ebony_blade-fake-vampiretooth-cb&MI13-9-wisdom-glowing false EBONY BLADE ebony_blade-fake-vampiretooth-cb&MI13-1-skrullstab

Classification: Magic item (Swords of Sorcerous Might)

Creator: Unrevealed (likely Captain Fate/Jebediah Fate and/or Lilith, Mother of Demons, under the direction of Dracula +/- other vampires)

Possessors: Black Knight (Dane Whitman);
    briefly Pete Wisdom

Victims: Mindless Ones, Super-Skrulls;
    despite its blood

First Appearance: (Apparently; see commentsNew Excalibur#13 (January, 2007)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The false Ebony Blade matched the appearance, weight, and feel of the true Ebony Blade, and it was similarly sharp, virtually indestructible, and able to cleave through most forms of matter, as well as disrupting forms of magic. 

    At least under circumstances where the blade wished it, the false Ebony Blade could be used to cleave dimensional barriers.

    Normally a black blade, it could sometimes glow with crimson energy.

    Containing a vampire fang, it possessed a hunger for blood and some degree of sentience, allowing it to act and influence its wielder to actions to allow it access to increasing levels of blood. It sometimes caused him to wish to harm others for even minor reasons, such as their choices in clothing.
    This bloodthirst mirrored to some degree the true Ebony Blade's driving its wielder to use the sword's blade against his or her foes.

    Certain uses of the false Ebony Blade, such as shoving it into the ground to disrupt a conflict caused an energy release that was recognizable as different from the true Ebony Blade. 

    However, the false Ebony Blade was apparently able to cause the Black Knight (Dane Whitman) to forget that he had learned that the blade was an imposture and to prevent him from realizing this again.

Captain Britain and MI13#10 (fb) - BTS) - The false Ebony Blade had a <vampire> fang inside of it. 

(Captain Britain and MI13#10 (fb) - BTS) - Augustine du Lac, who would become the Vatican's Black Knight, found the true Ebony Blade in a vampire nest in Iraq after it was purged by Christian extremists Opus Dei.

(Captain Britain and MI13#11 (fb) - BTS) <Months before the main story> - Amongst Dracula's plots as part of his Vampire State, the false Ebony Blade was planted to take the Black Knight (Dane Whitman) -- and perhaps other British heroes -- out of the game.

ebony_blade-fake-fang-ne14(New Excalibur#13) - Unwittingly wielding the false Ebony Blade, the Black Knight (Dane Whitman) joined his Excalibur allies (Captain Britain/Brian Braddock, Dazzler/Alison Blaire, Nocturne-2182/TJ Wagner, Sage/Tessa) and Pete Wisdom in coming to the aid of Excalibur member Juggernaut (Cain Marko) -- whose power from and connection to Cyttorak was weakened by his recent heroic actions -- when he was assaulted by the Wrecking Crew. Whitman faced off against the Wrecker, wielding the sword against his enchanted crowbar.

    The Black Knight was present at Excalibur's headquarters when they learned that the Juggernaut had returned to the Temple of Cyttorak in Korea in hopes of regaining his lost power.

(New Excalibur#14) - The Black Knight traveled alongside Wisdom and the rest of Excalibur to South Korea via helicopter. As they followed the Juggernaut's trail, fights broke out between Nocturne and Dazzler, and Captain Britain and Wisdom, leading the Black Knight to slam his sword into the ground and shout "Enough!," after which he noted that that did not feel right.
    Regardless, the fights broke up and the heroes continued their trek.

(New Excalibur#15 (fb) - BTS) - The Black Knight realized that the sword he touched in Camelot and the one he was currently holding were not the same. ebony_blade-fake-fang-ne15

(New Excalibur#15) - The Black Knight and the rest of Excalibur (plus Wisdom) fought off the Guardians of the Temple of Cyttorak, who ultimately (apparently) committed mass suicide to prevent interrogation on the location of Cain Marko.

    After returning to the Excalibur base, Dane explained to Captain Britain that he had realized that the Ebony Blade he was using was a fake, and that he needed to find out why that was or even how it was possible. Captain Britain offered to have Excalibur help him, but Dane resolved that he had to do this on his own.

(Captain Britain and MI13#7 (fb) - BTS) - The false Ebony Blade apparently caused Dane to forget that he was wielding a fake, and he returned to business as usual.

