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Real Name: Nathan Garrett

Identity/Class: Human technology user, citizen of the United States (naturalized, originally United Kingdom) with a criminal record

Occupation: Professional criminal; formerly research scientist

Group Membership: Masters of Evil (Enchantress/Amora, Executioner/Skurge, Melter/Bruno Horgan, Radioactive Man/Chen Lu, Wonder Man/Simon Williams, Baron Heinrich Zemo)

Affiliations: Communist leaders, Happy Hogan, Doctor Voodoo (Jericho Drumm);
   corpse used by Blasphemy Cartel

Enemies: Avengers (Captain America/Steve Rogers, Giant-Man/Hank Pym, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Thor/Thor Odinson, Wasp/Janet Van Dyne), Harvestman (Stephen Strange), Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Clea Strange, X-Men (Cyclops/Scott Summers, Iceman/Bobby Drake)

Known Relatives: Unidentified sister (deceased), Dane Whitman (Black Knight, nephew), Sir Percy of Scandia, Sir Raston, Sir Eobar Garrington, Sir William, Sir Henry Bart (Black Knights of past eras, ancestors, deceased); Sir Dandel, Lady Evaine, Lady Rosamund, Edward, Geoffrey (common ancestry, presumed deceased); Dafydd ap lowerth, Arthur Pendragon, Mordred the Evil, Morgan Le Fay (common ancestry)

Aliases: "Can-head", "medieval miscreant", "Sir Flees-a-lot" (nicknames used by Spider-Man)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed burial site;
    formerly his hidden castle, Washington D.C;
    formerly New York City, New York
    formerly London, England, United Kingdom

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#52/1 (February, 1964)

Powers/Abilities: The Black Knight possessed no known superhuman abilities. He was a brilliant research scientist who made groundbreaking discoveries in multiple fields, including genetics and engineering. The equipment he wielded as the Black Knight was of his own design, and included a lightweight full-body suit of electronically insulated steel-alloy chainmail capable of withstanding projectiles, including .45-caliber bullets fired at close range; however, it could not protect him from a long fall.

The suit's helmet visor could emit a bright light to temporarily blind foes. His primary weapon was an atomic-powered lance, which contained numerous weapons and technological devices, such as an acetylene-based heat beam that could melt a two-foot thick steel wall in seconds, an electromagnetic concussive beam that could blast through a wall of cinder blocks in 4 seconds, an ionic energy blast that could disable electronics, and a .45-caliber machine gun. The range of the lance's energy weapons was 50-100 feet.

The lance contained a lasso, and two 50' spools of thick conductive steel cable ending in bola balls, which were launched via a linear accelerator or magnetic cannon to entrap targets. The lance could be equipped with super-heated metal "doughnuts" that enlarged when fired and drained electrical energy when attached to a target, and the lance's hand-guard could be fired as a weapon, enlarging and becoming thin and razor-sharp once airborne. The Knight could carry heavy weights on the end of his lance while flying, such as bags of gold or full-grown adults; but whether this was a feature of the lance or armor-enhanced strength remains unrevealed. He also used a paralyzer pistol that emitted highly concentrated, fast-acting nerve gas that could render the average human unconscious for one hour in small doses, or when used in large amounts, could kill a target by paralyzing the respiratory system. He used an itch-ray that caused severe pruritus and a disolvo-ray that could deteriorate metals and inorganic substances.

Some equipment apparently enlarged when used, including an expandable titanium-steel 'wrapper' that wrapped tentacles around opponents, and an energy cannon that could level buildings. His winged horse Elendil could fly at 50 mph. He occasionally hired underlings and dressed them in medieval garb.

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 195 lbs. (255 lbs. in armor)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black (sometimes dyed brown)

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update I#5) - Nathan Garrett lacked the heroic nature of his ancestor Sir Percy of Scandia, the Black Knight of King Arthur's Camelot court. However, the London-born research scientist did manage to achieve international respect for making numerous discoveries and scientific breakthroughs. While working at his alma mater, Oxford University, Garrett joined political leftists and eventually became a radical communist. At some point, he agreed to spy for the People's Republic of China.

(Uncanny Origins I#11 (fb) ) - After inheriting Garrett Castle, Sir Percy's burial place, his ancestor's spirit offered him a chance to become a modern day Black Knight and crusade against evil. However. Garrett proved unworthy when he could not draw the enchanted Ebony Blade from its scabbard near Sir Percy's tomb: Sir Percy rescinded his offer.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update I#5) - Garrett relocated to the US, where his sister's family lived, and became a naturalized citizen. Garrett continued his scientific research and eventually headed an espionage ring.

