Season one of The Boys introduces audiences to a world where superheroes are even worse than the villains they fight. A-Train is a drug addict, The Deep is a sexual abuser and Homelander is a mass murderer, but what fans might not realise is Black Noir could turn out to be the most disturbed superhero of all.
Note: Super big spoilers for The Boys comics from here on out.
For the vast majority of The Boys' original comic book run, Black Noir refuses to speak, and this is true in the Amazon Prime TV show as well. Even his features are hidden behind a mask throughout the entire first season, so all we know about him is that he's strong and stealthy when he needs to be.
On screen, Black Noir's silent antics have won him an entire legion of fans, even though he's yet to say a single word on the show.
Finished watching #TheBoysTV tonight with @dukeduong_ and since episode 1, Black Noir has been my favorite. Guy's just sitting there being perfect all season, doing great, slaying the piano, and whisking matcha 🤣 pic.twitter.com/GEnnV1gxOE
— Minerva Thai (@minervathai) August 1, 2019
However, we're not so sure audiences would like him this much if they knew what lies behind that mask.
Who is Black Noir?
In the comics, Black Noir's real identity remains a mystery right up until the end when readers discover he's actually a Homelander clone created by the Vought corporation to kill him if he steps out of line. What the company fails to predict is that Black Noir becomes far more evil and twisted than Homelander ever was.
After years of pretending to be someone he's not, Black Noir goes insane and starts committing abhorrent deeds while wearing Homelander's costume, all in an effort to discredit him. And by abhorrent, we mean murdering women and cannibalising children.
We even discover that Homelander wasn't the one who raped The Butcher's wife, Becca. That was Black Noir too, but Homelander becomes convinced he committed those crimes and just can't remember them thanks to photographic evidence which 'proves' it was him.
As a result of this, Homelander goes insane too, and it's all because of Black Noir.
Once the big twist is revealed, the two 'heroes' come to blows in the Oval Office. Black Noir easily manages to kill Homelander, but in his now-weakened state, Butcher finally gets revenge for Becca by splitting his skull open with a crowbar.
Will Black Noir betray Homelander in season two?
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This twist was a genuine game-changer for fans of the source material, but the reveal of Black Noir's real identity might play out differently on the show.
We already know that his TV counterpart is a murderer as well, and so far we haven't seen what lies behind the mask on screen either.
However, we also know that Homelander actor Antony Starr isn't playing his character's clone in the show. Black Noir is instead portrayed by Nathan Mitchell, a Canadian actor of Trinidadian and Jamaican descent, so it's impossible for him to be revealed as an exact Homelander replica.
Season one of The Boys has already deviated from the comics somewhat, so this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, but it seems likely that at least some aspects of this storyline will still impact the show moving forward.
Even if Black Noir doesn't turn out to be a clone of Homelander, we still don't know who he really is behind that mask and that's too much of an enticing plot thread for the writers to ignore.
What remains to be seen is whether The Boys will tug on that thread in season two or whether it will wait until after that superhero orgy in season three. Either way, expect plenty more chaos once The Boys are back in town.
The Boys season 1 is now available on Amazon Prime Video. Season 2 is expected to arrive in 2020.
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