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As long as the Black Blade blazes darkly in my hand, I must fight on ... No matter what the cost!
~ Dane Whitman.
These people... They're strong and they're good. That's their whole thing. A-and that's the problem. That's why I'll never have their respect. I want to be good, like them. I want to change the world for the better. ...But I'm only strong when I'm hateful.
~ Black Knight speaking of the Avengers.

Black Knight (real name Dane Whitman), is a fictional character and superhero from Marvel comics and its universe, and is the company's third person to bear the name of the armored knight. He appears as the titular protagonist of his own comics, and a major character in The Avengers comics.

One of the descendants of Sir Percy of Scandia, Whitman would become the third Black Knight following the death of his uncle, Nathan Garrett. Wanting to become a hero to honor his legacy, Whitman helped the Avengers defeat the Masters of Evil, and later helped other heroes during his career. Though a hero at heart, Whitman must deal with the curse of the Ebony Blade, which can cause its wielder to turn insane. He is a member of Eurofoce, and has also been a member of the Avengers, Excalibur, the Defenders, Heroes for Hire, and Ultraforce.

He was created by Roy Thomas, the late John Buscema, George Tuska and John Verpoorten, and first appeared in The Avengers #47 in December of 1967.

In the 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe film, The Eternals, he is portrayed by Kit Harington.

Biography

Early Life

Dane Whitman was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts to unnamed parents, but he was presumably raised by his wealthy uncle, Nathan Garrett. Like his uncle, Dane was a descendant of Sir Percy of Scandia, the legendary Black Knight from Arthurian legend who was also a member of King Arthur's court. During his early adulthood, Dane went to college and received a masters degree in physics, and met and fell in love with a woman named Ashima Chopra. During the course of their relationship, Whitman learned that she had developed terminal cancer. Though he initially wanted to propose to her in the hospital, Dane decided against it, but he wouldn't learn that Ashima gave birth to his daughter before her death.

Becoming the Black Knight

After his uncle's death, Dane inherited Garrett's castle and learned that Nathan was secretly the villain Black Knight by finding notes of his inventions. Garrett told his nephew to honor his legacy by being a good man, telling him not to become a villain that he was by joining the Masters of Evil. Whitman discovered the Ebony Blade, an enchanted sword forged by Merlin and Percy, and upon wielding it, passed the test to become its new wielder. Dane was then greeted by Percival, who explained the origins of the blade and the curse that came with it. Taking the Ebony Blade, Whitman decided to take on the mantle of Black Knight, and did his first heroic action by infiltrating the Masters of Evil from within to help the Avengers.

Though successful in helping the Avengers, the team didn't trust him due to the actions of Garrett, but Dane earned their respect by helping them fight off Kang the Conqueror. Due to his support, Dane became a provisional member of the Avengers, allowing to join when other members left. Whitman then went on to help the Defenders fight off the Enchantress, but he was turned to stone by the villainess during the battle. However, it was revealed that Dane's spirit was sent back to the twelfth century as his ancestor, Eobar Garrington, was inhabiting his body in the present. Despite being sent back, Dane came acquainted to the classic era and told his present allies that he preferred it there, and allowed Valkyrie to keep his horse. Whitman was later returned to the present by Merlyn to help Captain Britain fight Mordred to save Camelot, but during their mission, the two heroes were abducted by Grandmaster for his contest.

After helping Captain Britain, Whitman returned to the twelfth century before Garrington's body was destroyed, which allowed Dane's spirit to return to his body in the present. Following his return, the Black Knight became a member of the Avengers, where his degree in physics came to use during missions. Due to the blade's curse, Dane started to use the Photon Sword, and became a full member of the Avengers despite the team's shaky membership changes. He would assist Thor in defending Asgard from the Egyptian God Seth, and later participated in Operation Galactic Storm to defeat the Supreme Intelligence. Around this time, Whitman would be returned to original body that was turned to stone by his ancestor Percy, who's spirit was brought to the present by Victoria Bentley. After Percy restored Dane's body, Whitman decided to keep Sean Dolan as his squire since Percy had done so previously.

Returning to Earth, Dane became romantically interested in the Earth Eternal Sersi and the Inhuman Crystal, being trapped in a love triangle. He originally went after Sersi since Crystal was trying to reconcile with Quicksilver, and established a psychic link (referred to as "Gann Josin") with the Eternal. When Sersi decided to exile herself after dealing with Dane's evil alternate counterpart, Proctor, Whitman decided to with her to the Ultraverse. In this different world, Black Knight became a member of Ultraforce and assisted the Avengers in fighting Loki during the Black September incident. Afterward, Whitman became the leader of the Ultraforce, but returned to his main universe when a portal opened.

Returning, Whitman became a member of Luke Cage's Heroes for Hire and later a member of Excalibur, and assisted the team in finding the Juggernaut. During the "Secret Invasion" storyline, the Black Knight battled against the Skrulls and fought the Super-Skrull until he was wounded. After obtaining the Ebony Blade once again, Dane started to suffer from is effects, and proceeded to nearly beat a criminal to death. Once this was revealed, the Black Knight was put into Euroforce to act as an adjustment, as the historian Rebecca Stevens told the hero about the Ebony Blade causing insanity to its wielder.

Despite his attempts to control the blade, Dane succumbed to his insanity and murdered King Zaltin Tar to establish New Avalon in Weirdworld. While ruling New Avalon, Black Knight and his army encountered the Avengers Unity Division, who proceeded to remove the blade from Dane so that he could be apprehended. The hero blamed the blade for his descent into madness, and became embittered by the Avengers for viewing him as insane. Despite his anger at his allies, Whitman kept his morals and fought against Hydra Supreme and HYDRA when they took over the United States. He was captured alongside his teammates, but he was freed by the Champions of Europe and later helped the Avengers fight Cotati.

