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Part of the "King in Black" event

King in Black Black Knight Vol 1 1.jpg
King in Black Black Knight Vol 1 1 Hidden Gem Variant.jpgHidden Gem Variant
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King in Black Black Knight Vol 1 1 Su Variant.jpgSu Variant

Issue Details
Pages
40
Rating
Original Price
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Quote1.png That's the legacy of your kin, boy. You've had it wrong all this time. The Ebony Blade can only be wielded to its mightiest potential by those impure of heart. Quote2.png
-- Knull


Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

Astride a winged horse, the Black Knight battles a symbiote dragon while internally monologuing in faux-Shakespearean English about his eternal struggle to resist the dark impulses of the Ebony Blade. As he slashes at its wing, the symbiote dragon strikes his winged horse and breaks its neck, the Black Knight snapping that they take weeks to clone as he leaps off the horse shouting for the symbiote dragon to die. The symbiote dragon turns its head and chomps down on the Black Knight, denting his armor's culet with its fangs - to his indignation. Still internally monologuing, the Black Knight plummets from the sky as the symbiote dragon dives after him.

Earlier in the day, Dane Whitman sits crosslegged in his underwear in Garrett Castle, awkwardly begging the Ebony Blade to stop trying to make him kill everyone and everything around him. As he laments that it's not just a regular non-cursed magic sword, the ghost of Sir Percy of Scandia - the first Black Knight - appears and calls him a crass heathen before saying he has a quest. As Dane internally grumbles that Percy is a nosey busybody who even in undeath sees fit to foist his unwanted counsel upon his heirs, Percy interrupts his train of thought by insulting him again and demanding to know what he's doing. Dane protests that he's meditating, Percy scoffing at his distant descendant's incompetence before warning him of an encroaching threat from beyond the stars. Getting dressed, Dane asks how Percy could know that, and Percy points to Dane's communication device and relays a message from Iron Man that all Avengers-adjacent heroes are called to arms. Insulted, Dane protests that he was a member of the Avengers for years and was hoping he'd be reaccepted as a member. Annoyed by his whining, Percy grimly states that even the Ebony Blade can sense what's coming - a dark elder god and horde of living darkness come to enslave and devour everything. Sighing at the thought of another alien invasion, Dane finishes donning his armor just as a symbiote dragon flies overhead. Compelled by the Ebony Blade's bloodlust, Dane gleefully mounts one of his winged horses - ignoring Percy's warnings as he takes off to prove himself as a knight by slaying a dragon.

In the present, the symbiote dragon grabs onto the Black Knight, who recognizes it as the same sort of entity as Mister E and Spider-Man's black suit. Recalling the dark god's name and that Mister E - while impersonating Merlin - had posited that the Ebony Blade was capable of slaying him, the Black Knight growls out Knull's name as he feels the cursed sword's eagerness. Wreathed in an an aura of dark energy, the Ebony Blade rips apart the symbiote dragon's wing and the Black Knight drives it into the symbiote dragon's chest... only to feel the dark god's mind connect to his through the dragon's living abyss, scanning his memories with sadistic amusement at the curse Dane's bloodline has borne since the days of Camelot.

Coming to his senses, Dane sees the symbiote dragon is trying to engulf the Ebony Blade and wrest it from his grasp. Realizing that Knull wants it for himself and that the cursed sword wants this to happen, Dane furiously tries to rip it free to no avail... until the symbiote dragon abruptly disperses and merges into a shell of living abyss encasing the entire Earth. Losing his grip on the Ebony Blade, the Black Knight finds himself in freefall over the city of Shanghai - which is under attack by a horde of symbiote dragons. Screaming in terror, he's caught by Aero - who addresses him in Mandarin before deducing that Dane is an American upon hearing him speak English. Introducing herself, Aero recognizes him as the ex-Avenger who was fired from the team after going insane and embarking on a murderous rampage, Dane lamenting that he's never going to live that down. Multitasking by simultaneously rescuing civilians and fending off symbiote dragons, Aero further observes that Dane's tendency to narrate to himself in faux-Shakespearean English is a frankly embarrassing attempt on his part to stave off the Ebony Blade's curse by evoking a sense of chivalric idealism; adding that there's a whole Reddit thread dedicated to psychoanalyzing him. As they reach the ground, the Black Knight retorts that while he appreciates her saving him, he's on a mission from Tony Stark himself. Aero remarks that she's an Avengers-adjacent hero too, grousing about how many symbiote dragons there are. Agreeing, the Black Knight remarks that he could do something about that if he had his sword - letting out a scream as a symbiote dragon lands behind them and lunges.

