Spinning out of January's King in Black: Black Knight, this March Marvel Comics will launch Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade, a new limited series by writer Si Spurrier, who writes the January King in Black one-shot, and artist Sergio Dávila.
The new title will explore Dane Whitman's relationship with his legendary cursed sword, the titular Ebony Blade, as it becomes the target of a new villain's obsession. Marvel states the series will revive and revamp aspects of Black Knight's mythology, a sentiment Spurrier himself echoes.
"Holding up the legacy of the Black Night is Dane Whitman who knows all too well that welding the magical Ebony Blade comes at a terrible price: an insatiable lust for blood and mayhem that constantly threatens to swallow its owner in darkness," reads Marvel's announcement of Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade.
"Will that be Dane's fate? Following his epic battle against the King in Black, a reinvigorated Dane has a greater sense of purpose than ever before," it continues. "But his sword is the key to a new enemy's evil plan and only the Black Knight can prevent the coming death and destruction."
"This conflict spanning mythical Camelot to modern-day NYC will test Dane like never before and challenge everything he believes about himself, the Ebony Blade, and the entire history of the Black Knight," it concludes. "Don't miss history in the making as this fan-favorite Avenger takes his rightful place as a major player in the Marvel Universe!"
In Marvel Comics lore, Dane Whitman is an ancestor of the original Black Knight, one of the knights of Camelot who wielded the Ebony Blade, crafted by Merlin, in the time of King Arthur. The mantle of the Black Knight has passed down several times through the ages, with Whitman's immediate predecessor operating as a supervillain before Whitman took on the role as a hero.
"Having enjoyed myself a positively indecent amount while writing King in Black: The Black Knight, I found that I was even more fascinated by the central character - Dane Whitman - than I'd realised," states Spurrier in the announcement.
"The surprising new take on him which we present in the one-shot opened so many new doors," Spurrier continues. "Dane and his tangled lore are a treasure trove for anyone fascinated by story, mythology, folklore and psychology - all of which are very much My Bag - not to mention the simple thrill of seeing a not-totally-well-adjusted man flying around on a winged warhorse with one of the world's most devastating magical weapons in his hand."
Spurrier goes on to state that Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade won't be a simple superhero story, or even a straightforward fantasy tale - it'll invoke elements of "horror and humor in equal measure."
"I started to see endless opportunities for exploration - I started to sense that this character deserves to be a far bigger deal than he is - and my editor Tom Groneman agreed," Spurrier explains.
"What's emerged is a fascinating, uberdark story which drips with horror and humor in equal measure, rummaging deep into the (often maddeningly confused) threads of canon surrounding the Black Knight, to disentangle, clarify and twiiiiiiiissssttt everything you thought you knew about this hero."
"Along the way we're having an old riotous time with Arthurian Legend - presenting a vision of Camelot unlike any you've seen before - and throwing a whole helmetful of big Marvel ideas and characters at poor old Dane, to see how far he'll go before he breaks," concludes Spurrier.
"But that's sort of the point of this character, when you get right down to it. The more broken he gets, the stronger he becomes."
Meanwhile, Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade constitutes Sergio Dávila's first work at Marvel Comics, following his time at DC and elsewhere.
"Debuting at Marvel is a dream, I've always wanted to be part of the Marvel family and debuting with the Black Knight miniseries is perfect for me. "Not even in my best dreams could I have imagined this opportunity," Savila states.
"I am a big fan of the genre of Epic Fantasy and of Nordic and Arthurian mythology. I love stories of swords and adventures mixed with magic, legends, warriors, castles, mysteries and hidden powers, etc, and this series has everything you can ask of a fan of this genre, like me."
"It has also given me the opportunity to draw some classic Marvel characters which has been my lifelong dream," he continues. "I am having a great time drawing Simon's scripts. I am enjoying it a lot and hope that you do too."
Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #1 is due out in March. And it's probably not a coincidence a five-issue monthly series would be collected later in 2021 just in time for Dane Whitman's cinematic debut in November's Eternals (COVID-19 vaccines willing).
Look for the rest of Marvel's March 2021 solicitations later this month on Newsarama.
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