Avengers: Endgame isn’t just a never-ending hype machine. It’s also a never-ending rumor machine, and each one just feeds into each other in an endless loop. One of the latest rumors that recently began picking up steam was that Endgame would be introducing the superhero known as the Black Knight. He’s a pretty random character to include, but April solicitations for Marvel Comics hint that there might actually be some meat to this rumor.
I wouldn't blame anyone for not knowing about the Black Knight. He's a C-List Marvel character who has gone through a few different incarnations over the years. One of the most prominent versions of the Black Knight is Nathan Garrett, a descendent of the same Black Knight from Arthurian Legend. He becomes a super villain, battles the Avengers, and is eventually mortally wounded by Iron Man.
His nephew Dane Whitman takes up the mantle and becomes a superhero to redeem his family. He wields a cursed sword called the Ebony Blade, rides a pegasus, and joins the Avengers. It's this version of the character that's relevant to us and the one that Marvel may be teeing up for a theatrical debut.
Marvel Comics is no stranger to building up hype for Marvel movies. Usually, the comics have some sort of tie-in for an upcoming movie such as releasing Civil War 2 in time for the feature film or incorporating movie costumes into the pages.
All of that just makes good business sense and with Endgame being one of the biggest movies of the year, you better believe the comics are going to do something to capitalize on that!
Solicitations for Marvel’s April issues recently arrived online. For those who don’t know, these are all the comics that Marvel will be releasing that month, and usually, they are good teases for upcoming storylines months in advance.
Notably, Marvel has decried that April is Avengers True Believers Month, and will be releasing a series of reprints of classic Marvel issues. Not so coincidentally, all of these issues are tied to major characters in the final two Avengers films like Thanos, Gamora, Nebula, Ronin, and even Thor’s hammer, Stormbreaker. Even less coincidentally, April is when Endgame premieres in theaters.
What internet theorists have noticed is that two of these issues feature the Black Knight. Specifically, the two issues are Avengers (1963) #260 and #343. The Black Knight was a part of the Avengers for these stories, which has helped give these Avengers: Endgame rumors a boost. Of all the thousands of issues that Marvel could have chosen, is it just a coincidence that two of them have the Black Knight?
Well, maybe. Avengers #260 is a Nebula story while #343 is a seemingly obscure tale about evil Avengers from another dimension that try to kill the good ones. The inclusion of the latter is super interesting and people might want to pay more attention to that, but as far as the Black Knight goes, he does have a little bit more backing him than this reprint.
Rumors about the Black Knight’s involvement began even before the solicitations. Jeremy Conrad of MCU Cosmic tweeted that he had heard that the MCU had plans for Black Knight and that they already knew how he’d be introduced. The tweet was accompanied by a picture of the secret city in the Quantum Realm that was briefly glimpsed in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
The implication is that Black Knight is from this interdimensional city, which is a departure from the comics, but it wouldn't be the first time the movies went off script. The reliability of those rumors is up for debate, but coupled with Avengers True Believers Month, it gets a little bit stronger.
It is odd that the Black Knight of all characters would be featured twice on these reprints, but that could be chalked up to a coincidence. These issues aren't strictly about the Black Knight and he just happens to be on the Avengers during these particular missions. Another character, Hercules (literally the same Greek god from mythology), also shows up in those same issues, and I doubt that Marvel has plans for him. We've got already got Thor filling the god quota and Wonder Woman has the market cornered on Greek mythology.
That being said, it might not be such a bad idea to introduce Dane Whitman to the MCU. As a medieval knight, he brings something different to the table that no other hero does. Even if the knight stuff is too much for people, the character does have costumes that tone down his knighthood, making him a bit more relatable.There's certainly no other character that has that same aesthetic right now in the MCU.
Additionally, his lack of popularity means that Marvel can get away with altering his character and story as much as they see fit. It's a lot easier to make changes to a lesser known character than a popular one like Spider-Man, where there's fan backlash if you go too far in one direction. I can't see too many people getting worked into a tizzy over the Black Knight.
In fact, this is a character who could benefit from an update. His heyday was back in the '80s when he was on the Avengers and Marvel hasn't really been able to find much use for the character since. It could be that the MCU is just what he needs. Even Iron Man and Captain America were struggling to get mainstream attention before the MCU, so the movies could bring a necessary spark of life.
Even if Avengers: Endgame ends up being three hours long like it's rumored to be, it's tough to imagine how the movie possibly has enough time to introduce an entirely new character. Endgame already is going to be busy enough trying to wrap up all the Avengers' storylines, but the Black Knight cameo might not be extensive. It could be as simple as a name drop.
I doubt Marvel is spilling the beans on this anytime soon and we'll surely learn more the closer we get to April 26.