Real Name: Franz Gerhardt

Identity/Class: Human technology user (World War II);
   German citizen

Occupation: Nazi agent, holy warrior

Group Membership: Nazi Party;
formerly Super-Axis (Agent Axis, Lady Lotus, Master Man/Wilhelm Lohmer, Scarlet Scarab/Abdul Faoul, U-Man/Meranno, Warrior Woman)

Affiliations: Blitzkrieg Squad (Manfred Adler, Siegfried Farber, Ernst Mueller, Otto Rabe, Ludwig Schroeder, Fritz von Sydow, Wolfgang von Strucker)

EnemiesDoctor Barrow, Winston Churchill, Betty Dean, Gigantos, Invaders (Bucky/James Barnes, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Human Torch/Jim Hammond, Spitfire/Jaqueline Falsworth, Sub-Mariner/Namor MacKenzie, Union Jack/Brian Falsworth), Bernard Lee Montgomery, Toro (Thomas Raymond)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Komtur the Teutonic Knight

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: Invaders I#29 (June, 1978)

Powers/Abilities: The Teutonic Knight possesses no superhuman abilities. The well-known religious fanatic hid his true identity behind a mask and full body costume. Due to his tactical prowess, fanaticism and mercilessness he was shows outsmarting average soldiers and superhuman beings alike. He used conventional firearms and explosives in combat.

   In addition Teutonic Knight commandeered a special seaplane and the flying arsenal known as the Fliegentod.

Height: 6'3" (by approximation)
Weight: 185 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White

(Invaders I#30 (fb) - BTS) - Franz Gerhardt was a well-known religious fanatic before World War II. Driven mad when the Third Reich adopted an atheistic policy Gerhardt rationalized his allegiance with the Nazis by becoming a holy warrior fighting for his God and fatherland. Taking inspiration from the war against the Prussians in the middle ages he named himself after the title of the Teutonic Knights' commander: Komtur the Teutonic Knight.

(Invaders I#29 (fb) ) <late 1941> - Teutonic Knight and a small group of Nazi soldiers landed nearby a warehouse on the east coast used for a secret government project and attacked it. To their surprise they were opposed by Captain America and Bucky, who had been asked to guard the warehouse. Teutonic Knight ordered his men to kill the two heroes and showed himself no mercy when he shot two soldiers. While Cap and Bucky were still fighting his soldiers the Teutonic Knight blew up the safe inside the warehouse, which caused a fire. Teutonic Knight stole the blueprints for the top secret flying arsenal and when Cap and Bucky were given the option to stop him, they instead saved the soldiers from the fire. Teutonic Knight escaped in his plane with the flying arsenal blueprints.

   A short time later Teutonic Knight descended on a ladder from a plane in rural England upon a train. He crashed through a window to kidnap British scientist Doctor Barrow and steal his plans on an experimental engine. The Human Torch and Toro, who had been hired as Barrow's bodyguards, were unable to stop Teutonic Knight from leaving the train with Barrow because their flame powers could endanger everyone else on the train. As soon as Teutonic Knight returned to his plane with Barrow, the two heroes ascended into the sky to capture the Nazi villain. Teutonic Knight dropped a bomb from his plane, which destroyed a bridge below. While the Human Torch and Toro fixed the bridge to save the train from crashing the Teutonic Knight escaped.

   Not long after Teutonic Knight and his soldiers entered a tanker transporting the rare element Radium-X while Namor, who had been on the tanker with his good friend war correspondent Betty Dean, was distracted by an attacking Nazi U-boat. When he returned to the tanker Teutonic Knight threatened his men would kill Betty Dean, Roth and the rest of the tanker's crew if Namor intervened. Teutonic Knight stole the box with Radium-X and escaped in his plane. Namor was unable to follow him when Teutonic Knight's plane released a thick cloud of smoke, which dried up Namor's pores, weakening him too much in the process.

