Boy, did you see that Herogasm fight, eh? To assure that their Supe showdown felt as intense and dramatic as it should have in real life, Jensen Ackles, Carl Urban, and Antony Starr really went in on each other.
However, if you paid attention to how it ended, Homelander was still able to flee while three others were holding him down. Wee Hughie, I apologise; I guess your teleportation method was not all that useful after all.
However, it does raise the question of who can defeat Big Homie if Soldier Boy and a combined Butcher & Hughie with V enhancements are unable to accomplish it. You may probably predict that there is at least one person who is powerful enough to put this maniac down for good considering that the main storyline of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s famous adult comic was wrapped up approximately ten years ago.
But when you really read through them, it will be difficult to get your jaw off the floor. Because if you have just watched the TV series, what we are about to say may astound you, but in the comics, it is none other than Black Noir who defeats the Homelander. Yet how? Why?
And why, in Butcher’s words, does Black Noir bring him down? Here in Homelander vs. Black Noir: The Boys Finale – Explored, we will address all of these questions and more. Oh, and before we forget, here is your spoiler alert as we could possibly reveal the TV show’s conclusion in this one.
Black Noir is Homelander’s clone in the comics
The TV show portrays Black Noir as an African-American man with severe brain damage thanks to his jealous team captain, a tree nut allergy, possible selective mutism and a definite penchant for causing the most mess during a mission. Just ask Dakota Bob about the Hard Rock Café in Lagos; or maybe don’t, the guy’s running for President and he could use a non-Supe-related headache for once. Additionally, season 3 episode 7 revealed that Noir’s mind processes stress, trauma and fear by animating inanimate characters around him in his own brain and interacting with them to gather his resolve.
Usually, this is done with the help of Buster Beaver and his Pizza Pals, which is all kinds of adorable and tragic at the same time. Somehow, they’ve managed to turn Vought’s ruthless assassin and Silent Knight into a character you can actually sympathize with, without him having said a single word in the current continuity. In fact, Black Noir is one of the fan favourites from the show, one of Vought’s most-loyal soldiers, and a diametrically opposing existence to Homelander in more ways than one. Which is perhaps the biggest irony about his adapted portrayal because in the comics, Black Noir isn’t someone who deserves your sympathy; he’s just a straight-up psychopath. Oh and also, a clone of Homelander.
So here’s the story, folks; in the comics, Homelander was created using the DNA of the original Supe- Stormfront- and so were his strongest team members Queen Maeve and Black Noir. But while Queen Maeve is a rather outspoken, cynical and highly individualistic piece of work, Noir is quite literally a silent beast. He doesn’t talk to anyone, not even his company-appointed therapist, and what’s even weirder, is that he sticks to Homelander like a loyal little attack dog.
In fact, Homelander even says that Black Noir is his best friend, presumably because he doesn’t bother him with opposition unlike the rest of The Seven. But that still doesn’t explain why he wouldn’t tell him about The Boys being at Herogasm, because if you’ve read the comics or seen one of our many videos on the topic, you’ll know that Black Noir introduced himself to Hughie during that mini-series in a rather disturbing fashion.
But for some reason, he never alerted The Seven or Vought to their presence, and they were able to carry out their mission as planned. This is crucial to the story because the Herogasm sting was pivotal in many ways; it exposed Vought’s ties to Congress, it gave Butcher dirt that could directly prosecute the Vice President of the USA if he managed to gather hard evidence on the same, and it also marked the true beginning of Homelander’s descent into insanity. Oh, and also, Soldier Boy debuted in this story, too.
So we guess there’s that as well. But the fact still remains that had Noir simply reported them as having been present for Herogasm, The Seven and Vought might have been able to subdue Butcher’s Boys and prevented attracting the absolute PR nightmare that was Homelander’s coup attempt. Which really made it a mystery as to why Noir did what he did; something Mother’s Milk was pursuing hard in issue #64.
