SIR LANCELOT

Real Name: Lancelot II

Identity/Class: Terrestrial warrior, approximately 6th Century

Occupation: Knight

Group Membership: Knights of the Round Table (Galahad, Gareth, Gawain, Kay, Percival, Tristan)

Affiliations: Black Knight (Sir Percy), Dr. Strange, Guinevere (lover), Merlin, King Arthur Pendragon

Enemies: Mordred the Evil, Sise-Neg; King Arthur

Known Relatives: Ban (father), Elaine I (mother), Elaine II (sister), Ector (half-brother), Niamh/Nimue (foster mother, alias Lady of the Lake (Niamh)), Blamone, Bleoberis (nephews), Elaine III (wife), Galahad (son), Lancelot I (grandfather), Bors I (uncle), Evaine (aunt), Lionel, Bors II (cousins), Pelles (father-in-law)

Aliases: Lancelot du Lac (Lancelot of the Lake); (see also comments)

First Appearance:
(Atlas Comics) Black Knight Comics#1 (May, 1955);
(Marvel Comics) Marvel Premiere#14 (March, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: None. Lancelot was an expert swordsman, horseman, and whatever else knights do.

History: (Historical) - Lancelot was one of the Knights of the Round Table, serving under King Arthur in Camelot, somewhere around the Sixth Century. Lancelot was one of the greatest of these knights, but he eventually fell in love with Arthur's wife, Queen Guinevere. Their affair caused a bitter feud with Arthur, which was cut short when Arthur was forced to defend his throne from Mordred. Arthur was slain in the ensuing battle, and Lancelot is thus partially blamed for the fall of Camelot. (More detailed, and differing, historical versions are covered under comments.)

 

 

 

 

(Marvel Premiere#14) - Lancelot, while riding towards Camelot to meet Arthur for the first time, was attacked by a dragon conjured by the time-traveling sorcerer Sise-Neg.  Lancelot would have been slain had Dr. Strange, also traveling through time, not intervened and defeated the dragon.  Lancelot, believing his rescuer to be Merlin, thanked Strange and introduced himself as Lancelot Du Lac, and then continued on towards Camelot.

 

 

(Marvel Preview#22) - After returning from a quest, Lancelot participated in a jousting tournament. Lancelot defeated all other contestants, but was unseated by the final knight, who remained in disguise. Before Lancelot could regain his balance, the knight rushed to slay him, and was only stopped by the command of King Arthur. The secret knight was then revealed as Beliar, who was actually a demon posing as a knight, to destroy Camelot within.

 

(Arthurian Legend) - Lancelot traveled for two years with Mordred and visited Carteloise Forest. Long believing himself the son of King Lot of Lothian, husband of Morgause, Mordred encountered a priest praying at a magnificent tomb during a tournament at Peningue Castle. The priest referred to Lancelot and Mordred as two of the most unfortunate knights that ever lived. When pressed for details, the priest revealed to Mordred that he was the son of Arthur and that he was the serpent that Arthur had dreamed that would rise up and overthrow him. Mordred killed the priest, but Lancelot did nothing because it kept the priest from predicting his own dire future.

(Black Knight Comics#1) - Like most of the Knights of the Round Table, Lancelot was appalled by the foppish behavior of Sir Percy of Scandia, who appeared to take refuge in Camelot. Neither Lancelot nor any others save Merlin were aware that Percy was actually the Black Knight.
    Lancelot may also have been on the hunting adventure in which Arthur was ambushed by agents of Mordred. The Black Knight assisted King Arthur in overcoming the would-be assassins.

(Black Knight Comics#1/3) - When agents of Mordred abducted Arthur, Lancelot joined the other Knights of the Round Table in splitting up to search the countryside for him, little suspecting that Arthur was imprisoned within his own castle. The Black Knight eventually rescued Arthur.

(Black Knight Comics#2/2 - BTS) - While both Lancelot and Galahad were away from Camelot, Mordred won a jousting tournament, after which he attempted to poison Arthur during a joust, but he was foiled by the Black Knight.

(Black Knight Comics#2/4 - BTS) - Lancelot was likely with King Arthur when he led his men out of the castle to celebrate the time of shearing with the peasant farmers. Mordred allied himself with the Normans in an effort to conquer Camelot, but the Black Knight held this off until Arthur and his men could return.

