Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What The Boys Fans Don't Know About Black Noir

Massive spoiler alert for The Boys comics ahead. Proceed with caution if you don't want to potentially have future plot twists spoiled.

Of all the heroes on The Boys, Black Noir is, hands down, the most mysterious. He doesn't speak or show his face, but he's a deadly killer. However, he's also a skilled piano player, who pauses to attempt to cheer up a frightened little boy with a stuffed animal while holding a super terrorist's severed head in his other hand. These humanizing moments make him appear to be the most multifaceted member of the Seven. However, as the second season continues, there's a major twist that, unless you've read the comic books, you won't see coming. 

See, in the comics, there's a reason Black Noir keeps his mouth shut and face hidden: he is a clone of Homelander. The twist comes in issue #65, when the quiet hero reveals his true identity, and shares that his sole purpose for existing is to kill Homelander, should the supe ever gets out of control. 

Unfortunately, this contingency plan didn't take into consideration the mental toll such a life would have on Black Noir, himself. Over the years, Black Noir goes mad, and begins dressing up in Homelander's uniform to commit atrocities — in the hope that by speeding up the process, he can take the leader of the Seven down sooner. In fact, it's ultimately revealed that Black Noir is actually the one who sexually assaulted Billy Butcher's wife, not Homelander. If the same twist plays out on the show, that would mean Butcher's hatred of Homelander, and his mission to bring him down, is completely misguided.

Is Amazon's The Boys setting up the same Black Noir twist?

Amazon's version of The Boys hasn't been shy about forging its own path. So far, showrunner Eric Kripke has gender-flipped characters like Stormfront and Victoria Neuman, kept Becca alive (she dies in childbirth, in the comics), and largely sidelined Butcher's loyal dog Terror. It seems like Kripke also has another plan in mind for Black Noir.

Given how quickly Homelander accepts Ryan is his son, it seems unlikely that Black Noir raped Becca. Additionally, there's no sign that Homelander wasn't the one to bring down Baltimore mayor David Simon's plane in the first season, and he murders Madelyn Stillwell, to prove Butcher can't emotionally manipulate him. It's hard to imagine the Homelander of the show not being responsible for his many misdeeds, so fans probably shouldn't expect Black Noir to be a mad man trying to make Homelander look bad. If he is, then the show needs to start laying the groundwork as soon as possible, because for now, there's no sign that Homelander isn't just as terrible as he appears to be.

Could Black Noir end up being Homelander, anyway?

Even if Black Noir isn't actively trying to sabotage Homelander, that doesn't mean the clone storyline is off the table. Perhaps the Black Noir of the show universe isn't losing his mind as he waits to fulfill his purpose of neutralizing Homelander — maybe the real twist is that he's more human than Homelander ever could be.

After all, he cries when the news of Compound V's existence breaks. That moment of raw emotion suggests that Black Noir truly believed he was a superhero due to divine intervention. If he was a clone with a clear mission statement, why would he get so emotional about the revelation? It's entirely possible that he's a clone who doesn't know that his only reason for being is to one day kill Homelander, which would make him one of the most tragic characters in the entire series. Or, given how careful this show is at doling out surprises, he might just have an entirely different backstory just waiting to be revealed.

Why Black Noir's identity will likely remain a secret for a long time

Whether he's a Homelander clone or someone else entirely, fans of The Boys shouldn't expect concrete answers about Black Noir's origin story anytime soon. In an interview with Cinema Blend, Kripke revealed that he loves keeping the character's origin story a total mystery for now. "Every so often, it comes up like, 'We should really learn who he is,'" he said. "And I'm like, 'But should we know? Isn't it more interesting that we just never really quite understand how he got that way?' So I think Noir definitely remains as mysterious as always."

It sounds like Black Noir's secrets are safe for now, but sooner or later, the show has to let us know what's going on behind the enigmatic supe's mask. And given how shocking the reveal is in the comics, we're surely in for a surprise when the enigmatic character finally says his first words.