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"At some point, death comes for us all. And when that time comes, though we yearn for love, all we're left with is pain. A person will do more to avoid pain than to achieve anything else in this world. Knowing this, the greatest gift that anyone could ever give is to take that pain away. Lucky for you, they call me Painkiller."
—Khalil Payne[src]

Khalil Payne (born March 25, 2001[1][2]), also known as Painkiller,[3] is a former student at Garfield High School who briefly joined The 100 as an enforcer before being killed and resurrected by the A.S.A. to be used as a living weapon. Khalil is also the son of Kito Payne and the late Nichelle Payne, the younger brother of the late Keenan Payne, and the ex-boyfriend of Jennifer Pierce.

Biography

Original multiverse

Early life

Khalil was born in Freeland on March 25, 2001[1] to Kito and Nichelle Payne. He had an older brother, Keenan.[4] When he was a child his father was sent to jail for possession and trafficking of drugs and unregistered weapons, as well as aggression and resistance to arrest,[4] forcing his mother to work overly hard to provide for him and his brother.[1] This led Keenan to become a petty criminal and sell drugs for The 100 until he was shot and killed during his job, at the age of fifteen, as a result for a gang struggle.[4]

Growing up, Khalil went on to attend Garfield High School, where he met and became a close friend of Jennifer Pierce. Eventually the two teens developed a mutual crush, despite both of them being too shy to confess their feelings. Khalil also became a high school track star hailing to go to college and, eventually, the Olympics.[1][5]

Starting a relationship with Jen

Khalil and Jen's first kiss

Khalil and Jen's first kiss.

After she was kidnapped, taken to the Seahorse Motel and rescued by Black Lightning, a worried Khalil video called Jen, asking her if she was alright and expressing how he missed her. That night, he came over, before confessing his feelings and shyly asking her to be his girlfriend, which she accepted. The following day, Khalil went to the gym at school to work out. He was joined by Jennifer, who he realized was drinking alcohol at school, throwing it in the bin. He admitted to having had bad experiences just like Jennifer, but explained how he'd persevered through without sinking low.[1]

Khalil is shot at the march

Khalil is shot at the march.

Khalil planned to lose his virginity to Jennifer over the weekend, with Jefferson threatening Khalil at school to use protection, using Khalil's method of showering as an allegory. Khalil attended Reverend Holt's march into The 100 territory, while Black Lightning prevented three assassins from committing a mass shooting. Tobias Whale, however, had his henchwoman shoot Jeremiah with a sniper rifle, with the bullet striking Khalil's spine as the bullet passed into him via Jeremiah. Khalil was rushed to the hospital, where his chances of walking again were low.[5]

Paraplegic

Khalil meets Tobias

Khalil meets Tobias.

Following the accident, Khalil began rehabilitation, trying to work his legs again. Some nurses discussed privately how it was of no use, but he overheard, much to the anger of Jennifer. She later returned before school, much to his surprise, and told him of how she'd quit the track team, a fact that seemed to disappoint him. The following day, along with Jennifer, his mother and Jefferson Pierce joined him. Jefferson revealed the doctor's diagnosis, that he would never walk again. That night, Khalil was visited by Tobias Whale, who had been sending him presents, assuring him that his paraplegia was due to Black Lightning.[6]

Jefferson discovered that Khalil had posted a GIF on social media, insulting Jennifer as a sell-out under the insulting name "Becky". She visited Khalil to clear the air, who was bitter, blaming Jennifer for his paralysis and having everything taken from him despite living a good, clean life. Later that night, Khalil rode in a car with Tobias and Syonide as they assured Khalil that he would walk again and find his true strength.[7]

Becoming Painkiller

Martin Proctor finished the experiment which implanted Khalil with a makeshift metal spinal cord, giving him the ability to walk again while Tobias recovered from his injuries during the Black Lightning fight. Jefferson talked to Khalil, stunned to see him walking again and tried to question him about the procedure. Khalil responded angrily and accused Jefferson of not caring about him anymore after his paralysis since he was no longer a star athlete and him being the reason Jennifer stopped coming around. Khalil tried to get back together with Jennifer but reacted in anger with her when she also questioned him about the procedure.
Khalil punches Black Lightning

Painkiller punches Black Lightning.