(Tales to Astonish I#52/1) - Giant-Man busted a sale of top-secret information between Garrett and Communist spies. Garrett was arrested, seething that he lacked the superpowers that allowed Giant-Man to capture him so easily. He was accused of treason and his bail was set for 100.000 dollars.

(Tales to Astonish I#52/1 - BTS) - Garrett's bail was paid by his Communist contacts, and he fled to a remote Balkan kingdom nestled in the Alps.

(Tales to Astonish I#52/1) - Inspired by the sight of a winged horse statue, Garrett rented a castle and began to run a series of genetic experiments. After weeks of trial and error, he discovered that injecting a stallion, called Elendil, with the right proportion of eagle's blood caused the animal to grow wings.

(Tales to Astonish I#52/1 - BTS) - Embracing his family heritage, Garrett created a costumed identity for himself as a modern day knight. Dressed in insulated, black chainmail armor and armed with a power lance of his own design, Garrett returned to the United States as the Black Knight.

(Tales to Astonish I#52/1 (fb) - The Wasp witnessed the Black Knight on his flying horse using his power lance to melt a hole in an armored car to steal money; he escaped without opposition; and she hurried home to inform Giant-Man.

(Tales to Astonish I#52/1) - Giant-Man used his ant communicator to find the Black Knight's next target: a helicopter. Commissioning an aircraft, Giant-Man jumped onto the helicopter being attacked and battled the Black Knight. The Knight revealed his identity as Nathan Garrett and boasted about his inventions, including a multi-functional lance and a paralyzer pistol. Caught in a bola and blasted with an itch ray, Giant-Man shrank to avoid falling and was rescued by the Wasp.

(Tales to Astonish I#52/1) - She landed Giant-Man on the Knight's horse. Giant-Man resumed his giant size and slapped the lance out of the Black Knight's hands. During the struggle, the Knight knocked Giant-Man off his horse, but Giant-Man saved himself by grabbing onto an amusement park ride.

   The Wasp pinched the Knight's horse, causing it to buck him off. Giant-Man and the Black Knight continued their battle on a roller coaster. The Knight attempted to shoot Giant-Man with the paralyzer pistol, but Giant-Man shrank to avoid the blast. Thinking he had gone mad, the Black Knight stumbled off the roller coaster, but was saved by his horse and escaped.

(Untold Tales of Spider-Man I#13 (fb) - BTS) - Learning that Heinrich Zemo was putting together a coalition of super-villains, Garrett contacted the Baron, asking for a chance to prove his worth. The Nazi agreed to a try-out, leading the Black Knight to put out a call to the underworld for hired help--this was picked up by the aspiring heroine Bluebird (Sally Avril) who relayed it to Spider-Man after the thugs she overheard beat her up.

(Untold Tales of Spider-Man I#13 (fb)) - The Black Knight planned to kidnap Elena, daughter of Emil Stragosz, the Archduke of Ksavia, who was in New York visiting the United Nations. The Black Knight attacked when they arrived at the UN building, using gas and his paralyzer gun to leave Elena and Emil Stragosz open to attack. The Knight took down Stragosz while his men captured Elena; by that time, Spider-Man was there to intervene.

(Untold Tales of Spider-Man I#13 (fb) - BTS) - Sally Avril, now determined to become a famous photojournalist, had her friend Jason Ionello follow the villain on his flying horse in his car while she took pictures. She egged Ionello on to run a red light so they could keep up with Garrett, which led to them getting rammed by a passing bus. Sally was flung out of the car and killed on impact.

(Untold Tales of Spider-Man I#13 (fb) ) - Spider-Man was so shocked and distracted at the sight of the accident that Black Knight managed to hit him with his paralyzer pistol, allowing the villain to get away scot-free.

(Untold Tales of Spider-Man I#13 (fb) - BTS) - Black Knight and his henchmen took over the two top floors of the Chrysler building as they considered their next move. When they were discovered by the authorities, Spider-Man heard a news report and made his way over to the Chrysler where he quickly freed Elena.

