If you are just a fan of the Amazon Prime series, Black Noir—along with The Deep, of course—is undoubtedly one of your favorite comedic relief figures from The Boys. The showrunner Eric Kripke found a way to capitalize on the tautology of the Silent Knight of The Seven’s superhero moniker being effective “Black Black” by giving him an African-American heritage.
The Silent Knight of The Seven is a deadly assassin with unmatched martial arts talents. With his tree nut allergy and lethal innocence, Black Noir is by far one of The Boys’ most popular characters.
However, if you have seen our origin video for this character, you know that the situation is considerably different in the comics. There is no disputing that Black Noir is the worst Supe ever created. You ask how?
Here are the seven worst things Black Noir has ever done in a comic book, in our opinion. Oh, and there should be a spoiler alert because there will be plenty of those.
Black Noir causes Homelander to go rogue
As we’ve mentioned already, Black Noir is a very different character in the comics than what you see on the TV show. Go check out our Black Noir Origins video for more on that, but we’ll give you a short gist anyway because it’s important for you to understand that, at the end of the day, Homelander’s insanity wasn’t his own doing. In the comics, Black Noir isn’t horrifically-scarred, he doesn’t have a fatal tree nut alleregy, and he isn’t even black to begin with; he is a clone of the Homelander who was created with all of his powers and none of his “autonomy”.
That’s because Black Noir only had one purpose to serve in life; that was to become Homelander’s replacement should he ever “lose control and go rogue.” But Homie managed to tow the corporate line and stayed a valuable asset for Vought for decades, and this essentially nullified Black Noir’s life’s purpose.
Add to that the fact that he was forced to become his mark’s best friend, and you have a rather explosive situation on your hands. Think of it this way; you’re telling a shark that instead of eating the chum it ravages on a daily basis, it is supposed to lure it into a false sense of security and only go after it when the chum steps out of line. That shark would lose its absolute mind and do anything to be able to go after the chum because, at the end of the day, the shark is the predator and the chum is its prey.
And while Homelander is the one who is going crazy on the TV show, in the comics, that was Black Noir, who dressed up as Homelander and committed various unspeakable atrocities in his disguise to frame him for them and eventually fulfil his own life’s purpose by finally killing and replacing him.
That’s right, folks; Antony Starr’s beautifully-maniacal smile is something his character got to display because the creators of the show decided to drop the comic book origins of Black Noir and merge it with Homelander. Otherwise, the only time we see it come out is in The Boys issue #65; where it is revealed that Black Noir was the one who was committing all of the atrocities that Homelander was supposedly responsible for.
Basically, think of any of the mindless acts of violence and violation that Homelander has committed in the TV series, and that was Black Noir in the comics. If Homelander wasn’t going to go rogue, then Noir was going to make him, whether he liked it or not. Judging by the fact that Homelander eventually lost his marbles himself and staged an event that led to Black Noir finally being able to carry out his mission, we’d have to say a strong “no” for that one.
Black Noir eats children for fun
Yes, you heard us right, Marvelous Viewer; we’ll let you work on believing it on your own time. That last entry addressed the fact that most of the atrocious acts that were associated with the Homelander were actually carried out by Black Noir; and this includes him giving babies the Papa Jupiter treatment, shoutout The Hills Have Eyes. This is first revealed to us via a conversation between James Stillwell and Jess Bradley in issue #40, where we see the images Billy Butcher had sent to the Vought-American Executive.
James Stillwell tells Jess that the Homelander he “inherited” is the Homelander he has known to be subservient and a good corporate hand for many years, but he admits that his star hero is prone to giving in to his violent tendencies, citing an incident from 20 years ago where the rampaging superhero ended up violently slaughtering his targets and eating them for a meal afterwards. Towards the conclusion of the series, it is revealed that those images didn’t feature Homelander; that was, in fact, Black Noir in Homelander’s uniform.
What makes things even more disturbing is that, from Noir’s psychotic POV, nothing he did felt wrong because they were all steps taken in service of fulfilling his “true purpose”. In fact, he savoured everything he did to frame Homelander- and trust me; he did a LOT of things in that garish costume- because, in his head, he was the real hero and not Homie.
