Spoilers below for not only The Boys Season 2, but also a major late-game twist from the comic book series, so be warned!
The Boys Season 2 that gave audiences slightly deeper looks into Black Noir's mysterious existence, or at the very least, Season 2 made it easier for audiences to make heightened inferences. Episode 7, "Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker," was quite a revealing one for the silent-but-extremely-deadly supe, revealing that not only is he highly allergic to tree nuts, but also that he is a Black man. The latter might not have immediately seemed like a key narrative detail for those who haven't read The Boys' comics, but for readers waiting for a particular comic twist, it was a total game-changer.
Since there's no easy way to lay this out, I'll just get right to it. In the comic book, Black Noir is eventually revealed to actually be a clone of Homelander created by Vought and tasked with not only keeping close tabs on The Seven's leader, but also to assassinate him if the supe group became too unwieldy. It was also revealed that Noir-as-Homelander is the one who raped Becca Butcher, though the TV show seemed to have already reversed course on that particular horror. But what does it mean for the clone twist that Black Noir obviously isn't a carbon copy of Antony Starr's Homelander?
When CinemaBlend recently spoke with Black Noir portrayer Nathan Mitchell, I asked if he could address whether the character's race reveal obliterated the TV show's chances of introducing the aforementioned comic book twist. Here's what he told me, with measured hesitation:
Yeah, you know, I think... ask me no secrets and I'll tell you no lies. I think that there are obvious things you can infer from that reveal. But Noir is first and foremost about mystery, and as far as what the future holds, I will leave that up to people to guess and develop theories on. Yeah, I gotta, pull a Noir on this one and stay silent.
I guess I shouldn’t have expected Nathan Mitchell to just fully agree that the clone twist would be impossible now, since The Boys obviously doesn’t turn away from taking storytelling swings. But the fact that he kept things sounding so mysterious makes me wonder if showrunner Eric Kripke is indeed going to try and find a way to keep at least part of the comic book shocker intact.
Considering all the specifics, it seems like it would be impossible for The Boys to still introduce the idea that Black Noir is a Homelander clone at a later point in the series. (Assuming Noir survives his Almond Joy attack in a way that allows him to return to The Seven fully rejuvenated.) I suppose it’s possible that Vought is the kind of company that could devise a way to clone someone’s Compound V-infused DNA without having them look the exact same. So Black Noir could feasibly just boast all of Homelander’s strengths while not needing to have Antony Starr’s face attached.
Of course, the tree nut allergy possibly throws that idea out, unless Homelander ALSO has a tree nut allergy that no one else has been made aware of yet. We’re not entirely sure how Maeve learned of Noir’s allergy situation, so it’s certainly in the realm of possibilities that his hypersensitivity could be sourced to Homelander’s DNA. Or perhaps Vought figured out a way to implement that particular affliction into Noir’s system as a Kryptonite of sorts just in case he ever got too out of hand.
What do you all think is going to happen with Black Noir? Is that really a pseudo-Homelander lurking beneath his skin, or does Noir have completely different origins from The Seven's leader? Is he going to get killed off, as it went for another supe in Episode 7, or was that just a temporary setback? Let us know in the comments what you think!
The Boys is now done with Season 2 and sadly won't be back on Amazon Prime Video with new episodes for a while, but fans can look forward to the already-confirmed Season 3 happening in 2021. Not to mention the previously announced teen-supe spinoff in development that will likely be even more gloriously disgusting than the flagship series. While waiting for this universe to explode, be sure to keep up with our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the horizon.