Attention! This article contains spoilers for the third season of the TV series “Boys”.
The Boys’ showrunner Eric Kripke explains the decision to concretize the tragic backstory of Black Noir with the help of cartoon animals. As a member of The Seven, the masked mute Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) was The Boys’ most mysterious superhero throughout the show’s first two seasons. As he continued to work with Homelander and Vought, season 3 of the superhero Prime Video series revealed more about Noir than ever before, including revelations about his past with Payback and its leader, Soldier.
After learning that Soldier Boy is hunting former Payback members for betrayal in 1984, Noir turns off his tracker and leaves the network. In episode 7 of season 3 of Boys, it is explained that Vought CEO Stan Edgar suggested that Noir hand over the Boy Soldier to the Russians and replace him with a Homelander, which Noir was more than happy to do, given his controversial relationship with the costumed bald eagle. While Noir is sitting in Buster Beaver’s abandoned pizza, the silent superhero’s cartoon imagination shows memories depicting all this, including a Payback battle with a Boy Soldier, as a result of which Noir is permanently disfigured, brain damaged and unable to speak.
Related: Everything You Missed in Boys S3 Episode 7
In a recent interview with TVLine, Kripke explains the idea of depicting the backstory of Noir with the help of crazy animation. Given that there was already a direct recollection in episode 3, Kripke and company didn’t want to risk boring the audience in episode 7. In addition to the comedic element, Noir’s cartoon friends have come a long way by painting the character in a different light. Read the full quote below:
We knew he had to spend his dark night of the soul alone, and we had to be in his head because he had no one to talk to. So, the very first idea was memories, but right memories, firstly) they can be a bit boring, and secondly, we already did them [in Episode 3]. We had to put up a whole battle to make them exciting. So I didn’t want to repeat them.
If there is a peculiar way to tell a story, I’ll take it, because it’s much more fun to go beyond and tell something unique. This notion that when [Noir] is alone, he looks like Snow White, [with] cute animals fluttering around him, just made me laugh.
It is strongly implied that [cartoon creatures] are always here. If you watch two or three episodes earlier, he’s drawing Buster Beaver in a conference room. We even had a scene that was cut because it just distracted you from the scene… where he was putting cans of beans in the corners just in different scenes he was in to show that he always feeds the animals.
Although it was probably cheaper and easier to portray Noir’s backstory in animation, the Snow White-style atmosphere perfectly illustrates the character’s flaw, revealing the true cruelty of the toxic masculinity of the Boy Soldier. Up to this point, Noir had been nothing more than an obedient muscle of a Wout, and the Boy Soldier was not portrayed as completely unpleasant. Buster Beaver (voiced by Looney Tunes veteran Eric Bauza) tells a story about physical and psychological abuse that changes viewers’ attitudes to Noir over the course of three seasons and possibly gives them a reason to root for him.
In the comics, Noir’s personality has amazing connections to Homelander. Prime Video’s take on “Boys” has completely moved away from that and created its own version of the character, whom cute cartoon animals call Irving. The turn of the “Soldier” in the 7th episode of the TV series “Boys” shows that he is the biological father of the Homelander. Having received this information, the Boy Soldier’s plans most likely changed, and he will not help the Butcher and Huey in the final. Fortunately, Buster and other imaginary friends called Noir/Irving to fight the Boy Soldier and finish what he started in 1984. In a season filled with dance numbers, orgies and cartoon characters, things get even crazier in the last week.