Appearing in "The Black Knight Strikes!"
- Black Knight (Nathan Garrett) (First appearance)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Black Knight Strikes!"
Our story begins with Giant-Man busting up a sale of top secret information between scientist Nathan Garret and Communist spies. Giant-Man easily captures all involved, and later in court, bail is set at one hundred thousand dollars. Garrett's bail is paid by his Communist contacts, and he flees the country to a remote Balkan kingdom in the Alps. There he is inspired by a winged horse statue, buys a castle and begins genetically engineering a horse to have wings.
Weeks later, back in America, the Wasp arrives in Henry Pym's lab to tell him a fantastic story: While she was on her way to meet him, she saw a black knight on a flying horse fly through the city and attack an armored car. After using his lance to melt a hole in the side of the car and grabbing the money, he made a quick escape.
Using his ant communicator, Giant-Man finds that the Black Knight is going to attack a helicopter in mid-air next. Commissioning an aircraft to aid him, Giant-Man jumps onto the helicopter that is being attacked, and battles the Black Knight. Overcome with the many scientific gadgets the Black Knight has at his disposal, the Knight gloats revealing that he is Nathan Garrett and boasts over his achievements in inventing a lance with many devices and a paralyzer pistole.
Caught up in a bolo, Giant-Man is forced to let go of the helicopter when the Knight blasts him with an itch ray. Falling, Giant-Man takes a shrinking capsule and is rescued by the Wasp, who lands Giant-Man on the back of the Knight's horse. Resuming his giant size, Giant-Man knocks the lance out of the Black Knight's hands. During the struggle, the Knight manages to knock Giant-Man off his horse, but Giant-Man saves himself by grabbing onto a nearby amusement part ride.
The Wasp pinches the Knight's horse, causing it to buck him off, and he and Giant-Man battle it out on a roller coaster, while the Wasp tries to get the Knight's horse under control. The horse bucks her off, and Giant-Man is forced to abandon his fight with the Black Knight to save her.
While Giant-Man is preoccupied with the Wasp's safety, the Black Knight tries to shoot him from behind with the paralyzer pistol. Sensing someone behind him, Giant-Man takes a shrinking capsule allowing him to shrink below the blast. Thinking he has gone mad, the Black Knight stumbles off the roller coaster, but is saved by his horse and makes his escape.
Appearing in "Not What They Seem!"
- Human Criminals
- Unnamed Alien Race
Races and Species:
- A "Local Orphanage"
- The Year 3,000
- Space Patrol Spaceship
Synopsis for "Not What They Seem!"
The Wasp arrives at a local orphanage to entertain the children with a story. She tells them of a world in outer space where a bunch of alien criminals have escaped prison and their planet in a space craft. Deciding to seek refuge on another planet, one of the prisoners cautions the others that they have to choose the planet they land on wisely, because while certain planets may appear harmless, they are actually very dangerous.
After losing a patrol ship, the criminals find a planet where the male and female members of the dominant race are fighting amongst one another. Seeing this as an opportunity to be granted refuge, the criminals land and help the males of the planet defeat the females.
Unfortunately, this doesn't work to their advantage because they soon find that the men of this planet have a custom in which they capture and put visitors from other planet on display in cages, and that the women were against the ritual. The criminals are then rounded up and put into a cage.
Finishing her story, the Wasp concludes by telling the children that crime never pays, and leaves them to ponder on that thought.
- Story One, "The Black Knight Strikes" is Story# X-553.
- Story Two, "Not What They Seem" is Story# X-521.
- Black Knight II (Nathan Garrett) debuts in this issue. His ancestor Sir Percy of Scandia was the first Black Knight and debuted in Black Knight #1.
- Black Knight (Nathan Garrett) appears next in Avengers #6 where he joins Zemo and his Masters of Evil.
- The Black Knight is one of the few significant super-powered villains to appear in this title as an adversary to Henry Pym. Unfortunately, the Knight never appears in Tales to Astonish again. He makes several appearances in Avengers and is ultimately killed in battle with Iron Man in Tales of Suspense #74.
- When the Giant-Man suddenly appears and Garrett asks where he came from, Giant-Man jokes that "the stork brought me". The Giant-Man will use this joke again in Garrett's second appearance, Avengers #6, also written by Stan Lee.