King Arthur (DC Comics)

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For the Marvel Comics version, see King Arthur (Marvel Comics).
King Arthur
King Arthur knighting Batman and Superman as seen in World's Finest Comics vol. 1 #162.
Art by Curt Swan.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceNew Comics #3
(February 1936)
Created byRafael Astarita
(writer & artist)
In-story information
Alter egoArthur Pendragon
Place of originCamelot
Team affiliationsKnights of the Round Table
Expert fencer, equestrian, military tactician.
Magical sword Excalibur and its mystic sheath, the magical dagger Carnwennan, and the magical spear Rhongomyniad.

King Arthur (Arthur Pendragon) is a fictional character, a comic book King published by DC Comics. Arthur debuted in New Comics #3, (February 1936), and was created by Rafael Astarita. The character is based on the mythical ruler King Arthur whose earliest recorded appearances were in the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the Y Gododdin. The character of King Arthur was made popular by Geoffrey of Monmouth's second major work, the Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain),

Publication history[edit]

The DC Comics version of King Arthur first appeared in New Comics #3 (February 1936), kicking off a six issue adaptation of The Tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney by Sir Thomas Malory.[1] This was also one of the earliest appearances of a recurring character in a DC Comics title, and predates Superman's debut in 1938.

Fictional character biography[edit]

New Comics[edit]

King Arthur appears in New Comics #3 The Tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney and appears alongside his wife Guinevere, his friend Merlin, Sir Lancelot, and Gareth.[2]


King Arthur is present in Batman #36, a possible fantasy entitled "Sir Batman at King Arthur's Court" in which Professor Carter Nichols uses his "Time-Ray Machine" device to send Batman and Robin back in time using "time travel hypnosis" to Arthur's court at Camelot.

Shining Knight[edit]

King Arthur reappears in Adventure Comics #66, a tale in which Merlin gives the Shining Knight a magical suit of armor (which protects its wearer from all forms of harm), a sword (capable of cutting any substance except the aforementioned suit), and a winged horse (pterippus) named Victory.[3] The Shining Knight later delivers the Holy Grail to King Arthur at Camelot in Swamp Thing vol. 2 #87 (June 1989).[4]

Silent Knight[edit]

Arthur reappears in Brave and the Bold #1 a story where Merlin acts as a guide to young squire Brian Kent, who later becomes the Silent Knight.[5][6]

World's Finest Comics[edit]

In World's Finest Comics vol. 1 #42 comic figures Doc and Fatty travel back to King Arthur's court using a unique device called a "Time-Typer" which is basically a souped up typewriter. Doc and Fatty meet the King and are told that they need to kill a dragon in order to earn a seat at the Round Table. They later pilot a robot dragon and attempt to scam King Arthur.[7]

Green Arrow and Speedy travel to the jungle planet of Tropicus in World's Finest Comics vol. 1 #52, there Green Arrow meets both King Arthur and Daniel Boone in a story titled "A Sword, A Rifle And A Bow". Green Arrow, King Arthur and Daniel Boone are forced to duel in an alien arena against the best Tropican swordsmen, riflemen and archers. At the end of this implausible story, both heroes are inexplicably returned to Earth, as the capital city of Tropicus is destroyed by a volcanic eruption.[5]

King Arthur also appears in World's Finest Comics vol. 1 #162, a story in which both Superman and Batman are dragged through time to Camelot through the use of a "Time Mist", by a race of nameless purple skinned shapeshifting aliens, who trick Batman and Superman into helping them overthrow Camelot. The disguised aliens state that Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table are actually alien impostors who have driven them away from Camelot. With their help Arthur and the Knights are defeated, during the fight Superman is stunned by King Arthur wielding Excalibur, and Batman is wounded by Sir Galahad's magic spear. Batman and Superman later aid in their rescue when the deception is revealed due to the alien King Arthur mentioning electricity, and with the help of magically empowered knights powers like Sir Bors' ring of fire, Sir Bohart's super speed, Sir Kay's cloak of invisibility and growing powers, Sir Lancelot's invulnerable armor Gawain's belt that gives super strength, and Merlin's magic spells, the aliens are ousted from Camelot. At story's end Superman and Batman are knighted by King Arthur.[8]


Arthur makes a tangental appearance in The Demon vol. 1 #1, a story where Merlin enlisted the demon Etrigan in the defense of Camelot, against the coming of Morgaine le Fey her army of demons, and Arthur's son Mordred. Later in The Demon vol. 2 #16-20 Merlin set Sir Percival the Golden Knight to guard the earthly exit from the Region Beyond, which is located in England. The Region Beyond is where King Arthur had Merlin banish all the dangerous mystical entities native to Great Britain.[9][10]

Other versions[edit]

  • An alternate version of Arthur appears in the 1982 maxi-series Camelot 3000, where he sleeps beneath Glastonbury Tor, but is awakened in the year 3000 to stave off an alien invasion spearheaded by his sister Morgaine le Fey.
  • An alternate Arthur also appears in the 1992 mini-series Batman: Dark Knight of the Round Table.

Brief bibliography[edit]

In other media[edit]


  1. ^"King Arthur,"New Comics #3-8
  2. ^ New Comics #3, (February 1936)
  3. ^ Adventure Comics #66 (September 1941).
  4. ^ Swamp Thing vol. 2 #87 (June 1989)
  5. ^ a b Brave and the Bold #1 (August 1955)
  6. ^ "Who's Who in the DC Universe - DCU Guide".
  7. ^ World's Finest Comics vol. 1 #42 (October 1949)
  8. ^ World's Finest Comics vol. 1 #162 (September 1966)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
  10. ^ Madame Xanadu vol. 2 #1 (August 2008)

External links[edit]