Who is Lamplighter in The Boys? The comics paint a gruesome picture
Lamplighter has arrived, but there are still secrets. Here's what the comics tell us about his dark past.
Lamplighter was finally introduced in The Boys Season 2. A former member of the Seven, the show's corrupt superhero team, the fire-starting supe was replaced by Starlight in the show’s pilot episode. Lamplighter was mentioned a few times throughout Season 1 and former CIA Deputy Director Grace Mallory confirmed that he incinerated her grandchildren. However, his whereabouts remained unknown until Season 2, when the elusive Lamplighter made his first formal appearance in the season’s sixth episode. Very little is still known about him, but the comics paint a pretty gruesome picture.
Spoilers ahead for The Boys Season 2.
In Season 2 Episode 6, “The Bloody Doors Off,” Lamplighter showed up as an orderly working at the Sage Grove Center. The psychiatric facility turned out to be a cover-up for Vought’s experimentation. The corporation, alongside Stormfront, was injecting patients with Compound V to perfect the substance and eventually create an Aryan army of Supes. Lamplighter’s job was to burn the patients who were no longer of use to Vought.
Through flashbacks, we learn the Boys blackmailed Lamplighter to spy on the rest of the Seven. This made him incredibly angry, which is why he went after Grace’s grandchildren. However, Lamplighter later reveals that his intended target was Grace — killing her grandchildren was an accident. After a tense stand-off with Grace and the Boys, Lamplighter agrees to join their mission against Vought and the Seven. This twist already changes Lamplighter’s history in a major way.
In the comics, Lamplighter is one of the original members of The Seven and just as diabolical. During an attempt to rescue civilians from a falling plane, he breaks his ribs and nearly dies. Meanwhile, the rest of the Seven left the plane to crash as intended instead of saving the people onboard. When The Boys attempt to blackmail them with this information, Lamplighter gets mad and, like in the show, goes to kill Mallory’s grandchildren.
The situation grows in intensity, with the CIA and the Boys facing down the Seven in a near-catastrophic fight. To keep the peace, the Seven gives up Lamplighter to the Boys, who beat him up before Mallory shoots him in the head and proceeds to throw him out of a plane. You’d think his death meant the end of Lamplighter’s story, but things get worse. Vought revives Lamplighter using the Compound V in his system, but the Supe is pretty much a zombie and he’s locked away to rot for the rest of his days.
The Amazon series hasn’t revealed how the Boys were able to blackmail Lamplighter yet, but the show could go in a completely different direction. Speaking with Game Spot, Shawn Ashmore revealed that the blackmail has a lot to do with Lamplighter’s “Titty Committee” lighter.
“Mallory shows him images of something in the warehouse in a flashback sequence, and it's alluded that he's, you know, had sex with a bunch of underage girls or whatever. I know what those images were of, because it was the first question I asked. I was like, 'Why would Lamplighter turn?' Like how bad are the pictures that Mallory shows him in that warehouse? Why would he do that? He could burn everybody in this room — if those were to come out, how bad are they? And they're worse than I could ever imagine.”
Considering that the Supe is voluntarily joining the Boys in Season 2, the series is already spinning its own take on the character and his backstory. That said, Lamplighter killing Grace’s children was adapted into the show and it’s possible that other comic elements will be included as well. With Lamplighter playing a bigger role in the latter part of Season 2, it may only be a matter of time before the Boys turn on him for his crimes.
And if that happens, will Lamplighter return as a zombie in The Boys Season 3? We'll just have to wait and find out.
The Boys Season 2 is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.