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Dane Whitman: The Black Knight

1968, The Black Knight, art by George Tuska

Dane Whitman alias Black Knight is a Marvel comic superhero created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema. The character first appeared in the 1967’s The Avengers issue #47 and was the third among the three fictional personas who took the Black Knight’s mantle. As Black Knight, Dane Whitman had been a long time member of the superhero teams, including The Avengers, Defenders, Ultraforce,MI:13, and Heroes for Hire.

Origin: Dane Whitman as The Black Knight

Dane Whitman had been summoned by his uncle, Nathan Garrett, also known as the evil Black Knight after his body was fatally wounded in a battle with Iron Man. Before eventually dying, Garrett confessed his life as a criminal and asked Dane to restore the honor of Black Knight’s legacy.

Aside from being the Black Knight, Whitman hoped to use his science expertise for good. However, during a scientific experiment, Whitman had accidentally brought Magneto and Toad back to Earth. As a result, Magneto immediately reformed his brotherhood and started to kidnap the siblings, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Feeling that these are his entire fault, Whitman donned the Black Knight’s costume and tracks down Magneto. During the mission, Whitman was stopped and confronted by the Avengers, assuming that he is  Garrett, his uncle. Annoyed by the team’s suspicion, Whitman went on his own search for Magneto.

The Black Knight with The Avengers

Nathan Garrett was then contacted by Ultron, disguised as Crimson Cowl, to join forces with the Masters of Evil. Unbeknownst to Ultron, Nathan Garrett, the evil Black Knight, was already dead. Dane Whitman agreed to join the team, with the hope of infiltrating their ranks. Before the attack, The Black Knight tried to warn the Avengers, but Ultron had sensed Whitman’s treachery. Consequently, the Masters beat and abandoned Whitman after what he had done. The Black Knight then tracked down the Masters of Evil and helped the Avengers in combating their enemies. After the fight, the team and Whitman parted on better terms, although Whitman still wanted to keep his distance.

Subsequently, Whitman visited England with the hope of selling his uncle’s last legacy, the Garrett Castle. He was contacted there in the same way that his uncle had by his ancestor’s spirit, Sir Percy of Scandia, the original Black Knight. In this case, however, Whitman was proved worthy to draw the Ebony Blade out. Using the Ebony Blade, he defeated the devil sword guardian and Le Sabre, an agent of Sir Percy’s enemy, Mordred.Back in America, Dr. Strange met the Black Knight. The two teamed-up in combating a magician named Tiboro. Also, the Black Knight joined forces with the Avengers in defeating Surtur, the fire giant, and Ymir, the frost giant.

Whitman once again met the Avengers after they were used as pawns by Kang in a game against the Grandmaster. During the match, the Black Knight’s Ebony Blade was the prize in a match between Clint Barton alias Goliath and the Whizzer. By helping Goliath, The Black Knight interfered in the game. Meanwhile, the Avengers stole Black Knight’s Ebony Blade to Kang and were transported to the future. Subsequently, because of the mystic powers of his Ebony Blade, Black Knight was then transported back to the time where the blade is.

The Black Knight with The Defenders

Whitman is a Defender’s early member. Aside from that, he also becomes the team’s first casualty after being petrified by an Enchantress’ kiss. Following that event, Whitman’s spirit was taken back to the 12th century by a sorcerer named Amergin the Druid after Whitman took an item in possession of his ancestor. During that moment, Whitman then chose to stay in the 12th century in the care of his fellow Defender, Valkyrie. When the Avengers time-travelled to that time, The Black Knight willingly helped them defeat Fomor, a superhumanly powerful humanoid race. Employing the Evil Eye to seal the portal between the Avalon and the Earth, Whitman then returned to the 20th century, with his original body restored.Sometime later, Whitman was summoned by Merlin to locate the lost hero named Captain Britain. However, both heroes were kidnapped to participate in the Contest of the Champions.

Superpowers and Abilities

High-Intellect: Whitman is a scientist that specializes in Physics. He is also skilled in a broad range of advanced sciences and technologies, including genetic engineering and mechanical engineering.

Expert Swordsman: Whitman is a great swordsman whose ability has enabled him to beat Jacques Duquesne, the Swordsman.

Magic Immunity: Whitman’s sword is immune to any magic.

Skilled Martial Artist: Dane Whitman is an excellent fighter. He can put up a fight against other skilled fighters such as Captain America and Wolverine.

Horseman expert: Whitman as Black Knight is also an expert horseman.

Known Tactician: As a leader of Avengers and Ultraforce, he has  showcased good leadership qualifications. His strategic and tactical abilities are strong.

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