Gen V review: The superhero school spinoff should have more fun

Gen V, a new spinoff series from Amazon Prime Video set in the universe of The Boys, kicks off with a disturbing scene that sets the tone for the rest of the series. Unlike The Boys, where Hughie witnessed his girlfriend’s death at the hands of a superhero, Gen V’s protagonist Marie Moreau inadvertently kills her parents with her blood-bending superpower. This shocking event leads to Marie’s enrollment at Godolkin University, a college for young Supes raised on Compound V.

At Godolkin, Marie meets other superpowered individuals, including Emma Meyer, who can shrink in size; Andre Anderson, a charismatic student with magnetic abilities; Cate Dunlap, a popular student with telepathic powers; and Jordan Li, who can change genders at will. These characters, with their unique abilities, add depth to the school setting reminiscent of the X-Men comics, where mutants train and learn at the Xavier School.

However, Gen V quickly veers away from its school setting, diving into a murder mystery and a larger conspiracy. As the series progresses, it also incorporates media satire, taking aim at true-crime TV shows and celebrity events. While these elements add layers to the story, they sometimes clash with each other, disrupting the show’s flow.

Despite its flaws, Gen V shines in its visual effects and creative use of superpowers, similar to The Boys. However, it lacks the diversity of tones that made its predecessor so engaging. While The Boys balanced dark themes with humor and unexpected twists, Gen V remains consistently bleak, with characters facing one tragedy after another.

In conclusion, while Gen V has its bright spots, especially for fans of The Boys, it struggles to find its footing with its multiple subgenres and somber tone. It’s a series that commits fully to its dark themes but could benefit from a bit more levity to balance its heavy subject matter. Grade: B-

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