(Untold Tales of Spider-Man I#13 (fb)) - Garrett was in the middle of a video call with Zemo when Spider-Man barged in and quickly started to knock-out the Knight's small army of henchmen. Zemo told Garrett to deal with the situation, but the Knight was so intimidated by the angry, feral vigilante that he jumped on his horse and flew off. Spider-Man followed, easily avoiding the Knight's signature weapons--the energy blasts, the bola balls and the titanium-steel wrapper--before dismounting him. Catching the falling villain in a web between two condemned buildings, he began pounding away at Garrett until he was stopped by the Human Torch, who happened to pass by.

(Untold Tales of Spider-Man I#13) - The conversation between the heroes was interrupted when the walls gave out, causing a massive mess, during which Zemo's henchmen came in to carry the unconscious Black Knight to safety.

(Avengers I#6 (fb) - BTS) - Baron Heinrich Zemo told his assistant Franz Gruber to reach out to the Black Knight and inform him he could join the Masters of Evil alongside the Melter and the Radioactive Man.

(Avengers I#6) - Zemo ordered Black Knight, Melter and Radioactive Man to cause mayhem in New York City using the superglue Adhesive X. Riding his flying horse, Garrett liberally spread the glue across a wide area, trapping pedestrians, traffic, even ships in the harbor. After he ran out of glue, he briefly retreated.

(Avengers I#6 - BTS) - The Melter glued several bystanders to the now sticky streets and then rushed to aid the Radioactive Man, who was facing the Avengers alone. Wasp distracted the villain long enough for Iron Man to rescue Giant-Man and Captain America, who had become stuck as well.

(Avengers I#6) - The Black Knight attacked the Avengers as they made their retreat, but Thor made short work of his attempt to stop them using his bolas. The Asgardian knocked the lance out of his hand and the heroes continued on their way.

(Avengers I#6 - BTS) - Back at their mansion, t
he Avengers contacted Paste Pot Pete, who provided them with a solvent strong enough to counter Adhesive X.

(Avengers I#6) - Zemo sent the Masters out with more Adhesive X, unaware that Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade had switched the canisters of glue with the solvent. During their second run, the Black Knight and the others inadvertently freed the people they'd previously glued up.

(Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes I#3) - When the Avengers approached them, the Black Knight fired his power lance at bystanders, figuring that protecting the innocent civilians was the Avengers' Achilles' heel. Thor deflected the blast with his hammer, deeming Garrett a vile braggart.

(Avengers I#6) - The Black Knight used his lance to shoot projectiles at Thor, which the thunder god easily deflected with his spinning hammer. With his patience at an end, Thor flew toward the Knight and his flying steed, to deal with him directly.

(Marvels I#2) - Photojournalist Phil Sheldon was on the job when the Masters attacked the city--he snapped pictures of Thor and the Black Knight fighting high in the sky.

(Avengers I#6) - After his teammates had defeated the other Masters, Thor flew to his fellow Avengers, riding upon the Black Knight's winged horse, and dragging the villain by his cape; Thor told the others that the Knight had the fight knocked out of him, so he'd probably appreciate a nice long rest in some quiet jail.

(Tales of Suspense I#59/1) - The Black Knight's winged horse flew to his jail cell window and delivered the weapons he needed to escape. Seeking revenge upon the Avengers, the Black Knight attacked the Stark Industries factory (since it was publicly known that Iron Man worked there as Tony Stark's bodyguard). Although he used an assortment of weapons against the hero, the Black Knight was defeated by Iron Man and turned over to the police, and the villain was returned to prison.

(Avengers I#15 (fb) - BTS) - The Melter and the Black Knight were captured and kept in the same specially prepared police cell.

(Avengers I#15) - Acting on orders from Zemo, the Enchantress and the Executioner freed Black Knight and the Melter. After handing Garrett his lance and his horse, the two Asgardians sent the villains out to fight the Avengers. The Black Knight attacked the team's aircraft by throwing his lance's razor-sharp, rapidly expanding handle at the plane--if not for Thor's interference, the aircraft would have been ripped to shreds. Thor evaded the Knight's bolas and chased him around until he led him back to Giant-Man, who forced the Knight to the ground where the other Masters were waiting. In the end, the fight between the Masters and the Avengers reached a standstill.

(Avengers VII#1.1) - As soon as the fighting resumed, Iron Man and Giant-Man teamed up. One held the Knight back while the other fired a repulsor blast to knock the power lance out of Garrett's hands. The Melter got so angry and obsessed with not wanting to return to jail, he turned his ray on full blast, which threatened to damage large parts of the city.

