- The upcoming season of The Boys will take place just a few days after the explosive finale of Gen V season 1.
- Creator Eric Kripke wants to keep the timeline super simple, likening it to “cars on a train” rather than a plate of spaghetti.
- The interconnected universe will follow a modular timeline, with The Boys season 4 followed by Gen V season 2.
The timeline for the next season of The Boys has been clarified in the wake of Gen V season 1. The Boys is a live-action Prime Video superhero show following a group of vigilante citizens who are hellbent on taking down the corrupt superhero organization known as The Seven. Gen V, on the other hand, is a new spinoff following a group of supes-in-training at the Godolkin University School of Crimefighting. The spinoff, which features many crossover characters, just concluded season 1 with a revelation that could have huge repercussions in the wider universe.
Variety recently spoke with creator Eric Kripke about where on the timeline The Boys season 4 takes place relative to Gen V season 1. Kripke revealed that the upcoming season will take place just “a couple of days” after the events of the explosive finale. He explained that he wants a “super simple” timeline for the interconnected universe that is “more like cars on a train than it is a plate of spaghetti.” Read his full quote below:
In our minds, it’s only a couple of days after whatever the events are of Gen V. We try to keep the timeline super simple because all that folding-in-on-itself timeline stuff that I think other comic book universes find themselves having to do is just bewildering for me as a viewer. So it’s all very modular. It’s like there’s Season 3 of The Boys, and then after that Gen V takes place, and then after that The Boys Season 4 takes place. And then after that, Gen V Season 2 takes place. It’s all more like cars on a train than it is a plate of spaghetti.
How The Boys’ Timeline Compares to Other Superhero Franchises
A timeline as straightforward as the one Kripke lays out for the spinoff Gen V is quite unusual for any interconnected superhero universe. In fact, a version of the spaghetti metaphor he presents was recently used to explain a complicated timeline by a character in a DC movie, namely Michael Keaton’s Batman in The Flash. While the DC franchise timeline from movie to movie is roughly linear (with the exception of the Wonder Woman movies), the timeline of the rival franchise the Marvel Cinematic Universe is far more complicated.
Wonder Woman is set during World War I, while its sequel is set in 1984.
The MCU has developed quite a complicated timeline. There are multiple movies explicitly set before the main events of the ongoing timeline, including Captain America: The First Avenger (which is set during World War II), Captain Marvel (which is set in the 1990s), and Black Widow (which is set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War). As the franchise transitioned to a new era known as The Multiverse Saga, multiple universes and timelines have also complicated movies including Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
By simplifying the The Boys timeline, Kripke is also indulging in the show’s core premise of turning the superhero genre on its head. The flagship show and Gen V both contain copious satirical references to other superhero franchises. By presenting a cleaner timeline than any other major superhero property, the universe can continue to tweak its nose at the other superheroes it parodies.