The Black Knight and his Ebony Blade!
The Black Knight is one of my favorite character. I first saw him in MARVEL SUPER ACTION #32 which reprinted the classic Avengers #71 vol.1. Those reprints were a godsend for kids who could only get their dose of comics from 7-11's or Drug Stores' twirling comic racks. I was fascintated (like probably most kids) with the classic King Arthur tale of him withdrawing Excalibur from the stone and his knights of the round table. I love the hollywood version, EXCALIBUR and which comic book fan doesn't list MONTY PYTHON'S THE HOLY GRAIL as one of the their favorite movies. The armless and legless BLACK KNIGHT makes me split my pants even just thinking about that scene. Back to the book now, I initially thought that Ebony Blade was Excalibur. So this issue was one I looked desperately in all local used book stores. Remember Comic book stores or direct sales stores where non existent or where localized to bigger cities. In my case, a trip to MILE HIGH COMICS or TIME WARP COMICS was up there with DISNEYLAND, a kids wish come true. Roy Thomas does not disappoint in this issue. Strangely I am more appreciative of Roy's stories now, as to today's modern stories. Brubaker and Bendis have some great stories to tell but boy does MARVEL milk them now. A 10-12 issue crossover with several individual tie in's, sheesh my 50 cents back then was worth more than 5 bucks now. Howard Purcell's art is great, reminiscent of BIG JOHN BUSCEMA. This is a great story because it depics how DANE WHITMAN is bestowed the Ebony Blade, which neither the MASTERS OF EVIL's member possessed nor in DANE'S first appearance in Avengers #48 vol 1. The CCL synopis is pretty detailed, so no need for me to repeat the story. A great story, great art and plus some reprints of some classics. My favorite story is the ALL WINNERS SQUAD's tale, mostly because it is inspiration for Roy Thomas' INVADERS, another of my favorites. This book is worth reading in digital or in paper print.