(This profile does not cover the Black Knight himself)
Real Name: None
Identity/Class: Magical creation
Occupation: Former decoration;
occasional pawn/agent of others
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Victoria Bentley, Black Knight (Dane
Whitman), Dr. Strange, Enchantress,
possibly the Dweller-in-Darkness and/or Ultron and/or some unknown manipulator (see comments)
Enemies: Formerly the Avengers, Clea, and Dr. Strange
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Currently transformed back
into the flesh and blood of the Black Knight (Dane Whitman);
formerly Garrett Castle, England;
formerly Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum
First Appearance: Defenders I#4 (February, 1973)
Powers/Abilities: In its "normal" state, the statue was composed of immobile stone. On occasion it was granted mobility, and at those times it had superhuman strength (strong enough to knock out Wonder Man, though it was VERY soon after his recovery from death--possibly lifting 75-100 tons) and it was harder than normal stone (though certainly still weaker than steel or diamond).
(Defenders I#4) - The Black Knight was mesmerized by the Enchantress and served as her pawn in an adventure into the past. After that adventure, the Enchantress prepared to leave him behind, and when he protested, she showed him her gratitude, with a kiss that turned him to stone. She then left him behind as a monument to the eternal love she could inspire. Dr. Strange attempted to reverse the spell to no avail, as did the Valkyrie (hoping her past connections to the Enchantress might help). Dr. Strange took the statue and the Defenders back to the modern era, outside of Garrett Castle, after which he prepared to convey it to his own Sanctum in New York.
(Avengers I#157 (fb)) - The Defenders teleported to Strange's Sanctum, statue in tow.
(Defenders I#8 (fb) - BTS) - The Black Knight's spirit was dispatched from the statue at some point into some unnamed and unnamable cosmos.
(Defenders I#5) - The Black Knight statue stood in Strange's sanctum as the Valkyrie thought about feelings she had developed for the Black Knight.
(Defenders I#6) - A stray mystic blast from Cyrus Black struck the Black Knight statue, and Dr. Strange siphoned off the harmful power before it could shatter the statue.
(Avengers I#117 (fb)) - Strange attempted to restore the Black Knight to human form, without success.
(Defenders I#8) - Dr. Strange summoned the Defenders as he sent a psychic message to contact the Black Knight's spirit via the statue, telling him that they were working to save him, and asking him if he knew anything that could help them. The Black Knight's spirit received the message and responded that he had no leads for them to find him, but expressed confidence that they would find him. However, the Knight's message was intercepted by Dormammu and Loki, who had formed an alliance and altered the message as part of their plot against Earth. The altered message told Dr. Strange that the Black Knight felt he could only be rescued via the power of the Evil Eye.
(Avengers I#116) - The Black Knight statue stood in Strange's Sanctum as Strange divined the location of the six fragments of the Evil Eye from the Orb of Agamotto (his crystal ball deal).
(Defenders I#9) - The Black Knight statue stood in Strange's Sanctum as the Silver Surfer returned with the Evil Eye fragment he had obtained.
(Defenders I#10) - The Black Knight statue stood in Strange's Sanctum as the Defenders and the Avengers shared their experiences and realized how they had been manipulated.
(Defenders I#11 (fb) - BTS) - The Black Knight's spirit was transported (allegedly via the magic of Merlin) to the 12th century, during the Crusades, where it possessed the form of his ancestor, Eobar Garrington.
(Defenders I#11) - Dr. Strange used the Evil Eye in an effort to contact the Black Knight's spirit, learning that it was no longer in the void where he had first contacted it. Strange and the Defenders were then transported by and with the Evil Eye to the 12th century, where they learned the fate of the Black Knight; the Knight ultimately elected to remain in the 12th century.
(Avengers I#157 (fb)) - The Black Knight statue stood in Strange's Sanctum as the Defenders and the Avengers reviewed their recent conflict, discussing their motivations, etc.
(Avengers I#157 (fb) - BTS) - The statue was moved into Strange's storeroom.
(Avengers I#157 (fb)) - A portal opened above the statue's shoulder. Ultron's hand touched it, animated it, and sent it on a mission.
(Avengers I#157) - The statue arrived at Avengers mansion, quickly incapacitating Iron Man, Yellowjacket, and the Beast. Smashing its way into the kitchen, it similarly took out Captain America and the Wasp in short order. The Scarlet Witch and even Wonder Man soon fell before the statue. Before the Scarlet Witch lapsed into unconsciousness she sent a mental summons to the Vision, who arrived almost immediately, confronting the statue and demanding an explanation. The statue, believing itself to be the true Black Knight, revealed how it felt betrayed by the Avengers and Defenders for leaving it behind and not working harder to restore it to life. The Vision forced the statue to remember how the real Black Knight's spirit had transported back to the 12th century, and that the statue was merely a "ghost of stone." Maddened and refusing to accept this, the statue assaulted the Vision, who turned to the density of unflawed diamond. The statue continued to pound away against the Vision until its stone form shattered into rubble.