(Black Knight Comics#3 - BTS) - Lancelot MAY have been in the tournament where Mordred led others to focus on felling the Black Knight; the Knight survived the assaults.

(New Excalibur#11) - A time traveling Excalibur (Captain Britain, Dazzler (Alison Blaire), Juggernaut, Nocturne (TJ Wagner), Sage, Pete Wisdom) and Dane Whitman, the Black Knight of the modern era, were to Camelot by Sir Percy (who had lived through an alternate timeline (Earth-6120) where Merlin was slain in the assault, and Camelot, Arthur, Lancelot, and the entire Round Table had subsequently fallen before the assault of alien Makluans posing as dragons). After saving Merline from an assault by a trio of Makluan dragons, the group then returned to Camelot and shared the warning of the dragons' threat to Arthur. The King dispatched scouts to locate the dragons' lair (hidden even from Merlin), and meanwhile they had a celebration of the arrival of their intended saviors. Arthur was particularly intrigued by Dazzler, enjoying her music and anecdotes, and he also complemented Braddock, telling him it would be an honor to serve beside him in the future. Lancelot was seated next to Guinevere, and they shared a conversation.
    Meanwhile, one of the scouts had found the lair, and his horse brought his corpse back to Camelot.

(New Excalibur#12 (fb) - BTS) - Pete Wisdom got drunk and hit on Guinevere. Arthur was less than appreciative, and after Wisdom tried to stab him with a carving knife, Arthur punched him out. Wisdom passed out in front of Guinevere's door; but Guinevere had been distraught over Wisdom's unpleasantness and had turned to Lancelot for sympathy, leading to the start of their affair

(New Excalibur#12) - After the "dragons" attacked Camelot, Arthur led his knights in joining Excalibur against them. The two Black Knights joined the fight, which seemed doomed to failure. However, having explored the true dragon's lair, Sage returned and revealed the dragons to be Makluans, and she instructed Merlin to conjure some Formosian herb, which caused the dragons to collapse into unconsciousness. Via the Lady of the Lake's magic, Excalibur and Dane Whitman returned to the modern era

(Iron Man I#150) - Iron Man and Dr. Doom travel back in time and encounter King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Lancelot is possibly with them, but not identified.
Iron Man assisted King Arthur and the Knights against an army of dead knights raised by Morgan le Fay and led by Doom.

(Spider-Woman I#41 (fb)) - Morgan visited Camelot, during which time she pledged a truth between herself and her half-brother. Arthur and Morgan both overhead Lancelot referring to Guinevere as his love; Arthur loved both them both, Lancelot being his best friend, and so he endured their indiscretion and forgave them, though it broke his heart. Morgan, however, was furious, as she had sought to romance Lancelot herself. Her pledge of peace forced her to stay her hand from striking Lancelot down.

(Spider-Woman I#41 (fb) / Arthurian Legend) - Mordred noticed the relationship between Guinevere and Lancelot from the start and he and his half-brother Agravaine tried to discredit both Arthur and Lancelot. When Mordred found out that Lancelot and Guinevere had gone off on a tryst together, he called together some of his fatherís loyal knights and had them barge in on the lovers, and have them both taken prisoner. Lancelot managed to escape. Arthur arrived on the scene from negotiating and fighting wars, having apparently already learned of the affair from Morgan le Fay. Arthur could no longer deny the affair between his champion and his queen. Swords were drawn and blood was spilled. Their crime was in the open now, for all to see, and the king--pilloried by the laws he himself had enacted--was left with no choice but to sentence them both in accordance with those laws. For Lancelot that would mean beheading and for Guinevere to be burnt at the stake. Arthur looked on, stone-faced as Lancelot rushed in on his horse at the last minute, slaying fellow knights and friends in the process and forever shattering the fellowship of the Round Table. Lancelot rescued Guinevere and ran away with her to the Joyous Gard (his castle), where they lived for some time until she entered a nunnery. Arthur had no time to get her back, either by wooing or warfare for on the horizon was war.

(Arthurian Legend) - Arthur left Mordred as regent in Britain--still unaware of his long-term treachery or that he was his son by Morgause--and departed with Gawain to confront Lancelot in France. Arthur laid siege for months, perhaps years.