(Captain Britain and MI13#1) - Dane held off the evil influence of the "Ebony Blade" via flippancy, not giving the sword anything to latch onto.

(Captain Britain and MI13#1) - During the Skulls' Secret Invasion, Dane joined the fight against the Super-Skrulls, wielding the false Ebony Blade, skewering at least one right through the chest.

(Captain Britain and MI13#2) - Dane checked on the injured Faiza Hussain, who unintentionally separated his body's organ systems before recovering and restoring him. He subsequently used the blade in a number of fatal assaults on the Skrulls before Faiza immobilized their attackers.

(Captain Britain and MI13#3) - Wielding the Ebony Blade, which he noted to still be its tiresome self, Dane joined Faiza and the English military on Westminster Bridge in fighting off an assault by magic-powered and other-Super-Skrulls. He attacked the Zom-and-other-magic-being-and-item-powered Skrull with the Blade, but was blasted into submission.

(Captain Britain and MI13#4) - After Captain Britain broke the Skrulls' control of magic, Faiza healed Dane and subsequently claimed Excalibur.

(Captain Britain and MI13#5 - BTS) - The false Ebony Blade was not seen as Dane visited Faiza's parents. As he subsequently flew with Faiza atop the winged steed Strider to gather with the rest of the team on a mission to assist Captain Midlands, the sword was contained within his carrying case.

(Captain Britain and MI13#6) - As the Black Knight rescued people from the burning Cloverleaf Estate in Birmingham, England, he resisted the false Ebony Blade's telling him to slice open the people for wearing track suits as daywear. He subsequently used the blade -- alongside Faiza and Excalibur -- to free a chained Captain Midlands.ebony_blade-fake-vampiretooth-cb&MI13-7-mostfull

(Captain Britain and MI13#7) - Wielding the false blade, Dane -- alongside Faiza and Pete Wisdom -- faced off against the demon-lord Plokta's Mindless Ones. Resisting Plokta's offer to enter a dream corridor to escape the curse of the Ebony Blade, Dane nonetheless began to lose control as the blade demanded blood. 

    After Dane threatened Faiza, Wisdom then reminded Dane that he was not holding the true Ebony Blade.

(Captain Britain and MI13#8) - Dane collapsed under this realization and dropped the false blade. Captain Midlands picked up Dane and urged the others to continue upstairs.

    When Dane recalled that he had previously known he was not wielding the true Ebony Blade, Wisdom noted that the sword had been good enough to fool the magical powers of Camelot and that it had more than convinced Dane as well. Faiza urged Dane to get rid of the false blade, but he was unable/unwilling, arguing that it hungered for blood and that he couldn't let someone us fall under its influence; he further argued that he was "just about handling it." As they continued on, Wisdom warned Dane that he would melt the sword if Dane showed one false move.cb&MI13-9-wisdom-cleaving reality

    Eventually, Dane was duped, along with Blade, Faiza, Spitfire, and Pete Wisdom, by Captain Midlands -- who did so in order to be with a dream-version of his deceased wife -- into entering one of the demon-lord Plokta's dream corridors, where they were trapped in false realities while serving as power sources for Plokta.

(Captain Britain and MI13#9) - Learning the nature of the dream corridor, Wisdom asked Dane for his sword. 

    Considering that the sword was an intelligence, Wisdom spoke to it directly, noting that it had fooled Camelot, had a load of magical power, and wanted blood. 

    Wisdom then asked the sword how it felt to be trapped in the dream corridor with only six people (Black Knight, Blade, Captain Midlands, Faiza Hussain, Spitfire, and Wisdom)?
    Was that enough blood for it forever? Or did it want out?

    In response, the sword flared with energy, and Wisdom began using it to tear rents in the walls of the dream corridors, making everyone whose realm he disrupted return to their mortal existence. This allowed Captain Britain and Alistair Stuart to escape as well. 

    By the time the heroes had reached Plokta, Wisdom had returned the false Ebony Blade to the Black Knight, and Dane used it against Mindless Ones summoned by Plokta, slicing cleaning through the otherwise highly durable creatures. 

    Captain Britain then arrived and pulled Plokta into one of his dream corridors, causing Plokta to feed on himself, and then Alistair trapped Plokta in a pentagram tesseract. 

