- This article is about the pre-scratch kids' Jack Noir. For the post-scratch trolls' version, see Spades Slick. For the post-scratch kids' version, see Jack Noir (B2). For the cherubs' version, see Jack Noir (Dead Session).
Jack Noir is an Agent of Derse who appears in every session of Sburb. He oversees various affairs of the kingdom and does all of the most important and most tedious paperwork, and is the direct subordinate of the King and Queen. In the kids' session, he slew the Queen, and soon after, the King, declaring himself as the Sovereign Slayer and wreaking havoc on the Medium. Karkat has identified him as the "cancer" he created in the kids' session.
A "Jack" is a face card in a normal deck of cards that ranks below the king and queen, and "Noir" is a pun on the detective film genre film noir, an allusion to Problem Sleuth, and Jack's alternate universe counterpart. "Noir" also means "black" in French, making his full name a pun on the card game Blackjack. (Resemblance to the name Jack Black is just an amusing coincidence.) Bec Noir, the name given to Jack's fully prototyped form, is possibly a play on the French phrase bête noire, meaning "black beast" literally, or used as slang for a pet peeve or something feared obsessively. It should also be noted that "bec" in french means "beak", and "Bec Noir" literally translates to "Black Beak".
Biography[edit | edit source]
When he was introduced, Jack appeared to be a normal-looking Dersite wearing a multi-colored jacket with a spade. He particularly despised wearing his jester's hat. Jack Noir was also seen without his outfit on after it appeared to be affected by Rose Lalonde's Prototyping involving the Eldritch Princess, giving it a pink frilly skirt and a hat similar to that of the princess.
Jack finally became so fed up with the ridiculous costumes that he utilized an object in Jade and Jake's present to John (perhaps the Royal Deringer) to kill the Black Queen, taking the ring for himself and ascending to the throne.
Jack Noir is the first major character beyond the four protagonists who the player attempts to name.
Derse[edit | edit source]
Jack's role in Derse is to make use of several window-shaped monitors—or Fenestrated walls. He has three such walls. The fourth wall was stolen by Grandpa, and was later seen in his laboratory; Andrew Hussie's study was on the other end of the fourth wall.
Jack can watch events anywhere in the Incipisphere. He views the victories of John and his father over his minions. He seems to consider the monsters they face 'graveyard stuffers'—though, since they're the weakest known Underlings, he's probably right. He is also responsible for keeping prisoners of Derse from escaping, though neither he nor his guards (including the Hegemonic Brute) were able to stop Dad and his massive amount of Mangrit. Dad eventually reaches Jack, and then burns, stomps, and applies shaving creams to Jack's comical hat, after which, Jack heartily sets him free.
He later finds the Parcel Mistress attempting to retrieve the green package. Too lazy to process the paperwork, he instead offers the package in exchange for the white crowns. He gives her a Regisword, never expecting she'll actually attempt to take the crowns, which he incorrectly assumes would be achieved by killing the bearers.
His subordinate Agents include the Draconian Dignitary, the Courtyard Droll and the Hegemonic Brute. They continue to serve him after he becomes the Sovereign Slayer (as do their counterparts in the trolls' session, who become the other members of the Midnight Crew).
Prototypings[edit | edit source]
Jack took on the physical prototypings from the kids' session after he killed the Black Queen and put on her ring. The first three prototypings were already present and visible on the queen when he took the ring. First was John Egbert's (carried out by Rose Lalonde, his server player). John's kernelsprite was prototyped with a harlequin with an arm missing, a slashed eye, and a piece of his comical hat cut off. This caused the Black and White kings and queens (and eventually Jack) to have a slashed eye, missing arm and a new harlequin-like hat.
Rose prototyped her kernelsprite twice before entering the medium, first with the body of her cat Jaspers and second with an "improved" princess doll that had been given horrorterror-like tentacles (the latter carried out by Dave Strider). These prototypings caused the kings and queens (and eventually Jack) to grow two long, prehensile tentacles and added princess flourishes to their outfits.
Dave's prototyping (carried out by Jade Harley) used a dead crow, accidentally skewered by one of Dave's cheap-piece-of-shit swords. The kings and queens, and eventually Jack, grew large wings capable of interplanetary flight, and became (harmlessly) skewered by a sword, which they could remove and use as a weapon after this prototyping.
The final prototyping occurred after Jack donned the ring, while Jade was preparing to enter the medium. Bec teleports everything near the kernel into space and prototypes himself. Jack loses his harlequin hat and tentacles, (however he can apparently summon the tentacles back onto himself on command, as seen in the picture to the left), and his head loses its catlike features and takes on the emblematic "devilbeast" shape of Bec's head. He keeps the single arm, sword, and scar through one eye. It appears that these prototypings not only affect Jack's appearance, but his strength and abilities as well, most visibly in the final prototyping where he acquired all of Bec's first guardian powers.
