THE BOYS Showrunner On Black Noir's Animated Origin And Adorable 'Toon Pals
The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke has explained where the idea behind Black Noir’s (Nathan Mitchell) animated back-story with Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles) and adorable cartoon friends came about.
This past Friday's penultimate episode of The Boys (you can check out our recap here) season 3 finally gave us a glimpse into Black Noir's back-story, explaining his fear of/animosity towards Soldier Boy while revealing that the mentally-damaged Supe has a bunch of animated imaginary friends who provide comfort and guidance when he needs it most.
We've caught little hints of the murderous Noir's more gentle, childlike nature in the past, but the fact that he retreats to this bizarre fantasy world when times get tough is enough to generate at least some sympathy for the mute member of The Seven.
“I love that we’re revealing who he is, I love even more how we’re doing it,” showrunner Eric Kripke tells Variety. “When you look at all the different layers of those cartoons, they’re these animated characters that only he can see, that he probably could see since Season 1 of the show; they’ve been around him this whole time. I mean, that’s what we’re certainly implying. And they are pretending to be the characters from his flashback on a stage presented as an elementary school musical, animated. That’s a lot. There’s a lot going on there.”
Later on in the episode, we see the former Payback member's abusive history with Soldier Boy play out in animation, with the latter depicted as an American Eagle, and Noir as a black sheep. The implications are clear, as we then find out that Soldier Boy's brutal beat-down of his teammate was responsible for Noir's facial deformity and fractured mental state.
“We wanted to explore Noir’s origin story and really reveal who he was and where he came from,” Kripke added. “And in the flashbacks, he was a handsome, young superhero with aspirations of being the next Eddie Murphy, but was targeted by Soldier Boy and in such an extreme way that he ended up really deformed. And in our minds, once he recovered from that and put the mask back on, he just rarely, rarely takes it off, Darth Vader-style. So there was no point that felt natural. We played with it, like, when he’s in Buster Beaver’s, does he take off the mask? And we were like, but why? He’s so ashamed of who he’s become that it just didn’t feel right.”
We'll find out whether Noir is able to overcome his anxiety and confront Soldier Boy this Friday when the season 3 finale of The Boys hits Prime Video.