The Boys Lamplighter: The superhero's story and the actor

The Boys Lamplighter: The superhero's story and the actor

The Boys is an American superhero streaming television series based on a comic book of the same name. The series follows the eponymous team of vigilantes (The Boys) as they combat superpowered individuals who abuse their abilities (The Seven). The Boys' Lamplighter was finally introduced in the series' second season after being name-dropped in the first season.

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The Boys Lamplighter
The Boys Lamplighter holding his lighter. Photo: @theboystv
Source: Instagram

Does Lamplighter appear in The Boys? Although he plays such an essential role in the TV show and its progression, it is not until the sixth episode of the second season that the elusive Lamplighter makes his formal appearance.

Lamplighter is a former member of the Seven, the show's corrupt superhero team. Former CIA Deputy Director Grace Mallory even confirms that he incinerated her grandchildren.

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Who is the Lamplighter?

When the audience meets the Supe played by Shawn Ashmore, they know little to nothing about the character and his backstory. However, what is pretty clear is the Supe's powers. He is the pyro of the gang and can incinerate anything without a second thought.

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The Lamplighter has an energy that comes from his hands, and with the help of his trusty staff, he can function as a human flamethrower. He starts using a lighter instead of the staff after he is banished from the team.

His spot in the Seven is considered a parody of the Green Lantern. While Lamplighter has the same enhanced physicality that all Compound V users have, his unique powers manifest as energy manipulation. This trait is mighty similar to Green Lantern, a DC character who can do the same.

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Lamplighter outclasses normal humans by a significant margin given the Compound V in his cells in terms of strength, speed, endurance, and resilience. He also has an advanced healing factor, which is seen when he can recover from an acid spray fairly quickly.

However, the superhero is far from invincible. Although he has many enhanced physical attributes, he can burn at the touch of his flames.

Who plays Lamplighter?

Lamplighter is played by Shawn Ashmore, most notably known as the actor who played Iceman in four different X-Men movies. When it was revealed that Shawn was cast to play the role, The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke commented about the actor's role.

We were thrilled that Shawn — who is, let's be honest, an OG superhero — wanted to play the crucial part of Lamplighter. He brings so much depth, menace, and world-weary humanity to this former member of the Seven. And Shawn is a really good guy. We're grateful to have him join our bloody little family.

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Shawn Ashmore is a Canadian actor born in Richmond, British Columbia. He has been active since 1989, when he was just 10 years old. His filmography is an impressive one that has built him an enormous fanbase worldwide.

What is his backstory in the show?

The Boys Lamplighter
Shawn Ashmore attends the Los Angeles Premiere of "Aftermath" at The Landmark Westwood on August 03, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Axelle
Source: Getty Images

When viewers meet the former member of the Seven, it is clear that there is a lot of tension between him and the other characters in the story. What exactly happened? What did he do? The TV show answers these questions through a series of flashback scenes juxtaposed with the show's current events.

In the flashbacks, we see that Lamplighter seemed to have been helping The Boys get some dirt on Homelander. Grace Mallory blackmailed him for being a spy for The Boys. In retaliation, Lamplighter intended to kill the leader of The Boys. Although he is working with The Boys, they don't trust him, and Mallory sends Frenchie to follow up.

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Unfortunately, due to an emergency from his friend Jay, Frenchie cannot track Lamplighter for the whole duration of the mission. By the time he went back to shadowing the Supe, Lamplighter had killed Mallory's grandchildren.

This event is a sore spot for Lamplighter himself, who has not yet gotten over the fact that he killed children when his character is introduced on the show. He is tormented by the fact that he intended to get Mallory herself, but unfortunately, ended up harming her grandchildren in the process.

Why was he kicked out of The Seven?

Why was Lamplighter kicked out of The 7? As viewers saw with A-Train and The Deep being retired in real-time, it is clear that Lamplighter's retirement was for a similar offence.

Although an official confirmation has not been made, Lamplighter likely ended up working in the Sage Grove Center institution as penance for killing Mallory's family or some other heinous act.

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The Boys Lamplighter
Shawn Ashmore speaks onstage at The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan: Putting Fear Back Into Games panel during E3 2019 at the Novo Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Vivien Killilea
Source: Getty Images

While A-Train's retirement was spun as him voluntarily stepping back and the Deep is banished to Ohio, Lamplighter's post -Seven afterlife turns out to be the grimmest of all.

He is sent to work at a Vought black site, Sage Grove, where the company conducts human experiments. He is responsible for incinerating evidence if anything goes wrong.

When Mother's Milk, Frenchie, and Kimiko break into the facility in episode six, Lamplighter escapes with them.

Why did he kill himself?

Why did Lamplighter kill himself? When Lamplighter joined The Boys' cause against the Seven, the TV series lured audiences into believing that he would redeem himself. However, in a plot twist that left the world reeling, Lamplighter committed suicide.

The hero's suicidal tendencies were made pretty clear early in the show, most notably when he begged Mallory to kill him. After Mallory declines this request and spares him, viewers assume that the Supe would embrace this second chance at life. In hindsight, Lamplighter gives no sign that his desire for death has abated.

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Therefore, when Hughie floats the idea of breaking into The Seven tower, Lamplighter sees an opportunity for a noble death and decides to take matters into his own hands. He planned to do it in front of his superhero statue. However, Vought had already taken his statue down by the time he got there.

Staring at The Seven mural, Lamplighter remarks that they got rid of his statue, exclaiming that he wanted to do it there. A confused Hughie watches as Lamplighter sets himself on fire.

What is Lamplighter's story in the comics?

The Boys Lamplighter
Shawn Ashmore as Mike in THE FOLLOWING returning with a special, two-hour premiere on FOX. Photo: FOX Image Collection
Source: Getty Images

While the TV show is based on the comics, the character's fate is different from what fans see on screen. In the comics, Lamplighter is one of the members of The Seven, just like in the show. However, during an attempt to save civilians from a falling plane, he breaks his ribs and nearly dies, and the rest of The Seven left the plane to crash.

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Naturally, The Boys use this information to try and blackmail The Seven. Lamplighter gets mad, and just like in the show, proceeds to incinerate Mallory's grandchildren by mistake.

After the situation escalates, The Seven attempts to keep the peace by giving Lamplighter to The Boys. They beat Lamplighter almost to death before Mallory shoots him in the head and proceeds to throw him out of a plane.

After he dies, Vought revives him using the Compound V in his system. However, the Supe is a zombie locked away and left to rot for the rest of his days.

The Boys' Lamplighter is a character on the show that has been lingering in the periphery ever since the first episode. In its second season, he finally arrived on the show and brought with him several backstories that are important to the plot. He is one of the best characters on the show due to his backstory, and his role is brought into life by Shawn's excellent performance.

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The Boys takes place in a world where superhumans are regarded as heroes by the general population and work for the substantial corporation Vought International, which advertises and monetizes them. However, outside of their heroic reputations, the majority of them are arrogant and corrupt.

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