M.M. believed that Noir was the key to cracking Vought’s legal defence and bringing their Empire of Lies burning to the ground and in issue #65 we find out that he was right; but the revelation that his intuition led to was far more disturbing than even he originally believed. While Hughie and Butcher were setting up shop outside the White House with a swarm of Marines at their disposal, M.M., Frenchie and The Female were using The Legend’s resources to trace Black Noir’s history, and what they found was enough to incriminate Vought but not enough to explain his behaviour.
So M.M. thought about it, and he thought about it, and then the realisation came to him; the reason why Black Noir doesn’t talk, is because he’s Homelander’s clone and this is something that was referenced as far back as issue #61. In that issue, James Stillwell reveals Homelander’s conception and upbringing to Jess Bradley, referencing Stormfront’s contributions and the fact that they had to keep a nuke aimed at baby Homelander at all times just in case.
Now, Jess understood immediately that having a nuclear bomb as a contingency if Homelander went rogue was a last-ditch measure but she brought up a fair point by singling out the kind of impact a nuclear strike would have on planet Earth if that were to be the only way to contain him; to which Stillwell replied that their scientists managed to neutralize that option by coming up with a stronger, more streamlined weapon that they could get as close to him as possible, whenever they needed it to be there. And in issue #65, we get the pay-off to this statement in one of the more-unnerving theory breakdowns committed to a comic book page.
What did Black Noir do as Homelander’s Clone in the comics and why?
Issue #65 opens with Billy Butcher walking into the Oval Office to confront Homelander who has just finished introducing Victor Neuman’s brains to his nether region. Butcher taunts Homelander by calling his massacre impressive which makes him explode with rage because, as he told Stillwell previously, he doesn’t need to impress anybody.
Homelander is clearly trying to assert control over his own life when he says that he did what he did for himself, because he had the power to do it. Butcher just compares him to “every other Adolf who gets a rush o’ blood” to their loins which rubs him wrong but Homie actually handles it like a champ. He immediately breaks Butcher’s tough-guy act by telling him he knows why he’s here; Homelander probably violated and murdered his wife, but he doesn’t really remember that.
Nor does he remember any of the heinous acts that he committed in the photographs that were being circulated all across the world now thanks to Butcher’s Boys, but he supposed that that’s how Dissociative Identity Disorder works. After all, we did see him talk to himself in the mirror in issue #49 and he did seem to conclude that he was crazy and responsible for everything that was being done in those pictures, which led him to shed all of his masks and set out to conquer America- and then the world.
He was just recalling how Maeve tried to hit him with a metal prop sword after he noticed the cute crowbar Butcher was carrying, but that’s when Black Noir walked into the Oval Office with his creepy little laugh and took off his mask revealing that he was Homelander’s clone. We get the low-down on the revelation from Hughie who’s outside and crapping himself with every sentence that M.M. gets through.
See, Mother’s Milk had a theory; that Vought had cloned Homelander and made the clone stronger, faster, and more durable than him. He postulated that they did this because Homelander was their top investment and they couldn’t risk blowing him up and causing a nuclear winter at the same time just to protect their brand’s image in case he went rogue. So they made the clone, gave him extensive combat training- something Homelander himself doesn’t have- and put him in an all-black suit right next to him.
Now, M.M. points out that Black Noir and Homelander did everything together; they even slept with girls together, if you could believe it, which we do, because we literally saw an example of that in issue #3. And he also draws attention to the transcript of the night Homelander had Noir assault Maeve as a prank, where Homelander is gushing about how the two of them are “exactly the same size” and how Maeve wouldn’t even know it was Noir if he didn’t “eff it up”. M.M. connects all the dots and concludes that Black Noir is Homelander’s clone who was created with the sole purpose of killing him and replacing him should he ever get out of line.
