The Boys: Every Supe From Payback's Name, Powers & History Explained

Note: this feature contains spoilers for "The Boys" up to season 3, episode 6, "Herogasm."

If you watch "The Boys," then you probably know the Seven inside and out by this point. The Vought International-sponsored superhero team may look like heroic figures, but for the most part they're narcissistic and even downright dangerous individuals seeking total control over their audience. Okay, maybe the only member of the Seven that fits that last bill is Homelander, but the point still stands.

Viewers know and understand the Seven, at least a little bit, but they don't necessarily know about any of the other teams that exist within the same universe. While the Seven are the most popular superhero team around, there have been many others that existed before or during their rise. Payback, a former Vought-sponsored team, was one of these teams, and their history plays a major role in this season of "The Boys." However, they're still a bit of an enigma, so let's go through the members of this formerly famous team and the comic book characters they're parodying.


Poor Swatto! He didn't even last one episode before getting killed off. He met his untimely but ultimately cowardly death after flying into the air, alerting the Sandinistas to the U.S. camp in Nicaragua. After realizing that the Sandinistas have invaded the camp, Swatto flies away, getting struck by a rocket in the process.

Swatto's sole appearance on "The Boys" is quite different from his rolce in the comic series. Then again, the show takes a lot of creative liberties from its source material, and usually for the best. Case in point, Swatto's first comic appearance saw him in a flashback where Tek Knight attempts to sexually assault Mind-Droid. Later on, he and the other members of Payback are ordered to kill the Boys, and Swatto eventually meets his end via pickaxe, likely at the hands of Butcher.

Even though his time on the show greatly differed from his appearances in the comics, Swatto still maintains the same abilities. He is meant to be a parody of both Ant-Man and the Wasp from Marvel Comics, being able to grow a pair of wings from his back and fly with them. However, he cannot alter his size, a flaw that ultimately costs him his life since he probably could've avoided his death if he could. Oh well, hindsight's 20/20.


At least it was nice seeing Sean Patrick Flanery for a while. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for this Second Amendment-defending, left-wing-socialism-fighting American "badass" to get carved up by a Suped-up Butcher. On the bright side, he was able to make it out of the Nicaragua incident alive, even if he was too busy mowing down everyone in his path to ensure the safety of those around him. Swatto can't say that.

In the original comics, Gunpowder was not affiliated with Payback but rather the group Teenage Kix, a group that held A-Train among its former members in both the comics and the show. After the group confronts the Boys, Gunpowder gets his helmet destroyed but is relatively unharmed. The same cannot be said for his teammate Blarney Cock, who is accidentally killed by Hughie.

Gunpowder's inspirations aren't as clear as his new Payback colleagues, as he's a bit of an amalgamation of several different comic mainstays. His status as a former sidekick turned disillusioned weapon in the show gives heavy Winter Soldier vibes, while his aesthetics and penchant for guns in both the comics and show derive from DC's Deadshot and Rebellion's Judge Dredd. That latter inspiration makes his death on the show a lot more serendipitous.

Tommy and Tessa, the TNT Twins

This duo is pretty interesting, not only because of their goofy powers and their status as the hosts of Herogasm but because they're among the few wholly original Supes on the show (alongside Ezekiel, Translucent, and Termite). While this means they don't have any comic history to analyze, we can certainly get into how they are on the show and what leads up to their mood-killing deaths.

The TNT Twins are perhaps the most arrogant members of Payback, which is saying a lot considering how gross pre-capture Soldier Boy was. Before the ill-fated attack in Nicaragua, these two had the gall to sit back and sunbathe. At least their teammates were standing around and pretending to be useful! They didn't even use their powers when the Sandinistas came roaring into the camp, but instead ran and hid like cowards. Given the arguments they got into with each other in the middle of their annual orgy meet-up, it shouldn't be surprising that they only went into the superhero industry for fame.

Tommy and Tessa bring to mind two different sibling duos: Marvel's Northstar and Aurora and DC's Wonder Twins, although the latter duo seems to have more influence. Their superpower, the ability to transfer energy between each other to create explosions, likely came from DC's slightly-jokey team.


