Thursday, June 23, 2011

The dramatic reveal is he's exactly who you would expect:

One of the DC reboot books that I'm looking forward to trying is Demon Knights. Written by Paul Cornell, who has done some good stuff in the past (I liked Wisdom a few years back) and the book features the Demon and is set around the time of Camelot. Thanks to a smattering of comics like Iron Man #150, Camelot 3000, and Shining Knight or Silent Knight--and the movie Excalibur, of course--I have this image of Camelot as a magical land, where men were free, the motto was not 'might makes right' but 'might for right.' And the whole place was constantly on the verge of being burned down and taken over by demons and whatnot.

Case in point, today's book, from another company: Black Knight #1. Written by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Ron Frenz, and inks by Sal Buscema.

Originally presented digitally, this was a big retcon for the character: Sir Richard of Scandia was one of King Arthur's bravest knights, but his brother Percy was a useless fop. Still, the two brothers were very close, the best of friends. When Merlin sends Richard on a secret mission to retrieve the Ebony Blade (here called 'Chaos the Doombringer,' and described as all the evil removed from Excalibur) Percy tags along, even though he is no fighter. Merlin wants to keep the blade from falling into the hands of Modred, who has sent a pile of his best half witted thugs out to find it.

Eventually, Percy takes the sword to save his brother, but falls under the curse of the sword, becoming a blood-mad berserker, refusing to relinquish the sword. Modred's men attack Percy, thinking him Richard; and Percy gives a good account of himself until struck from behind. Enraged, Richard takes up the sword, and kills most of Modred's men, and the inevitable demon to rise up from that sort of thing.

Although Merlin advises Richard to surrender the Ebony Blade himself, Richard refuses, vowing to wield it for king and country. Richard also takes his brother's identity, in his honor, and uses the Black Knight guise to fight for Camelot. And here's the retcon, since Sir Percival was always the Black Knight previously; I don't think there had ever been a mention of a twin before. It's also a little less inspiring, to boot: the brother that always kicked ass...survived to keep kicking ass; as opposed to the poncy brother having to man up to the task.

This was part of a pile of books from the quarter-bin; OK, fifty-cent bin. Probably going to have a few more of those this week.

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