Dane Whitman, the nephew of villainous Nathan Garrett, takes his uncle’s mantle as the Black Knight but this time he uses this alter ego for good. This graphic novel collection kicks off with Dane’s first stint as the heroic Black Knight as he graces the pages of Avengers #47-48. The main story arc features Black Knight as part of Captain Britain’s MI-13 as they take on an all new Dracula in order to defend the United Kingdom.
Dane Whitman faces Magneto as he makes his heroic debut in the Avengers ongoing series. I have to be honest, I did not enjoy this debut. I understand that one has to have a certain respect for comics of years gone by but these two issues did not do it for me. The way in which Magneto, Toad and a few other characters are presented is just not great. Magneto has some of the most zany facial expressions I have seen in comic history. Seriously, it is disturbing. Sometimes when I close my eyes at night I still see Magneto’s horrific facial expressions. As a story, it is average as well with a very brief focus on the main character.
Unfortunately, this lack of the titular hero follows through into the main story. This is a graphic novel collection of Black Knight but the entire arc and the bonus annual hardly features the Black Knight. He is just a part of Captain Britain’s team and nothing more really. Sure he is present but there is reason it is called Captain Britain and m-13, most of the story follows Captain Britain and the grief he is suffering due to the loss of his wife. Then his wife even gets her own issue! Black Knight is just left in the background. Even his sidekick plays a bigger role than him.
Te only thing I liked about the character in this arc was that, despite being referred to as a Crusader, he chose Faiza, a female Muslim, as his Steward and he believes that she is strong enough to become a night just like himself. After the Vampires strike a deal with Dr. Doom, they plan on occupying the UK and making it their homeland. They plan on eradicating Islam in order to prevent them from bridging the gap in science that the West has set out. Dr. Doom is not impressed with Dracula’s racism, however, he realizes that if Dracula occupies the UK and opposes Islam. Latveria would be in a greater position of power and not the focus of international attention. Captain Britain forms his MI-13, a team featuring Pete Wisdom, Black Knight, Blade and Spitfire as he protects the Uk from a vampiric invasion from outer space!
Thankfully, the art in this arc is spectacular and it makes for a great read. This book is far thicker than any other book released in this collection. This arc tells a very good story and the pencils complement the writing to make a perfect graphic novel. It has everything: action, violence,romance, drama, suspense and loads of demons and vampires! This definitely makes the book worth reading despite the fact that it hardly features the Black Knight.
This is a great read. However, if you were wanting to get a better feeling for the character of the Black Knight, prepare to be disappointed. You get a look but it is only brief, far too brief for him to be the titular hero on this issue’s cover. I can honestly see this issue belonging to Captain Britain and nobody else.