Before it can devour them, Sword Master slashes it from behind with the Sword of Fu Xi, Aero asking how he's doing. Greeting her in Mandarin, Sword Master recognizes the Black Knight and asks if he realizes he's got vomit all over his suit. Ignoring that last part, Aero asks what Lin Lie is doing joining the fray, and he replies that the monsters attacking the city are obviously minions of Chiyou. As Aero expresses incredulity at Sword Master believing the old legends are true, the Black Knight irritably assumes they're gossiping about him. Sword Master indignantly snaps that Chiyou is real and reaffirms his vow to rescue his missing father, ignoring Black Knight recapping the situation regarding Knull. Aero asks if Sword Master got a message from Tony Stark, Sword Master replying that he didn't since he's not Avengers-adjacent. As Black Knight asks if they could help him get the Ebony Blade back, conspicuously denying that he's addicted to its dark power, Sword Master sneers that Dane is clearly insane and - like all American heroes - in love with his own flaws. Rebuking him, Aero points out that Dane isn't the one swearing revenge on an imaginary enemy... only for Dane to try to telekinetically summon the Ebony Blade to himself while rambling about how it sometimes gets over-excited and comes in blade-first. Dismayed, Sword Master grumbles that if Chiyou isn't being behind the symbiote dragons there's no point to him being there. As Aero rounds on him and berates him for not wanting to do his part saving people, Sword Master protests that she clearly has things under control; adding that his sword has a noble spirit and was made specifically to vanquish Chiyou, not for waving around at goons in masks. As Aero scoffs at Sword Master acting like saving innocent people is beneath him and not a noble pursuit, Dane calls out to the Ebony Blade and commands it to come to him in flowery faux-Elizabethan English. As Dane gushes that he can feel the Ebony Blade responding to his command, Aero turns to stare at him and concedes to Sword Master that the Black Knight really is insane. No sooner does she say this than the Sword of Fu Xi flies from Sword Master's hands and into the Black Knight's, leaving all three of them shocked. Speaking in English, Sword Master repeatedly demands the Black Knight return his sword to him, but Dane finds he can't relinquish his grasp on the divine blade; Aero teasing the infuriated Sword Master that the Sword of Fu Xi seems to disagree with his belief that saving people during a crisis is beneath him. Noting that he may as well make the best of the situation, the Black Knight remarks that Sword Master is clearly too young to be handling a sword in the first place. Pointing the Sword of Fu Xi at the Oriental Pearl Tower, Black Knight remarks that he can sense the Ebony Blade's presence in that direction and asks Aero to help him get it back.

Flying through the city, Aero is cheered on by the citizens of Shanghai, the Black Knight assuming that they're cheering him on. As Aero teasingly calls him out on internally monologuing, Black Knight protests that he has no idea what she's talking about. Sword Master indignantly complains about the Black Knight stealing his sword and not even holding it right, only to spot a symbiote dragon diving towards a defenceless elderly woman. Sword Master grabs onto the old woman, trying to shield her with his own body, and the Black Knight intercepts the symbiote dragon with the Sword of Fu Xi. Aero praises Sword Master for putting himself in harm's way to protect an innocent, remarking that maybe he's got what it takes to be a superhero after all. Staring at the green flames blazing along the wound inflicted by the Sword of Fu Xi's blade, the Black Knight asks Sword Master how magical it is. Sword Master snaps that the Sword of Fu Xi is a divine weapon not fit for a psychotic American who thinks he's a knight, Dane retorting that he's not psychotic as he raises the Sword of Fu Xi to deliver a finishing blow to the symbiote dragon. Telling Sword Master to read the Reddit blog, Dane rants that his mental instability and bloodlust came from the Ebony Blade's curse, and that only he can safely wield it due to the spiritual purity of his bloodline. Aero interrupts to point out that he had been mindlessly hacking the the symbiote dragon to pieces during his increasingly vehement rant, Sword Master adding that he also severely damaged the nearby buildings and sliced apart a nearby car. As the Black Knight stares in incredulous horror at the distruction he wrought, Sword Master turns to Aero and retorts that Dane truly is a madman and just blames the Ebony Blade for his insanity. Sword Master demands Dane to return the Sword of Fu Xi to him, but the Black Knight snarls that it's his -- at least until he gets the Ebony Blade back -- and that it chose him. Abruptly, the Sword of Fu Xi increases in weight, Aero remarking that it looks like the weapon is trying to un-choose him as Dane wonders what's happening. The Black Knight screams that the Sword of Fu Xi belongs to him, falling to his knees and plunging the blade deep into the street as it grows too heavy for him to lift. Sword Master attempts to take it back, the Black Knight snarling at him to get away before noticing the seemingly-dead symbiote dragon snaking tendrils up the Sword of Fu Xi's blade. As the tendrils latch onto both of them, the Black Knight and Sword Master are mentally connected to Knull, who comments that he was looking for the Ebony Blade but will happily take the Sword of Fu Xi as well, adding that it -- like the Ebony Blade and his own All-Black -- is a star-forged weapon with world-ending potential mere mortals can't even begin to comprehend. Combing through Sword Master's memories, Knull mockingly dismisses Chiyou as just one of many dark elder gods and eldritch horrors lesser than himself, dressed in local legend by the mortals of the world it settled on, but commenting that he likes the lesser dark god's appearance. In the real world, Aero notes that the symbiote dragons attacking the city are merging together, but the Black Knight only registers her words through his internal monologue and instead shoves Lin away, snarling that the Sword of Fu Xi is his. Turning his attention to Dane, Knull sneers that he will get the Ebony Blade sooner or later, mocking him for not knowing what it really is. Dane snaps that he knows enough -- that it was forged from a magical meteorite by Merlin, Knull interrupting by recapping the Ebony Blade's supposed backstory before sneering that Dane and his ancestors are all idiots for believing a lie that obvious. Remarking that he can taste Dane's soul, Knull sneers that if the Ebony Blade truly needed a wielder who was pure of heart Merlin would have had no shortage of worthy candidates in Camelot. Laughing, Knull tells Dane that whenever a man who was pure of heart grasped the Ebony Blade it became impossible to lift, its power impotent. As Dane protests that that isn't what Merlin told him, Knull sneers that Merlin lied and that Sir Percy was chosen because deep down he was bitter, temperamental, depressive, and schizophrenic. Laughing, Knull summarizes that the Ebony Blade can only be wielded by those impure of heart, and that when used properly it transforms its wielder into a black berserker. Observing this is a form of symbiosis - his divine providence - Knull comments that the Ebony Blade rightfully belongs to him. Dane protests that Knull is lying and that he's pure of heart, with the Ebony Blade's curse being responsible for his psychosis, but Knull mockingly tells him to open his eyes and see for himself how pure his heart is.

