Two Faces of Black Noir: A Comic Book vs. TV Show Comparison in ‘The Boys’

Few TV shows returning in 2023 are as eagerly awaited as season 4 of The Boys. After the thrilling Season 3 conclusion, which saw Homelander (Antony Starr) travel down one of his darkest roads yet, there’s no telling what kind of lunacy will occur in the coming seasons.

In one of the series ‘ most frightening moments, Homelander kills his most devoted buddy, Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), for not telling him that Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) is indeed his father. While the plot is compelling, Black Noir’s appearance and backstory significantly differ from the original comic books.

Black Noir was formerly a superhero named Earving who was a part of the group Payback, Vought’s first team that predated The Seven, according to Season 3 of The Boys. While Black Noir was regarded as one of the gang’s most essential members due to his Cold War experience, the group was damaged by Soldier Boy.

Soldier Boy brutally abuses and assaults Black Noir, while Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) forbids him from removing his mask, believing that a black superhero would not be financially feasible. Even though Payback defeats Soldier Boy, he cruelly disfigures and wounds Black Noir, making it impossible for him to remove his mask again.

The showrunners of The Boys made various adjustments to the show that were not in the comics to make the series unique and deliver surprises to original readers.

While Black Noir’s genesis story in the comics is intriguing in its own right, viewers who have just watched the show may be unaware of it. Here’s everything you need to know about the main distinctions between the two.

The Comics vs. TV Series

In the original comics, the Vought-American Corporation constructs Black Noir as a genetic clone of Homelander, the only team member capable of matching his strength. While Black Noir is cruel and works closely with Homelander, it is indicated that Homelander is the more brutal of the two, as Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) believes he is responsible for raping his wife Becca (Shantel VanSanten) and giving birth to the first superhuman child.

When The Boys discover horrifying photographic evidence of Homelander viciously murdering, raping, and abusing men, women, and children in the act of violent cannibalism and necrophilia, his theory appears to be proven accurate. Billy is more determined than ever to bring Homelander to justice.

However, Homelander suffers a mental breakdown after discovering the images because he has no recall of the crimes and suspects cognitive identity confusion. Frenchie (Tomer Capone) eventually confronts him and finds Homelander has been talking to himself and has been unable to digest what he’s witnessed; he conceals this information from Butcher.

Unfortunately, this does not improve Homelander’s mindset, as he believes that even if he is cursed for these bad crimes, he must not allow any more distracting thoughts into his mind to continue on his journey.

Two Faces of Black Noir

A Startling Revelation

During the Herogasm storyline, Hughie had a surprising encounter with Black Noir, which leads him to believe that the faceless superhero has some of the same sick urges as Homelander. Homelander, on the other hand, has decided to break free from Vought’s influence and lead the rest of the superhero team in an attack on the White House.They violently destroy the entire building, including the vice president directly under Vought’s influence. Butcher ultimately appears and confronts Homelander in an act of vengeance, as he has never confessed to Homelander why he has despised him for so long.This is followed by an unexpected appearance by Black Noir, who reveals that he was responsible for the murders, cannibalism, and necrophilia documented in the images.

He exposes himself to be Homelander’s exact clone, developed with the sole intent of murdering him if he ever turned rogue or attempted to betray Vought. The misery of being unable to take down Homelander throughout their entire career together pushed Black Noir to go into a frenzy, and he finally admits to raping Becca. Black Noir felt that by making Homelander and Butcher enemies, he would finally be free to assassinate Homelander.

A Brutal Confrontation

Homelander embarks on a new road of revenge, attempting to assassinate Black Noir for triggering his mental collapse. They engage in a vicious brawl in which both suffer serious injuries, but Black Noir successfully beats Homelander to a pulp.While Homelander is killed, he wears down his opponent to the point that Butcher finally gets his revenge and kills Black Noir with a crowbar. Butcher, now enraged and determined to destroy every superhero, utilizes genetic material to achieve superpowers.Later in the book, James Stillwell (also known as “The Guy From Vought”) is approached with a proposition to resurrect all of The Seven as members of a new superhero organization named “True,” which would be granted only limited mental independence.

He hears a plan to resurrect Black Noir as a new hero named “White Blanche,” but Stillwell concludes that any combination of Compound V and superheroes will end in disaster. Stillwell eventually suffers from a mental breakdown. The Boys Comics finished with the 72nd and final issue in November of 2012.

This is a significant divergence from the program; in the Season 3 finale “The Instant White-Hot Wild,” there is reason to sympathize with Black Noir as he is tormented by animated pictures depicting his abuse by Soldier Boy.

One of the show’s cruelest ironies is that, while concealing Homelander’s origins to protect him, Black Noir is slain for sparing him the horrible truth. While a new Black Noir is set to debut in The Boys season 4, his death remains one of the most challenging events in both the program and the comics.

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