Real Name: possibly Sir Lancelot
Identity/Class: Human, possible immortal
Group Mempership: None
Formerly: Knights of the Round Table (possibly)
Affiliations: Protector of Jade/Firebird; loose ally of Iron Fist; ally of Lord Tuan and the natives of Feng-Tu; possibly Arthur Pendragon, former lover of Guinevere
Enemies: Dhasha Khan and his warriors
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Possibly Union Jack (Joey Chapman) (see below)
Base of Operations: Currently unknown; formerly Feng-Tu (the realm of the dead for the Chinese and the people of K'un L'un); possibly formerly Camelot
First Appearance: Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu#21 (February, 1976)
Powers: The Bowman was a skilled warrior and masterwith the bow and arrow. He has traveled between Earth and Feng Tu without apparent outside assistance. It may be that he is able to cross dimensions to follow the Firebird. He is apparently immortal, and has lived for well over a thousand years.
History: (Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu#24 (fb) ) - The Bowman claimed to be Sir Lancelot, of the Knights of the Round Table. He claimed that he had sinned by loving Queen Guinevere, which caused the fall of Camelot. He pays for his sins by guarding the soul of the Firebird.
(Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu#21-24) - Jade's spirit was stolen by Dhasha Khan. Iron Fist, who had failed to defend her, was with her in Feng-Tu, attempting to reclaim it. The two were under attack from a mob, when the Bowman arrived to asist them. With his aid, they fought off the mob. The Bowman was more than happy for Iron Fist's help until he saw that Jade and Iron Fist had a little romantic thing going on.
The three fought off another onslaught of Dhasha Khan's warriors, and then made it to the throne room of the Lords of the Dead, ruled by Lord Tuan. Tuan claimed that Iron Fist could only destroy Khan if he became one with Feng-Tu (the realm of the dead), and so the Bowman stabbed from behind, killing him.
When Iron Fist revived, now one with Feng-Tu, the Bowman joined their quest (apparently all was forgiven) to confront Dhasha Khan. The Bowman was wounded in the battle, and sent Iron Fist and Jade on without him. While Dhasha Khan focused on the Silver Dragon's battle with Iron Fist, the Bowman recovered and led Lord Tuans' forces to overthrow Dhasha Khan's control of Feng-Tu.
Khan's primary goal was to obtain the soul of the Firebird, so he abandonned his troops to those of Lord Tuan, and teleported himself and Jade to Earth. There Khan began the process of transforming it back into the way it had been under the rule of the N'Garai. Iron Fist managed to bridge the gap to the world of the living and oppose Khan. The Bowman did as well, but by then the battle was over, Khan had been defeated, and Iron Fist held the Soulgem. The Bowman believed Iron Fist to be under the control of the Soulgem (and the N'Garai), and fired an arrow at him. Iron Fist stopped the arrow and willingly surrendered the stone to Jade, allowing her to again become the Firebird, and leave this plane of reality. The Bowman explained his origins to Iron Fist, and then wandered off as well.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont and Rudy Nebres.
I mention all the connections to Lancelot, but I'll treat the characters as separate, because it just doesn't seem quite right.
Lancelot appeared way back in Black Knight Comics#1 (May, 1955). He may also be seen in the background in flashbacks to Camelot, but I'm not sure that he had any other major appearances.
For a time, Union Jack, Joey Chapman, was a Pendragon, and was allegedly imbued with the spirit/essence of Sir Lancelot. This took place while he was with the Knights of Pendragon, in KoP I#7,8 10-18, Marvel Comics Presents#122/4, and KoP II#1-15. Since these Marvel UK appearances, it has never been mentioned again, and he returned to his original appearance. His first appearance, sans pendragon was in Captain America I#253, 254.
Where the frick was the Bowman when Jade's soul was being stolen by Dhasha Khan? Andwhy would Lancelot use a bow and arrow, rather than a sword? (Maybe he's got the same deal as Hawkeye).
You can get the rest of the story from the battles under Jade and Dhasha Khan.
Could the Bowman be a Pendragon, allowing some of the concepts in Knights of Pendragon to explain some of the odd things about him? Perhaps Lancelot's Pendragon spirit possessed an archer for a time, then passed that skill onto the Bowman. His protection of the Firebird ties in nicely, to my mind at least, with the Green Knight's connection to Gaea. Also, perhaps the archery skill came from one of the Merry Men of Sherwood, as it is established that Little John and Robin Hood were Pendragons.
Clarifications: See comments.
Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu#21-24 (February-May, 1976) - Chris Claremont (writer), Rudy Nebres (artist), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Last updated: 05/09/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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