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Khalil Payne was a promising track star at Garfield High School, on his way towards an athletic scholarship before he got shot during a peaceful protest.

Facing the prospect of life in a wheelchair, Khalil lashed out, blaming his girlfriend Jennifer Pierce, and her father, Garfield High Principal Jefferson Pierce. This brought him to the attention of Tobias Whale, who suspected that the Pierces were somehow tied to his nemesis Black Lightning. Whale offered Khalil the chance to walk again in exchange for Khalil becoming part of the 100. Khalil agreed.

Khalil was sent out to California for radical treatment. A device was implanted in his spine that enabled the bones to regenerate, restoring his ability to walk and enhancing his strength and speed. The treatment also caused his body to produce a potent neurotoxin that caused paralysis in others. Whale outfitted Khalil with gauntlets to absorb the poison and pump it into darts.

After returning to Freeland, Khalil accompanied Whale and Syonide during their attack on Garfield High, where they intended to draw out Black Lightning in order to hand him over to the ASA. In the ensuing fight, Khalil fired a dart square into Black Lightning's chest, stopping his heart. Fearing that they would be unable to deliver Black Lightning alive, and unprepared to fight Thunder, the trio retreated.

Unable to get the ASA off of their backs by delivering Black Lightning to them, Whale elected to destroy the organization instead, and together, he, Syonide, and Khalil, now christened "Painkiller", attacked the ASA headquarters and captured one of their high-level operatives.

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  • Cybernetic Enhancement
    • Superhuman Strength After being enhanced by Tobias Whale, Khalil has above-human strength but, after this was further enhanced by the A.S.A.
    • Infection His body produces a potent neurotoxin that causes instant paralysis.
    • Super-Leaping
    • Superhuman Durability
    • Superhuman Stamina
    • Accelerated Healing
    • Toxic Immunity
    • Toxikinesis: 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. Since becoming in control of Painkiller, Khalil had the poison gland in his body that naturally produces the venom switched with another type of antibiotic which can allow him to administer certain amounts to heal others from the lethal effects.


  • Martial Arts
  • Acrobatics
  • Artistry: 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.
  • Enhanced Intellect: 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.
  • Firearms
  • Stick Fighting
  • Swordsmanship

Other Characteristics



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Black Lightning Villain(s)
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This character is or was primarily an enemy of Black Lightning in any of his various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Black Lightning villains category."