But because Homelander was so good at his job that he became a walking effing license to print money- M.M.’s words, not ours- Vought never tried to get rid of him, and this literally drove Noir crazy. He had to not only live next to his target, but also pretend to be his best friend for decades on end, which would drive any of us insane if you really think about it. And so, Noir decided that if he couldn’t get Homelander through Vought, then he’d have to do something about it himself.
M.M. shocks Hughie by telling him that it was Noir who was in those pictures they leaked to the press, and that Noir was the one who actually violated Billy’s wife, not Homelander. He tells Hughie that the assault on him was probably kept quiet because that was Noir’s opportunity to fulfil his life’s destiny, and it all falls into place for the Wee Highland Lad. He wants to disagree with M.M.’s picture perfect deduction, but Noir confirms the same inside the Oval Office when he tells Homelander that he put on his silly suit and did some “lovely and scary things” in them.
He even goes so far as to reveal that he had been planning this for years, and was actually sitting on the photos till he got the right opportunity to leak them, which presented itself to him on a silver platter at Herogasm. So Noir put on Homie’s suit, ate and messed about with a buncha dead people, and framed him into literally going insane. Seriously, by the time Noir is done giving his broken and eerie speech to Homelander and Butcher with that stupid-yet-unsettling grin stuck on his face, even Billy ends up empathizing with Homie by confirming for him that he become “an effing psychopath by mistake”.
So far, Homelander had been holding himself responsible for all those actions he saw in those photographs because it didn’t even cross his mind that there could be a clone of him out there. He simply assumed that it couldn’t be him because he didn’t remember doing it, but then it had to be, because it was clearly him in those pictures.
This dilemma broke his sanity to the point he staged a coup in an attempt to break away Supes from Vought and the government and make them their own independent community. But now that he had found out that he was right in thinking it wasn’t him all along, it broke him again. And that led to the epic final battle of The Boys comic book series, which we will now break down.
Homelander vs Black Noir – The finale of The Boys ends with a Double Kill!
Homelander snaps when he realises the true extent of Noir’s actions while Butcher simply stares at him with ice-cold eyes. Homie fires up his laser beams and lunges at his former teammate and best friend, yelling profanities left right and centre, but remember what M.M. told Hughie about Noir? He was faster and stronger than Homelander himself. On 9/11, Black Noir was able to withstand falling 5 miles and having a plane blow up in his face and walk away with “no signs of duress” whatsoever.
So while Homie lunged at his clone with all the fury of a 10-year-old who just lost his favourite toy to his least-favourite friend, Noir used his decades’ worth of combat training to simply dodge the attack and punch his lower jaw clean off his face. We don’t get to witness the ensuing fight because our eyes and ears in the Oval Office was Butcher, and he gets out of that place as soon as the Supes engage each other.
Butcher reaches the Marines stationed outside the White House and commandeers a machine gun turret, commanding all his men to point their artillery towards the White House Lawn. As if to oblige him, a Supe bursts into existence and when the dust settles, it’s clear who was left standing inside. Homelander was the strongest Supe Vought ever created. He had powers no other Supe had ever even exhibited before, and his potential was truly limitless had he been disciplined properly from an early age.
He managed to get a lot of good hits in on his lunatic clone, disembowelling him and even blowing his right eye and a chunk of his right skull clean off. But in the end, all that was left of Homelander was his hand; Black Noir had ruthlessly ended his mission and was ecstatic about it when he showed up to the front lawn with his prize in hand.
Butcher commanded all Marines to open fire on him which left him even more emaciated and in-pieces than he was before, but he kept on laughing like a maniac. So Butcher stepped onto the lawn, crowbar in hand, and pried his cranium open, taking out a piece of his you-know-what and telling him that if he was lucky, this was where Noir’s memory of violating Becca existed. And he crushed it in his hand, ending Noir’s life and seemingly his own personal vendetta once and for all.
Will The Boys TV show have a similar ending?