(Invaders I#29 (fb) - BTS) - Teutonic Knight succeeded in the construction of the flying arsenal, forced Doctor Barrow to install his experimental engine and used the stolen Radium-X to power it. He flew the flying arsenal, christened the Fliegentod, to Britain for an attack. The Invaders were called in for help.

(Invaders I#29) - While spouting his holy crusade rhetoric and praises for the Third Reich through the Fliegentod's loudspeakers for every citizen in the area to hear, the Fliegentod shot down British planes with ease. The Invaders were shocked at the gigantic, flying death machine.

(Invaders I#30) - Teutonic Knight didn't care much when the Fliegentod destroyed a church's tower because they would've destroyed the building anyway. When the Invaders (Captain America, Spitfire and Union Jack) entered the Fliegentod and took down a few Nazi soldiers the Teutonic Knight sent more soldiers after them. He eventually used Doctor Barrow as leverage, threatening to kill him if the Invaders didn't stop their attack. Teutonic Knight gleefully showed the Invaders an image of Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Bernard Law Montgomery on a tele-screen and revealed his attack with the Fliegentod was only a distraction to draw all British defenses against the Fliegentod while Baron Strucker and his Blitzkrieg Squad were going to assassinate Churchill and Montgomery at their secret meeting. Captain America suddenly hurled his shield against Teutonic Knight, nearly knocking him out. Spitfire took the opportunity to save Doctor Barrow. Union Jack then knocked out Teutonic Knight for good.

   After the Fliegentod was brought down safely to the ground by the combined efforts of Namor, the Human Torch and Spitfire the Teutonic Knight was unmasked as German religious fanatic Franz Gerhardt and taken into custody by British soldiers. Teutonic Knight wanted to hear none of his enemies' heathen words to describe his actions.

(Invaders I#30 - BTS) - Gerhardt was heard muttering prayers while he was taken away by the British soldiers.

(All-New Invaders#4 (fb) ) <July, 1944> - The Super-Axis, including the Teutonic Knight, had the Invaders kneeling before them in defeat at the Crete coast and were going to kill them, but Namor returned with an army of sea monsters, including Gigantos to defeat them, and save the Invaders.

Comments: Created by Don Glut (writer), Alan Kupperberg (pencils) & Frank Springer (inks).

The Teutonic Knight was also seen in a flashback in Saga of the Sub-Mariner#5 (March, 1989) as one of the Invaders' enemies.

In All-New Invaders#4 the Teutonic Knight looked taller than Master Man (6'6"), but in Invaders I#29-30 he looked as tall as the Human Torch (6'3"). Either the man in All-New Invaders was not the original Teutonic Knight or he used some kind of technology or plateau boots to appear taller. It is also possible he somehow mutated himself to actually become taller.

Profile by Markus Raymond.

Teutonic Knight has no known connections to:

Teutonic Knight's seaplane

A German long-range transport seaplane armed with bombs and equipment to release a massive smoke cloud. It could transport a group of soldiers. Teutonic Knight used the seaplane in his in late 1941 quest to acquire the blueprints for the flying arsenal from a warehouse on the US east coast, the plans for an experimental engine and its inventor Doctor Barrows from a train and a box of the rare element Radium-X from a tanker. He escaped the teams of Captain America and Bucky, Human Torch and Toro and Namor respectively in his seaplane. The latter was weakened by the smoke cloud, which dried up his pores until he was rendered too weak to pursue the seaplane any further.

--Invaders I#29 (fb)

images: (without ads)
Invaders I#30, p2 (main)
Invaders I#30, p14, pan4 (head shot, unmasked)
Invaders I#29, p4, pan2 (first costume)
Invaders I#29, p15, pan1 (seaplane)

Invaders I#29-30 (June-July, 1978) - Don Glut (writer), Alan Kupperberg (pencils), Frank Springer (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
All-New Invaders#4 (June, 2014) - James Robinson (writer), Steve Pugh (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)

First Posted: 08/26/2001
Last Updated: 08/26/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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