Marvel and DC aren’t the only comic book publishers, and rivals like Amazon and Netflix are commissioning lesser-known properties from other publishers that are already proving to be a hit. Like Amazon’s The Boys.
But just how popular is The Boys? Data analytics firm Parrot Analytics provided information to Screen Rant, comparing The Boys to the first seasons of the various Marvel Netflix shows.
The Boys was released in the same way as all four Marvel Netflix shows, with all episodes dropping at once, but it didn’t follow the traditional streaming pattern. Instead, interest continued to increase over the next fortnight after release, peaking two weeks later. This is probably related to strong word-of-mouth, but may also reflect Amazon’s continued marketing of the series. Surprisingly, demand then remained at an elevated level for much of the first month. It’s shown signs of dropping towards a base level now, but that is likely to be far higher than the Marvel Netflix one.
The obvious question is just why The Boys has proven to be so popular. In part, it’s just plain good. Also, The Boys season 1 is only eight episodes in length, avoiding all the pacing problems that were associated with Marvel Netflix’s 13-episode seasons. The release is also perfectly timed; the superhero genre is far more mainstream in 2019 than it was even in 2015, and superhero tropes have been absorbed into popular culture. The Boys subverts all these tropes in entertaining, original, and occasionally uncomfortable ways. The script adapts a classic comic book story, resetting it as a David-versus-Goliath narrative with a remarkable amount of heart.
The Boys proves that a well-made, well-marketed superhero TV series inspired by a lesser-known brand can still compete — and even perform better than the inaugural seasons of the Marvel Netflix range.