Antony Starr as Homelander in a season 4 promo for 'The Boys'
(Prime Video)

What’s Going On With That Unexpected Return in ‘The Boys’ Season 4?

Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) is back in The Boys season 4, but viewers may be confused about why he seems a little different. Here’s what happened to the mysterious supe in season 3.

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Black Noir has always been one of the most mysterious members of the Seven due to his silence and tendency to remain masked and in full costume at all times. He’s also a hard character to read as, despite being a cold-blooded murderer in cahoots with Homelander (Anthony Starr), he does have moments where he acts surprisingly human. One time, he tried to comfort the son of a man he murdered by giving him a teddy bear. Meanwhile, he is also seen crying when he learns that Vought has lied to him his entire life about the source of his power.

However, it’s not until season 3 of The Boys that viewers get a clear picture of Black Noir’s story.

What happened to Black Noir?

After suffering from a severe allergic reaction, Black Noir is in a coma when The Boys season 3 begins. Upon awakening, it is expected he will help the Seven confront the looming threat of Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), but he suddenly goes AWOL, ripping his tracker from his arm and fleeing Vought International. Viewers soon get an intimate look into what goes on in Black Noir’s head when he hunkers down in an abandoned pizza restaurant and begins conversing with his imaginary friends, who are hallucinatory manifestations of his past trauma.

With his imaginary friends, he struggles to deal with the severe trauma he experienced while working with Soldier Boy during the Cold War. Soldier Boy’s abuse left Black Noir nonverbal, mutilated, and a mere shell of the charismatic and confident young man he once was. Upon speaking with his friends, he ultimately decides to face his fears, returning to Vought and promising to help Homelander kill Soldier Boy for good.

However, things take a sour turn when Homelander learns that Soldier Boy is actually his father. He questions if Black Noir knew this detail about Soldier Boy, which Black Noir confirms he did. The revelation causes Homelander to break down in tears as he feels betrayed by one of the few people he has considered a friend. It’s not long before his tears turn to anger, and he punches through Black Noir’s stomach and rips his intestines out, killing him instantly.

Is Black Noir in The Boys season 4?

There was a long gap between The Boys season 3 and season 4. So, viewers who only vaguely recalled Black Noir’s death likely wondered if they missed something or forgot some crucial detail when the character suddenly appeared in The Boys season 4 premiere. Black Noir is present when the remaining members of the Seven hold a meeting to determine whom to recruit next. No one questions his silent presence, and he later helps Homelander frame Starlight’s (Erin Moriarty) followers for a grisly crime.

However, it’s quite clear there’s something different about him. At one point, Homelander orders Black Noir, The Deep (Chace Crawford), and A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) to beat several men to death. Black Noir is the first to comply, killing the men in his typical brutal fashion. When the deed is done, he suddenly shouts, “Yo, what the f**k, that was so f**ked up, you guys.” So … not only is Black Noir somehow back, but he talks now?!

Viewers who were confused by his presence need not worry that they missed something. The explanation for this odd occurrence is in The Boys season 4, episode 2, “Life Among the Septics,” when A-Train warns Black Noir that he’s not supposed to talk, as doing so could give away the fact that he’s not the real Black Noir. To cover up Homelander’s murder of his teammate, Vought hired a random actor to wear the Black Noir suit and pretend to be the supe, and everyone in the company went along with the façade.

However, since Black Noir is always masked up, The Boys didn’t have to actually recast him. Black Noir’s original actor, Nathan Mitchell, returned to the role for season 4 and is now playing an actor pretending to be the real Black Noir.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.