Under the orders of Tobias in an attempt to lure Black Lightning out, Khalil attacked Garfield High School and hit several students with needles filled with an anesthetic. Khalil shot Black Lightning in the neck with this and delivered a crushing blow to Black Lightning, which stopped his heart. Tobias and Khalil attempt to unmask him but they are stopped by Thunder before being able to do so.[3]
Tobias, Khalil and Syonide breach the A.S.A. headquarters

Tobias, Khalil and Syonide breach the A.S.A. headquarters.

As Tobias came to know, Martin Proctor survived the assassination attempt set up by him implanting a bomb in the Tattooed Man, he breached the A.S.A. headquarters along with Khalil and Syonide. Despite the trio not managing to kill Proctor they retrieved his briefcase and, with the man subsequent death at the hands of Peter Gambi, Tobias became the most powerful person in Freeland.[8]

Some time after that, Khalil visited his mother and gave her some money and a burner phone in order to contact him if needed, then he went in hiding with Tobias and Syonide.[9]

Regrets for his actions

Over time, Khalil started having second thoughts about his decisions to join Tobias, attack his former friends at school, abandoning his old life and, especially, Jennifer, which he began to text and voice call regularly despite the latter refusing to answer.[10]

The night Syonide was killed by Kara Fowdy, Painkiller was supposed to keep an eye on her and back her up, but he got distracted and so Tobias started to accusing him for Syonide's death. Later that night, Khalil visited Jennifer approaching her room's window but the girl, upset and angered, pushed him off the roof. Having survived to the fall unfazed, Khalil came back to Jen telling her he was sorry for everything he has done and simply wanted someone to talk with; feeling lonely in turn after her parents decision to forbid her to go back to school, Jen reluctantly accept and the two began to chat via message again, while their feelings began to resurface.[11]

Tobias sent Painkiller to collect protection money from 100 member Rion, but the man took him hilariously and refused to give them to Painkiller, that was then forced to defeat his men and, in order to prevent Rion's escape, shooting him with one of his poisonous dart, paralyzing him and inadvertently making him fall from a balcony and die; a fact that deeply upset Khalil. Later, while looking for ways to get to Tobias Whale, Black Lightning confronted Khalil's mother and convinced her to call him with the burner phone he gave her to arrange a meeting between the two of them but, while the superhero tried to reason with him, Painkiller simply told him never to call him again and to stay away from his mother.[9]

Tobias returns to Club 100

Painkiller at Tobias' side as he returns to Club 100.

After she had a dream about fighting Painkiller, Jen met with Khalil at Garfield and they both open un about their fears, getting even more close to each others. That night, after Tobias is released from police custody, and all the accuses on him were dropped, Painkiller is shown at his side while he celebrated at Club 100.[12] A few days later, while they were having dinner together, Tobias told Painkiller that he now considered him the only family he has left, but that he would have killed him "out of piety" if he has proven not to be strong enough to "survive the world".[13]

Betraying Tobias

Khalil fights Tobias

Khalil fights Tobias.

Tobias sent Painkiller to take out Reverend Holt, though the latter doesn't go through with it. Tobias also revealed to Khalil that he was the one responsible to the accident who paralyzed him instead of Black Lightning as he had always let the young man believe. Nevertheless, of all this, Khalil tried to execute his order but, as he faced the Reverend, who reminded to him what kind of person he was once, stating that Khalil's not a killer, Painkiller hesitate and instead told him to leave the city, which the Reverend refused. Khalil went to visit Jennifer, suggesting that could be their last meeting to which she started to worry. Later that night Painkiller told Tobias that he didn't killed the Reverend and has no intention to do it, so they started a fight resulting in Tobias managing to overpower him stating that Khalil was stronger than he believed and for this he would grant him a second chance to kill his target.[14]

Jennifer shows her powers to Khalil

Jennifer shows her powers to Khalil.

Jennifer contacted Khalil in order to know if he was alright and, after having learned that Tobias has ordered him an homicide, suggested him to think at a solution for his problems instead of surrender and let himself go; so Khalil came back to the Reverend and once again told him to leave Freeland gaining the same result of the night before. Meanwhile, Tobias found out that he still hadn't completed his mission and approached him outside the church offering him "a ride" in his limo, which caused Khalil to run away and call Jennifer to say her goodbye. However the girl came to him and caused a power outage in the alley where he was pursued by Tobia's men, helping him escape, saving his life and revealing her abilities to him. The two began to talk and Jennifer revealed that he's the only person who can understand her situation of being a "freak" to whom he answered that she is not, prompting her to say that she neither believed his powers to be monstrosity. Accepting each other for what they really are, Khalil and Jen share an electrified kiss and, later, escape from Freeland on a car.[15]

Becoming a fugitive

Khalil fights Cutter

Khalil fights Cutter.

