Characters Appearing: Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Dr. Strange
Marvel Comics Presents #73 (Black Knight)
Issue(s): Marvel Comics Presents #73 (Black Knight story only)
Despite the fact that Dane Whitman has been dyeing his hair blond, Dr. Strange is able to locate him and ask him about a sword that he's found, which Dane does happen to know about.
Dane knows the sword from when he was sent back to the time of the Crusades. During that period, he possessed the body of his ancestor, Eobar Garrington. Usually when we see Dane in the past, he has control of Garrington's body, but for the flashback that constitutes much of this story, Garrington starts off in control.
King Richard is wounded in battle, and he sends the Black Knight to slay Saladin, the leader of the Arab forces. The goal is to slay Saladin before Rashid ad-Din, the legendary ruler of a group of assassins. If Rashid ad-Din kills Saladin first, he'll take over Saladin's forces. Trapped in the recesses of Garrington's mind, Dane Whitman worries that Garrington will succeed in his quest, because that will alter history since Saladin is supposed to defeat the Crusaders in a battle that takes place after these events. But Garrington fights his way through Saladin's defenses...
...and then Saladin himself.
If Saladin is holding the sword from the beginning, it's not explained how it gets back in one piece after getting smashed here.
Rashid ad-Din's assassins then attack, and the Black Knight joins forces with Saladin to defeat them (with Saladin using a brazier in lieu of a sword). Then, with the assassins defeated, the Knight turns to kill Saladin, but Dane Whitman manages to flood Garrington's mind with images of the future, and that halts Garrington long enough for him to be captured. It's said that he spends the rest of his days in shame. I assume Dane Whitman spends some of that time in "shame" with his ancestor, but i guess at some point his spirit is separated from Garrington so that he can be in Avalon for Avengers #225-226.
After the flashback, Dr. Strange tells the Black Knight not to dwell on the past. Well then maybe don't ask me about old swords, doc. And why did you ask me about it, anyway? Is it magical? Was there any point to this story at all? Or are we here because Dave Cockrum said, "Uh, guys, I want to draw some swashbuckling. Let's make it happen."?
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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