(Arthurian Legend) - In Arthurís absence, Mordred wrote counterfeit letters describing Arthurís death in order to get himself named as the new King by parliament. Crowned at Canterbury, Mordred exiled the Archbishop of Canterbury for opposing him and then forced himself on Queen Guinevere who barricaded herself in the Tower of London for protection. His agents then informed him that Arthur was on the way back to Britain. Mordred tried to prevent Arthurís landing, but was forced to retreat back to Canterbury.

see comments for the possible further information

Comments: Created by unknown.
    Adapted for Atlas by Stan Lee and Joe Maneely.
    Adapted for Marvel by Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner.

    Can't get a hold of a copy of Black Knight Comics#1? Me, neither. I've got Fantasy Masterpieces I#11, in which the reprints of his adventures start. These continue into the pages of the second volume of Marvel Super-Heroes, into which Fantasy Masterpieces became.
    Chronology is a little tricky, but I think this is accurate. The Marvel Preview story lacks any mention of the Black Knight, and would seem to precede his arrival to Camelot. In the Iron Man story, Merlin has already been imprisoned by Nimue/Vivienne. In fact, neither Lancelot nor Guinevere are in that story either, and it may be that they have already taken off together.

(Historical, version#1, courtesy of Will U)

(Historical, version#2, courtesy of Greg O)

Other Lancelot-related appearances

Thanks to Will U and Greg O for putting together a lot of historical/legend info for this profile.

    Thanks to Omar Karindu for pointing out Lancelot's actual appearance in the MU. He also provides additional background info on the story:
Just so you know, Strange had been trying to convince the godlike Sise-Neg of humanity's inherent worth, while his rival Mordo was trying to convince Sise-Neg to side with him and enslave humanity.  Mordo told Sise-Neg that Lancelot would betray Arthur and cause Camelot's fall now that Strange had saved him, turning Strange's life-affirming act into a "proof" of humanity's inherent evil.

    In addition, Sise-Neg, is obviously Genesis spelled backwards. Sise-Neg had also previously impersonated Cagliostro, and some sources confuse him for the real Italian Sorcerer.
There's always a question of time paradoxes and alternate realities when characters travel back in time. I see no evidence that Strange's interaction with Lancelot brought about any changes to the past as is known, so I'd consider it the "real" deal.
--Snood.
    Further comment on Sise-Neg, by Per Degaton:
Well, it turns out that Sise-Neg needs a course in Bible history, since the true name for the first book of the Bible is NOT Genesis. "Genesis" is a Greek word that comes from the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Bible. In the original Hebrew, the name of the first book of the Bible is B'resheet". (Similar to an MS word document, in Hebrew, the name of a document comes from the first few words of a document) --"B'resheet" means "In the Beginning" in Hebrew.
    --Definitely worth mentioning, but Teeh-Serb doesn't have the same flash, does it?--Snood.
    B'resheet literally means "when god began to create," not "in the beginning."--Stunner

Actually, Uncanny X-Men Annual#13/3 showed that the "Eden" that Sise-Neg created in that storyline for the primitives before the Celestials' First Host was part of the history of Earth-616, so, yes, Lancelot's meeting with Sise-Neg would form a part of Earth-616's past. There's always a question of time paradoxes and alternate realities when characters travel back in time. I see no evidence that Strange's interaction with Lancelot brought about any changes to the past as is known, so I'd consider it the "real" deal. --Snood.

Thanks to Prime Eternal for pointing out that Union Jack retained the strength of a Pendragon, as noted in Union Jack#1.

CLARIFICATIONS: see Comments

    Niamh/Nimue, the Dagda's grandniece, is credited in the Arthurian Cycle as being the Lady of the Lake who gave King Arthur Excalibur, @ Hulk Comic (Marvel UK)#18, 19
She is not to be confused with the Nimue/Vivian who was a mistress of Merlin, mentioned in Iron Man I#150.


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Other appearances:
Marvel Preview#22 (Summer 1980) - Doug Moench & John Buscema (writers), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer & John Tartaglione (inks), Lynn Graeme & Ralph Macchio (editors)
Black Knight Comics#2 (July, 1955) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Joe Maneely (artist)
Black Knight Comics#3 (September, 1955) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Joe Maneely (artist)
Iron Man I#150 (September, 1981) - Bob Layton & David Michelinie (writers), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Bob Layton (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Spider-Woman I#41 (December, 1981) - Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Leialoha (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
New Excalibur#10-12 (October-December 2006) "The Last Days of Camelot" - by Frank Tieri (writer), Michael Ryan (penciler), Rick Ketcham (inker), Mike Marts (editor)


Last updated: 10/29/06

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