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King Arthur Pendragon was a legendary British monarch, the son of Uther Pendragon, who in the sixth century united much of England, and founded the court of Camelot with his wife Queen Guinevere and the order known as the Knights of the Round Table, including the legendary warriors Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, Sir Percival, and Sir Galahad. His greatest advisor was the magician Merlin. From a past, and unknown, incestuous affair with his half-sister Morgause, Arthur spawned a son Mordred who was foretold to bring about the downfall of Camelot.

There are many myths and legends about King Arthur and his Knights. The extent of this article is to delve into the confirmed adventures of King Arthur in the Earth-616 universe.

History

Early Life[]

The great wizard Merlin brought the princess Igraine from Avalon, a surviving island of Atlantis to Britain following a prediction it would sink like the Great Cataclysm of old. He left her on the island of Tintagel with it's ruler Gorlois.[6] Later Merlin foresaw that one day a great King would arise from Vortigen's successor, King Uther Pendragon, Merlin sought to manipulate events so that his predictions would come to pass. During his reign Uther clashed with Gorlois. During these conflicts Uther became attracted to Gorlois' now wife Igraine. Merlin played on Uther's carnal desires by using his magics to make Uther appear to be Gorlois to facilitate a coupling between Uther and Igraine, in exchange for ownership of Uther's firstborn son. As fate would have it, Gorlois was slain in battle and Uther wed Igraine, who begat the king a son: Arthur. Arthur was given to Merlin, who left the boy in the care of the knight Sir Ector with Merlin acting as tutor for the boy in the years to come, he later instructed Uther to construct the Round Table that would become part of the legend of the future King Arthur.[7]

Arthur Pendragron (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 8 50 001

Young Arthur trying to lift Mjolnir

At the end of the 5th century, Thor visited Britain, where he saved a young Arthur from a Brood invasion. Thor discarded Mjolnir and battled the alien with his bare hands, but when the Broodling got past the God of Thunder, Arthur desperately tried to pick up Mjolnir. He was unworthy to wield the hammer, and his hope of becoming worthy amused Thor, so dispatched the creature and saved the young Arthur. This inspired the young Arthur on a lifelong quest to live a worthy life much like his heroic protector.[8]

Sword in the Stone[]

Arthur Pendragon (Earth-616) from Death of Doctor Strange X-Men Black Knight Vol 1 1 001

Pulling the Sword from the Stone

With the coronation of the new King Uther Pendragon fast approaching, Sir Brann was sent to Weyland's smithy to fetch a sword for the ceremony. While returning, Sir Brann encountered and attacked a time-traveling Iron Man. After subduing Brann, Iron Man took the sword and his horse, but both Iron Man and Sir Brann were later captured by the forces of Aislinn. The pair was able to escape and Brann even used the sword to slay a Dragon sent by Aislinn. During their final battle with Aislinn and her forces, the sword was lodged into a large stone (later revealed to be the Starstone) and could not be removed. When Sir Brann informed the new king, the king decided to leave the sword where it was.[9] When King Uther died leaving no heir to the throne, the sword now with an inscription proclaimed that whoever removes the sword is the rightful King of the Britain's. None succeed in removing the sword, which eventually becomes forgotten, leaving Britain in the Dark Ages. After many years Merlin gathered nobles to try and fail to complete the challenge. The teenaged Arthur who up to this point knew nothing of his true lineage effortlessly pulled the sword from the stone by accident and then repeats it publicly. Now wielding the sword named Excalibur hailed King of the Britons.[7] After Excalibur was drawn from the Starstone the Hungry Land ruled by Necromon began to invade the mortal realm. Merlin realized that putting the sword back in the stone would have repelled the dead realm but he chose to keep the sword and instead created The Barrier to prevent any extradimensional invasions.[10]

King of the Britons[]

Knights of the Round Table (Earth-616) from Black Knight Curse of the Ebony Blade Vol 1 2 001

Knights of the Round Table

Merlin guided Arthur into forming Camelot and the Court of the Pendragon. No mere words may compass it, It feels now more a dream than a domain and that perhaps is by design. A city rich with Marvels, Camelot was made into the glorious kingdom of history, legend and myth. Arthur takes command of Camelot, and inaugurates a new era of heroes, including the his Knights of the Round Table. The Round Table at which they meet is a symbol of the equality of its members, who range from sovereign royals to minor nobles. The roster includes the legendary members Sir Percival, the Black Knight, Sir Lancelot, Galahad and Gawain.[11] But the true roster was lost to time included such as Cai Hir the Tall, The Florid Gwalchmai, Feirefiz the Magpie Knight, Sir Bedwyr of the Perfect Sinew, Apatheia of the Middle Path, Menw the Shifter, The Grim Huntress and later Arthur illegitimate son Mordred. The team is successful, leading to a blossoming of "chivalry" and "valor" as their deeds illuminate what is otherwise a dark age of Britain.[12]