Knowing they need money, Jennifer and Khalil stopped at Club 100, where the latter tried to bluff Romel into handing over money. However, Tobias has posted a bounty on Khalil's head and they attack him, forcing him to defend himself. Hearing the commotion Jen helped Khalil although she was angry with him for trying to steal the money. Later that night, they took refuge at Khalil's aunt Yvette's home, where the girl make a phone call in order to inform her family that she was okay and cut off Khalil's dreadlocks to better disguise him, becoming suspicious when she found a small lump on the back of his head. After a mercenary hired by Tobias, Giselle Cutter, arrived at Yvette's door pretending to be an officer, he and Jan stay hidden until the woman attacked Yvette, forcing Khalil to knock out his aunt and start fighting the mercenary while Jen dragged Yvette to safety. After Cutter managed to overpower Khalil and prepared to kill him, Black Lightning and Thunder arrived and, in the ensuring fight with the mercenary, Jennifer and Khalil escaped. Gambi tried to track them down with a drone but the girl used her powers to short it out. Later, the couple of fugitives realized that the lump in Khalil's head was a tracker and Jen used her power to short it out.[16]

Jennifer tends Khalil's wounds

Jennifer at Khalil's side during his fever.

Due to a wound he received during his fight with Cutter, Khalil's health started to decline, so he and Jennifer were forced to hide out in a barn. Jennifer sneaked into a hospital and used her abilities to get access to some medicine, unaware that Cutter was following her. Despite receiving the medicines Khalil is unable to heal due to Cutter's special anti-meta-humans venom. Later, as Cutter located them, Jen subdued her and forces her to give her the antidote, so she administered it to Khalil. After he regained consciousness, Khalil and Jennifer declared their love for one another and escaped together stating that after all they've been through they shouldn't fear anything anymore.[4]

Getting captured

Tobias rips out Khalil's spine

Tobias rips out Khalil's spine.

Khalil and Jennifer eventually make their way to Khalil's hideout, which is an abandoned subway. After Lynn Stewart found the hideout and pleaded for Jennifer to come home, Khalil apologized for getting Jennifer into this mess and tells her she needs to go home. Though the family accepted Khalil's apology, Jefferson wanted Khalil to turn himself in, realizing Khalil is an asset to finally put Tobias away. The caravan is attacked by Cutter who delivered Khalil back to Tobias. In revenge for his actions, Tobias brutally rips out Khalil's spinal implant, leaving him once again paralyzed and dropped off the injured Khalil outside of Jeremiah Holt's church as a threat for Holt's compliance.[17]

Death

Khalil dies

Khalil dies.

In the hospital, a mortally wounded Khalil made Jefferson promise to make Tobias suffer and provided him with all the information to bring Tobias down, including his hideout. Jennifer and Lynn attempted to save Khalil by placing him in stasis inside of a pod but his condition had become too severe. In his final moments, he remained inside of Jennifer's "safe place" designed to look like prom.[18]

Khalil's body, along with Wendy Hernandez and Issa Williams, are seen inside of pods being overlooked by Odell, likely to be used as soldiers in the war against Markovia.[19]

Brainwashed and the rise of the new Painkiller

Khali has been used to eliminate targets in Freeland under the orders from the A.S.A. T.C., with the assistance of Jennifer, managed to seal the Painkiller protocol behind a firewall, allowing Khalil to regain control of his body though he was horrified to learn he was used as a weapon and even killed Nichelle while under the A.S.A.'s control.

Anti-Monitor Crisis

During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Khalil as well as everyone in the multiverse except for the seven Paragons, was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019,[20] only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe.[21]

New multiverse

Khalil participated as a member of Jefferson's team to retrieve Lynn and Tobias from Markovian captivity though he was bested in hand-to-hand combat with Gravedigger. After the fight with the markovians he takes down painkiller and gets revenge on Agent Odell for brainwashing him and making his own kill his mother by shooting him in the spleen and leaves Freeland.