(Avengers I#16) - Implementing Plan D, Thor used his hammer's teleportation abilities to transport the Black Knight and the Melter to a different dimension. Furious and beyond reason, the villains swore to kill the heroes but soon found out they had been taken to a dimension where certain natural laws were reversed, effectively making it impossible for them to fight. They were easily overpowered and taken into custody.

(Fantastic Four Annual I#3) - Influenced by Doctor Doom's high-frequency Emotion Charger, the Black Knight joined numerous super-villains in an attack on the Fantastic Four just as Reed and Sue were getting married. Black Knight first tried to stop Daredevil from hijacking Hydra's truck carrying a destructive vortex bomb. He was attacked by the Angel, who was too fast for him to hit with his lance, but the Mandarin helped the Knight out with a well-timed blast that dazed the flying X-Man.

   During the massive free-for-all that followed right outside the Baxter Building, the Black Knight was punched off his horse by Reed Richards moments before Mr. Fantastic used a sub-atronic time-displacer he borrowed from Uatu the Watcher to return every combatant to the immediate past, with no memory of the event (see comments).

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update I#5 (fb) - BTS) - Nathan Garrett took over an abandoned castle that had been relocated to the Potomac River near Washington D.C. years earlier by an English baron who died before moving in.

(Tales of Suspense I#73/1 - BTS) - Eager to exact revenge on Iron Man, the Black Knight kidnapped injured Stark employee Happy Hogan from the hospital, leaving clues such as hoof prints that would lead Iron Man to him.

(Tales of Suspense I#73/1) - When Iron Man entered his castle, the Black Knight used holographic images of himself to toy with the golden Avenger before making his presence known. The Knight surprised Iron Man with two ionic energy blasts that messed up his transistor powered chestplate. The hero was forced to play dead to allow his systems to reset and recharge.

   The Black Knight decided to finish off his seemingly unconscious foe by taking him up in the air and dropping him from a height that was sure to kill him. Iron Man revived in time to struggle against his foe, causing the cinch of his steed's saddle to break. Both men fell to the ground, but while Iron Man broke his fall by diving in a nearby river, all that remained of Garrett was his tattered cape.

(Avengers I#47-48 (fb)) - Garrett survived the fall, but sustained life-threatening injuries. Aware that he was dying, he made his way to a nearby farmhouse ,where he phoned his only living relative: his nephew Dane Whitman, who happened to be working at the nearby Willowton Research Center. Over the phone, Garrett told his nephew he was the criminal Black Knight. Dane still came by to pick him up and return him to his castle. Before he died, Garrett made Whitman swear that he would use his research for good, not as Garrett had used it for evil. Whitman promised his uncle that he would one day be remembered 'not as a criminal, but one who lived a benefactor of mankind'.

(Avengers I#48 - BTS) - After Garrett's burial, Whitman started to look into his uncle's work. He marveled at his many scientific discoveries, even creating his own flying horse following Garrett's formula. He adopted most of Garrett's technologies, including the power lance. He spent unrevealed weeks training to make the technology his own. When he was satisfied he could handle the job, Whitman set out to make a name for himself as the new Black Knight.

(JLA/Avengers I#2 & 3 (fb) - BTS) - When the Grandmaster used objects of power to fuse Earth-616 with an actuality from a Divergent Continuum, history was retroactively rewritten. Nathan Garrett still became the Black Knight and joined Zemo's Masters of Evil. After an unrevealed misadventure the group found itself exiled to a dimensional void, stuck in a cell constructed by Green Lantern's power ring.

(JLA/Avengers I#3) - As soon as the Avengers and JLA started to realize their shared reality was false and flawed, they checked on villains who might be responsible--after inspecting the dimensional void cell, they concluded it couldn't be the Masters of Evil.

(JLA/Avengers I#4 - BTS) - When the mad Oan scientist Krona, native to a Divergent Continuum, weakened the barriers between Earth-616 and his home reality, the Avengers and the Justice League of America decided to team up to restore order to this new actuality. During the heroes' final assault on Krona's power base, the Oan summoned dozens of villains from both universes to defend him (see comments).


(Black Knight III#3) - The spirit of Nathan Garrett and several other deceased Black Knights were summoned by Doctor Voodoo to help distract the crazed Dane Whitman long enough for the Avengers to reclaim the Ebony Blade from him.