Knights of the Round Table (Earth-616) from Black Knight Curse of the Ebony Blade Vol 1 1 001

Arthur and his Knights

In 507 AD, Merlin brought one of the fallen mages, "XII", to Time's Forgotten Hollow and imprisoned him. King Arthur along with Bohra, Merlin's apprentice arrived to stop him. However when Bohra attacked Merlin he was able to defend himself and revealed his true nature as one of the Forgotten named "VIII". King Arthur, and Merlin then left, leaving VIII and XII chained up for eternity.[13]

Merlin became an advisor and sorcerer to King Arthur.[14] One of his Knights Sir Mogard became jealous of Merlin due to his favor with Arthur. He accused him as a fraud and challenged him to a duel against the champion of his choice. Merlin returned with a mysterious Black Knight, who defeated Mogard still called Merlin a fraud he revealed the armour was just an animated suit.[15] At some point in time during his rule, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table clashed with a villainous Black Knight who had kidnapped a maiden under his rule. Arthur was assisted in the maiden's rescue with the help of Merlin and the 20th century time traveler Tommy Tyme.[16]

One day, Arthur brought back to Camelot a wounded knight Beliar they had found in the forest and recovered with the help of Merlin. Beliar was invited to stay but began to repeatedly challenge Merlin, who was suspicious of him. Beliar tried to seduce Guinevere and nearly killed Lancelot in a jousting match. Eventually, Arthur realized that Belial posed a threat to Camelot and expelled him, but he kidnapped Guinevere. Arthur and Merlin follow Belial's trail into an underground cave, where they meet Belial's father, the great Demon; Asmodiar. Demons force a fight between Arthur and Beliar, but when Arthur's abilities proved superior, Asmodiar amplified his son's powers until Arthur was at his mercy . Merlin used his powers against the demons, but found it a losing battle. Merlin took the form of Beliar, caught Asmodiar by surprise, and behead him.[1] Arthur later destroyed the Myth Monster who used its powers to convince the people of Camelot that disabled children wear cursed in an attempt to make the kingdom shun them. He defended the children, and in it's weakened state he was imprisoned within an enchanted amulet by Merlin.[17]

The Black Knight[]

Eventually his son Mordred and his aunt Morgan Le Fay began plotting to overthrow King Arthur and rule Camelot themselves. Learning of this plot, Merlin selected Sir Percy of Scandia to be his secret weapon against this plot by having him pose as his own heroic Black Knight.[18] On the Black Knight's inaugural mission he rescued King Arthur from Mordred's assassins. In thanks, Arthur officially knighted the Black Knight, and agreed to never ask the Knight to reveal his true identity, much to the chagrin of Mordred. However, as the Black Knight was unable to provide proof of Mordred's attempts at regicide, King Arthur would never learn that Mordred and Morgan le Fay were ever behind the attempts on his life until it was much too late. Not long after the Black Knight's appearance, Mordred made another attempt to take over the throne by having King Arthur kidnapped in the night and secretly imprisoned in one of the castle's dungeons. Arthur was once more freed by the Black Knight and resumed the throne of Camelot.[11]

Shortly thereafter King Arthur was challenged to a jousting competition with Mordred after Mordred had defeated all the other knights. Mordred secretly hoped to poison Arthur with his lance, but the Black Knight took up the challenge instead and defeated Mordred with ease. While the King was away paying tribute to his followers in the outer baronies, Mordred and Morgan le Fay attempted to assist Norman conqueror Sir Robert de Quincy, however this invasion was fought off by the Black Knight.[19] On his next birthday, Arthur went on a lion hunt unaware that Mordred had secretly paid a band of Gypsies to unleash more lions than Arthur could hunt alone. This assassination attempt was thwarted once again thanks to the intervention of the Black Knight. Later, King Arthur refused Sir D'Arcy of France's request for membership in the Knights of the Round Table and also his request to marry King Arthur's ward Lady Rosamund.[20]