(Mighty Avengers I#22) - As the Elder God Chthon's demonic influence spread across Earth, the Black Knight -- alongside Spitfire and Captain Britain, at least -- fought off tentacled creatures with the false Ebony Blade.

(Mighty Avengers I#23 - BTS) - Alongside Captain Britain and Spitfire, the Black Knight noted that Great Britain was back to normal, as if the day before had never happened.

(Captain Britain and MI13#10 - BTS) - The Black Knight and Faiza traveled to Wakanda, begging an audience with Queen Ororo and asking for the return of what was his. With this gesture and with the Black Panther's blessing, Ororo returned the true Ebony Blade to Dane. 

    At Dane's query, Ororo revealed that the Black Panther had taken the sword from the Vatican's Black Knight, who had found it in a vampire nest in Iraq that had been flattened by the Opus Dei. 

    As Faiza and Dane flew back to England, their ship was struck by a mutated vampire launched from Dracula's base on the moon via magic cannons, causing the ship to explode. ebony_blade-fake-vampiretooth-cb&MI13-11

(Captain Britain and MI13#11) - Faiza's powers allowed her to use her healing powers to heal herself and Dane as they struck the ground, after which Dane found the false sword in its case on the ground nearby. 

    Noting that "just like a bad penny" it had found him again, he picked it up. ebony_blade-fake-vampiretooth-cb&MI13-11-2

    As far as I know, the false Ebony Blade's subsequent fate is unrevealed.

Comments: Created by (apparently; see commentsFrank Tieri, Jim Caliafore, and Mark McKenna.

What? When? Why? How? Where?
Courtesy of Loki

The creation of the false Ebony Blade was an example of necessity being the mother of invention. In what was originally intended to be an out-of-continuity (read: non-Earth-616) miniseries, writer Reginald Hudlin retold Black Panther's origin in 2005, but sales saw the out-of-continuity miniseries turned into the new ongoing and in-continuity Black Panther title, necessitating figuring out ways to explain umpteen discrepancies between established continuity and what had been shown in the first six issues. One of these was the depiction of the Black Knight and Ebony Blade. Black Panther IV#3 saw the Ebony Blade in the Vatican's possession, with a priest claiming it had "been wielded by Knights Templar for over 600 years" until it "briefly fell out of church hands," presumably a reference to it being used by Dane Whitman. I don't think this acknowledgement of Dane's existence was an attempt to help the story adhere to 616 continuity; other parts of the same issue egregiously contradicted said continuity. Even if it was thus intended, the comment about the Blade having only briefly been out of Templar hands doesn't fit what we know of the history of the Black Knight mantle. Regardless, this comment established that the Blade wielded by the Vatican's ersatz Black Knight in Hudlin's Black Panther was intended to be the real deal, and the sixth issue of the series (November 2005) ended with the Blade falling into Black Panther's possession. T'Challa briefly used it in Black Panther IV#13 (April 2006), ironically to slay vampires, and then it vanished from the title again.

Jump forward to October 2006 and Frank Tieri began a brief run on New Excalibur which brought in Dane Whitman's Black Knight as a guest star. Naturally Dane had the Ebony Blade. I can't say for sure, but I suspect that given that Hudlin's Black Panther run had started out as non-616 and the Blade had only appeared once (and briefly) since the run shifted into 616, I suspect the team working on New Excalibur were simply unaware that another series had laid claim to Dane's signature weapon. They clearly became aware fairly quickly after this though, not least because suddenly the Blade showed up in Black Panther again, and as a result Tieri had Dane discover the weapon he was now wielding was a fake. The who, why and how behind the fake was ultimately left down to the next writer to use Dane, which proved to be Paul Cornell in Captain Britain and MI13. Intending from the start to build up to a war between MI13 and Dracula's invading vampire army, he tied the explanation for the origins of the fake Blade into that plotline.

The Bloodwraith had the Ebony Blade as of Avengers III#39, and Dane in subsequent issues has a different (unidentified, presumably normal) sword. The next time I see him wielding what looks like the Ebony Blade again is JLA/Avengers#4. We don't know whether the vampires switched the blade for the fake before or after Dane somehow got it back from Bloodwraith. Dane confirms he has a fake blade in New Excalibur#15, which means the swap took place before New Excalibur#13 (13-15 is all one story).