Regicide[edit | edit source]
While Jack idled away doodling bitter artwork of the Queen on a parking ticket, the Black Queen appeared on one of his monitors. The Queen appeared in the room and demanded he wear his new, frilly, humiliating outfit. When Jack refused, she tried out a number of equally humiliating costumes on him, until Jack snapped and ripped off his jester garb.
The Queen threatened him with the blade in her chest until Jack grabbed Jade's green package. He reached inside of it, and used the bunny it contained to deprive the Queen of her ring before killing her. He then picked up her ring and donned it himself, taking a considerably more powerful prototyped form. He now refers to himself as the Sovereign Slayer and has made the wearing of the prototyped costumes optional for his agents.
From there, he encroached on the Skaian Battlefield, performing a second coup de grace and interrupting the Warweary Villein's uprising, bisecting the Black King's scepter and decapitating the second member of the Derse royalty. He dons the Black King's crown and faces off with WV.
Through his mutinous actions, Jack had become an unexpected variable in the game, and his seizure of power has disastrous consequences. This chain of events led to his position as a major antagonist for the remainder of the story. Jack's extreme variability (and more directly, his usurpation) has been confirmed by Karkat as what causes the kids' version of The Reckoning to occur earlier than expected, making the game impossible for the kids to win. Soon after Karkat confirms this, it begins.
Rampage[edit | edit source]
Jack Noir then proceeds to promptly flip the fuck out.
After killing the Black King, Jack begins a rampage on the Battlefield, indiscriminately slaughtering both members of the black and white army and devastating Skaia using the destructive power of the Black Ring. He leaves only the Warweary Villein standing for reasons that are unclear.
Afterward, the Courtyard Droll hands him the White King's scepter. He uses it to initiate the Reckoning, and heads to Prospit. After littering the streets with Prospitian corpses and destroying parts of the planet, he severs the chain that holds together Prospit and its moon, the latter of which then falls out of orbit and collides with the Battlefield, while the main planet drifts off, in shambles.
After Dream Jade is killed by the impact of the moon and John reads her letter, Jack appears in front of him brandishing the sword in his midriff, seeking the White Queen's ring. However, before he can kill Dream John and retrieve his prize, he is stopped in his tracks by the same bunny that he had killed the Black Queen with, and recently relinquished to the Parcel Mistress upon the fulfillment of their deal. Daunted by the bunny's raw power, he flees. Later still, he engages in a sword fight with Bro on top of the Beat Mesa in the Land of Heat and Clockwork, for unknown reasons and at an unknown point in time. Surprisingly, his fighting skills are matched by Bro's, proving that guardians are significantly more capable than previously thought.
He then finds Bro in the Land of Wind and Shade and returns his sword, presumably so that they may finish their battle. This time Bro unleashes a repaired Lil Cal and Davesprite enters the fray. An irritated Jack sets the oil rivers of LOWAS on fire, possibly out of anger at being denied a fair duel.
During the fight, Jade's kernelsprite is prototyped with Becquerel, shortly prior to her entry to the Medium. This effectively granted Noir first guardian status, or at least abilities, in addition to the power that the Black Ring provided—which, even before, was already capable of wrecking planets.
The fight is quickly turned around; shortly after his transformation, he kills Bro and wounds Davesprite. Bro is impaled with his own sword, pinning his lifeless chest to the platform, comparable to Jack's own prototyping, while Davesprite seemingly absconds into his pendant.
He proceeds to fly to John's Quest Bed, and kills him in his sleep (unknowingly causing him to ascend into a god tier player) – perhaps as revenge for his earlier encounter with him, even though the only injuries he could have sustained would be to his pride.
He eventually makes his way back to Skaia and finds Dad and Mom in a castle. He proceeds to kill them while John is somewhere drilling into the planet to find The Tumor. He then goes on a trophy binge, taking and wearing the guardians' and Lil Cal's Accessories. However, he ultimately decides to only keep Cal, whom he refers to as his “only friend”, and throws the other guardians' accessories to the ground. He then goes through the castle where he killed Mom and Dad, and kills all the inhabitants, also destroying many parts of the castle, including banners that represent the kids (except for Jade). He returns to the roof and is confronted by John and Rose. Before a battle can begin, Jack backstabs John, and after a brief scuffle, kills Rose as well. John comes back to life thanks to his god tier status, while Rose is left with her dream self.
