Jonathan, son of Kevin:
Characters Appearing: Black Knight (Nathan Garrett), Hellhorse, Henry Pym, Wasp
Tales To Astonish #52 (Giant-Man/Wasp)
Issue(s): Tales To Astonish #52 (Giant-Man/Wasp story only)
It's a little unusual to introduce a medieval knight as a villain for the science-hero Giant-Man. I wonder if the idea was meant as a bit of role-reversal, with the knight trying to slay the giant, only the giant is the good guy. Although knights primary slay dragons, not giants. Probably thinking about it too hard.
Anyway, the Black Knight actually is a science-villain, despite the medieval trappings. He was originally a scientist named Professor Garrett, and Giant-Man puts him in jail for selling scientific secrets to the Red Chinese. Amazingly, he's allowed out on bail, and of course flees the country. He winds up in a "remote Balkan kingdom" and rents a deserted castle where he performs genetic experiments, "injecting just the right proportion of an eagle's blood cells into a stallion" and thus creating a Pegasus.
He then puts on some knight's armor and devises a high tech version of a knight's lance...
...and returns to the US to go on a rampage. The Wasp spots him, and after first characteristically not believing her until he hears her story confirmed on the radio...
...Henry Pym eventually goes after the Knight.
Since the Knight can fly and Pym can't fly as Giant-Man, the fight is a bit awkward.
The Black Knight has an array of tricks, including flying bolo balls...
..and an itch ray!
The Wasp doesn't directly participate in the battle but she helps out by catching Pym when he falls and giving the Black Knight's Pegasus a pinch, causing him to throw the Knight. Once the Black Knight is on the ground...
...the fight is in Pym's favor, but the Black Knight manages to escape at the end.
While the development of the Knight's horse and weapons is depicted in detail, it's not really shown where he got the armor. It will later be revealed that there's a legacy of Black Knights going back to the Middle Ages, and i think Garrett was subconsciously led to the castle so he could find the armor and continue the legacy and, of course, pass it down to Dane Whitman.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Iron Man #43
A remote Balkan kingdom, eh? One wonders how - at the time - all these non-Communist countries in the Balkans exist. Latveria, Transia, and Symkaria were all created when the Iron Curtain was still up, yet none were ever Communist. No explanation is now needed with the sliding time scale, but at the time it was very strange.
Posted by: Chris | November 27, 2012 11:19 PM
It is also strange how the helicopter doesn't get unbalanced when a massively heavy Giant-Man grabs it falling from the sky, and how the Wasp runs out of pills going out on a mission.
By the way, great work done with the website, I started reading Marvel comics a few months ago and I found this chronological order that I am following. I also like your reviews, they are quite funny. Regards.
Posted by: Mariano | August 8, 2015 7:20 AM
Thanks and welcome, Mariano!
Posted by: fnord12 | August 8, 2015 11:44 AM
I get the feeling the Black Knight's itch-ray was the product of a failed attempt at inventing a death ray.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 16, 2015 10:50 PM
Omar, that is now part of my personal canon.
Posted by: Chris | January 3, 2016 12:03 AM
@ Chris, Yugoslavia,(the largest balkan nation) which all the countries you mention share a border with, was not behind the Iron Curtain, so not so strange, even at the time.
Posted by: kveto | February 21, 2016 3:58 AM
Yugoslavia was considered behind the Iron Curtain as it was a communist country lead by Marshal Tito. However they were not part of the Warsaw Pact remaining independent of the Soviet Union.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 28, 2016 4:24 PM
@ Bobby Sizemore, I know its pointless to argue these things, but speaking as someone who comes from behind the Iron Curtain, we did not consider Yugoslavia as behind the curtain.
Not all us commies were the same.
Posted by: kveto from prague | March 12, 2017 6:55 AM
The rationale for Wasp having wings is that Hank grafted them onto her. Ignoring the fact that he did this hours after they met, and hours after her father died, that's a way more reasonable explanation that Stan's golden age idea that injecting a horse with eagle blood would make it grow wings.
Posted by: FF3 | March 12, 2017 10:43 AM
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