I’m so happy that Lamplighter is finally getting some much-needed character development after he was skipped over in the comics…
Lamplighter, how we barely knew thee, however, we’ve pieced together everything that we could collect on the character and throughout this post, we’re gonna go through the ins and outs of his backstory, powers and more.
There will be some spoilers here so if you haven’t seen up to The Boys episode seven of season two then I highly recommend that you click off now.
When we first come across Lamplighter in the comics the character is crawling around in his own faeces mumbling about his fire.
Before we ever met him, Lamplighter had been killed by Colonel Mallory and thus he was in a zombie-like state.
Though we haven’t witnessed it in the show so far, in the source material, Compound V has several negative properties to it including an almost ressurection-like quality that fires up the neurons in one’s brain at the instant of death.
This means that though the Supes are technically dead, they’re reanimated and are capable of moving around and talking.
However, one shouldn’t view it so much as them having a life and due to their lack of brain cells caused by the end of their life, they are very much brain dead.
That’s why when you look up quotes on the guy, most of them are just stuff like WAR MA PARRRRR…!
Sound like some of the comments I get….
Now this is performed by the company to make it seem like their heroes are invincible and even in the face of death, they will always come back. We’ve seen things like this carried out in comic books like The Death Of Superman and Batman Knightfall in which the characters were seemingly defeated but they came back stronger than ever.
Vought follow a similar sort of procedure and they come up with elaborate backstories on how characters died and then were able to return.
However, it’s all just a PR stunt and after the heroes are paraded around for a couple of months, they are quote-unquote retired by the company and cast to the side.
Now what we do know about Lamplighter is that like the rest of the Seven, his mother was given extreme amounts of Compound V during her pregnancy. This procedure was finessed during the second world war when Vought worked with the Nazis alongside Vogelbaum to find a way to make the Aryan Superman a reality.
Vought, of course, fled to America as did his procedures and the rest as we say is history.
In the source material, we learn very little about Lamplighter and predominantly his story is told in flashbacks.
Lamplighter was actually the Seven member just before Starlight and she was brought in to replace him. It was primarily during 9/11 that his downfall first started and if you don’t know, in the comics, during the historical event, The Seven were brought in to stop a plane from crashing into the towers.
This was supposed to be a big PR stunt for The Seven in which they would miraculously save the day, however in the end things went disastrously.
Similar to the plane rescue scene in the show, Homelander ended up causing a lot of damage to the plane and it crashed into the Brooklyn Bridge, killing thousands. The terrorists were blamed but the CIA knew the truth of the matter and thus they started to close in on the group.
Vought wanted nothing more than to have the Seven working alongside the military as it would massively raise their profile but the CIA attempted to blackmail Vought in order to stop this from becoming a reality.
This motif was of course adapted in the recent Boys season and similar to how it played out on screen, Lamplighter refused to be blackmailed.
He stalked Colonel Mallory and then killed his grandchildren when he was out of his home.
The show follows a similar pattern to this but where it differs is that Lamplighter actually has remorse over doing this and thus he steps out of the limelight and ends up working Sage Grove Center for Stormfront.
In the source material, Mallory is of course devastated because of this and he realises that things have gone too far and will continue to escalate, likely leading to more deaths. Thus he calls together a cease fire between the boys and the CIA and together the groups meet in at an airforce hanger.
The Boys arrive to find the hanger completely red from top to bottom and we learn that it’s been painted with the blood of an army platoon in order to intimidate the Boys to agreeing to the terms of the deal.
Both the Seven and Boys want a ceasefire brought about and to show their goodwill towards the situation, the boys actually hand over Lamplighter to Mallory.
Mallory ends up shooting the character and throwing him out of an airplane. Vought then take his body and after V ressurects him they parade him about for a while before locking him in a dungeon.
Starlight then replaces him and as a punishment she’s forced to clean his cell which we find him climbing around in, covered in his own feces.
In The Show
Now where the show differs from this is that Lamplighter just goes to the Grove Center and he’s used by Stormfront to burn the evidence of their experiments with Compound V.
When The Boys arrive one day and he and Frenchy come face to face he begins to atone for what he did to Mallory’s children and decides to join them in their quest to take down Vought.
In episode seven we learn that he is planning to testify against Vought, however because of the actions that he takes, he never gets to the courtroom.
We discover that, in the show’s universe, Lamplighter was pretty much forced into being a supe by his father who wanted the fame and fortune that came with this. Lamplighter even remarks that his dad was happy when he burned down their home and it clearly shows what kind of plans he had for him.
Lamplighter filled the role brilliantly but as we mentioned he just couldn’t take the fact that the CIA had dirt on him. His father’s view of him being a hero is what likely made him think that he should try to cover it up at all costs and this was of course a grave mistake for him.
In the end Lamplighter just wanted to be a hero but he ruined his chances as did most of the Seven.
It’s ok Starlight I still love you.
He set himself on fire in front of the statue of the seven a reference to the burning monk, which in some ways was a protest for everything that they stood for.
I actually think that the character might even come back at some point and I would love to see the resurrection qualities of V in the comics brought across to the show. Lamplighter’s body is of course still in Vought tower and I think it would be amazing to go seasons down the line and have the Boys break back in there only to find him crawling around like how he does in the comics.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about his history and comic book origins but as for his powers, they’re pretty straightforward.
Now like all those injected with V, Lamplighter has several enhanced abilities such as increased strength and durability. This means that he can withstand much more damage than a regular person but he’s nowhere near as invincible as Homelander or Stormfront who can have her bloody Tats burned and be fine.
His main ability is Pyrokinesis which allows him to control and manipulate fire. Lamplighter can take tiny flames and turn them into engulfing blasts but he has to have a source for this in order to yield it.
This is why he carries around his gigantic staff and within this is an almost ever-burning flame that he can pull from.
Now the character is actually riffing on a number of comic book characters including Green Lantern and Thor.
The former is because he uses well…a lantern…and dresses in green and the second is because his weapon is very much part of his get up.
With Thor it is Mjolnir which I always pronounce wrong and with Lamplighter it’s, of course, his…his lamplighter.
I was really shocked that he went out the way that he did and I hope that we do get him back in some form or another. I absolutely love Shaun Ashmore and seeing him playing pretty much an opposite to iceman from the x-men was a brilliant move by the boys to parody the superhero genre even more.
Anyways that’s everything that you need to know about the character but if there’s anything that you’d like to add then make sure you comment below and let me know.
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