The Boys: Diabolical is taking a big risk with its release date

The title screen for Amazon Prime's The Boys: Diabolical animated TV show
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

The Boys: Diabolical, Amazon Prime Video's animated anthology spin-off series, has an official release date – and it's a risky one, considering what else is being released on the same day.

As part of Amazon's Fanimation Week, a celebration of Prime Video's animated offerings that runs until January 21, it was announced that The Boys: Diabolical will launch on Friday, March 4. 

To coincide with the release date reveal, a brief first-look trailer was also unveiled, which shows that the The Boys spin-off show will be packed with as much R-rated content as the main series:

The Boys: Diabolical's launch date means it'll land on Amazon's streaming service before The Boys season 3, which is due to arrive in early June. But, while that means we'll be getting more content in The Boys' universe earlier than expected, Diabolical's release puts it in direct competition with another superhero property – and it's a battle that Diabolical may not win.

Why? Because The Boys: Diabolical's March 4 release date will pit the show against none other than one of the greatest superheroes of all time: Batman.

The beloved DC Comics vigilante's latest movie reboot – The Batman – arrives exclusively in theaters on March 4. And, given that it's one of the most keenly anticipated films of 2022, that spells bad news for The Boys: Diabolical.

As much as superhero and comic book fans enjoy Amazon's adaptation of The Boys, let's be clear here: whether they're live-action or animated, they can't hold a candle to The Dark Knight.

Batman regularly finds himself in the top five positions whenever a new 'best superheroes ever' list is produced. And with good reason – he's a tragic character, albeit one with extremely cool gadgets, vehicles and unlimited cash reserves, who operates in the gray area between right and wrong.

He has a rogues' gallery of enemies that are the envy of most other superheroes. And the Caped Crusader has some of the most beloved comic and graphic novel stories ever written, including The Long Halloween, The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke, Batman: Year One, and Hush.

So Batman's popularity and illustrious history will always win out in a battle against a lot of other superhero properties – and we're including The Boys here.

the batman

Robert Pattinson stars as The Caped Crusader in The Batman (Image credit: Matt Reeves/Warner Bros)

Sure, The Boys: Diabolical has a few things going for it. For one, it's a TV show that'll be available on a streaming service. Fans, then, will be free to watch it at their leisure, knowing full well that it'll be available to view at any time and on any device. The option to watch episodes as they're released weekly, or wait until the final entry is released and binge them in one go, is another factor in Diabolical's favor.

Compare that to The Batman, which won't land on HBO Max – WarnerMedia's streaming platform – until 45 days after it's released in theaters. That means Batman aficionados will have to catch it in cinemas if they don't want to wait until they can stream it in their own homes.

The Boys: Diabolical's restricted (R) rating means that fans of mature content will get their fill of blood/gore, bad language, and sex and drug references. Meanwhile, The Batman has received a PG-13 rating. Yes, we expect the Robert Pattinson-starring flick to push the boundaries of its PG-13 rating – it looks gritty and fairly violent, all things considered – but we won't see any Ben Affleck Batman-style killings in The Batman, unlike what was on show in Zack Snyder's Justice League.

But Diabolical's release on the same day as The Batman is a big gamble. In keeping with The Boys' underdog status when Billy, Hughie and company go toe-to-toe with the villainous Supes in the main Prime Video series, Amazon Studios is taking on a massive rival in Batman. Clearly, it has a lot of confidence in Diabolical, and Prime Video's executive team won't back down from a fight, even if it means duking it out with one of the most popular superheroes ever.

Even so, we think that The Boys: Diabolical will play second fiddle to The Batman on March 4. Despite the ongoing pandemic, Spider-Man: No Way Home proved that film fans will still flock to theaters to see the biggest films as soon as they're released. 

We expect the next DCEU movie to have the same allure as its comic-book movie rival, especially during opening weekend. If that's the case, The Boys: Diabolical may struggle for views in the first week post-launch. Yes, it'll draw in viewers throughout its episodic run, but we can't see Diabolical overthrowing The Batman and being declared the winner on March 4. In fact, we're so confident that, if it does win the day, we'll eat Batman's cowl.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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