Okay, we're not entirely sure what's going on with this guy, as he's been a bit of an enigma. We didn't see him a ton during the Nicaragua incident, and there isn't any promotional information released that gives us insight into this character. We currently don't know his whereabouts in the show's present, making him safe from Soldier Boy for now. Unfortunately, he probably won't be safe for long, given that Butcher has already tracked down almost all his other former teammates.

While the name Mindstorm is wholly original to the show, there is the possibility that he is the show's version of Mind-Droid, a parody of Marvel's Vision right down to his color scheme. The previously-mentioned Supe was one of Payback's members in the comics, and met an unfortunate end after the team was ordered to kill the Boys. Despite his robotic appearance, he's just a human Supe with telekinetic abilities — something he tries to tell Butcher before his head gets cut off with a shovel.

Crimson Countess

Life is rough. One day, you're the lead female hero of a Vought superhero team, and the next, you're a theme park attraction only attended by a handful of visitors wanting to escape the heat. You might also be running sexual livestreams sometimes. This life is one that Crimson Countess lives every day now after Payback was disbanded. Well, at least it was the life she used to live before getting reduced to a smoldering skeleton because of her ex-boyfriend, Soldier Boy. Now she can no longer sing about how chimps can't cry.

Like the rest of her Payback team members, Crimson Countess' role on the show differs from her comic book appearance in a few key ways. Most notably, her lover in the comics was Mind-Droid, whom she often cheated on with several other men. Her death was also directly at the hands of Butcher rather than Soldier Boy; the leader of the Boys choked her and then broke her neck with a belt.

Crimson Countess' appearance and ability to conjure her powers through her hands mark a resemblance to Marvel's Scarlet Witch, but her actual abilities are vastly different. In both the comics and the show, she can create orbs of fire and energy by making a specific gesture with her hands. She's also shown to have some super strength in the show, given that she's briefly able to take on Kimiko in a fight.

Black Noir

Black Noir is perhaps the luckiest member of Payback. Unlike his washed-up former teammates, he's still got a fruitful superhero career and is actually taken seriously as a menacing figure. Unfortunately, considering he's on the Seven, saying that he's got it good is a lie.

He's also considered the character that has changed the most from page to screen. Black Noir in the comics and Black Noir on the show are completely different people, albeit with somewhat similar powers. Both versions of the character are highly skilled at fighting and are able to withstand heavy-duty impact, but the Black Noir of the comics is actually Homelander's clone and thus shares all his powers. He was also the one who assaulted Becca, a crime committed by Homelander himself in the TV adaptation. Instead, the show's Black Noir is a ninja-like Supe who is unquestionably loyal to Vought, specifically Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) and Homelander, although this could be because he was left mute and mentally damaged during Payback's Nicaragua incident.

Given his prominence as a member of the Seven, it likely won't take long for Soldier Boy to set his sights on Black Noir. Actually finding him will be another matter, since Noir removed his Vought tracking chip and went on the run as soon as he found out that Soldier Boy was hunting down members of Payback.

Soldier Boy

Watch your back, Homelander! The most indestructible and dangerous superhero wants to reclaim his title. Soldier Boy is the real deal when it comes to the damage he can wreak when he gets angry enough; after all, his first experience back in the real world cost the lives of 19 civilians. Despite this, he already seems to be enjoying the fact that he's out of Russian hands, as he's snorting up pills and making sure his former teammates die a painful death.

This is a pretty far cry from Soldier Boy's comic appearance, which shows him committing brutal acts but in a naive and cowardly way. His desperation to appease Homelander, so much so that he's willing to be assaulted by him, is replaced in the show with jealous anger over him being America's favorite hero instead of him. While the comic and the show have him adept at fighting and able to withstand copious amounts of damage, the show also gives him the ability to project radiation blasts from his chest. Oh, and he can also sing.

It's pretty clear that both the comic and show Soldier Boy derives a lot from Captain America. However, while the comic parodies the idea of an ultra-patriotic superhero who is ultimately a coward, the show envisions this character as someone so disillusioned that he doesn't care about saving anyone but himself. Given his show backstory as a weapon made through experimentation, there are also hints of the Winter Soldier, especially in his grittier attire.