Throughout the three seasons of Amazon Prime’s “The Boys,” Black Noir acted like a silent assassin who, being a prominent member of the superhero team, “The Seven,” used to carry out covert missions for Vought International. He used to eliminate threats to the corporation while also clearing up the mess created by other supes. And thus, be it Madelyn Stillwell, Stanford Edgar, or Homelander, they all trusted Black Noir in the time of urgency. We always saw him standing in a corner like a shadow, observing each and every detail and keeping a note of everyone’s actions, and even though Noir knew everything about everyone, no one knew who he really was, and thus it made us wonder who this person was hiding behind a mask. “The Boys” Season 3 apparently sheds some light on the origins and the backstory of Black Noir, who had been an integral part of Vought America since the 1980s, the time when Vought created its first premier superhero team called “Payback.” The narrative also laid out the reason why Soldier Boy had been mercilessly hunting his own teammates throughout Season 3, so let’s dig deeper.
Why Did Soldier Boy Want To Kill Black Noir?
“The Boys” Season 3 depicted the incidents of 1984, when Vought America signed a deal with the government to admit supes into the army so that they could fight communism together. The Payback team was sent to Nicaragua under the command of Soldier Boy and was managed by none other than Stanford Edgar, who was just an associate at the time. However, in the flashback, it was clearly established that Edgar and Noir, also known as Earving, shared a special relationship. Noir was the only African American in the Payback team, and Edgar, who belonged to the same community, was able to relate to Noir’s struggles but couldn’t help his friend. Because of his skin color, Vought forced Earving to wear a mask in public and hide his real identity so that they could sell his brand image. Earving wanted to get rid of the mask and show his real face to the world so that he could enjoy the stardom like his teammates, but Edgar and Vought convinced him otherwise. Edgar told Earving that silent ninjas, probably referring to Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, are extremely popular among kids, and thus they would be able to sell toys of him with the mask instead of without it. Earving wanted to become like Eddie Murphy and go into the movies, but the mask had become his identity, and no one recognized him without it.
Maybe, in the future, Noir could have convinced the management to let him remove the mask, but all his plans went down the drain after the incident in Nicaragua. The Russians attacked the Contra Rebels rebels and took away Soldier Boy. Initially, it was revealed that Noir’s face was scarred from the Russian attack, but later it was established that it was Soldier Boy who ruined his face. But why?
So the Payback wasn’t sent to Nicaragua to help the Contra Rebels or fight communism, but to eliminate Soldier Boy. Jonah Vogelbaum, the lead scientist at Vought, was creating a supe in the lab for which he used Soldier Boy’s genetics, and this supe was none other than Homelander. Vought wanted to bring a mightier and deadlier weapon to represent the country, so they assigned Edgar to get rid of their previous poster boy. Edgar trusted his close companion to accomplish the mission, and at that time, Noir, along with the other members of the Payback, were already sick of getting bullied and assaulted by Soldier Boy. Hence, when the offer arrived, neither Noir nor the other members thought twice and decided to implement the plan to eliminate their leader.
Noir probably knew Soldier Boy’s weakness that he could be sedated with a Russian nerve agent called Novichok, which was why he contacted the Russians to take him away. But sedating an all-mighty Soldier Boy was not an easy task, and his teammates had to combine their powers to capture him. During that attack, Soldier Boy caught Black Noir by the neck and smashed his head on the hood of a burning jeep that ruined more than half of his face and later bashed his brains out with his shield, causing permanent damage to his nervous system. Maybe he wasn’t able to speak after that attack, which is why we never heard his voice again. Additionally, he was ashamed of the gruesome scars on his face, because of which he had to wear a mask forever. The only thing that Earving had been running away from, ironically, became the most important part of his existence.
The Payback got rid of Soldier Boy in 1984 after the Russians took him away, but when Butcher released him, Soldier Boy returned to the country burning with a desire to take revenge from his own teammates who betrayed him and locked him in a container. One by one, he killed everyone except Gunpower, who was already dead as Butcher killed him using the powers he got from Temp V. And by the end of Season 3, Episode 7, only Black Noir was alive, and thus Soldier Boy went after him to finally finish his vengeance.
Is Noir Dead Or Alive?
As soon as Black Noir realized that Soldier Boy had killed all his teammates and he was the only one left, he quickly ran away from the Vought Tower in fear. He hid himself in an isolated location while pondering the events of the past when Soldier Boy used to bully him. Soldier Boy had traumatized Noir so much that he was too afraid to face him again, and that was when his imaginary friends lifted his spirits and convinced him to face the fear with bravery instead of running away from it.
During the finale, Noir returned to Vought Tower and showed a placard to Homelander on which it was written, “Soldier Boy Will Come. We Kill.” However, at this moment, Noir was unaware of the fact that Homelander already knew that Soldier Boy was his father, and at the back of his head, he was planning to build a healthy relationship with Soldier Boy. Later, at night, when Homelander inquired Noir about Soldier Boy’s character as he had worked with him, Noir didn’t take a moment, and called him “Bad.” Homelander was evidently hurt as he took Noir’s comment too personally and felt insulted. He quickly changed the subject and asked Noir whether he knew the truth about him being Soldier Boy’s son, to which Noir nodded yes. It was Noir who carried out Vought’s command to get rid of Soldier Boy so that they could replace him with his successor, Homelander, and Noir knew it all from the beginning to the end. At the end of this conversation, Homelander brutally killed Noir, and he had reasons for doing so. Firstly, Noir thought ill of his father and wanted to hurt him. Secondly, Noir lied to Homelander and hid secrets from him. Homelander demanded a certain kind of loyalty from his teammates, but Noir failed to pass the test. And hence, without any further ado, the Homelander pulled out Noir’s intestines and killed him on the spot. He didn’t care at all about what Soldier Boy did to Noir or how he assaulted him. He didn’t bother to know why Noir hid the truth about his father. Probably because Edgar or Vought had commanded him to do so. But Homelander wasn’t concerned about anything or anyone at all, except for himself, and killing Noir made him feel powerful. He wanted to tell his father that he had finished his mission for him, but instead of appreciating his efforts, Soldier Boy called Homelander, a big disgrace, which further led to the final battle of Season 3.