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Powers and abilities

Powers

Khalil's spinal implant

Khalil's spinal implant.

  • Cybernetic enhancement/Meta-human physiology: Due to Khalil getting a spinal implant and becoming a cyborg, his physical abilities has been greatly enhanced and resulted in the development of many meta-human powers of artificial nature.[8] When his spinal implant was forcibly removed by Tobias Whale, this left Khalil dead.[17] After being resurrected by the A.S.A., he was given a replacement bionic surrogate; one which is entirely under his skin, unlike the old one. According to Khalil, it works perfectly, and as a result he is now considered a biological weapons system.
    • Superhuman strength: Khalil's physical strength has been increased as he threw another student through the hallway into a glass montra easily.[3][8] As well as to lift a grown man with a single hand without effort,[9] hit Tobias Whale with enough strength to make him bleed[14] and destroy a wooden table with his bare hands.[16] He was able to kill a grown man with a single, well-placed punch to the chest after his resurrection.
      • Superhuman jumping/leaping: Khalil's strength also extends to his legs, increasing his leaping capabilities as he leapt easily from one floor to the next one in Garfield High School[3] as well as on the Pierce house's rooftop.[11] Following his resurrection, Khalil was capable to perform several backflips in mid air without using his hands during his battle with Gravedigger.
    • Superhuman durability: The spinal implant also increased his body's resilience; this has allowed Khalil, on multiple occasions, to leap down from the second floor of the Jefferson household and land without any discomfort. He was also able to trade blows with the physically enhanced Tobias Whale, and was able to match him for a while before being overpowered by him. After his resurrection this ability was enhanced to the point he could withstand several concussive bows from Blackbird remaining completely unfazed, However he can still be hurt with certain pressure points, as shown when he restrained Anissa, she managed to strike him in his throat, causing him immense pain.
    • Superhuman stamina: Khalil's enhancement also has made him far more resilient and durable than a normal human, as he can fall from a rooftop without injury himself or get any damage at all.[11] As well as being pushed against a fish tank and break it without getting hurt.[14] Following his resurrection this ability was augmented to the point that he can be lifted from and thrown for several feet by an individual with super-strength, landing on his back on the ground without reporting any damage and rising again in a few seconds.
    • Superhuman dexterity: Another side effect of the spinal implant he received was that it enhanced his entire nervous system. Khalil's dexterity has been enhanced to superhuman levels as he was able to accurately and precisely throw several needles directly in the necks of several students, and even Black Lightning.[3][8] Since his resurrection, his dexterity has reached even higher levels, with Khalil's movements being so controlled and precise that he always hits his mark and has yet to be defeated in combat.
    • Paralytic venom touch: After coming back from the dead and subjected into the A.S.A., Khalil can now poison others with his hands, as shown when he killed his mother, Nichelle; when he wrapped his hand around her throat to strangle her, dark blue-black veins began to develop on her skin where his palms made contact. It was later revealed after he killed Tavon Singley and nearly killed Anissa Pierce that this poison in his touch is actually the paralytic venom that was inadvertently created as a byproduct of his previous spinal implant, which he used to have to extract and put into darts prior to his resurrection. However, since being reborn as an A.S.A operative, the venom is now approximately ten times more powerful, according to Peter Gambi's research, and he can inflict it upon someone through direct contact with his hands; according to Khalil himself, he can control the amount of venom that he releases and how quickly it affects his victims.
    • Accelerated healing factor: Khalil seems to be able to heal his wounds at an accelerated rate[15] and it was implied by Jen that, usually, the byproduct of his spinal implant has healing properties, instantaneously curing him.[4] After his resurrection he demonstrated to be able to be fully operative in few hours after having been in a pre-death state.
      • Toxic immunity: Khalil has some sort of immunity to toxins as even Cutter's anti-meta-humans venom took hours to have an effect on him,[4] as well as being completely immune to the powerful poison that flows through his veins after he was resurrected.
      • Inception immunity: Khalil's cybernetic enhancements make him immune to telepathic attacks. When facing Gravedigger, his power to command obedience in others was useless.