After killing Rose, and before John is revived, Courtyard Droll contacts him to relay the information that the wallet containing The Tumor had been stolen and was in his possession (the Bunny had actually stolen it out of the wallet beforehand). Jack expresses rage that the Courtyard Droll had not killed Jade as he'd instructed, teleports to the ship that WV? was piloting en route to Derse's Moon, and destroys it. Part of it flies into a gate and ends up on Earth, marking the beginning of WV's exile.
Some time shortly after, he heads to the Land of Frost and Frogs and interrupts Jade and Dave in their frog-collecting for yet another battle. While he can't bring himself to attack Jade and Dave is shown to be able to use her as a shield, he successfully kills Dave, requiring Jade to kiss him to awaken his dream self.
After that point, Jack follows Jade out of the loyalty he inherited from Bec's prototyping, unable to bring himself to harm her. On Kanaya's advice, Jade goes to seek Echidna's counsel pertaining to the final frog she needs to create Bilious Slick. According to Jade, Jack was acting out the whole time, growling at Echidna and destroying some of her statues. As Jade returns to her house, Jack also tries killing some of the frogs Jade collected, leading her to whack him on the head with a newspaper to keep him in line.
He then witnesses Jade being killed by the Courtyard Droll, and proceeds to kill CD. Following this, he carries Jade's body to her Quest Bed. Afterwards, he enters a Lotus Time Capsule - exiting in 2422, a few seconds after the Writ Keeper did. He then kills every exile save PM and severely injures WV punching through the stomach section of his carapace, and takes the uranium from WV's stomach to power a transportaliser to the troll session.
Rampage (troll session)[edit | edit source]
Jack later (from his point of view) ends up in the trolls' Incipisphere. He arrives just after the Black King was defeated and destroys the trolls' end-game door, at which point he slaughters Aradia's clones from doomed timelines. He appears to have blood on his arm after arriving in the session, which we now know is from reaching into WV and pulling out the uranium ore lodged in his stomach. He attacks one Aradiabot with Cal, at which point she time travels to hitch a ride on a meteor back to Alternia in the past.
Within the troll session, he first blows up the trolls' planets one by one. Upon reaching Prospit he slices Tavros's dream self in half and proceeds to kill Dream Karkat by destroying Prospit's moon, as well as Kanaya's dream self, and presumably all the other Prospitian dream selves. Almost two hours after this he appears at Derse, slaughtering Feferi and Nepeta and blowing up the planet, before an unexpectedly revived god tier Aradia freezes him in place. When Aradia finally unfreezes Jack, she uses his body as a portal to the Green Sun, leaving a very confused Jack.
Later, Jack returns to the site of the trolls' endgame door. In an alternate timeline, Vriska Serket meets him there wanting to challenge him, but Jack ignores her and follows her pixie trail to the meteor in The Veil that the trolls were hiding in. He rapidly destroys it with the Green Miles, returning to Vriska with the bodies of Karkat and Terezi as trophies (leaving the other remaining trolls' fates ambiguous). He accepts Vriska's challenge for a duel, and Doc Scratch comments that he would be challenged by the duel, but he could not determine the outcome. This doomed timeline was seen by Terezi, and forced her to stab Vriska before she could leave to prevent it from happening.
Finally, Jack returns to Skaia and decides to destroy the very thing he hates the most: the trolls' Bilious Slick resting in the center of it. He uses Red Miles on it. In the Exile's future on Earth, the Peregrine Mendicant sees the Red Miles ripping through the night sky. Soon, he destroys Bilious Slick, leaving nothing but an arm. He then is confronted by the Peregrine Mendicant, who has been fully prototyped.
Flight through the Furthest Ring[edit | edit source]
Jack, confronted by PM, expresses either surprise or fear for the first time, as well as a degree of red emotions. He flees from the encounter and chases the trolls' meteor through the Furthest Ring for the next three years while PM tails him. They occasionally cross swords, but are shown to be evenly matched.
About two years into the chase, the two witness a vast crack in reality caused by Lord English destroying a dream bubble. They are surrounded by injured horrorterrors, but it's unclear whether it was English's doing, or Jack's, (or PM's, or both).
