The Boys season 3, episode 3 reveals how Black Noir got his scars, but episode 4’s final scene may give insight into why his wounds never healed. The Boys season 3, episode 3 “Barbary Coast” finally explains how the mysterious member of The Seven, Black Noir, got his scars, but episode 4 may provide insight as to why they never healed. “Barbary Coast” also reveals more about the identity of Black Noir. For much of the series, the character remained in the shadows, literally and figuratively, despite playing a significant role in The Seven’s history. Episodes 3 and 4 answer a lot of speculation about the character and the nature of his disfiguration.
Black Noir has been one of the more intriguing characters. The Boys has been careful with his development, slowly revealing different aspects of the character. Season 2 divulged that he was a Black man, portrayed by Nathan Mitchell. Season 3 explores this further, showing that a younger Black Noir wanted to be unmasked, but it didn’t align with Vought’s marketing plans for him. Episode 3 introduces Soldier Boy-led team Payback, the predecessor to The Seven and current target of Butcher and crew. A flashback scene shows the team of supes was brought to Nicaragua to help Contra rebels fight Russian soldiers. The mission’s failures are why Vought is wary of using supes in military conflicts, and the cause of Black Noir’s current physical state. In the aftermath of the Nicaragua operation, Black Noir is found with half of his face burned and his left eye damaged. The attack also rendered him seemingly unable to speak, explaining why the character never talks in the current timeline. What is strange about the injuries is that Black Noir, one of Vought’s top heroes, has a notable healing factor that did not kick in after the attack. The possible explanation for this is probably related to what happened to Kimiko at the end of The Boys season 3 episode 4. In Russia, Butcher and crew stumble upon the missing Soldier Boy, who attacks them and wounds Kimiko with some sort of radioactive blast. Kimiko, who survives being shot in the head earlier in the episode, is not healing from the attack. It is likely that whatever this power is also prevented Black Noir from healing almost 40 years prior.
The attack that decimated the Payback team and permanently scarred Black Noir is not fully shown on screen, but hinted at in dialogue between Grace Mallory and Crimson Countess. Crimson Countess claims that she saw the Russians kill Soldier Boy with some sort of weapon and take his body. Some of her account is at least partly true, with The Boys finding Soldier Boy in Russia itself. The origin of Soldier Boy’s new radioactive powers is unknown, but he certainly didn’t seem to have said powers prior to his capture. After testing the weapon on team Payback in Nicaragua, it is possible that the Russians implanted it into Soldier Boy to turn him into a powerful weapon. It doesn’t seem as if they shy away from experimentation, displayed when the group also stumbles upon a suped-up hamster named Jamie. This new radioactive power adds a new wrinkle to The Boys. It doesn’t seem that Soldier Boy can fully control this new strength, but he is definitely a huge threat. While the blast itself may not be enough to kill off Homelander, it may be able to render him powerless and open to a fatal blow. If this newly harnessed energy was enough to permanently injure Black Noir, one of the strongest members of The Seven, then other supes should be on high alert.
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