Khalil Payne (2001[1]-2019[2]), also known as Painkiller,[3] was a former student at Garfield High School who briefly joined The 100 as an enforcer. Khalil was also the son of Kito and Nichelle Payne, the younger brother of the late Keenan Payne, and the boyfriend of Jennifer Pierce.


Early life

Khalil was born in Freeland on 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 drug 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 were too shy to confess their feelings. Khalil also became an 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]


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

Khalil punches Black Lightning

Painkiller punches Black Lightning.

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. 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 did not managed 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 he 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 thougts about his decisions to join Tobias, attack his former friends at school, abandoning his old life and, especially, Jennifer, wich he began to text and voice call regularly despite the latter refused to answer.[10]

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Khalil plays chess with Tobias.

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 gave 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 enought 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 an 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 administrated 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]


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.[2]

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.[18]

Powers and abilities

Former powers

Khalil's spinal implant

Khalil's spinal implant.

  • Spinal Implant Enhancement: Due to Khalil getting a spinal implant and becoming a cyborg, his physical abilities has been greatly enhanced and, despite to his own ammission at first it was extremely painful, in the end resulted in the development of many meta-human powers of artificial nature.[8] After having his spinal implant removed he lost all of his powers.[17]
    • 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]
      • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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 property, instantaneously curing him.[4]
      • 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]
    • 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]


  • 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 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.[2]
  • Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: During his fight with Tobias Whale, Khalil was able to hold his own for a brief time, before he was ultimately defeated.[14] He proved to be expert enough to defeat multiple aggressor at once almost without effort as well as hold his own against the highly trained mercenary Giselle Cutter.[16]


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]


Season 1

Season 2


  • 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 return as Painkiller he sports a hint of unkempt beard and dreadlocks; wich he explained is due to some hormones who 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.


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