They briefly ponder the crack in seeming alarm, but PM quickly returns to chasing Jack. Jack, seeking a place to rest, enters a dream bubble that contains his memory of WV's massacred army on the B1 Skaian Battlefield and a grimdark Rose Lalonde descending upon the Skaian castle. He eventually reaches the top of the tower and finds memory corpses of Mom, Dad, John and Rose along with a vision of the destroyed Bilious Slick and A2 Skaia that he left behind. He finds the Pop-a-matic Vrillyhoo Hammer in a chest. The blood around John's body disappears. John then opens his eyes, having merged with Jack's dream projection of him, and attacks Jack with a gust of wind, causing him to let go of the hammer. John then attacks with the hammer, forcing Jack to parry. The sword is knocked out of Jack's hand, and without the use of his first guardian powers (due to being out of the Green Sun's domain,) he must manually retrieve it, holding John back/choking him with his tentacles. He then stabs John through the chest (for the third time). Demonstrating previously unseen powers, John dissolves into wind and re-forms behind Jack. Just as John is about to hit Jack with the hammer, Rose appears. Her presence confuses Jack, who believed both her and John to be dead. Rose then wonks (sic) and disappears, revealing that she was a 'distaction' [sic]. John hits Jack in the head with a '8ONK', dealing damage, and the version of the Fluorite Octet within the hammer rolls a Ridiculous Hat as a result of the attack. The hat it gives to Jack is the Bunny Sassacre Fedora that John once made. Jack becomes furious at John.
As Jack is about to retaliate, he sees PM, facepaws x1 and absconds, possibly in shame. The two carapacians leave the bubble, and the hat blows off from the acceleration, falling back into the bubble. A year later he is seen following the trolls' meteor into the B2 Incisisphere. PM then begins following him once more.
In the pre-retcon timeline, PM and Bec arrive on LOFAF shortly after Jade is killed. Loyal to her because of Becquerel's prototyping in their rings, Bec picks her up and they refuse to give up her body to Dave and Jane, dodging Jane's attempt to revive her with Life powers. In an attempt to distract them into dropping Jade, Jane Gcat. However, PM and Bec take Jade with them when chasing after GCat, who runs off into the forest around the volcano. Dave flies after them to return Jade's body for Jane to revive.
PM and Bec fly to Jade's Quest Bed, and there battle Dave for her body. He fights for a while, but is ultimately killed by them, impaled from the front by PM and the back by Bec, resulting in a heroic death.
Defeat[edit | edit source]
In the post-retcon timeline, the two arrive in the ruins of Prospit. In Collide they begin to fight, until they are interrupted by Jade, who attempts to stop the fight. Jack does not act, but PM's hatred for Jack is enough to overpower her loyalty to Jade. She punches Jade and begins to fight Jack again. He continues to fight back, but PM lands a blow severing his ring arm, removing his prototyping. PM punches him to the ground, next to Jade. After Collide, a panel shows Ms. Paint putting cloth from her dress on his arm to stop the bleeding.
In the MSPA Snapchat snaps, Noir is seen now as the new leader of the Felt. With the purpose of going to the new universe he and the Felt are seen preparing Biscuits's oven with some rockets to make it fly to Earth C's moon from the victory platform. One of the rockets exploded though causing the oven to fall to the moon with Jack ridding it on top. The last time he is seen is being captured and presumably hypnotized (due to the red markings in his eyes) by Jane with a Crockercorp collar device using the ripped cloth of Ms. Paint as a leash causing his arm to bleed again.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Jack has no tolerance for things he doesn't want to do. His vicious demeanor, sarcastic nature and nasty attitude are readily apparent, and he exhibits a lack of concern for life that isn't his own. He has a propensity for shirking his royal duties in order to make deals of every sort: he sends the Parcel Mistress on a half-assed assassination mission, and closes a deal with Karkat hinging on a single moment of friendship between them. Jack sarcastically refers to the Black Queen as a wise and just ruler, but stews in his own resentment. He hated the Harlequin motif in which he was forced to dress, doing so only under the direct order of the Black Queen. He tried to draw the line at his stupid hat, but to no avail. When John's Dad went out of his way to destroy it, Jack released him out of gratitude.
After his fourth prototyping, he seems content on flying around the Incipisphere and killing at random. How much of this is part of a plan and how much is pointless destruction is anyone's guess, though he does adopt a policy of killing more ruthlessly and efficiently in the troll session, as he was tricked into leaving the kids' session.
Despite his bad behavior, Jack seems to have some sense of honor - even at times when it would seem at odds with what would be most intelligent. He immediately gives up Jade's package to PM upon the fulfillment of his bargain when he could have easily kept it and killed her, and spends some time off his rampage having epic fights with Bro, even returning Bro's sword to him at one point so that they could continue their duel. Jack also allowed Vriska to duel him, but only after destroying the trolls' hideout in the Veil.