To put it in one word, no. Amazon’s The Boys has taken a completely different direction in that they’ve turned Homelander into a composite character and incorporated Black Noir’s comic book misdeeds into his character overall. Sure, it is possible that Homelander and Black Noir will come face-to-face and end up fighting each other now that Soldier Boy has been revealed as Homie’s biological father, but if that ends up happening, then Noir doesn’t stand a chance.
The show makes it clear that even though Noir is a physical specimen in his own right, and the longest-tenured Superhero in service of Vought, he is nowhere near Homelander or Soldier Boy’s level. As season 3 episode 7 showed us, it was Soldier Boy who left him in his current state in the first place, and in the finale of season 1 of The Boys: Diabolical, we saw that all Noir could do when faced with a pissed off Homelander was run.
We don’t exactly fancy his chances now that Homelander probably knows that it was Noir who sold out his dad in the first place; that’s the sort of thing that makes him really mad, you know? So yes, there is a possibility that Homelander and Black Noir will fight in the TV show too, but it will be far more one-sided and in the opposite direction from the comics besides. What is more likely that Homelander will end up losing the climactic battle of The Boys to Ryan, who has been painted as Vought’s last contingency against Homie multiple times by both Butcher and Stan Edgar himself.
And we know that Ryan is probably already stronger than his father. Remember the final episode of Season 2? Ryan was able to blow off Stormfront’s legs, an arm, and half of her face with his first use of his laser eyes. Contrast that with earlier in the season when Homelander lasers her “for pleasure”, and you can see the difference in scaling.
While it can be argued that Homelander was controlling the pressure of his laser beams, what can’t be denied is that if Ryan knew how to control his powers better, he would’ve probably cooked Stormfront alive, giving her a death that would somehow be both more and less painful for her than the fate she ended up giving to herself.
In fact, we think it’s precisely for this reason that Butcher sent him along with Mallory, because he knows that Ryan is a good person and can truly become the key to defeating Homelander. But he burned that bridge himself in season 3 episode 3 when he openly blames Ryan for killing Becca for the first time since her passing.
So it’s unclear as to where his priorities will lie when he does become a bigger part of the story, and he will ladies and gentlemen, trust us, but it is possible that Ryan could be the one to kill Homelander when all is said and done. Because we’ve seen Butcher give it a go already, and he couldn’t get the job done with Soldier Boy and a V-juiced Hughie.
We doubt that getting his hands on permanent Compound V is going to make a lot of difference either, so really, Ryan is the only one left in terms of relative strength. And in any case, Homelander vs Black Noir isn’t technically the end of the series, because as it turns out, Butcher is the real villain of the entire story! But that’s a topic for another day, Marvelous Viewers. For now, let’s get into our verdict.
The reveal of Black Noir being Homelander’s clone was peak big-brain activity in The Boys comics. You’ll see what we mean by that when you read the issue yourself; like, damn, M.M., slow down with all these 100% plot-driven revelations and make a wrong guess to keep things realistic already! But that’s what made the reveal that much more effective. Ask any fan of the comics what their favourite plot twist was from Garth & Darick’s work and chances are, 9 times out of 10, they will point you to issue #65.
That’s just how important that issue is to the entire lore of The Boys’ universe. Sure, clone sagas are often played out; I should know, I grew up reading Spider-Man comics in the 90’s and early 2000’s. But Ennis and Robertson made this one work with their superior timing and their knack for pulling off shocking moments with alarming consistency. Homelander vs Black Noir is something that would’ve seemed impossible to you when they were both introduced in issue #3 of The Boys, but by the time the series concluded, everything made sense, and it culminated in a showdown that we admittedly didn’t get to see, but that we can fantasize about as much as we want to because we already know the end result. What we CAN see is how Homelander meets his end in the TV show.
Will it be at the hands of his own son? Will be because of Butcher? Will Soldier Boy end up betraying him? Or will it be Cindy who rips him apart with her telekinetic powers? Guess we’re going to have to keep watching to find that out, but until then, thank you for watching this video!