This article contains spoilers for Gen V episode 1.
Just like its parent series, The Boys spinoff Gen V is a searing satire of the superhero genre.
Set in the fictional Godolkin University, Gen V follows a handful of young Compound V-enhanced superpowered young’ns as they try to make a name for themselves at either the Lamplighter School of Crimefighting or the Crimson Countess School of Performing Arts. As such, the eight-episode Prime Video series has plenty of opportunities to skewer our DC and Marvel-saturated entertainment landscape.
The show’s Sept. 29 three-part premiere contains many such examples of comic book satire. There’s the hyper-violence, acts of superhero selfishness, and depraved sexual acts we’ve come to expect from The Boys, of course. But in one particular instance the series gets ultra specific in its references to the Marvel-ization of pop culture. Simply put: there’s a sneaky WandaVision joke in here and you may have missed it!
The moment comes about 20 minutes into episode 1 “God U.” Accompanied by her cynical roommate Marie (Jaz Sinclair), Emma (Lizze Broadway), gins up the courage to go talk to super famous young actress Justine (Maia Jae Bastidas). As Emma and Marie approach Justine and her friends, we catch a snippet of their conversation in which Justine mentions trying out for a very unique-sounding Vought superhero project:
“So my guys at Innovative are sending me out for this limited series on Vought+,” Justine says. “It’s an elevated superhero thing – a meditation on grief told through 70 years of sitcoms. And Zach Braff is directing.”
Sound familiar? Save for the Zach Braff directing detail (that poor man has been catching satirical stray bullets for years now), Justine clearly auditioned for The Boys‘ universe’s own version of WandaVision.
Premiering in January of 2021, WandaVision was the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s very first* foray into streaming television on Disney+. It was also quite good as far as we’re concerned! The show’s depiction of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) coming to terms with her grief over losing The Vision (Paul Bettany) while paying homage to classic sitcoms was pretty compelling stuff. But it’s also hard to argue that it doesn’t sound like the most deranged thing you’ve ever heard when you merely right down the premise, sans context. A superhero show that’s a meditation on grief told through 70 years of sitcoms? Sure thing, bud. Next you’ll tell me Zach Braff is directing.
*Previous Marvel properties like Daredevil on Netflix and Agents of SHIELD on ABC weren’t technically considered part of the MCU. But it’s a bit of a gray area now as Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock has returned to the MCU proper in Spider-Man: No Way Home and will continue on in Daredevil: Born Again.
It’s a little curious that Vought is only getting to its WandaVision-style show now. That’s pretty old news in Marvel world with the franchise moving on from Phase 4 of its storytelling and into Phase 5. But hey, better late than never. As Gen V progresses through its first season, we’re curious to hear of what other titles are on Vought+. Perhaps The Deep will find himself in some sort of time traveling bureaucracy or Starlight will become a superhero lawyer.
The first three episodes of Gen V are available to stream on Prime Video now. New episodes premiere Fridays culminating with the season 1 finale on Nov. 3.