By the time Black Noir’s sanity had fully left him, he came to revel in activities that anyone with a sane mind would only call insane. Those children did nothing to threaten him; but to him, they were nothing but sport. This entry itself should be proof enough for our claim that Black Noir is the worst Supe in existence, but sadly, this is just one of many examples. And to answer your mental question of “what could be worse than this?” Well…
Black Noir sexually assaulted Starlight
If you never saw anything beyond the first episode of The Boys, you would hate The Deep with a burning passion, and we’d agree with you; though comic book fans wouldn’t, and we’ll explain why in a minute. In that episode, newly-recruited Seven-member Starlight is forced to “do a little pole dancing” for her senior team member. This is the first time she has to come to grips with the fact that Supes are degenerates who are focused solely on their own satisfaction, but eventually, Starlight gathers the courage to stand up to The Deep and gets him kicked off The Seven, thereby setting a good example for the viewers as to how such an act should be handled in the first place.
Sadly, though, comic book Deep would be horrified by the fact that these events even took place because 1) The Deep is actually the nicest and most-welcoming member of The Seven and 2) he wasn’t even involved in that incident in the first place! In the comics, Starlight still goes through this harrowing ordeal, but in a much more oppressive manner as she had to get through not 1 but 3 Supes to “earn her place” on the Seven.
These 3 were A-Train, team captain Homelander and his best buddy Black Noir. The trio of depraved Supes forced their new recruit to gratify their urges as a form of “hazing”; and while it is a somewhat accurate depiction of the toxic, jock, boys locker room-type situation, it is disturbing to say the least, made even creepier by the fact that while A-Train and Homelander were at least interacting with Starlight (if you can even call it that), Black Noir just sat there in dead silence, expecting the poor girl to “get on with her job”.
And to make matters worse, there was no comeuppance to their actions. At least in the show they gave The Deep some comeuppance by kicking him out of The Seven; none of that happens in the comics, which makes Starlight’s assault that much darker because it truly mirrors the way in which a corrupt corporation functions. Black Noir’s involvement in this incident captures the way that self-serving leaders think of their employees and serves as a stark reminder that more often than not, oppressors get away with their oppressive actions.
It is also a grimly realistic portrayal of workplace sexual harassment perpetrated against women, but we’re trying not to get too deep into the nitty gritty of it in this video. We bring these points up just to show you the gravity of Black Noir’s actions; and believe you us, it keeps getting worse.
Black Noir Inadvertently Killed Billy Butcher’s Wife
One of the biggest differences from comics to show was the fact that the latter kept Becca Butcher alive and gave her a story that is somehow both worse and better off than her fate in the comics. As we’ve already mentioned, Black Noir was the one responsible for all of the psychotic things Homelander was being accused of in the comics, which eventually drove the latter crazy enough to try to stage a coup- something that might also end up happening in the TV series.
This also includes Billy Butcher’s primary motivation to kill Homelander and his overall hatred for Supes. That’s right, folks, in the comics, it wasn’t Homelander who took Becca against her will; it was Black Noir. We’d have honestly been glad if that was the end of it, but somehow, things manage to get darker once we take a deeper look into what unfolded after he assaulted her.
If you guys have watched the series, then you know that in season 1 episode 7, Dr. Vogelbaum tells Homelander what happened to Becca Butcher after he assaulted her. In Vogelbaum’s story, Becca Butcher turned up at Vought looking for assistance after she realised she was pregnant with Homelander’s child. They tried to help her out, but she died on the labour bed because of the “unnatural circumstances” of the child’s birth.
In Vogelbaum’s story, Homelander’s alleged child tore its way out of its mother before dying itself, drowning in a pool of her blood. Of course, the very next episode revealed that that was all a lie, and that both Becca and her child had managed to survive; but do you really think that story was something the show’s writers came up with entirely on their own?
If you said yes, then we’re sorry to disappoint and terrify you by telling you that something similar happens to poor Mrs. Butcher in the source material that inspired the TV show; and it is even worse than Vogelbaum’s story, so this is your trigger warning. In the comics, after Black Noir violates Mrs. Butcher, she ends up conceiving his child somehow; but neither the mother nor the baby within her would live to see a long life, unlike their TV counterparts.
Dr. Vogelbaum’s story in the show is a direct re-telling of what actually happened in the comics, with one crucial twist at the end that somehow makes this already-terrifying story even more horrific. Becca Butcher was in bed with her husband Billy when her child delivered himself thanks to his heat vision.