Former powers

  • Paralytic venom: The spinal implant that cured Khalil's paralysis also created a byproduct similar to paralyzing snake venom.[8] He can use this venom extracted from his body to paralyze his foes. But he requires a tool to deliver that poison into his victim's body.[3]

Abilities

"God gave me a gift. I can run fast."
—Khalil Payne to Jennifer Pierce[src]
  • Peak of human physical condition: Even before his enhancement, Khalil possesses impressive athletic prowess and was credited as a stand out scholar-athlete that could have had the possibility to get to the Olympics. He also has an extraordinary high-level tolerance of pain, as he was able to withstand being burned by Tobias Whale,[9] electrocuted in the neck[16] and even survive for hours after his spine was brutally ripped out.[18]
    • Acrobatics/Free-running: Khalil has developed free-running skills and could drop from a height of several feet without injuring himself. His skills allow him to fluidly dodge and attack from different directions without losing balance.
"I've mastered 23 different martial arts."
—Khalil Payne[src]
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Even before his resurrection by the A.S.A., Khalil was a skilled combatant due to his enhanced physical attributes. During his fight with Tobias Whale, he was able to hold his own for a brief time, before he was ultimately defeated.[14] He proved to be skilled enough to defeat multiple aggressors at once almost without effort as well as hold his own against the highly trained mercenary Giselle Cutter.[16] After his resurrection, Khalil was able to fight Anissa Pierce on equal footing, nearly besting her in their first encounter. Khalil has noted that he has now mastered over 23 different martial arts, including Wing Chun, Aikido, Kali, Wrestling, Western Boxing, Judo, Taekwondo, Jujitsu, Muay Thai, Silat, Kyusho-Jitsu, and 12 others.
    • Expert swordsman: After having a Bio Implant put in him, Khalil is a highly skilled swordsman as shown when he versed Painkiller in his head.[22]
  • Skilled marksman: Khalil is proficient in handling firearms, and can shoot down multiple armed men.
  • Enhanced intelligence: Due to a chip implanted in Khalil's brain by the A.S.A., Khalil has been given an expert-level understanding of human anatomy, small firearms marksmanship, and military history, as well as the equivalent to a master's degree in classical literature, philosophy, and mathematics.
  • Artist: After trying to deal with the trauma he has had as Painkiller, Peter Gambi recommended he put his mind into art in order to focus his mind on creative pursuits. He ended up giving in and trying it, and drew a very well done sketch of Jennifer from memory.

Weaknesses

  • Bio implant: Because of his condition, if Khalil's bio implant in his brain was destroyed or taken out, it would render him brain dead.[23]
    • Painkiller protocol: The A.S.A. has put a protocol in place in his bio chip in result allows him to take orders from them easily at this point it has been deactivated but if it comes back on it will carry out his previous mission.[24] After fighting for control Khalil has lost to his Painkiller side and has been locked away behind a fire wall in his head.[25] After another fight with Painkiller, Khalil has final taken control of his body.[22]
  • Mind Control: The ASA used mind control through the bio implant to force Khalil to do unspeakable things. It is unknown at this point if the ASA has a way of turning it back on.[23]

Former Weaknesses

  • Power instability: While Khalil can control how much poison he can use, though he cannot control when he uses it like when he woke up and couldn’t touch Jennifer because of this reason.[23] After a while being back Khalil is now able to control his powers.[26]

Equipment

  • Guns: Khalil is proficient in using a wide range of guns.

Former equipment

Painkiller's gauntlets

Painkiller's gauntlets.

  • Poison dart gauntlets: Khalil wears special gauntlets around both of his arms. These gauntlets have special darts he can fire at other people, paralyzing them with venom extracted from the byproduct of his spinal implant. Though it didn't manage to paralyze Black Lightning, it did neutralize his powers to project and absorb electricity.[3]

Appearances

Black Lightning

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3


Trivia

  • Khalil appears to be an atheist, as in "Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder", Khalil states that he did everything right, even having gone to church every Sunday, but after becoming paralyzed, he appears to have lost his faith in God, as he believes that God wouldn't have let something so bad happen to him.
  • When he first appeared Khalil was shaved in both his face and his hair; however, when he returns as Painkiller, he sports a hint of unkempt beard and dreadlocks, which he explained is due to some hormones that was given to him during the procedure to get his spinal implant.[3]
  • Khalil is fond of trains and, as a kid, was a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine.[17]

Behind the scenes

  • Khalil is an adaptation of the Black Lightning comics villain Painkiller, although unlike his character basis Khalil has a known full name, where Painkiller's real name was never revealed.

References

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