Later, King Arthur and his knights defeated the armies of Sir Guy Wanderell with the assistance of the Black Knight. Seeking revenge, Wanderell posed as the Black Knight to commit various felonies in Camelot, forcing King Arthur to declare the masked hero an outlaw, until the real Black Knight defeated his impostor in combat. Arthur and his knights also defended their land from Scottish outlaw Kevin MacCaul who came to Camelot to reclaim his Black Castle which he lost after Arthur exiled him years earlier. With the assistance of the Black Knight, Arthur was able to defeat MacCaul and his forces. Shortly thereafter Arthur, Lady Rosamund, and Sir Percy were all kidnapped by French-Sicilian pirates under the employ of Mordred, who was once more attempting to to seize the throne. Sir Percy managed to escape captivity and changed into the Black Knight and led a team of knights in rescuing Arthur and the others. Upon returning to Camelot, Arthur was restored to the throne.[21] Not long after this King Arthur refused to allow Sir Gilles to marry Lady Rosamund unless he produced the Dragon of Kenswood Swamp. When Gilles seemingly succeeded at this task, the Black Knight revealed that it was really a "Trojan Horse" carrying an invasion force. Soon thereafter, King Arthur accepted Mohar Jinn into his court as an ambassador of the Tartars. While on a pilgrimage to the sea, Arthur and his knights were captured by the Tartars who sought to take over Camelot. Thanks to Sir Percy, the captured knights and King Arthur were freed from the slave ship. Although in a weakened state, King Arthur still returned to Camelot to battle Mohar Jinn. Arthur weakened and collapsed in battle, but was saved by the Black Knight who defeated Mohar Jinn.[22]

The last Emperor of Rome; Tyrannus came to Britannia to conquer Camelot and take the throne from King Arthur under orders of the Olympian god Pluto. He was stopped by the Black Knight.[23][24] Merlin found Tyrannus and banished him to Subterranea.[25]

Arthur encountered the Hulk when he was sent back in time and crashed through the round table.[26] The Hulk went on a rampage so Arthur summoned Merlin who banished the Hulk several miles away. This gave R.O.B. forty seconds before Hulk returns to find out the situation: the Chronoarchists Valdar Ahd has conquered Camelot, killing several knights including Sir Gawain, Sir Tristan, and Sir Kay, sending Arthur and his knights into exile. Hulk has returned by this time, smashing through the wall of this castle so Merlin casts a spell transporting Hulk to Camelot so that he's breached their wall instead. The knights enter, led by the Black Knight, and they are met by an army of warriors gathered from a variety of eras. Rob has Hulk lead Black Knight to the throne room where they confront the villain Valdar Ahd. Ahd froze the Black Knight in his tracks and slowed the Hulk down, aging him as he moves toward his foe. Merlin teleported the Ebony Blade into Hulk's hands and he cuts through the Ahd's time ray, distracting him long enough for the Black Knight to pick up the sword and skewer Ahd, hurling him back into the timestream.[26]

Merlin's Imposter[]

When the Black Knight and Merlin left Camelot on a quest to face Morgan Le Fay, the immortal Maha Yogi impersonated Merlin during this absence. He used his powers to help Arthur and to cement his position as "Merlin".[27] The time-travelling warrior; Kang the Conqueror traveled to Camelot, where he overpowered the fake "Merlin" and imprisoned him using his advanced technology. He then went to challenge Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in single combat, defeating them all. He sent them all to exile taking the throne of Camelot for himself. The Watcher witnessed all this and brought two of the Fantastic Four from the future to stop him. The Thing defeated Kang's forces and the Human Torch freed "Merlin," who then located Kang's time ship and destroying his power. "Merlin" gathered Arthur and the Knights of Camelot and defeated Kang in his weakened start forcing him to return to his own time.[28][29] But when the true Merlin defeated Maha Yogi, placing him in suspended animation revealing the truth to Arthur.[30]

Quest for the Holy Grail[]

King Arthur and his knights sought out the Holy Grail on a quest. The grail was cup which Jesus Christ supposedly drank from at the Last Supper and the cup used by Joseph of Arimathea to capture the blood of Christ at the crucifixion after being stabbed by the Spear of Destiny. It is said who ever drank from it vessel would gain eternal youth.[31] It was originally kept at Glastonbury Tor in Britain.[32] Most of the knight's returned badly wounded, or worse. It was said the grail was guarded by the Lady of the Lake.[33]

The Fall of Camelot[]

