[This story contains spoilers for Eternals.]
Within the remaining moments of the Eternals Dane Whitman (Package Harrington) is seen talking with a sword, one thing which may appear unusual to viewers unfamiliar with the comedian e-book curse of the Ebony Blade. The Eternals post-credit scene additionally introduces Mahershala Ali’s Blade to the MCU for the primary time, with the actor offering a voice over cue. It’s a second greater than fifty years within the making for Dane Whitman.
When Whitman first appeared in 1967’s Avengers No. 47, he was an everyman sort of a personality. Albeit an everyman who occurred to be the nephew of a medieval-themed supervillain referred to as the Black Knight, and who manages to impress Earth’s mightiest heroes a lot that they invite him to affix the workforce after he infiltrates a bunch of their enemies and sabotages them within the title of justice. That, nevertheless, wasn’t sufficient for author Roy Thomas and artist Howard Purcell, who used Whitman’s first solo journey — in 1968’s Marvel Tremendous-Heroes No. 17 — to deepen his mythology by linking him to a Marvel character that pre-dated the Avengers, Implausible 4, and even the Marvel Universe.
Dane Whitman is, it seems, the third Black Knight created by the corporate we all know as Marvel. The second was his villainous uncle, however the first debuted in 1955’s The Black Knight No. 1, a collection set proper in the course of the King Arthur mythology and that includes what the duvet declared was “the best knight of all of them!” Certainly, Sir Percy of Scandia — the Black Knight in query — turned out to be so nice that he was gifted a magical sword by none apart from Merlin himself. In Marvel Tremendous-Heroes No. 17, the ghost of Sir Percy reveals as much as inform Dane Whitman that (a) Whitman is definitely a descendant of Sir Percy’s, and (b) he’s such a heroic determine that he deserves to make use of the magical sword all by himself, leaving Whitman in possession of what’s turn into often known as the Ebony Blade.
For years, Whitman hans round within the background of Marvel’s comedian e-book universe utilizing the Blade; he makes use of it as a member of the Avengers and the Defenders, and when it was destroyed in a little-seen strip showing in comics solely printed in the UK, it was restored earlier than the character’s subsequent huge American look. Sadly, it was revealed in 1984’s Physician Unusual No. 68 that the Ebony Blade wasn’t magical, precisely, as a lot because it was… cursed. The so-called “Blood Curse,” because it was termed, meant that each time the sword was used to attract blood, the sword’s proprietor could be pushed nearer to insanity.
If the answer to that appeared apparent — simply don’t use the sword to attract blood — occasions rapidly made that answer unattainable, as others used the sword to kill. After a quick stint as a statue (actually, don’t ask), Whitman resolves to take away the curse fully. This launches actually many years of storylines by which he both believes that he’s completed simply that. In different storylines he provides up utilizing the Ebony Blade altogether. For a lot of the Nineteen Nineties, he used an off-brand lightsaber; decisions have been made.
Finally, nevertheless, neither of those approaches ever actually takes, irrespective of what number of instances they’re tried by a wide range of creators throughout the years, resulting in the newest revision to the way in which the Blade works.
As per current comedian storylines, the Ebony Blade was truly created as an evil various to Excalibur, with a curse considerably totally different from what was initially believed: as a substitute, it feeds on the more severe feelings of its proprietor, and positive aspects energy the extra damaging these feelings get. Furthermore, solely corrupt souls are in a position to make use of the Blade, and utilizing the Blade will corrupt their souls even additional — even because it prevents them from dying, so long as they nonetheless personal the sword. (Dane Whitman has been actually beheaded, however that didn’t cease him, because it turned out.) Furthermore, the autumn of Camelot was, as unlikely because it appears, merely meant as a distraction to cover the creation of the Ebony Blade from the broader world, so horrible was the sword.
“There isn’t a roadmap that I do know of in the meanwhile. If they’ve concepts about the place my character goes, I’m not aware of it,” Harington not too long ago informed The Hollywood Reporter of his Marvel future. “All I do know is that once I got here on board, they stated, ‘There’s a very fascinating future for this character, and in case you learn up about him, there are a lot of other ways we may go together with him.’ And that intrigues me. I’m fascinated by the concept that any character in any story is pushed by some dependancy to one thing. And with [Dane Whitman], it’s very palpable that this sword, this blade, has an addictive pull on him, and I discover that actually fascinating.”
Solely time will inform if the MCU’s Ebony Blade proves to be fairly as dangerous information because the comedian model. However, a model of the Ebony Blade has arrived — and it’s one which appears to be chatting with the cinematic Dane Whitman, suggesting that it’s removed from the common sword. Provided that reveal, how lengthy will or not it’s earlier than audiences will see the Black Knight in all his glory on the large display… and simply the place will that find yourself taking place, anyway?
Take into account it one other piece of the slowly unfolding bigger thriller of Part 4 of the MCU.