And as if that wasn’t enough trauma for Billy, the Supe then targeted him; Butcher was forced to end its life under threat to his own, and we’re just going to let that sink in now. None of these tragic, sanity-shattering events would’ve taken place if Black Noir hadn’t gotten it in his head to go after Billy’s wife. But knowing the sick bastard, he probably enjoyed every second of it and would’ve been proud of his child’s accomplishments.
Black Noir kills Homelander
And speaking of things this sick bastard enjoyed doing; Black Noir is able to carry out his mission finally in issue #65 of The Boys, which is also the sight of his first- and only- unmasking. We’ve made it pretty clear that Noir is one of the most-psychotic characters we’ve ever come against just by talking about his actions so far, but if you want a true taste of the full extent of his lunacy, stop watching this video and go read this issue. And then curse us for asking you to do so for the rest of your lives because it’s that messed up.
This issue opens up with Billy Butcher finally confronting a blood-drenched Homelander in the Oval Office. The latter has just introduced the President’s head to Homelander Jr. and is ready for Butcher to try something- anything- to piss him off. Butcher brings up his wife and Homelander laughs it off, saying he simply doesn’t remember killing her.
He explains that his mind doesn’t work like the rest, that there are things he remembers doing and things he doesn’t recall doing at all, but since there was evidence that Homelander had committed such acts, he simply chalks it up to dissociative identity disorder and proceeds to take control over his own life by taking out the American government. As Butcher squares up to him, Black Noir shows up and starts laughing in a very creepy manner.
Outside, Hughie gets a call from Mother’s Milk who explains to him that he had finally figured out the mystery behind Black Noir’s identity- the guy was a clone of Homelander! MM also goes so far as to postulate- accurately, might we add- that Black Noir had framed Homelander at every step of the way, turning him into a “psychopath by mistake” as Butcher puts it, all so he could finally carry out the one order around which his entire life revolved.
With that eerie smile stuck on his maniacal face, Noir admits that he committed every crime Homelander has been framed for; and that he loved doing all those “lovely” things. This causes the latter to have the mother of all meltdowns, as Homelander pieces everything together and realises he’s been played at every turn by the very guy he thought was his best friend; and a mute, besides. Homelander fires up his heat vision and lunges at Noir, screaming at him that he had ruined his entire effing life.
But turns out, Noir was the stronger of the two, because he nearly-knocked Homelander out cold with a punch to his jaw, and then incinerated most of his body with his heat vision. This is not to say that Homie didn’t put up a fight; when Noir stumbled onto the front lawn of the White House after their battle, he was disembowelled and missing a massive chunk of right eye-and-skull.
But all that was left of Homelander was his right arm; and if that isn’t enough to put the literal fear of god in you, we don’t know what is. In a way, when Butcher finally puts Noir down for good, he’s also avenging Homelander; and that is a twistedly comforting notion, especially after everything Black Noir put him through. Sadly, Homelander, Billy Butcher & Starlight aren’t the only people to have been degraded, violated and preyed upon by this sadistic psycho.
Black Noir sexually assaulted Hughie
Yep. That happened. And we’re glad for once The Boys left things up to our imagination. We’d like to think that Black Noir simply gave Hughie a thumbs up, beat him silly, and left. Helps us cope better that way, but it doesn’t change the fact that during the events of the Herogasm mini-series- which serves as the primary inspiration for Episode 6 of Season 3 of The Boys- this masked maniac went after one of Butcher’s Boys directly.
Quick note on Herogasm: it’s exactly what it sounds like, except it’s a thousand times worse, and the kind of drugs that give Supes the thrills are what would cause us- the “normies”- to rip out our hair with grief or jump off a building due to the sheer taboo nature of some of these things.
It’s basically a sexually-charged annual retreat for every Supe employed by Vought-American, which also made it the perfect place for Butcher and his Boys to gather intel from. And it was their lucky week, too, because who else should turn up to attend the party than the Vice President of the United States of America himself! Bought and paid for by Vought, of course. So The Boys dig in for a weekend filled with scoops that’ll put them ahead of the Supes in this mess of a death match that Butcher had set up with Homelander subconsciously.
What they weren’t aware of was the fact that Black Noir had discovered their hideout; thanks to Hughie and Starlight giving phone sex a go. And this breach in security and lapse in oversight would lead to the former going through his darkest hour yet. In the TV show, it looks like Hughie’s Achilles heel is going to be the V24. The young man is consumed by the same hatred that Butcher has buried deep inside of himself, and the V24 is basically like heroin for him; he can’t get enough of the taste, and it will surely come back to bite him in the ass, and hard.