From JLA/Avengers#4 to New Excalibur#13, Dane makes the following appearances:


A 501

A 502





Going by publication dates, the Vatican Black Knight has the real blade by April 2005 (when Hudlin's Black Panther run began), and New Excalibur 10 came out in October 2006, so that might suggest the substitution took place after A 502.

HOWEVER, and the chronologists might need to wade in on this one, if New Excalibur 10-12 could have taken place before the Hudlin BP run, then I'd say that would be the ideal spot for the swap. In NXCAL 10 Sir Percy wields the blade while possessing Dane's body; if anyone other than Dane would notice a swap, it would be him, and he says nothing. Then in NXCAL11 Dane and co all get sent back in time, but when this happens Dane's version of the Ebony Blade is left in the future, because two copies of the same sword can't be present in the same era. If it was the fake blade, the presence of the real one (held by Sir Percy) in the Camelot era wouldn't have this effect. So while he's in the past, Dane hasn't got possession of the blade, which would make it an ideal moment for someone to do the swap.

So, ASSuming the swap took place after New Excalibur#11, but prior to New Excalibur#13, and that Dane has the fake blade in all appearances until he gets the real one back in CB&MI13#10, then the fake appears in:



NXCAL 15ebony_blade-fake-vampiretooth-dracswordcompare

CB&MI13 1

CB&MI13 2

CB&MI13 3

CB&MI13 4

CB&MI13 5

CB&MI13 6

CB&MI13 7

CB&MI13 8

CB&MI13 9

MA 22

MA 23

CB&MI13 10

Dane had the fake sword with him (not seen) in CB&MI13#10, when he visited Wakanda, as it's retrieved by him from the plane crash in CB&MI13#11.

I haven't spotted it in any subsequent issues of CB&MI13, so I guess he locked it away somewhere secure. Dracula does wield a sword, but as this handy comparison of Drac's blade clashing with the real Ebony Blade shows, they look nothing alike.

Profile by Snood.

The false Ebony Blade should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads):
New Excalibur#14, pg. 20, panel 4 (stabbing blade into ground);
    #15, pg. 21, panel 3 (recognizing the fake);
Captain Britain and MI13#1, pg. 8 (stabbing Skrull);
    #5, pg. 20 (in carrying case, with Black Knight riding Strider; maybe it's not that great an image of the fake Ebony Blade, but it is a great image, and I want to include it at least until Strider gets a profile on the Appendix);
    #7, pg. 20 (full image in Black Knight's hand);
    #9, pg. 6, panel 4 (Wisdom with blade);
    #11, pg. 8, panel 3 (Dane picking up case off the ground);
            panel 4 (carrying case)
    #15, pg. 15, panel 3-5 (Dracula's sword, for comparison)

New Excalibur#13-15 (January-March, 2007) - Frank Tieri (writer), Jim Caliafore (penciler), Mark McKenna (inker), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe & Mike Marts (editors)
Captain Britain and MI13#1-2 (July-August, 2008) - Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jesse Delperdang (inker), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Captain Britain and MI13#3 (September, 2008) - Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jesse Delperdang & Scott Hanna (inkers), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Captain Britain and MI13#4 (October, 2008) - Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jesse Delperdang (inker), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Captain Britain and MI13#5 (November, 2008) - Paul Cornell (writer), Pat Oliffe (penciler), Paul Neary (inker), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Captain Britain and MI13#6 (December, 2008) - Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jesse Delperdang (inker), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Captain Britain and MI13#7-8 (January-February, 2009) - Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Michael Bair with Jay Leisten and Craig Yeung (inkers), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Captain Britain and MI13#9 (March, 2009) - Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk with Mike Collins (pencilers), Jay Leisten with Cam Smith (inkers), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Captain Britain and MI13#10 (April, 2009) - Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Jay Leisten (inker), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Mighty Avengers#22-23 (April-May, 2009) - Dan Slott (writer), Khoi Pham (penciler), Allen Martinez & Danny Miki (inkers), Jeanine Schaefer (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Captain Britain and MI13#11 (May, 2009) - Paul Cornell (writer), Leonard Kirk and Mike Collins (pencilers), Jay Leisten and Rubin Riggs (inkers), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

First posted: 05/09/2022
Last updated: 05/09/2022

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