I couldn’t help but hope, however, that writer Frank Tieri had been handed a set of Marvel UK’s 1970s anthology Hulk Weekly (or at least, a copy of Captain Britain Volume 2: Siege of Camelot) and has been plundering the gloriously-bonkers but beautifully-realised Steve Parkhouse-penned Black Knight story that, despite cutbacks in origination on the title, continued for almost all of the comic’s entire run.
(I’m happy to admit those three pages were the only reason I continued to buy the comic as it turned into reprint of US-created stories on all its other stories, such was its hold).
John Stokes was the artist set the task of interpreting Steve’s “Otherworld” set story, crammed with every fantasy theme imaginable, delivering an enthral ling tale of death and rebirth for Captain Britain – and non-stop action for the Black Knight – from start to finish.
From the interview published recently on Marvel.com, his tale, set on the new “Weirdworld” sounds like it has echoes of the Otherworld Steve explored, but with Frank’s own, distinctive flair that his fans will have enjoyed on books such as Original Sins, which featured Dane Whitman, aka The Black Knight.
(Weirdworld, by the way, gets its own ongoing book from writer Sam Humphries and artist Mike Del Mundo from December – and should not to be confused with the earlier incarnation devised by Doug Moench and Mike Ploog back in 1977).
“Everything’s fair game,” Frank commented when I asked him about Black Knight’s earlier stories via Twitter, “especially what I did with Black Knight in New Excalibur and Original Sins.”
For those of you who have never seen this the Black Knight story from Hulk Weekly, there’s a terrific recap of the tale here on the continuity-obsessed SuperMonkey website – and it was reprinted in the second collection of early Captain Britain stories published by Marvel in 2011.
“In many ways, this is very much a contemporary book,” says Frank Tieri of the new Black Knight title. “And by that I mean that this will be a book for the modern entertainment consumer—he/she of the Breaking Bad, Sopranos, Games of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy generation where we’ve accepted a certain “grayness” to our protagonists. So yeah, this will be a sword and sorcery book, a sci-fi book, but also a book about addiction, about hard choices. Really at its core it’s about a man’s soul—and whether or not he can save it.
“… Weirdworld is kind of like Wonderland if it was written by Quentin Tarantino,” he also revealed. “Not only is there strange, crazy [expletive] all over the place, but most of it’s trying to kill you. That’s the sort of world Dane suddenly finds himself in.
“In fact, when we first pick up with Dane, we find him in a huge Braveheart-like battle against one of those very things that are trying to kill you; in this case, it’s the mysterious and deadly Order of the Serpent. They’re kind of the dominant force in Dane’s neck of the Weirdworld woods and he’s been battling them pretty much since day one. ”
Here’s the promotional blurb for the new Black Knight comic…
It sounds to me like it will deliver as much crazy sword and sorcery mayhem as Hulk Weekly delivered all those years ago.
Their legend echoes through history.Ancient warriors and wielders of the legendary Ebony Blade. Champions of their own destiny. But what do you do when it’s your destiny… to be damned? Find out this November as the creative team of Frank Tieri (Wolverine) and Luca Pizzari (Red Skull) bring you BLACK KNIGHT #1 – a brand-new ongoing series launching as part of All-New, All-Different Marvel!
Forged by ancient magic, long has the Ebony Blade granted its user the powers of the Black Knight, passed down through the centuries. But all power comes with a price, as each and every Black Knight has met an untimely end – a victim of the blade’s curse. Will Dane Whitman’s fate be the same? The long-time Avenger’s addiction to the blade grows stronger and stronger every day. Will he succumb to its power and suffer the same end?
A lost man himself, Dane now finds himself in Weirdworld, the place where all lost things go. What are the circumstances that brought him to this strange place, so far from the world he called home? And what could he possibly have done that would cause the Uncanny Avengers to mobilize against him, a man they called friend?
See the Marvel Universe from a whole new angle this November as Tieri and Pizzari take Dane Whitman to the depths of Weirdworld and beyond in BLACK KNIGHT #1!
BLACK KNIGHT #1
Written by FRANK TIERI
Art by LUCA PIZZARI
Cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
Variant Cover by ERIC POWELL
On Sale in November
• Snag those early Marvel UK stories of Captain Britain in Marvel’s two collections!