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How the Lamplighter comic could hint at Black Noir's future

Contains spoilers for season 2 of The Boys

After a string of standout moments, Black Noir ended season 2 of The Boys in bad shape. The silent Supe doesn't actually appear on the finale, but it is revealed that he's alive after suffering anaphylactic shock from Queen Maeve's Almond Joy assault. It's also noted that his brain function is in question, which throws the character's long-term chances of survival in doubt. 

But all hope for the Seven's most enigmatic member isn't lost just yet. In true The Boys fashion, the writers could be planning to remix Lamplighter's comic book arc to create a surprising new direction for Black Noir on season 3, as suggested by CinemaBlend.

In the Garth Ennis comic book series on which The Boys is based, Black Noir's identity is part of a major twist: The character is revealed to be a Homelander clone whose sole purpose for existing is to neutralize Homelander if he ever becomes too dangerous. At this point, it's highly unlikely that the TV series will attempt to pull off the same arc, especially since Queen Maeve pulled back Black Noir's mask to reveal that, like his portrayer Nathan Mitchell, he's a Black man (Homelander isn't). With the clone storyline seemingly scrapped, speculation is growing that The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke may adapt a different story from the comics to keep Black Noir in the picture — and viewers should prepare themselves, because it's pretty dark.

Lamplighter's comic book fate could reveal a bleak outcome for Black Noir

Midway through season 2, a depressed Lamplighter dies by suicide in front of the statue of the Seven in Vought Tower. However, in the comics, Mallory shoots Lamplighter in the head, and Vought later resurrects him as a virtual zombie who retains none of his past personality or faculties. It's a bleak fate that the show's Lamplighter will surely avoid due to the state his body is in, but it could prove to be a viable option for keeping Black Noir around.

The Seven needs all of the members it can get right now. With Stormfront and the Deep out of the Seven and Black Noir facing a serious health crisis, that only leaves four members: Homelander, Queen Maeve, Starlight, and A-Train — all of whom have some pretty serious trust issues. The team needs Black Noir, and since he's not exactly chatty, it wouldn't be that hard for Vought to reintroduce him to the team after zombifying him.

But what would that mean for the Supe in the long term? Part of the character's appeal is that he's always surprising the viewer with his ability to display humanity alongside such brutality. Whether he's playing the piano, making a teddy bear dance for a frightened child, or crying over the revelation that Compound V is what gives heroes their powers, Black Noir is a fascinating character. If Vought reanimates him, all of those quirks will be stripped away.

Would a zombie version of Black Noir be even more deadly?

Zombie Lamplighter is pretty useless in the comics. He's little more than a slobbering shell of his former self, and that wouldn't make for very interesting TV. It would be far more compelling and twisted if Vought found a way to turn Black Noir into an efficient killing machine who would do the organization's bidding without question. That would essentially make him a perfect soldier, and could open the door for even more nefarious uses of Compound V down the line.

Granted, Black Noir already seems to be the most unwavering member of the Seven, so it's entirely possible that his teammates wouldn't immediately realize anything had changed with him. That would only make the ultimate reveal that a shell of Black Noir had been revived all the more shocking. 

It's impossible to truly get ahead of the twists on a show as clever as The Boys, but one way or another, fans should brace themselves for Black Noir to undergo some changes during season 3.