In the comics, things somehow manage to get darker than even that. When The Boys deploy to their positions for their capture-the-captive mission, Hughie is in the sewers, unaware of the fact that he wasn’t there alone. No sooner had Butcher finished a comms check, that Black Noir grabbed Hughie from behind and hog-tied him up. What happened next is something we don’t want to detail; let’s just say Noir’s thumb and Hughie got to know each other a bit too well, and the wee lad didn’t want that to happen to say the very least.
This was as shocking as it was confusing because there was literally no rhyme or reason behind what Noir did to Hughie; unless he did it because he got off on it, which is something MM brings up in issue #65 as well. The only reason Black Noir assaulted Hughie was to establish his dominance over the little man; even calling him “Good Soldier” as he did it could’ve been a psychological ploy to break Hughie’s spirit.
If it was, it definitely succeeded, because it took him a long time to admit what had happened to him to his teammates, and a longer time still to accept it. I suppose we should be thankful that nothing like this is ever going to happen in the TV series because Noir is a fundamentally different character there; because if it did, then that would probably be the most-shocking moment in series history. And yes, that includes the time Homelander went out with a Nazi.
Black Noir tries to get Starlight to wear her “new outfit”
The one thing that the TV series does manage to nail on the head is just how obnoxious and controlling the life of a superhero employed by Vought can be. Homelander is the perfect example of this, as his every action is dictated by his popularity ratings. He does something that declines the ratings- like dating Stormfront, for example- and Vought have to roll out an entire movie to cover it up.
But this goes much deeper in the comics, and nowhere is it more disillusioning than when Starlight is given her “new costume and origin story”. In issue #32, Starlight is meeting with a couple of Vought officials who have handed her a skimpy one-piece that barely covers anything and told her that that is her new uniform. Why? Because Victory Comics- the publishing company that created comics based on Vought’s Supes- had recently changed her origin story and made her darker take a…darker path. How?
Well, they had her character sexually assaulted, and decided that the way she chose to cope with it was by becoming more sexual. Starlight rightfully loses her absolute mind at this and makes the officials leave her dressing room post-haste; when one of them brings up breast implants, she looks ready to fry him up right there. Issue #33 opens with Vought officials broaching the topic with team leader Homelander, who says he couldn’t be bothered with something like this and tells them off for disturbing him- the goddamn superhero- with a concern as trivial as a bikini and a boob job.
So they turn to A-Train instead, completely disregarding the fact that it was the speedster who nearly-violated Starlight in real life. Starlight and A-Train’s argument caused a scene in the lounge area, naturally, but everything fell pin drop silent when Black Noir showed up.
And what’s more; he had Starlight’s new suit in hand, and was making weird, creepy laughing noises. Starlight got visibly uncomfortable with the fact that Black Noir- the one member of the Seven who had a malicious reputation and lived up to it- was the one who was forcing this dress onto her. More than that, she is plain scared of Noir because of his ruthless yet enigmatic nature. No one knew who he was, where he came from, what he was all about; and that practically made him the Devil on Earth as far as Starlight was concerned in this moment.
If you read this issue and go through these panels specifically, you get a sense that had Queen Maeve not stepped in and saved Starlight from Noir, things might have unfolded in a rather unsavory manner. That feeling will be reinforced twice over if you’ve seen the TV show because there, Starlight only has to deal with Madelyn Stillwell over the skimpy suit. And also show-Black Noir seems like a genuine sweetheart underneath all the assassin work that he is forced to carry out for Vought, comic-Black Noir has no sense of compassion, emotion, or righteousness. He is truly a vile creature, and this moment was the first true glimpse of that fact.
We tried to steer clear of comparing instances from the comics to the TV show but we realized rather quickly that we couldn’t do that because context is everything. If you only have the TV show as a frame of reference, then Black Noir is probably your favorite character, and we really understand where you’re coming from. We truly do. But if you go through the source material, every gesture that we’ve seen from him, that indicates he has a heart underneath his cold exterior, could just be fake. Or worse; it could be self-centered.
And why would that be worse? Well, we just gave you 7 reasons for the same, and that doesn’t even cover everything. Black Noir is simply the worst Supe in existence. He has a laundry list of committing abominable acts that would get him convicted for every crime in the book, and then some. If divine justice was a concept, no one would be more worthy of getting smashed by it than Black Noir. We always knew this about him, and now you know it too.