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Black Knight

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

The ranks of the Marvel Legends Avengers have been slowly exanding since Hasbro took over the Marvel license, which may be why the fanboys have stopped bitching so much. There were a whole lot of X-Men that came out under ToyBiz, but "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" fell short by comparison. The newest addition is longtime member the Black Knight.

Black Knight It wasn't until his uncle, the villain known as Black Knight, lay dying in his arms that Dane Whitman learned he was descended from a line of warriors dating back to the court of King Arthur. Taking up the mantle of the Black Knight, Dane resolved to restore the honor of the family name. Over the years, he has battled evil witches and wizards across time and through the arcane dimensions. Often, he has struggled with the curse laid on his ancestor's sword, but always he has won out over powerful and ancient magic. Though he can be grim and pragmatically bloody-minded at times, no hero displays more determination in the face of opposition.

As a character, the Black Knight pre-dates even Marvel Comics, first appearing in 1955, when the company was still known as Atlas. Black Knight #1 Created by Stan Lee, the first Black Knight was Sir Percy of Scandia, star of a medieval adventure story that ran five issues. Nine years later, superheroes ruled the day, and Stan reused the name for a supervillain who fought Iron Man, and that's the guy mentioned in the bio up above.

Black Knight is surprisingly tall, coming in at more than 6¼" thanks to the little ridge on his helmet. He has entirely Hasbro-style joints, which means pretty much everything is a balljoint: ankles, knees, hips, torso, elbows, shoulders and head. He also has a swivel waist and swivels at the tops of his gloves. I still say that the double-hinged knees and elbows work better, but the joints on Dane Whitman look pretty good anyway.

Black foot Hasbro (or Marvel Toys - whoever is responsible) chose an unexpected look for this figure. For his years as an Avenger, Whitman wore one main costume, but it wasn't this one. To see what most fans were expecting, check out this custom by OAFEnet's own Lars. The costume on this figure is one he adopted later, and while it's still close enough to be recognizable, there are sure to be some disappointed fans out there. He has armor on his chest and shoulders, with banded metal beneath that. His arms and legs are gray, suggesting cloth, and his boots have the overlapping look of armor. Again, not a bad costume, just not the expected one.

pointy! They probably could have gone for a removable helmet here, but Black Knight's head will have to be permanently protected. What little bit of face is exposed makes him look rather grim and grumpy, but Dane was never the most upbeat guy on the team, anyway. The helmet has a bit of a design to its shape, rather than just being a smooth bucket. The gold section around the eyes is raised, and runs into the ridge that runs from the tip of his nose to the crown of his head.

sub-par paint The paint looks quite good, despite not having any sort of washes or drybrushing. The blue of the armor, gloves and boots is very dark, while the red edges are solid and clean. the armor on his torso is light metallic blue, and his belt is yellow. The symbol on his chest is supposed to be an eagle, but it looks more like a dragon or something - it really should have been detailed better.

arms and armor Black Knight has two accessories: a shield and a sword. The shield is 3¾" by 2 3/8", and features a clip to attach it to the figure's wrist. The sword, 4 1/8" long, is actually the Ebony Blade, a cursed weapon passed down from the first Black Knight. Every time the blade kills, it craves more blood, and will influence its wielder to act accordingly. Forged by Merlin's magic from the metal of a meteorite, the blade is unbreakable and can cut through any material. Pretty handy weapon to have about, save for the blood curse and whatnot. The blade can be held in the figure's hand, or tucked into his belt. Honestly, it's not a proper scabbard or anything.

Dane doesn't get just one piece of the Brood Queen BAF, right legs he gets three: the right legs. No, they're not very exciting on their own, but they are designed well and will probably serve the finished figure well. They each have the hinge portion of a balljoint where they'll join the body, but no other articulation. The sculpt looks half insectoid, half like a Floridian's saggy, sun-damaged skin. In other words, quite awful.

Some people are sure to be upset that Marvel Legends went with this costume for the Black Knight figure, but it will still look good mixed in with the rest of the 6" plastic Avengers. And if you have Hawkeye from ML7, remember that the skybike thing he came with was actually Black Knight's "atomic steed," so you could give it to this figure and have him soar above the crowd.


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