(Avengers I#158) - The Vision stood over the rubble of the statue, until a long-brewing fight between him and Wonder Man erupted. The other Avengers entered and saw the fragments of the statue, with Jarvis wondering whether he should clean up the statue or call a morgue.
(Dr. Strange II#35 (fb) - BTS) - The statue's remains were transported to a sub-level of the Avengers' Mansion, where they would remain for a month.
(Dr. Strange II#29) - Iron Man and Yellowjacket contacted Dr. Strange, informing him of the statue's activities and fate, and Strange told them he would be over to pick it up as soon as he could.
(Dr. Strange II#35) - Dr. Strange traveled to Avengers Mansion
to examine the statue. He managed to magically restore the statue to intact form,
but was surprised to find that the statue now had a sword at its side, when the
Knight's sword was in the 12th century with him, and the statue had not had a
sword when last seen. Strange removed the seemingly stone sword, smashing it
against a table, shattering its coating and revealing it to be the true Ebony
Blade. Strange took the sword for further study, leaving the statue at Avengers
Mansion for safekeeping.
Via the Ebony Blade, Strange later fought off the demon Ludi.
(Dr. Strange II#36) - Strange had the Black Knight statue loaded aboard a plane bound for England, taking it to the Knight's ancestral home in Garrett Castle. En route, the demon Ningal assaulted the plane, until it was fought off by Strange. Within Garrett Castle, Strange attempted to contact the Black Knight via the Knight's brazier, but Ningal possessed the statue, transforming it to giant form with the face of Ningal. In this form, Ningal knocked out Victoria Bentley before being discovered by Strange and Clea.
(Dr. Strange II#37) - Ningal challenged Strange, who blasted the statue to rubble. However, Ningal almost immediately reformed and attacked the pair. Initially forced to hide behind a mystic shield, Strange tricked Ningal with his astral self and then stunned him with the "All-Consuming Maelstrom of Madness." Strange's astral self confronted Ningal's, imprisoning it in a block of mystic amber. Without Ningal's power, the statue crumbled back into rubble once again.
(Avengers I#226) - His spirit returned to the modern era by the magic of Amergin, the Black Knight reformed the statue and transformed back to human form, regaining his life.
Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema, and F. McLaughlin.
So who animated the statue and sent it after the Avengers?
The situation on who animated the statue was finally cleared in Black Knight (Whitman)'s profile in OHotMU A-Z HC#1. It was indeed Ultron!
The talk about Merlin guiding the Black Knight's spirit back to the 12th century is a little odd, because it also referred to Garrington as the original Black Knight, while it was the 6th century's Percy of Scandia who held that title (if you don't count that prior magical construct...). Still, I don't remember hearing any other explanation. Have you?
Ah, the original Avengers vs. Defenders saga...classic Marvel!
I have a flashback from Avengers I#118 listed on my chronology, but I don't see it. Similarly, I had an appearance (not a flashback) from Avengers I#117 listed, but I don't see that, either? Did I miss them.
It's Ultron's hand, drawn by an artist who wasn't told to make it anything more than a robot hand (and very possibly wasn't even told it was Ultron). This is the secret plot thread that's running through AVENGERS during the handoff from Englehart to Conway to Shooter, but which never gets explained.
The evidence is tangled, but compelling:
Profile by Snood.
No known connection to:
any of the real Black Knights or other statues
Defenders I#4, p28, panel 2 + 3 (kiss and turned to stone)
Avengers I#157, p6, panel 3 (full body)
p7, panel 1 (face)
panel 7 + 8 (mysterious hand)
Dr. Strange II#36, p30 (possessed by Ningal)
Defenders I#4-6 (March-June 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#8 (September, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#9 (October, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Avengers I#116 (October, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Bob Brown (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#10 (November, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Frank Bolle (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Avengers I#117 (November, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Bob Brown (pencils), Mike Esposito & Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#11 (December, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Frank Bolle (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Avengers I#118 (December, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Bob Brown (pencils), Mike Esposito & Frank Giacoia (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Avengers I#157 (March, 1977) - Gerry Conway (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Gerry Conway (editor)
Avengers I#158 (April, 1977) - Jim Shooter (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Dr. Strange II#29 (June, 1978) - Roger Stern (writer), Tom Sutton (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Dr. Strange II#35 (June, 1979) - Roger Stern & Ralph Macchio (writers), Tom Sutton (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Dr. Strange II#36-37 (August-October, 1979) - Roger Stern & Ralph Macchio (writers), Gene Colan (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Al Milgrom & Mary Jo Duffy (editors)
Avengers I#226 (December, 1982) - Steven Grant (writer), Greg LaRocque (pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Last updated: 11/22/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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