Marvel Super Heroes #17
Issue(s): Marvel Super Heroes #17
Sir Percy previously appeared in a five issue Black Knight comic that ran in 1955. He was the Black Knight of legend, aided by Merlin and wielding the Ebony Blade, formed by Merlin from a meteorite.
His armor was very similar to Dan Whitman's (even moreso than Dane's uncle's armor).
We learn in this issue that Percy was killed by Modred the Evil (King Arthur's nephew per this story, and not to be confused with Modred the Mystic, another character from Marvel's Camelot; this character will later be distinguished from Modred the Mystic by calling him Mordred, so that's the name i'll be using) using a dagger forged from the same meteor (it's said here that only a weapon forged from the same material can kill the wielder of the Ebony Blade).
Dane is takes the sword and is forced to fight a guardian.
When he draws the blade, he is transformed from his civilian clothes into the Black Knight.
He's not really told why, exactly, he's been given the sword.
There is some talk of Dane's uncle, and why he didn't also answer the call of Sir Percy, but it's not clear.
Meanwhile, a former vaudeville-esque knife thrower named Paul Richarde is contacted by the ghost of Mordred and forced into his service.
He's given a suit of armor, a flying gargoyle, and the ebony dagger, and sent after Dane. He takes the name Le Sabre.
The Black Knight survives his encounter with Le Sabre and saves the life of the man, who turns back into Richarde when he is defeated. However, the Ebony Dagger is lost.
It's interesting tying Dane Whitman to the Atlas/Camelot era Black Knight, but giving him a magic sword takes him away from his and his uncle's scientific roots, and setting up Mordred as his archenemy is a bit uninteresting, as is El Sabre. And establishing ground rules that Dane can only be killed by Mordred's dagger seems ill advised and has been ignored in subsequent appearances.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Black Knight next appears with his sword in Avengers #60.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (8): show
This is probably the only thing Howard Purcell did for Marvel. He was a DC mainstay for about 30 years before this, most notably drawing the Golden Age Green Lantern and the Black Pirate. Afterwards, he went back to DC and worked on various mystery titles for about 5 years before retiring for good.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 5, 2013 10:25 PM
For Marvel, Purcell did some earlier work (over Kirby layouts)on the Nick Fury series in Strange Tales. He also penciled a few of the back-up Watcher stories in the Silver Age Silver Surfer comic.
Posted by: Shar | January 9, 2013 7:18 PM
never liked the heroic black knight. Le Sabre could be related to the swordsman, i think.
Posted by: kveto from prague | January 17, 2013 6:03 PM
John Buscema was originally suuposed to draw this book.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 10, 2013 1:32 PM
Nice pencils, nice scans. Per GCD Indexer Notes, "Staff artists who made further alterations throughout the book include Marie Severin, Herb Trimpe and John Romita, who redrew Dane Whitman's face throughout most of the story. Info per Nick Caputo, March 2013," after this page was posted. Dan Adkins inks look really nice but they also list additional inkers Tom Palmer, Dick Ayers, and Paul Reinman, which suggests a rush job, and they add a cover pencil credit for John Romita on the Black Knight cover figure, with cover background art pieced together from Purcell's interior art.
Posted by: James Holt | October 9, 2016 1:10 AM
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