Black Knight (Sir Percy)
Black Knight vol. 1, #1 (May 1955). Cover art by Joe Maneely.
|First appearance||Black Knight vol. 1 #1 (May 1955)|
|Created by||Stan Lee and Joe Maneely|
|Alter ego||Sir Percy of Scandia|
|Team affiliations||Knights of the Round Table|
|Abilities||Wields enchanted Ebony Blade|
Marvel Comics' first Black Knight, Sir Percy of Scandia, first appeared in the medieval-adventure series Black Knight vol. 1, #1-5 (May-Dec. 1955) from Atlas Comics, the 1950s precursor to Marvel Comics.
The five-issue series was written by Stan Lee, with art by Joe Maneely in the first three interiors and all five covers. Fred Kida and the team of penciller Syd Shores and inker Christopher Rule drew stories in the latter two issues.
Sir Percy appeared in Mystic Arcana, representing the element of earth.
Fictional character biography
The original Black Knight is Sir Percy of Scandia, a 6th-century knight who serves at the court of King Arthur Pendragon as his greatest warrior and one of the Knights of the Round Table. Recruited by the wizard Merlin, Percy adopts a double identity, and pretends to be totally incompetent until changing into the persona of the Black Knight. As the Black Knight, Percy wields the Ebony Blade, which Merlin forged from a meteorite. A constant foe of the evil knight Mordred the Evil (Arthur's traitorous "nephew") and Morgan le Fay, in time Sir Percy retired his dual identity and married Lady Rosamund.
Percy is eventually killed at Castle Scandia by Mordred during the fall of Camelot when stabbed from behind with an enchanted blade made of the same material as his own Ebony Blade - although Mordred then dies himself of wounds inflicted by Arthur during the Battle of Camlann earlier that day. Merlin ensures that Percy's spirit will live on by casting a spell that will revive his ghost if Mordred should ever return.
Sir Percy was survived by a son, Geoffrey. Lady Rosamund later gave birth to his second son, Edward the Posthumous, who reportedly became ancestor of "a proud lineage". Descendants of Sir Percy adopted the identity of the Black Knight: Sir Raston, active during the late 6th and early 7th century, who eventually became an agent of the time traveler Kang the Conqueror; and Sir Eobar Garrington, a 12th-century knight serving under Richard the Lionheart during the Third Crusade.
Percy's spirit has appeared several times to counsel his descendant, Dane Whitman. He first appeared as a ghost to act as a mentor to Dane, revealing the circumstances of his death, and appeared a number of times subsequently as a ghost, summoned to give advice. Percy was eventually released from the mortal plane by Doctor Strange.
His spirit again appeared to Dane Whitman, revealing how he wed Lady Rosamund. His spirit then took possession of Dane's body. With Doctor Strange, he fought Morgan le Fay and Balor, and was rescued by Valkyrie. He then made Sean Dolan his squire. His spirit then took possession of the Ebony Blade itself.
Powers and abilities
The Black Knight was an athletic man with no superhuman powers. He was a master of swordsmanship, horseback riding, and all forms of combat known in Britain at the time of Camelot. He was also a talented poet, singer, and musician with the lute.
Percy wielded the Ebony Blade, and Merlin's spells rendered the Black Knight invulnerable to physical harm as long as he held the Ebony Blade. However, the spells were ineffective against a weapon made of the same metal as the Ebony Blade. He also wore body armor and a helmet which were similarly rendered impenetrable by Merlin's spells.
- The medieval Black Knight appeared in the "Knights & Demons" episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, scripted by Don Glut. Dane Whitman was also to appear, but was rejected to avoid confusion.
- Black Knight (Sir Percy) at Marvel.com
- The Black Knight (Sir Percy of Scandia) at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Sir Raston a.k.a. The Black Knight at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- The Black Knight of the Crusades at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Black Knight (Sir Percy) at Marvel Wiki