Because of the traits he received from Becquerel, he has intense feelings of loyalty towards Jade which were strong enough to prevent him from killing her as she slept upon entering the Medium. While ransacking a castle on the Battlefield, they prevented Jack from even so much as tearing down a banner depicting her symbol. During his fight against Dave and Jade, his feelings allowed Dave to use the risky Auto-Harley move, using Jade as a shield which Jack could not attack. He himself viewed this loyalty as somewhat of a weakness and ordered the Courtyard Droll to kill her. Even though he himself had ordered it, when the Courtyard Droll finally did so Jack was overcome with grief and rage at Jade's death and killed him. Along with this, his prototyping with Becquerel gave him an uncontrollable love of Snausages.
Jack also has a tendency to really get on other people's nerves, causing them to retaliate with physical violence, often smashing him in the face with a large object, as didand .
Softer sides of Jack's personnality appeared, however, following PM's prototyping, firstly by showcasing blatant feelings of fear in Cascade and flushed feelings in retaliation to PM's caliginous feelings. Jack fled from her wrath without once putting a fight during three whole years and even, after those, ended up collaborating with PM, attempting to bring Jade back from the dead in the GAME OVER timeline. In the retconned timeline, it was finally shown in Collide that, although he finally fought back against PM, Jack still harbored great fear towards her, and contemplated with horror and displeasure as his remaining arm as Bec Noir got chopped off. He is last seen accepting the aid of Ms. Paint, with whom his alternate universe self, Spades Slick, was romantically involved, hinting at possible similar feelings.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Jack's prototyping with Becquerel brings some physical similarities to Anubis, Egyptian god of the dead, represented as a humanoid figure with the head of a jackal. Therefore, Jack could be called Jackal Noir (ba-dum-tish!).
- And on the subject of Jack's similarities to various mythological beings and gods, he also has elements from the three-legged crow (the Yatagarasu, Sanzuwu or Samjok-o in Japanese, Chinese and Korean mythology respectively) found in various mythologies and arts of the Eastern Hemisphere, said to personify the sun.
- When Karkat explains to John how he and the other kids messed up their session, he says that they were dumb enough to entrust Jack with the Queen's Ring, which allowed him to gain the powers he now has. Karkat almost did this himself, but their Jack was exiled. This is because every instance of Jack Noir tries to obtain the ring, and he is supposed to be exiled or killed to prevent this.
- Taking into account how the Black Queen's ring finger was slashed off, the burnt remnants of the carapacian ruler on the ground and the status of the fenestrated wall behind where the queen was standing, it can be inferred that Jack may have used a combination of the Royal Deringer and Ahab's Crosshairs within the bunny's box to kill her.
- Andrew Hussie has stated that Jack's prototypings were always meant to be a sort of "anti-Sepulchritude", with regards to the wings and the sword and the occasional green glow. This reference is reinforced by the fact that right before Jack steals the ring, he is seen writing with the Tectrix of the Arbitor and the Ink of Squid Pro Quo, the two items required to perform Sepulchritude.
- Jack's name was suggested by Godbot.
- In all sessions, Jack is the only agent whose initials are not consistent across his timeline (unlike PM, WV, etc.) While he is still known as Jack Noir after ascending, he styles himself as the Sovereign Slayer, bringing him into line with his troll session counterpart, who went by Scurrilous Straggler when exiled, and later Spades Slick. This is due to the fact that, unlike the other agents and exiles, we know Jack's "true name" as opposed to his descriptive title.
- Interestingly, in Cascade the respective Jacks of both the trolls' and the pre-scratch kids' universes ultimately destroyed their respective universes.
- Jack's relationship with the Black Queen is foreshadowed as a series of pink spades flow down the back of the page.
- It is unknown why he killed John on his Quest Bed. His actions in Cascade and status as a game NPC suggest that he knew it would bring John back to life. It is possible however, that he only learned about the properties of Quest Beds as a result of John's revival, thus leading to his later actions in Cascade.
- On the tears of Harlequin clothes around his neck, the Spades symbol is on a cloth, representing Spades Slick. This is similar to DD,CD, and HB.
- Spades Slick is the "King of Wands" in the Homestuck Tarot card deck. The card often refers to a leader (He is depicted leading the rest of the Midnight Crew on the card), though inverted it refers to a Tyrant (Bec Noir).
- Ironically, Wands are the Tarot card equivalent of the Clubs suit. Whereas Spades has it's origins in the Tarot's Sword suit.
- Bec Noir can be seen with 2 arms in an opening shot of [S]Collide even though he normally has 1 arm while wearing his ring.
- Jack Noirs rise to power, jester outfit, and plotting against royalty bears a striking similarity to Kefka Palazzo from Final Fantasy 6.
- B1 Jack Noir's rise to power and usurpation of the Black Queen and Black King may be a reference to the card game Euchre, where a Jack is normally ranked below a King or Queen, but will temporarily become the highest-ranked card in the game when its suit is trump.