Content Warning: The following includes mentions of sexual assault and images depicting violence.
The highly-anticipated return of The Boys for its third season has got many fans of comic books and superheroes in general fascinated by the show’s most colorfully cruel characters once again. The Seven’s quietest member, Black Noir, prides himself on being the most skilled fighter in the group, though he’s had very little to do in the series so far and this has only made him more mysterious. Where did he come from? Who is underneath the mask? Even though the series has taken a different route to most storylines, comic book fans know a lot more about Black Noir.
Black Noir first appears in The Boys #1 – The Name Of The Game, Part 1 and is last seen in The Boys #65 – Over The Hill With The Swords Of a Thousand Men, Part 6. Black Noir is much more evil on the pages than he’s been on the screen so far. He engages in debauchery and vile acts at a rate that even Homelander can’t match.
Black Noir Is A Homelander Clone
While his face hasn’t been seen in the series yet, Black Noir is revealed to be a clone of Homelander in the comics. This is confirmed in The Boys #65 when he takes off his mask for the first time.
There is a good reason why the higher-ups at Vought International decided to make a Homelander clone. The company’s star Supe is too powerful. They were afraid he might grow frustrated by their policies and go rogue someday. If that ever happened, they’d have someone that’s equally strong, if not stronger, to deal with him.
Black Noir Is The Strongest Member Of The Seven
On-screen, no one matches Homelander when it comes to powers and useful abilities. He generally doesn’t have much work to do because everyone fears him.
In the comics, Black Noir is more powerful than him. This is despite the fact that his only powers are Superhuman Strength (described as enough to stop a dozen Mack trucks), Superhuman Durability, and Superhuman Speed. In the series, he also has additional powers like Superhuman Hearing. According to a simulation shown in the comics, Black Noir is the only member of The Seven who can defeat all of The Boys at once.
Black Noir Kills Homelander
Unfortunately for Black Noir, Homelander enjoys being a puppet of Vought International, so he never goes rogue in the comics. This makes Black Noir frustrated as he has been looking for the day when he’ll fulfill his purpose of killing the Supe. He thus begins framing Homelander for crimes such as cannibalism and robbery.
Black Noir eventually reveals the real reason why he was created. This angers Homelander who tries to kill him. Instead, it is Black Noir who ends up killing him. Black Noir is then attacked by the US military and The Boys, who kill him too.
Black Noir Has A Nut Allergy In The Show
In Season 2, it is revealed that Black Noir’s Kryptonite is nuts. When Queen Maeve force-feeds him a couple of nuts, he goes into anaphylactic shock. That’s new to comic fans as it never happens on the page.
The inspiration for the storyline comes from Nathan Mitchell, the actor who portrays the character. Mitchell is allergic to nuts in real life and the writers felt it would be a good idea to make that part of Black Noir’s storyline too. It is, of course, highly plausible that Vought created him with the allergy so that they can kill him in case he goes rogue too.
The Incident With Starlight
Black Noir is all brawn in the series and he rarely even interacts with other characters. In the comics, he’s different. For example, he is part of the trio that sexually assaults Starlight when she becomes a member of The Seven along with Homelander and A-Train.
In the series, it is The Deep alone who assaults Starlight. He is eventually forced to make a public apology and is later booted from the group. The Deep is also much nicer in the comics.
The Feud Between The Seven And The Boys Traces Back To Black Noir
Fans of the Amazon series hate Homelander for sexually assaulting Billy Butcher’s wife Becky. The incident results in her having a son who Homelander finds out about and insists on being there for.
Comic fans know a very different story. In an effort to make Vought sanction a hit on Homelander, Black Noir assaults Becky while disguised as Homelander. This turns Billy into a vengeful person. Together with the rest of The Boys, he vows to take down Vought International and everything it stands for.
Level Of Ruthlessness
There is no heinous act that the comic book version of Black Noir won’t do. His attitude towards children isn’t admirable either. There have been moments when a bored Black Noir has been seen cannibalizing children just for fun.
This is in contrast to the series’ version of Black Noir who spares the son of a terrorist who has been powered up by Compound V. Black Noir is sent on a mission to take out the terrorist at his base. There, he rips everyone else apart but spares the little boy.
Black Noir Only Speaks At The End
Like in the Amazon series, Black Noir doesn’t say a word during most of his appearances in the comics. He only makes strange sounds. This personality makes him seem nicer than he actually is.
In the comics, Black Noir only speaks at the very end before he kills Homelander and gets himself killed too. He makes a confession stating that all the heinous acts that people thought were committed by Homelander were actually committed by him. It’s a shock to everyone but not as shocking as his death.
Black Noir has a complete head-to-toe black suit in the comics. It doesn’t have any special designs or compartments. It’s basically what Spider-Man would look like if he fell in a pool of black ink.
His appearance in the series is a little different as he has a shade-like device in front of his eyes. There are also pentagon-like designs on his chest area. Sections of his costume also appear grey-ish rather than black.
Regenerative Healing Factor
Black Noir might be strong but he doesn’t heal as quickly as a superhero should. This has been hinted at in the series. During a confrontation with Queen Maeve and Starlight, part of his lower face becomes severely burned and doesn’t heal.
Comic fans know just how bad Black Noir is when it comes to healing. Homelander once burns his arm with the laser from his eyes and it takes forever to heal. Also, during a confrontation with Homelander at the White House, he is left disemboweled, with several parts of his body heavily burned.
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