With the debut out of the way, Black Knight’s second issue sidelines a lot of the action for colorful Marvel history lessons but never forgets the fantastic emotional mental character work being done on Dane Whitman. Stunning and energetic visuals showcase the art team’s ability to shift between action and expository quieter moments at the drop of a hat.
With his latest mini-series, Dane Whitman, the Ebony Blade holder known as the Black Knight, is dealing with quite a number of things. Still reeling from revelations about the true reason himself and others were chosen to wield the cursed blade, he was brushed off by the Avengers during a big fight and ended up quite dead in the process.
Turns out though, Dane Whitman has something in common with the mutants of Krakoa: death is nothing but a momentary pitstop. With death behind him, there are now a lot more questions before Dane and a whole lot of freaking out.
Simon Spurrier is cutting loose with this series to dive deep into Arthurian legends as they fit into the Marvel Universe. He’s also crafting an amazing story that actually deals with the emotions that would come from the kind of stuff that these heroes are subjected to. Even before the X-Men conquered death, it often was treated like a revolving door in comics where most characters shrugged it off and treated it like being part of some exclusive club. It was just a nice nap. Despite seeing other heroes and friends come back in the past, the level of freaking out that Dane does in this issue is pretty accurate to how most of us, in reality, would act.
Character studies like this are truly some of the most interesting and entertaining stories because they give us more depth to chew upon. Superhero fights — and there are a number of awesome fight scenes in this issue — are all well and good and needed for the medium but character is the thing that keeps most of us involved and coming back.
Sergio Davilla, Sean Parsons, and Arif Prianto continue to do stellar work as they bring great life to Dane and his world and fully capture the emotions of a man struggling with his mental state that is losing it even more after death and resurrection. Everything is colorful and bright yet at the same time, shadowy and muted to drive home the darker humor and tones of the story.
All of the flashbacks and stories of Camelot are some of the stuff that stands out even more as it just feels so magical, as one would expect for the place with Arthur and Merlin and so many others. The full-page spread of all the heroes of Camelot alone can leave one craving an ongoing series following their adventures or diving deeper into these characters.
Cory Petit of course, doesn’t miss a lettering beat shifting between the more frenzied moments of dialogue to the more fun or expository ones and just dropping in some pretty epic SFX in some of the gorgeous action moments later in the issue. All of those action scenes are swift and energetic, flowing as Dane and Elsa Bloodstone trade blows as much as jabs, quips, and threats.
One truly humorous and nice touch added in is Dane staring at his phone just nodding and making affirmation noises as his ancestor Percy long-windedly regales him with tales of Camelot. Only to suddenly be interested when vampires are mentioned (assuming he might be one). That little touch feels all too real when it comes to a lot of us in modern society when we are stuck listening to things that might not fully have our interest.
Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #02 is now on sale from Marvel Comics in print and digitally.