Homelander’s (played by Antony Starr on “The Boys,” and voiced by him in this animated episode) introduction into the Supes of the Seven and the bond he forged with Black Noir (played by Nathan Mitchell on “The Boys” but voiced by no one in this because he’s always silent) out of working together to cover up a mostly accidental massacre on Homelander’s part. (Starr was arrested for alleged assault after these interviews were conducted.)
“The finale is canon, yeah,” Kripke told Variety. “I thought he did such a good job with it. I don’t think we had any specific plans going in for it to for sure be canon. But he just did such a good job writing and directing it, that watching it, I was like, ‘This is for sure what happened.’
“There is a certain amount of background setup of really understanding the relationship between Homelander and Black Noir and giving us a deeper understanding before Season 3.”
For the “Diabolical” finale, Racioppa also brought in “The Boys” actors Elisabeth Shue (to vocally reprise her now-deceased Vought exec Madelyn Stillwell), and Giancarlo Esposito (to do the voice of his character, Vought CEO Stan Edgar).
“It’s an episode with a bit of Homelander backstory, so I wanted to make sure that felt as close to the show as possible. It has Black Noir in it. So we wanted to try and make that like a good American-action-animation-influenced episode that feels like it’s really connected to the mothership,” Racioppa said. “That is the one most connected episode to the mothership.”
But there is another “Diabolical” episode that’s connected to “The Boys” Season 3 — and it’s definitely not the one you’d expect.
“Weirdly, even though it’s not at all canon, obviously, I’ll tease that there’s this kind of unexpected tie-in between Roiland’s episode and Season 3. But in a way that I won’t give away,” Kripke said. “And Roiland’s isn’t canon at all, but there is a connection and you’ll see.”
For those who have seen it, it’s easy to understand why “Rick and Morty” co-creator Justin Roiland’s episode, titled “An Animated Short Where Pissed-Off Supes Kill Their Parents,” which features characters like a superhero called Papers, who can find any paper, sometimes, and one named Boombox, who has a speaker for a head that can only play Hootie & the Blowfish’s “Only Wanna be With You,” would not be canon.
“Obviously, some episodes feel like they could be more canonical than other ones,” Racioppa told Variety. “We didn’t want to lock people into that. We felt like, if everything has to exist canonically with the mothership show, it would have limited a lot of the creativity of ‘Diabolical.’ We wouldn’t be able to go quite as broad and crazy and weird as we wanted to go. Like Justin’s episode obviously cannot — this guy with a speaker head is probably not canonical.”