‘The Boys’: Is It Linked to the MCU or DCEU?

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is currently the dominant force in media based on comic books, its success has allowed other media based on comic books to thrive as well. For example, the DC Extended Universe has been doing decently, and HBO’s Watchmen show has also been critically acclaimed as well.

One of the latest comic book things to do really well has been Amazon’s The Boys, and it draws a lot of similarities to other comic book universes. In fact, the show also makes a lot of references to both the MCU and the DCEU.

Despite that, they are not currently connected by any means. Here’s a look at how The Boys references other comic book universes despite not being a part of them at all. 

‘The Boys’ is based off of a comic book series

Superhero comics have been around for a long time, and over the course of their long history, the superhero genre has explored a lot of ideas in regard to what it means to be a superhero. Unlike many superhero media, The Boys takes a grittier and more realistic look at what superheroes would actually be like if they were real.

The Boys understands that most superheroes are humans, and humans are flawed people. There are plenty of decent people in The Boys, but there are also plenty of terrible people.

For example, Homelander is a superhero who has a lot of abilities that are similar to Superman or Captain American. However, unlike Superman or Captain America, Homelander is not as good of a person as he seems when he’s in front of a camera. He’s a highly flawed villain.

How ‘The Boys’ references the MCU and the DCEU

The Boys
The Boys | Amazon Prime Video

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Homelander being similar to Superman or Captain America isn’t an accident, but according to Screen Rant, that doesn’t mean that they’re in the same universe either. Many of the characters in the show are actually tongue in cheek references to superheroes in either the MCU or the DCEU. 

For example, The Deep is an obvious reference to Aquaman since both are able to talk to fish. A-Train’s ability is that he can run really fast, and as such, he can be a reference to either The Flash or Quicksilver.

That said, Screen Rant wrote that the show references the DCEU in other ways too. For instance, in the show, there are fictional movies that were based on DCEU movies. 

The Boys doesn’t just take inspiration from the DCEU though. Vought International is a massive corporation that plays a big part in the show. Vought International is clearly a reference to Disney. Vought International has created the Vought Cinematic Universe, or VCU, and Vought International was also building a theme park somewhere near Paris. Disney definitely does have a theme park near Paris, and the VCU is clearly a reference to the MCU. 

Is ‘The Boys’ connected to the MCU or DCEU?

Karl Urban as Billy Butcher on Amazon Prime's 'The Boys.'
Karl Urban as Billy Butcher on Amazon Prime’s ‘The Boys.’ | Jan Thijs/Amazon Prime

While The Boys makes a lot of references to both universes, they are not linked in any way. The show was based on the comics of the same name, and those comics were published in 2006.

The comics and the show are a critique of superheroes since they both aim to portray superheroes in a more realistic manner than the MCU or the DCEU would. 

In fact, by and large, The Boys doesn’t actually focus on superheroes so much as a team of regular people called “The Boys” — they are vigilantes who are trying to hold these superheroes accountable for their malicious actions. As a result, the show takes a relatively fresh look at the superhero genre as a whole.

That said, comic books love crossover events, and it’s not impossible for The Boys to link up with the DCEU or the MCU in the far future.