In the popular TV series The Boys, one of the most mysterious characters is the superhero Noir. Not much is known about his backstory, except that at some point he had an encounter with another powerful Supe named Soldier Boy that left him disabled and disfigured. In this article, we will explore what exactly Soldier Boy did to Noir by examining clues from the show and comics that the series is based on.
Who Are Soldier Boy and Noir?
To understand what happened between them, we first need to know who these characters are.
Soldier Boy was introduced in Season 3 of The Boys as the original superhero created by Vought International in the 1940s. He has similar powers to Captain America – super strength, speed, and durability. Soldier Boy became a celebrity and American hero after fighting in World War II. However, in the 1980s he disappeared and was presumed dead, until he resurfaced in the present day.
Black Noir is a member of The Seven, Vought’s premier superhero team. He is a dark, silent, ninja-like figure who never speaks. Noir has enhanced strength, speed, agility, and can fight with swords and throwing stars. His full backstory has not yet been revealed, but flashbacks show he has been with Vought for decades, having served on earlier versions of The Seven.
Their Fateful Encounter
In a flashback scene from Season 3, we see a young Noir fighting Soldier Boy alongside other early Vought heroes. Something happens during the battle that critically injures Noir and leaves him unable to speak.
Later, Noir is shown receiving an experimental treatment involving almond joy bars connected to his face with wires. This appears to have saved his life, but left him disfigured and mute. Fans theorize this was an attempt by Vought scientists to heal the damage inflicted by Soldier Boy.
Soldier Boy’s Powers
To speculate on what exactly Soldier Boy did to cause such devastating harm, we need to examine his abilities.
Like most Vought supers, Soldier Boy has tremendous superhuman strength. He has been shown effortlessly tossing people across rooms and through walls with his punches. This allows him to inflict massive blunt force trauma. However, Noir’s injuries appear to have been more systemic than just physical damage.
Soldier Boy’s unique ability is firing a powerful energy beam from his chest. This lets him emit a focused blast of radioactive energy that can melt through objects and cause explosions. The chest beam appears to be Soldier Boy’s most deadly weapon.
Interestingly, Soldier Boy explains that his beam also has “neurological” effects on people. It can overwhelm the nervous system, causing blackouts and even memory loss. Exposure to the beam at close range may have disrupted Noir’s brain function, leading to his speech loss and facial disfigurement.
Theories on What Happened
Based on Soldier Boy’s powers and Noir’s injuries, here are some theories on what Soldier Boy could have done:
Point Blank Chest Beam
Soldier Boy may have hit Noir with a concentrated chest blast at very close range. This could have inflicted neurological devastation and catastrophic burns, nearly killing Noir.
Punched Through Chest
Alternatively, Soldier Boy could have used his super strength to punch or impale Noir through the chest with his fist or a weapon. The traumatic chest injury could have impacted Noir’s language centers and vocal cords.
It’s also possible Noir was struck by multiple blasts or was near the epicenter of a major chest beam explosion. Prolonged exposure to the neurological beam could have fried Noir’s brain and nerves.
Combination of Factors
The most likely scenario is that Noir suffered a combination of physical trauma from Soldier Boy’s strength and energy blasts. This aligns with his muted speech but also severe facial scarring we see in flashbacks. The mixture of blows could have added up to his devastating injuries.
Evidence from Comics
While the show has been vague so far about what happened, we can also look to the Garth Ennis comics that The Boys is based on for clues.
In the comics, Noir was originally a fairly regular guy who tried out for the team that would become the Seven. To pass the test, he had to endure 30 seconds in a room with Soldier Boy emitting his chest beam on full power. Noir suffered terrible injuries but impressed Vought enough to be healed, given powers, and made a member.
The comics also depict Noir as being more mentally incapacitated from his encounter with Soldier Boy. At times Noir acts like a feral animal and does not show the combat finesse he does in the show. This suggests extended exposure to Soldier Boy’s beam can essentially melt the brain.
Importantly, the comic Soldier Boy and Noir are also portrayed as amongst the most powerful supers in this universe. So Soldier Boy’s beam may be even more dangerous than what we’ve seen on screen so far.
|Theory||Evidence from Show||Evidence from Comics|
|Point Blank Chest Beam||Soldier Boy’s beam causes neurological damage||Noir endured beam at close range during test|
|Punched Through Chest||Soldier Boy has great super strength||Comic Noir only physically injured initially|
|Extended Exposure||Noir severely facially damaged||Comic beam melted Noir’s mind|
|Combination of Factors||Noir mute and scarred||Noir suffered both mental and physical effects|
In the end, the exact sequence of events that led to Noir’s disfigurement is still a mystery. But piecing together clues from The Boys television show and comics gives us a clearer picture. The most likely theory seems to be that Soldier Boy used his devastating chest beam on Noir at close range, combined with additional physical trauma. Their encounter was clearly catastrophic for Noir, robbing him of his speech and facial features. Hopefully future seasons will finally reveal their full violent history. For now, we are left to speculate based on Soldier Boy’s powers exactly what he did to poor Noir to leave him in his current disabled state.