(Strange III#9) - The Blasphemy Cartel bound thousands of insane ghosts to the corpse of the Black Knight (Nathan Garrett) to turn him into one of their Revenant agents. They sent him alongside the Revenants Constrictor (Frank Payne), Mettle (Ken Mack) and Taurus (Cornelius Van Lunt) against the Harvestman and Clea, who were invading the Emerald City, the Blasphemy Cartel's HQ. He stabbed the Harvestman through the back, but then got cut in half by him.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Dick Ayers.

Not sure why the decision was made to kill off Black Knight so early on. The Marvel Universe is big enough for both Dane Whitman and Nathan Garrett, especially because an uncle/nephew rivalry was pretty unique and unusual for the 60s.

The Black Knight was taken to prison at the end of Avengers I#15, but was somehow out in time for the wedding of Reed and Sue in Fantastic Four Annual I#3. Maybe his communist contacts once again paid his bail.

The Black Knight that appeared as a member of two incarnations of the Legion of the Unliving III and IV was a simulacrum.

I strained my eyes pouring over the pages of the final issue of JLA/Avengers, but the Black Knight does not appear on panel. He did pop up with the rest of the original Masters of Evil in #3, so it's entirely possible he was there off panel.

Black Knight and the other Masters of Evil appear in a one panel flashback to the events of Avengers I#6 in Captain America: Man out of time I#4. Because that story revealed no new information about the Black Knight, it wasn't included in the profile. For the same reason his appearance in Heroes & Legends 96 was excluded.

The Black Knight received full profiles in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#2, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#16, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition I#14 and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update I#5.

Missed Tales of Suspense I#59 appearance added by Ron Fredricks. Strange III#9 appearance added by Markus Raymond.

Profile by Norvo

Black Knight should not be confused with:

Images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update I#5, p4, pan1 (main image)
Tales to Astonish I#52/1, p4, pan3 (wishes he had superpowers)
Untold Tales of Spider-Man I#13, p17, pan3 (fleeing Spider-Man)
Avengers I#6, p15, pan1 (lance with deadly arsenal)
Fantastic Four Annual I#3, p16, pan3 (blasts Daredevil driving vortex bomb)
Tales of Suspense I#73/1 ,p10, pan4 (falling to his death)
Avengers I#48, p11, pan5 (passes the mantle to Dane Whitman)
Strange III#9, p12, pan3 (as a Revenant)
Strange III#9, p16, pan3 (as a Revenant, cut in half)
Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe Master Edition I#14, p15, pan1 (ohotmu master)

Tales to Astonish I#52/1 (February, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Dick Ayers (pencils & inks)
Avengers I#6 (July, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Chic Stone (inks)
Tales of Suspense I#59/1 (November, 1964) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Don Heck (pencils), Chic Stone (inks)
Avengers I#15 (April, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby & Don Heck (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks)
Avengers I#16 (May, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks)
Fantastic Four Annual I#3 (October, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks)
Tales of Suspense I#73/1 (January, 1966) - Stan Lee, Flo Steinberg, Roy Thomas (writers), Adam Austin (pencils), Gary Michaels, Sol Brodsky, Marie Severin (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Avengers I#47 (December, 1967) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), George Tuska (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Avengers I#48 (January, 1968) - Roy Thomas (writer), George Tuska (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvels I#2 (February, 1994) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Alex Ross (pencils & inks), Marcus McLaurin (editor)
Untold Tales of Spider-Man I#13 (September, 1996) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Pat Olliffe (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Uncanny Origins I#11 (July, 1997) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Mark Campos (pencils & inks), Joe Andreani (editor)
JLA/Avengers I#3 (December, 2003) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Pérez (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
JLA/Avengers I#4 (February, 2004) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Pérez (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes I#3 (December, 2004) - Joe Casey (writer), Scott Collins (pencils & inks) Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Knight III#3 (March, 2016) - Frank Tieri (writer), Luca Pizzari & Kevin Walker (pencils & inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers VII#1.1 (January, 2017) - Mark Waid (writer), Barry Kitson (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Strange III#9 (February, 2023) - Jed MacKay (writer), Marcelo Ferreira (pencils), Roberto Poggi (inks), Darren Shan (editor)

First Posted: 06/16/2024
Last Updated: 06/19/2024

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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