Tag Archives: Ebony Blade
New York, NY—July 31st, 2015 — Their legend echoes through history. Ancient warriors and wielders of the legendary Ebony Blade. Champions of their own destiny. But what do you do when it’s your destiny…to be damned? Find out this November as the creative team of Frank Tieri (Wolverine) and Luca Pizzari (Red Skull) bring you BLACK KNIGHT #1 – a brand-new ongoing series launching as part of All-New, All-Different Marvel!
Forged by ancient magic, long has the Ebony Blade granted its user the powers of the Black Knight, passed down through the centuries. But all power comes with a price, as each and every Black Knight has met an untimely end – a victim of the blade’s curse. Will Dane Whitman’s fate be the same? The long-time Avenger’s addiction to the blade grows stronger and stronger every day. Will he succumb to its power and suffer the same end?
A lost man himself, Dane now finds himself in Weirdworld, the place where all lost things go. What are the circumstances that brought him to this strange place, so far from the world he called home? And what could he possibly have done that would cause the Uncanny Avengers to mobilize against him, a man they called friend?
This June, go deeper into the secrets of the Marvel Universe in ORIGINAL SINS #2 – the next epic chapter in the 5-issue companion series exploring the mysteries and sins of your favorite Marvel Universe characters! Featuring some of our most requested characters of all-time, each issue of Original Sins shines a revealing light on the most wanted characters courtesy of the industry’s top creators!
First, the Black Knight confronts the shocking truth behind the legacy of his heroic mantle in a new story from fan-favorite writer Frank Tieri and rising-star artist Raff Ienco. Long has Dane Whitman carried the Ebony Blade without knowing the true extent of its power – and the price it will cost him. Now, he’s about to find out.
Then, Eisner-award winning writer Ryan North joins artist Ramon Villalobos for part 2 of a Young Avengers story running through each issue of Original Sins. The Young Avengers are hot on the trail of the infamous supercriminal The Hood. Only when they ultimately confront him, it will have starling repercussions for one of the Young Avengers!
Finally, Eisner-nominated cartoonist Ty Templeton explores the Original Sin of the one and only Howard the Duck – and the Marvel Universe will never be the same!
The Watcher saw everything – and now it’s out! Don’t miss the untold secrets of the Black Knight, the Young Avengers and Howard the Duck when ORIGINAL SINS #2 hits comic shops this June!
This title stars a unique group of heroes seemingly plucked from the history of the Marvel Universe. Because of this and for those unfamiliar with this book, I thought I would give a brief rundown on our cast of characters. The holes in my memory were filled by Wikipedia.
Captain Britain: Created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe in 1976 for Marvel’s UK line. After being seriously wounded in an accident, Merlyn and his daughter Roma gives Brian Braddock a chance to become Britain’s defender. Cap is most well known from his time in the popular 80’s series, Excaliber, as drawn by Alan Davis. These days, Brian’s powers are directly tied to his confidence level.
Pete Wisdom: Created by Warren Ellis and Ken Lashley in 1995. Pete is a former British Secret Service agent who has the mutant ability to create and throw energy knives. Wisdom is the leader of MI13.
The Black Knight: Created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in 1967. After his villainous uncle’s defeat at the hands of Iron Man, Dane Whitman takes up the mantle of the Black Knight as a hero. Whitman has at times wielded the Ebony Blade, a very powerful but cursed sword. He recently discovered that his current sword is only a copy of the Ebony Blade.
Spitfire: Created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins in 1976. After she received a bite from the original Baron Blood (the current Blood in this issue is actually her son), Lady Jacqueline Falsworth is given super-speed from a life saving, blood transfusion from the original Human Torch. In this series, Jacqueline is revealed to have vampire traits left over from Blood’s bite although it is not clear if she is a full vampire.
Faiza Hussain: Created by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk specifically for MI13 in 2008. Faiza is a doctor, a British citizen and a Muslim. During the Secret Invasion, she somehow gained the power to deconstruct and reconstruct biological organisms on a sub-atomic level. She now wields the legendary Excalibur and acts as squire to the Black Knight.
Blade: Created by Marv Woflman and Gene Colan in 1973. Blade is both human and vampire. His mother was bitten by a vampire while giving birth to him. He then trained to hunt vampires and has an ongoing battle with Dracula. The success of the Blade movie from 1998 touched off the current era of comic book movies and was the first real success of a Marvel character on the big screen.
MI13: Simply called “the Department” by Warren Ellis in Excalibur, the group was renamed MI13 in 2006. This follows the other, real British secret service agencies, MI5 (domestic – think FBI) and MI6 (external – think James Bond). Its mission is to investigate “weird happenings” within the UK.
In this issue, Dracula advances his plans for the conquest of Great Britain and we are introduced to his team. Spitfire speaks with her son, the current Baron Blood, on the moon and continues to sink deeper into Dracula’s thrall. The remaining members of MI13 go in search of an artifact that will effectively keep Drac out of England.
Paul Cornell (Pete Wisdom/several Dr. Who novels) deserves high marks for this series. He has taken a group of characters that almost seem like cast offs from other books and created an incredible group with them. Although he is dealing with magic and mysticism, he never uses these elements as narrative crutches. None of these characters, outside of Cap perhaps, would be featured in a series if not for MI13, but Cornell treats his heroes like they matter. By giving the team upper level baddies to go up against, Cornell gives this book, a sense of credibility and weight. Great writing and great characterization make this book shine.
Although Paul Cornell writing is astounding, Leonard Kirk’s (Supergirl/JSA) pencils are simply average. His layouts are good and his backgrounds can range from excellent, to muddled – see the initial splash page and then the reveal of Dracula’s conveyance to earth respectively. Kirk gives a kind of chiseled look to his figures and faces. Because of this, they can come off a little stiff and sometimes body features can look disconnected. His facial structures can also vary from panel to panel. He excels when dealing with mystical elements and technology. Softer textures seem to elude him as he lets his style override what he is drawing.
I did some research into Kirk’s previous comic work and only saw hints of his chiseled style. His Supergirl work was actually rounded and softer. At this point I am not sure if he is just maturing towards this look as an artist or if this book’s inker is simply accentuating the problem. In any event, a little more flexibility in this book’s artistic palate would go a long way to making this book a more even read.
What to look for
The entire story is full of excellent moments and elements – you can’t choose just one
What might put you off
Dracula’s outfit is a little weird – I know they are going for royalty here but it looks like he has a dead possum on his shoulder!
This book is a fantastic read – keep it on your pull list.
Title Captain Britain and MI13
Issue Number 12
Release Date 4/8/2009
Writer Paul Cornell
Penciler Leonard Kirk
Inker Jay Leisten
Colorist Brian Reber
Letterer Joe Caramanga
Editor Nick Lowe
Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff