Cover to Silverblade #1. Art by Gene Colan.
|Publication date||September 1987 -
|Number of issues||12|
|Inker(s)||Klaus Janson, Steve Mitchell|
|Colorist(s)||Joe Orlando, Steve Mitchell, Anthony Tollin, Julianna Ferriter|
Silverblade is a supernatural fantasy comic book limited series, published in the United States by DC Comics in 1987. The maxi-series ran for twelve issues. The book was written by Cary Bates with the art drawn by Gene Colan; it was edited by Dennis O'Neil. Silverblade was published in DC Comics' deluxe format.
The series centers on a fictional has-been movie star named Jonathan Lord. He had a career playing a wide variety of swashbucklers and other fantasy roles during Hollywood's golden age, his greatest being in the film The Silver Blade, an Errol Flynn-type adventure story. Unfortunately Lord had become typecast as a swashbuckler and grew too old to play such roles.
Milestone recounts how the mansion used to be a happier place, before the movie deals dried up, Lord's various marriages failed, and the actor became a bitter old recluse. He says of Lord, "He was my hero once, a thousand reels ago. Once he was even my friend."
One day the butler is on a shopping trip when he sees and buys a Maltese Falcon-like statue of a bird. Milestone takes the statue home hoping to make the statue part of a decorative exhibit he is building to cheer up the atmosphere at the mansion, but Lord complains about the exhibit as well. Tired of his boss's constant complaints, Milestone flies into a rage and storms out of the house.
Shortly afterwards, Milestone is kidnapped by someone from his own past with a grudge against him. The kidnapper blames Milestone for a career-ruining injury he suffered during a movie stunt and now plans to kill him.
Jonathan Lord is left alone in the mansion when the bird statue suddenly comes to life, telling Lord he will restore him to what the star once was. Lord is immediately enveloped by a magical plume of flame. Bobby Milestone is later rescued from his kidnapper by a man who appears to be a younger Jonathan Lord, the age at which he appeared in the film Silverblade. Milestone passes out and reawakens in the mansion, where he sees it is indeed Lord, wearing his costume from Silverblade and appearing fifty years younger. Lord has been given the power to transform into any character he portrayed on film, effectively turning him into a real-life superhero.
The series had little end blurbs similar to what appeared in the Watchmen series giving the reader greater background about Jonathan Lord and the world he lived in than was provided in the main body of the comic.
Beyond the maxiseries
Recent references to the Silverblade story in the DC Universe include The All-New Atom #4, which features a movie theatre which is showing Silver Blade II, and 52 #22 which has an advertisement on the back window of a bus promoting Silverblade Returns - due for release 10.13.06.
Silverblade was also referenced in the Young Justice episode "Image," with Johnathan Lord and his former co-star and lover, Sandra Stanyon appearing as some of the lead actors in an 80's sitcom called "Hello, Megan!"
- Silverblade #1-12 (1987), DC Comics