Tag Archives: The Black Knight

Days of Thunder – February 1973 The Defenders #4

“The New Defender!”
A Steve Englehart, author * Sal Buscema, artist bonanza! Frank McLaughlin, inker/ A. Simek, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Defenders 4

It seems the Enchantress had little difficulty in freeing herself from Zeus’s custody after the events of Avengers #100. After leaving Olympus, she returned to Earth, and used her powers of enchantment to bend the sometime Avenger Black Knight to her will. The two of them returned to the plane of existence where the Executioner had deserted the Enchantress. She, along with the Black Knight, fought the forces of the Executioner’s new girlfriend, Casiolena, but were overwhelmed and captured.

Over the course of several adventures across several titles, Namor, the king of Atlantis, Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, and Hulk, the strongest one there is, have formed an uneasy friendship. The trio have found themselves repeatedly going on adventures together under the name “Defenders”, although they all deny that they are a team. After their most recent adventure, they find themselves before a magic castle, in the company of a young occultist named Barbara, whom they have accidentally driven insane. They wander into the castle, and somehow find themselves teleported to the plane where Casiolena rules.

The three friends, along with Barbara, soon find themselves captured, joining Enchantress and Black Knight in the dungeons. The Enchantress uses her magic to turn Barbara into the Enchantress’s old persona, the Valkyrie. The six superpowered beings combine their might and escape from the dungeon.

Again they fight the forces of Casiolena, and this time it culminates with the Enchantress killing her rival for the Executioner’s affection. With his lover dead, Executioner returns to the Enchantress’ side. The couple teleport away, but not before the Enchantress turns the Black Knight into stone.

Doctor Strange returns his comrades to Earth. The Black Knight remains a living statue, while Barbara remains the Valkyrie, a fusion persona, equal parts madwoman, warrior, ultra-feminist, and villain. First, she breaks Aragorn, the artificially created pegasus of the Black Knight. and then she asks to join the Defenders, only to be told that not only is the Defenders not a team, but that she would not be powerful enough to join if it were.

 

Days of Thunder June 1972 The Avengers #100

“Whatever Gods There Be”
Stan Lee presents, ponders, and presides over a centennial super-spectacular by: Roy Thomas, writer/ Barry Windsor-Smith, artist/ Inked by: Barry Windsor-Smith, Joe Sinnott, and Syd Shores/ Lettered by John Costa

Avengers 100

There has not been a break in the action of The Mighty Thor since issue #183. The Infinity story segued directly into Loki seizing control of Asgard which led directly to the unleasing of the Mangog, which led to Odin’s semi-death, which lead to the current attack by Pluto.

Published concurrent to these events, Thor has had an active role in the pages of The Avengers, where he and his teammates had been swept up into a major intergalactic conflict known as the Kree-Skrull War. All of his appearances within The Avengers for the past year and a half, including his appearance in this issue, presumably take place some time after the current issue of The Mighty Thor.

Other recent events of note within these pages:  Hawkeye has abandoned his Goliath persona, taking up archery again; The Vision and the Scarlet Witch have begun awkwardly courting each other; and it seems that Ares, the Greek god of war is up to something.

In this special centennial issue, every single living member of the Avengers past and present unite to face a dire threat. That lineup consists of Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man, The Wasp, The Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, The Black Panther The Vision, The Black Knight, Hercules, and the Swordsman. Rick Jones and Black Widow are excluded, having never formally been offered membership.

It turns out that the Enchantress did not die in her previous encounter with the Scarlet Witch but merely found herself lost in another dimension. Now, the Enchantress and Ares have joined forces and gained control of the Ebony Blade, a powerful sword forged by mutant charlatan Merlin. They have conquered Olympus and plan to start a nuclear holocaust on Earth in order to rip open a passageway to Asgard. Ares desires to conquer Asgard, but the Enchantress has a darker goal: She wishes to unsheathe the Odinsword and end all things, owing to a drastic, suicidal desire to humble Odin.

The Avengers learn of the villains’ plans and confound them. Asgard and Earth are protected, while Olympus is freed. The Enchantress and presumably Ares are turned over to Zeus’ custody.