Powers and Abilities

Former Powers

  • Phoenix Force: Whitman received the power of the phoenix during the Phoenix Force tournament, but would lose it after being defeated by Red Widow.

Abilities

  • Intelligence: Whitman has showed himself to be highly intelligent, earning a physics degree in his youth, and being a capable leader with Ultraforce. He's also a master strategist, as he helped the Avengers fight the Masters of Evil by infiltrating the villainous group from within.
  • Swordsmanship: Dane is a skilled swordsman, being capable of wielding the Ebony Blade with ease.

Portrayals

Films

Main article: Black Knight (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Eternals, he is portrayed by Kit Harington, who also played Jon Snow in HBO's Game of Thrones, and Milo in Pompeii, and also voiced Eret in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.

Television

  • The Black Knight appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but without a speaking role.

Quotes

The more I think about it, the more I'm certain -- Sersi's got to be here somewhere on this Earth. Which means I need to get this over with fast or I might not live long enough to find her.
~ Black Knight speaking of Sersi.
You carry Excalibur. You're worthy. I'll knight you now, if you want. But even better, be a knight at that one great moment, because you know you're worthy.
~ Black Knight to Faiza Hussain.
Hello, Bennet. It's Dane -- uh, I mean Eobar. I realize this may come a little ex post facto -- but I just wanted to tell you that I'm really sorry. Sorry that I wasn't there when you needed a friend the most. Sorry that I couldn't save you from Apocalypse...from yourself. But don't you worry, old buddy -- someday, I will...
~ Black Knight.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Roy Thomas was inspired by the original Black Knight when creating the character.
  • He appears as the Avenger of Ohio on the 50 state cover of U.S.Avengers Vol. 1 1.

Navigation

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Allies
Betty Ross | Bucky Barnes | Ghost Rider | Gwen Stacy | Loki Laufeyson | Mary Jane Watson | New Goblin | Nick Fury, Sr. | Odin | Pepper Potts | Red Guardian | Rick Jones | Ronin | Sharon Carter | Shuri | Silver Sable | Thunderstrike | Venom

Television
The Avengers: United They Stand: Coming Soon
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Ant-Man | Black Panther | Black Widow | Captain America | Falcon | Hawkeye | Hulk | Invisible Woman | Iron Man | Mockingbird | Ms. Marvel | Quake | Spider-Man | Thor | Vision | Wasp | Winter Soldier | Yellowjacket
Avengers: Assemble: Ant-Man | Arsenal | Black Panther | Black Widow | Captain America | Captain Marvel | Falcon | Hawkeye | Hulk | Iron Man | Ms. Marvel | Red Hulk | Songbird | Spider-Man | Thunderstrike | Vision

Movies
Ultimate Avengers 1 & 2: Captain America | Giant-Man | Hulk | Iron Man | Thor | Wasp | Black Panther | Black Widow
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow: The Avengers: (Iron Man | James Rogers | Torunn | Henry Pym Jr. | Azari) | Hulk | Francis Barton
The Avengers: S.H.I.E.L.D. (Nick Fury | Maria Hill | Agent Phil Coulson | Hawkeye) | The Avengers (Iron Man | Captain America | Thor Odinson | Black Widow | Hulk | Hawkeye)
Avengers: Age of Ultron: The Avengers (Iron Man | Captain America | Thor Odinson | Hulk | Black Widow | War Machine | Hawkeye | Quicksilver | Scarlet Witch | Vision | Falcon) | J.A.R.V.I.S. | Maria Hill | Peggy Carter | Heimdall | Erik Selvig | Helen Cho | Nick Fury | F.R.I.D.A.Y.
Avengers: Infinity War: The Avengers (Iron Man | Thor Odinson | Captain America | Hulk | Black Widow | War Machine | Spider-Man | Vision | Scarlet Witch | Falcon | Masters of the Mystic Arts (Doctor Strange | Wong) | Black Panther | Guardians of the Galaxy (Gamora | Nebula | Mantis | Drax the Destroyer | Groot | Rocket Raccoon | Star-Lord) | Loki Odinson | Heimdall | White Wolf | Okoye | Eitri | Pepper Potts | Thunderbolt Ross | Shuri | M'Baku | F.R.I.D.A.Y. | Ned Leeds | Nick Fury | Maria Hill | Happy Hogan
Avengers: Endgame: The Avengers (Iron Man | Thor Odinson | Captain America | Hulk | Black Widow | Hawkeye | War Machine | Ant-Man | Captain Marvel | Nebula | Okoye | Rocket Raccoon | Spider-Man | Scarlet Witch | Falcon) | Masters of the Mystic Arts (Doctor Strange | Wong | The Ancient One) | Black Panther | Wasp | Valkyrie | Bucky Barnes | Guardians of the Galaxy (Mantis | Drax the Destroyer | Groot | Star-Lord | Gamora) | Shuri | Happy Hogan | May Parker | Korg | Ramonda | Hank Pym | Janet Van Dyne | Thunderbolt Ross | Maria Hill | M'Baku | Ned Leeds | Rescue | Nick Fury | Cassie Lang | F.R.I.D.A.Y. | Loki Odinson | Howard Stark | Peggy Carter | Jane Foster | Edwin Jarvis | Miek

Video Games
Marvel's Avengers: Ms. Marvel | Iron Man | Captain America | Thor | Hulk | Black Widow | Hawkeye | Spider-Man | Black Panther | Kate Bishop

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