Black Knight (comics)

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Black Knight
Black Knight #1 (May 1955).
Cover art by Joe Maneely
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Black Knight #1 (May 1955)
Created by Stan Lee (writer)
Joe Maneely (art)
Characters Sir Percy
Nathan Garret
Dane Whitman
Vatican operative
See also Ebony Blade
The Black Knight lineage
Black Knight
Series publication information
Publisher (vol 1)
Atlas Comics
(vol 2)
Marvel Comics
Schedule (vol 1)
Bi-monthly
(vol 2)
Monthly
Format (vol 1)
Ongoing series
(vol 2)
Limited series
Genre (vol 1)
Fantasy
(vol 2)
Superhero, Magic in comics
Publication date (vol 1)
May – December 1955
(vol 2)
June – September 1990
Number of issues (vol 1)
5
(vol 2)
4
Main character(s) (both)
Sir Percy

The Black Knight is the alias of several fictional comic-book characters that appear in the Marvel Comics universe.

The first is a medieval knight created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Joe Maneely. The second is a supervillain descendant of the original, created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist and co-plotter Dick Ayers. The third, created by writer Roy Thomas and artist George Tuska, is the villain's nephew, a superhero and a member of the superhero team the Avengers. A fourth Black Knight, with no revealed genetic connection, debuted in The Black Panther #3 (June 2005), created by writer Reginald Hudlin and penciler John Romita Jr.

Black Knight is also the title of two comic book series published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history[edit]

Marvel Comics' first Black Knight, Sir Percy of Scandia, first appeared in the medieval-adventure series Black Knight #1–5 (May–Dec. 1955) from Atlas Comics, the 1950s precursor to Marvel Comics.

Sir Percy's descendant, Professor Nathan Garrett, debuted as the modern-day supervillain Black Knight in Tales to Astonish #52 (Feb. 1964). This villainous Black Knight appeared in The Avengers #6, 14–15 (July 1964, March–April 1965), and in the feature "Iron Man" in Tales of Suspense #73 (Jan. 1966), in which he was mortally wounded.

Dane Whitman, Garrett's nephew, makes his first appearance in The Avengers #47 (Dec. 1967), and becomes a heroic version of the Black Knight in the following issue. Whitman sporadically appeared with the Avengers until becoming a core member, regularly appearing in #252–300 (1985–1989) and #329–375 (1991–1994). The Gatherers storyline running through The Avengers #343–375 (1992–1994) finally placed the spotlight on the Black Knight, as the focus of the book turned toward his tumultuous relationship with the Eternal Sersi and mysterious connection to the other-dimensional villain Proctor. Whitman later starred in Malibu Comics' UltraForce #8–10 (1995) and UltraForce, vol. 2 #1–12 (1995–1996), leading a new team of heroes on a parallel world. Returning to the Marvel Universe proper, Whitman appeared in Heroes for Hire #1–16 (1997–1998) and, later, Captain Britain and MI13 #1–15 (2008–2009). The Black Knight has yet to return to the Avengers, the team with which the character is most closely associated.

Whitman and Sir Percy also starred in the limited series Black Knight #1–4 (June–Sept. 1990), written by Roy and Dann Thomas and drawn by successive pencillers Tony DeZuniga and Rich Buckler. Whitman and Sersi then headlined the one-shot Black Knight: Exodus (Dec. 1996), written by Ben Raab and illustrated by Jimmy Cheung and Andy Lanning. Another Black Knight one-shot starring Sir Percy, written by Thomas and illustrated by Tom Grummett and Scott Hanna, was published as Mystic Arcana: Black Knight #1 (Sept. 2007), the second of four Mystic Arcana one-shot issue.

Fictional character biographies[edit]

Sir Percy of Scandia[edit]

The original Black Knight is Sir Percy of Scandia, a 6th-century knight who serves at the court of King Arthur as his greatest warrior. 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.[1] A constant foe of the evil knight Mordred the Evil (Arthur's traitorous nephew), Percy is eventually killed by him during the fall of Camelot when stabbed from behind with an enchanted blade – although Mordred then dies himself of wounds inflicted by Arthur.[2] Merlin ensures that Percy's spirit will live on by casting a spell that will revive his ghost if Mordred should ever return.[2] Percy's spirit has appeared several times to counsel his descendant, Dane Whitman.

