Saturday, November 8, 2014

Black Knight Reborn!


After the cancellation of The Black Knight in 1955 no single story with the character appeared for over twelve years.


After the demise of Atlas and the rise of Marvel, the Black Knight character was dusted off and brought back as a villain to confront Giant-Man and the Wasp in the pages of Tales to Astonish in 1964. This Black Knight had no apparent connection to the classic Atlas version, but rather was Nathan Garrett, a scientist with criminal tendencies who used his talents to create weapons and breed a flying horse and so fashion the guise of the Knight. Later he appeared in The Avengers as a founding member of The Masters of Evil.


This Black Knight though died a few years later after a confrontation with Iron Man in the pages of Tales of Suspense in 1966. His death left the role open, but only briefly.


Dane Whitman, a scientist too and nephew of Garrett discovers his uncles materials and continues his work along similar lines but with a different motivation. This Black Knight who debuted in the pages of The Avengers was a hero, though the reputation as a villain served him well when the Masters of Evil recruited him. He was able to turn the tables and eventually earned a spot on the roster of the team. But not before the true origin was revealed in the pages of Marvel Super-Heroes in 1968.


In this yarn by Roy Thomas and Howard Purcell, we discover at last that the Black Knight from Camelot does indeed connect with this more recent techno-knight. Whitman goes back to the the family castle and learns that it was his destiny as a descendant of Sir Percy of Scandia to become the Black Knight, and he gets a boon, the Ebony Sword which Merlin presented to Percy way back in the heyday of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Modred returns too, but somewhat changed. The read this fabulous origin tale check out this link to the habitat of the Groovy Agent .

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4 comments:

  1. I love that story in MSH 17, the first panel on Page 3 with the portrait staring at Whitman is burnt into my mind, I remember reading it on the bus home they day I bought it.

    MSH 17 was also the first time (as far as I recall) that I read any Golden Age material- I'm still very fond of the Human Torch story reprinted in this issue (for anyone who doesn't have access to the comic, its the one where aliens inadvertently bring a plague to Earth).
    Thanks for the post Rip!

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    1. You're very welcome. My first experience was the previous issue of MSH, the one with Phantom Eagle. I missed this one at the time it came out sadly, but it got it soon after I had access many years later to back issues. It was a must have.

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  2. Marvel thought the heroic Black Knight had enough marketing potential that they released a poster through Marvelmania..which you ran here...
    http://ripjaggerdojo.blogspot.com/2012/01/black-knights.html
    ...perhaps theONLY Silver Age poster from them of a character without his own ongoing strip or book!

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    1. It is a curiosity. I can only imagine that Marvelmania poster was developed in the sweet spot of a moment when perhaps they were toying with giving the Knight his own series perhaps.

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