The New Excalibur superhero team was brought back in time the Black Knight to stop the fall of Camelot. They help Merlin battle Dragons which was revealed to be Makluans. They took the visitors from the future to Camelot were they revealed the threat to Arthur. He sent one of his men to hunt down the "dragons" base and report back while he hosted his guests. He was intrigued by his colorful guest particularly Dazzler and was Captain Britain. The scout locates the "dragons" but is slain and the horse return with his body on it's back.[34] Peter Wisdom got drunk at the gathering and hit on Queen Guinevere, this began an argument between him and Arthur. He lunged at the King with a knife and the King knocked him out. This conflict led to Guinevere to become distraught over Wisdom and her husband actions. This lead her to to Sir Lancelot for sympathy, which would lead to the two having an affair. The "dragons" attacked the castle and Arthur led his Knights and Excalibur against the threat. After learning the "dragons" origin Sage had Merlin gather some Formosian herbs, which would knock the creatures out. The team was taken to the Lady of the Lake, whose magic returned them to the future. [35]

Eventually, Morgan Le Fay came to Camelot and offered a truce to Arthur and accepted in hopes of peace. It was during this time Arthur learned truth about Lancelot having an affair with his wife Guinevere. This broke his heart but he decided to forgive them both. Mordred learned of the relationship and Arthur's forgiveness and decided to use this as an evidence to discredit his name. He called together the Knight of the Round Table and tricked them into barging in on the lovers and arrested them both for treason, but Lancelot was able to escape. With the truth revealed Arthur had no choice but to follow the law and sentenced the pair to death. Guinevere was to be burnt at the stake but at the last moment Lancelot rescued Guinevere and ran away with her.[36][37][38]

In 537 AD, Arthur encountered the Thunderbolts who had traveled back in time in their Tower and ended up in the woods outside Camelot. He wanted to know what they was doing in his kingdom and Satana told him that they had fallen under an enchantment and was sent through time. Merlin revealed that they had the Ebony Blade in their possession and he demanded that they had it over, but Mr. Hyde attacked Sir Galahad and they clashed in battle. Moonstone attacked them with a tree but Arthur sliced it in two using Excalibur. Merlin knocked them out with magic and took them to the dungeons of Camelot. Arthur tried to cut through the walls if their tower but before he could do so Merlin warned him of a threat back home. Arthur and his Knights battled the monsters released from Merlin's dungeon. Following the battle Arthur encountered Merlin, who had helped the Thunderbolts return to the future but believed he had vanquished them with his magic.[39]

The Dragon of the Moon a sole survivor of an ancient race of demons, sough to gain power by corrupting Earthlings. It travelled to the island of Britannia and allied with Mordred who was trying to overthrow King Arthur. But it was defeated by the Interloper and imprisoned within Saturn's moon Titan by the Eternals.[5]

Arthur encountered Iron Man and Doctor Doom who both were sent back in time thanks to the Time Platform. He decided not to take sides and took them both prisoner until he could decide what to do with them, but Doom escaped to Castle Le Fay and found Morgan le Fay to aid him. Now knowing who the true threat was he told Iron Man about Le Fay and he agreed to aid him on his quest. Le Fay used her magic to resurrect an army of the undead made up of all those slain by Excalibur. The two armies clashed but the Knights of Camelot were outnumbered. Iron Man decided to confront Le Fay himself and forced her to reverse the spell causing the zombie army to collapse. Doctor Doom escaped and Iron Man followed him back to the future.[40]

Death[]

Camelot fell when it was exposed that Sir Lancelot was engaged in affair with Queen Guinevere. This caused a chain of events that led to Mordred and Morgan le Fay launching their onslaught on Camelot, bringing the once proud kingdom to ruins and ending with Mordred killing Arthur.[41] While dying from his wounds Arthur stumbled to the lake to return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. However, Sidestep sent a time-displaced and mentally manipulated Jean Grey known as Marvel le Fey to steal the sword. A time-displaced Shadowcat stopped her and the sword returned to Lady of the Lake.[42] His remains were transported to Avalon in the Otherworld, to await resurrection in Britain’s time of greatest need. Meanwhile, Merlin rebuilt Camelot beside the Great Rift, which bordered Otherworld and the Netherworld, to stand guard between both realms.[43]

Legacy[]

The writer Sir Thomas Malory chronicled Arthur's adventures in the Le Morte d'Arthur and these tales became myths and legends. At the age of thirteen, Tony Stark was a huge fan Thomas Malory stories, which opened Tony the doors to a new world of dedication to a cause greater than oneself, of chivalry, honor, and armored heroes.[44] A prophecy, however, foretold that Arthur would return in the time of England's greatest need.[45] A portion of the Pendragon spirit which once possessed Arthur was later given by the mystical Green Knight to Adam Crown of the Knights of Pendragon.[46]