Nathan Garrett[edit]

Biologist Professor Nathan Garrett is the direct descendant of Sir Percy, and found Sir Percy's tomb and the Ebony Blade. Garrett's evil tendencies make him unworthy of wielding the sword, and he is shunned by Sir Percy's ghost. An embittered Garrett then devises an arsenal of medieval weapons that employ modern technology and genetically engineers and creates a winged horse. Calling himself the Black Knight, Garrett embarks on a life of crime to spite his ancestor. After a battle with the hero Giant-Man[3] Garrett joins the supervillain team the Masters of Evil at the request of master villain Baron Zemo and like the others spreads Adhesive X over the city, but is first defeated by Thor. After two unsuccessful battles with the Avengers, on the second time he was broken out of jail by the Enchantress,[4] and a time when he battled Iron Man due to Doctor Doom's mind-control machine to make supervillains attack Mister Fantastic's and the Invisible Woman's wedding, (which he forgets like the other villains due to a machine created by Mister Fantastic).[5] Garrett is mortally wounded while trying to kill the superhero Iron Man where he falls off his winged horse.[6] A dying Garrett summons his nephew, Dane Whitman, reveals his secret identity to Whitman, and repents for his life of crime.[7] Whitman then adopts the identity of the Black Knight himself.[8]

Dane Whitman[edit]

Dane Whitman is the Black Knight who has been a longtime member of the Avengers as well as a member of the Defenders, UltraForce, Heroes for Hire, and MI: 13.

Augustine du Lac[edit]

A Vatican Black Knight named Augustine du Lac[9] received the Ebony Blade after Vatican agents retrieved it from an Iraqi vampire nest.[10]

He is a member of a team of supervillains that invades the African nation of Wakanda. A devout Catholic, du Lac hopes to convert the populace to Catholicism. He is defeated by Black Panther who takes the Ebony Blade from him.[11]

He had his own version of Aragorn to use as a steed. This Aragorn was later captured by Alyosha Kravinoff and killed for food.[12]

Female Black Knight[edit]

A teenage female Black Knight later appears in the Vengeance limited series as a member of the Young Masters. Like Garrett, this incarnation is a villain, and appears to possess the Ebony Blade. How she came into possession of the sword and what happened to Augustine has yet to be revealed. She was with the Young Masters when they were at an abandoned HYDRA base in Pennsylvania. When inspecting Bullseye's corpse, they were attacked by Lady Bullseye.[13] Later targeting Doctor Octopus for "execution", the Young Masters found themselves battling the Sinister Six while being assisted by/battling the Teen Brigade, with Black Knight being assisted in taking down Sandman by Teen Brigade member Ultimate Nullifier.[14] While a visiting a nightclub, Black Knight encountered Ultimate Nullifier at the time when the Young Masters plotted to recruit a reborn Loki to their side.[15] In the morning, Black Knight showed Ultimate Nullifier a letter that spurred the Young Masters on their quest to kill older villains along with a CIA file discussing genocide carried out by Red Skull in Poland during World War II on Russian prisoners. Informing Ultimate Nullifier that she was going to leave the Young Masters and had plans that didn't involve evil, she left the Young Masters' base leaving behind the CIA file for Nullifier.[16]

Black Knight was later seen with the Young Masters where they are seen as members of the Shadow Council's Masters of Evil which is led by Baron Helmut Zemo following Max Fury's death.[17]

The Black Knight lineage[edit]

Nathan Garrett and Dane Whitman are part of a lineage of Black Knights stretching back to the 6th century. In New Excalibur #10, the first of the "Last Day of Camelot" storyline,[18] it is revealed that Dane has turned the Garret Castle into a Black Knight museum with various exhibits on the various Black Knights, including the body of Sir Percy. There is a long line of paintings of the Knights including, according to the curator, "Sir Ralston[sic] and Sir Eobar or lesser known knights like Sir William and Sir Henry."[19] These Black Knights are:

  • Sir Raston ("Ralston" appears only in New Excalibur #10) – Sir Percy's nephew and became the Black Knight after him. He lived in the Dark Ages but was recruited into the Anachronauts by Kang the Conqueror and travelled through time.[20]
  • Sir Eobar of Garrington – He was the Black Knight during the Crusades.[21]
  • Sir William – He is depicted fighting in the trenches of World War I.