Opening his eyes, the Black Knight sees the Sword of Fu Xi is engulfing his hand in green flames and releases it, screaming in pain. The divine sword returns to Sword Master, who assures it that it couldn't have known Dane was evil when it chose him to wield it. Aero calls their attention to the symbiote dragons, which are amalgamating into the skyscraper-sized form of Chiyou. Horrified, Aero admits Sword Master was right all along, but Sword Master tells her that Knull's avatar is just borrowing Chiyou's form to scare them. As Knull's avatar walks towards the Oriental Pearl Tower, Sword Master spots the Ebony Blade embedded at the top of the tower. Before Knull's avatar can grab it, the Ebony Blade punches a hole through his hand and flies towards Dane, sensing he's at his lowest point. As the Ebony Blade embeds itself in the ground before him, Dane recoils in revulsion and begs Aero and Sword Master to get it away from him. Sighing, Aero laments that Dane won't be of any help before asking if Sword Master is ready to be a hero. Answering that he's willing to try, Sword Master accompanies her into combat against Knull's avatar, which laughs off their attacks and sneers that the Ebony Blade and the Sword of Fu Xi will be his. As Knull's avatar swipes at Aero, Sword Master lops off his hand with a blast of divine flames, Knull's avatar shrieking in pain from the Light. Aero quips that she'll whip Sword Master into Avengers-adjacent status in no time, but he says he'll pass - adding that if the Black Knight is anything to go by they're a bunch of madmen. Aero comments that American culture is very different from Chinese, and that over there being a hero isn't about embodying perfection but about accepting your flaws while doing the right thing anyway.

Aero's words strike a cord in Dane, who realizes that deep down he knew the truth all along that he wasn't a good person -- quick to anger and holding grudges, prone to bouts of depression for little-to-no reason, and that all his knightly bravado was a feeble veneer to hide his many imperfections. Looking up at Aero and Sword Master, Dane thinks to himself that they - unlike himself - are true heroes, before resolving to take Aero's words to heart. As Knull's avatar attempts to grab Aero and Sword Master, the Black Knight grabs the Ebony Blade and launches a blast of dark energy at him. Incredulous, Knull's avatar turns towards the Black Knight and roars in fury, outraged that someone would dare turn the power of darkness against him, Sword Master tells Aero to hold Knull's avatar back so the Black Knight can do his thing. Slamming Knull's avatar into a skyscraper, Aero teasingly says she thought Sword Master said they didn't need American heroes to help them; Sword Master indignantly protesting that they don't but that the Black Knight isn't a hero. Thinking that sometimes the world needs a fool like himself to get lost in the darkness so that others can bear the light, Dane -- his eyes glowing red and clad in black armor manifested from the Ebony Blade's power -- lunges at Knull's avatar with a warcry. The ensuing explosion obliterates Knull's avatar, but the Black Knight tells Sword Master that the real Knull is still out there and that even the Ebony Blade won't be enough to stop him. Dispelling the dark armor, the Black Knight tells Sword Master that someday he and the Sword of Fu Xi will make be legendary for all the right reasons, thanking him and Aero for their help. Aero takes off, lifting Sword Master with her, and when the Black Knight asks where they're going she says she's going to New York to take the fight directly to Knull. As Aero asks if he wants to join them, the Black Knight agrees and is lifted into the sky by her power.

Solicit Synopsis

THE BLACK KNIGHT DUELS THE KING IN BLACK!

KNULL’s ferocious assault upon earth has begun and Dane Whitman – Avenger, hero, and wielder of the mighty Ebony Blade as the BLACK KNIGHT – takes up sword and shield to defend against the unstoppable onslaught. Though the blade grants Dane incredible power so too does it consume him with a lust for violence and destruction. As the endless horde of symbiote dragons darken the skies of Shanghai, will the Black Knight overcome the growing evil within himself and join AERO and SWORD MASTER in saving the city?! And what secrets will the battle against Knull reveal about Dane’s past?

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