Resurrection[]

Over a thousand years later, the Nethergods returned and besieged Camelot. Merlin sent Captain Britain and the new Black Knight to defend Otherworld and release Arthur; reborn, he returned to Camelot, where he and the Knight slew the Nethergod leader, Necromon, though not before Camelot was destroyed. King Vortigen offered his own castle to become New Camelot.[47]

Arthur and Merlin send Captain Britain and Jackdaw on a mission to Earth-238.[48] Arthur along with Merlin and a injured Jackdaw watched Captain Britain as he battled the threats of Jaspers Warp. He assured Jackdaw that he had full confidence that Captain Britain would defeat Mad Jim Jasper and protect the Multiverse.[49] When Merlin was killed in, Arthur at his funeral in Otherworld paid tribute to his former mentor and was one pall bearers of his coffin. He watched as his former teacher was sent in the Portal Perilous to be cremated in the fires of eternity.[50] King Arthur and his Knights defended the realm from the Chaos King, but his powers were to great and his forces had to retreat.[51]

A new group of Gods came into being in the Otherworld, the Manchester Gods. They represented industrial revolution and urbanism of Britain, and waged war against the rulers of Avalon. The Manchester Gods rallied their forces and marched towards Camelot. King Arthur attempted to defend Castle Camelot; however, the rival forces proved to be far too numerous, and the old lords were forced to sign an armistice and surrender.[52]

When Hercules assembled the Gods of War to battle the new gods of the Uprising Storm, Tiresias proposed to contact Arthur, and that he bring Galahad and Bors along with him, but Hercules recalled that he was still sleeping.[53] It is unknown if he did try to contact him in the end.

Knights of X[]

King Arthur began trying the expel Mutants from the Otherworld.[54][55]

Attributes

Power Grid[57]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Master: Several Forms of Combat:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Multiple Types:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Enhanced:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Warp:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Peak Human:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Learned

Paraphernalia

Weapons

Transportation

Trivia

  • King Arthur is a descendant of Aeneas, and consequently of Venus.

See Also

Links and References

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Marvel Preview #22
  2. 2.0 2.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #3 ; Arthur Pendragon' entry
  3. Amazing High Adventure #1
  4. http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix2/arthurpendragon.htm Marvel Index - King Arthur's entry
  5. 5.0 5.1 New Defenders #152
  6. Namor, the Sub-Mariner #62
  7. 7.0 7.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #8
  8. Avengers (Vol. 8) #50
  9. Iron Man (Vol. 3) #5961
  10. Death of Doctor Strange: X-Men/Black Knight #1
  11. 11.0 11.1 Black Knight #1
  12. Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #3
  13. Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1
  14. Captain Britain #35
  15. Strange Tales #108
  16. Young Allies #11
  17. Spider-Man Battles the Myth Monster #1
  18. Uncanny Origins #11
  19. Black Knight #2
  20. Black Knight #3
  21. Black Knight #4
  22. Black Knight #5
  23. Avengers Annual #20
  24. Mystic Arcana: Black Knight #1
  25. Incredible Hulk #5
  26. 26.0 26.1 Indestructible Hulk #13
  27. Journey Into Mystery #96
  28. Strange Tales #134
  29. Kang the Conqueror #4
  30. Incredible Hulk #210
  31. Union Jack #2
  32. Strange Tales (Vol. 2) #11
  33. Journey Into Mystery #639
  34. New Excalibur #11
  35. New Excalibur #12
  36. Spider-Woman #41
  37. Marvel Premiere #14
  38. Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #24
  39. Thunderbolts #169170
  40. Iron Man #150
  41. Marvel Super-Heroes #17
  42. Excalibur XX Crossing #1
  43. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #14 ; Otherworld's entry
  44. Iron Man #287
  45. Hulk Comic (UK) #59
  46. Knights of Pendragon #1418
  47. Hulk Comic (UK) #163
  48. Marvel Super-Heroes (UK) #377
  49. Marvel Super-Heroes (UK) #383
  50. Mighty World of Marvel (Vol. 2) #13
  51. Chaos War #3
  52. Journey Into Mystery #639641
  53. Civil War II: Gods of War #1
  54. Excalibur (Vol. 4) #2226
  55. Knights of X #13
  56. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #3
  57. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update Vol 1 3
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