Later in "The Last Days of Camelot" Sir Percy reveals to Dane that he was not the first Black Knight and that eight knights had carried the Ebony Blade before him, the last being King Arthur's cousin Sir Reginald. Each one had been driven mad by the sword and had to be killed until it was decided there were only three people who could take the sword but King Arthur and Merlin were needed in other capacities, so the "burden" fell to Sir Percy who accepted despite knowing the risks.[22]

The apparent "Last Knight" is Ernst Wythim, a member of the lineage from around 2600 AD.[23]

Other versions[edit]

Earth X[edit]

In the Earth X series, Ahura – the son of Black Bolt and Medusa – becomes the Black Knight.[24] Dane Whitman was turned to stone by the Grey Gargoyle.

Marvel Zombies[edit]

Main article: Marvel Zombies

Dane becomes one of the dozens of super-powered zombies that are laying siege to the castle of Doctor Doom. The zombies have detected delicious humans hiding inside, all of whom ultimately escape.

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, the Black Knight (real name Alex) is a member of the would-be superhero team the Defenders. He is long-haired, bearded, and out-of-shape, with a piece of armor, and resembles a LARP'er.[25] He later shows up in Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates, alongside the super-powered Defenders from a mysterious source.[26]

The Dane Whitman version of Black Knight appears in the pages of Ultimate Comics: Ultimates as a member of an Ultimates team that preceded the current one by almost a decade. This Black Knight was highly unstable and was kept from officially joining the team until he stabilized. This never came to pass as the team made a bungle on a mission and the project was shut down immediately after.[27]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The Nathan Garrett version of the Black Knight appeared in the Captain America/Avengers portion of The Marvel Super Heroes as a member of Baron Heinrich Zemo's Masters of Evil. He appears solo in an episode of The Invincible Iron Man segment.
  • The Augustine du Lac version of Black Knight appears in the 2010 Black Panther TV series voiced by J.B. Blanc. He is among the villains that assists Klaw in his invasion on Wakanda.

Video games[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Black Knight #1–5 (May–Dec. 1955), Atlas Comics, the 1950s precursor of Marvel Comics
  2. ^ a b Marvel Super-Heroes #17 (Nov. 1968)
  3. ^ Tales to Astonish #52 Feb. 1964)
  4. ^ Avengers #6, 14–15 (July 1964, March–April 1965)
  5. ^ Fantastic Four Annual #3
  6. ^ Tales of Suspense #73
  7. ^ The Avengers #47 (Dec. 1967)
  8. ^ The Avengers #48 (Jan. 1968)
  9. ^ Klaws of the Panther TPB's Handbook entry on Black Panther (Shuri)
  10. ^ Captain Britain and MI: 13 #10
  11. ^ Black Panther vol. 4, #4 (July 2005)
  12. ^ Punisher War Journal vol. 2 #13–14
  13. ^ Vengeance #2
  14. ^ Vengeance #3
  15. ^ Vengeance #4
  16. ^ Vengeance #5
  17. ^ Avengers Undercover #2
  18. ^ The Last Days of Camelot at the Comic Book DB
  19. ^ New Excalibur #10 (2006)
  20. ^ "Anachronauts (Kang minions, Avengers/Fantastic Four/Force Works foes)". Marvunapp.com. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  21. ^ "Eobar Garrington (Black Knight of the 12th Century, Crusades)". Marvunapp.com. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  22. ^ New Excalibur #12 (2006)
  23. ^ "The Last Knight (Black Knight (Whitman) foe/descendant)". Marvunapp.com. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  24. ^ Earth X #1–13 (1999–2000)
  25. ^ Ultimates 2#6
  26. ^ New Ultimates #1
  27. ^ Ultimate Comics: Ultiamtes #22
  28. ^ "episode entry". Tv.com. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 

External links[edit]