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Avengers Spotlight #39: Review

Dec 1990
?, Greg Capullo

Story Name:

Cry Crusader!: Avengers Reborn Part 3 of 4

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Spotlight #39 Review by (November 1, 2022)

Review: Here’s an odd one for the series “Avengers Reborn:” unlike Doctor Druid and Tigra in the first two parts (and Vision in the last), Black Knight isn’t particularly changed in any way, much less “reborn.”  All that sort of drama came in his self-titled miniseries which preceded this issue. Not to worry, it’s a cool issue featuring the hero clashing with the cops and some exciting violent and emotional interplay with the villain. And the Crusader’s lesson against fanaticism makes a lot more sense than it did in his Thor appearances which complicated any serious issues by having a mythical god as a character. Herein, everything is clear and aboveboard. So…pretty cool stuff. And not as verbose as the usual Roy Thomas fare.

Comments: There is mention of Black Knight’s being trapped as a statue in THOR #396-400. Victoria Bentley was a Doctor Strange supporting character for most of her Marvel career but had previously shown up in the 1990 BLACK KNIGHT miniseries just before this issue. Said miniseries also introduced Sean Dolan as the Black Knight’s squire who eventually becomes the villain Bloodwraith. The Crusader previously appeared in THOR #330-331; he next returns in CAGE #17, having forgotten his lesson and, apparently, his family. Dane makes a pun on Dashiell Hammett’s mystery novel The Dain Curse. There’s a cameo by then Vice President J. Danforth (Dan) Quayle. Written by the husband-wife team of Roy Thomas and Dann Thomas.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Spotlight #39 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

A limousine carrying a lobbyist and his wife is lost in a bad section of Washington, D.C. and is beset by a gang of robbers who drag the couple and their chauffeur out into the street. Suddenly, Black Knight appears on his flying horse Valinor and overpowers the crooks with the Ebony Blade and a lance that fires bolos. When the police arrive, they take custody of the bad guys—and also arrest Black Knight. At the station house, BK learns that he is a suspect in the deaths of two petty crooks who robbed a church and ended up being killed with a sword. A cop demands that BK unmask, despite Avengers protocol and only relents when BK is ordered to a lineup with his mask on. He stands in the lineup but the church’s minister cannot positively identify him so he is let go. Victoria Bentley and Sean Dolan arrive in response to his phone call. The cops apologize and give him back his sword and lance. Outside, Black Knight mounts Valinor to fly off, leaving Victoria and Sean to return to the castle without him….

When Dane reaches home, he is in a bad mood and speaks rudely to his butler Catherwood and lashing out at a suit of armor over the ordeal. Black Knight then receives a visit from a Mrs. Eleanor Blackwood with her young daughter, Jenny. She saw the story of Black Knight’s arrest on the news and came to tell him that she thinks the culprit in the church murders is her husband Arthur. She relates how Arthur Blackwood was a failed divinity student who had a vision of his ancestors commanding him to go on a crusade against pagans, wielding a magic sword and shield as the Crusader; he also fought Thor, an actual pagan god. Now he has been speaking of killing the “Saracen” and his wife wants him to get help. Dane thinks he knows what the Crusader is planning….

They all hurry to Dulles International Airport where a Middle Eastern dignitary, the Emil of Ghulistan, is arriving. As the plane lands, Crusader forces his way past security, dashes up the ramp and into the plane, holding his sword to the Emir’s throat, promising to kill him and all his family. But the Black Knight arrives to stop him, speaking to him in Arthurian language, trying to persuade him to halt but it doesn’t work; the man acts as though possessed but the Emir and family are able to escape while BK has his foe occupied. Their duel spills out onto the tarmac and a police sniper is able to get a bead on the Crusader but Eleanor Blackwood pushes him so that he mises. As the Crusader is about to strike down the Black Knight, Jenny runs out and stands between the two; Blackwood can’t harm his beloved stepdaughter and draws back. BK tells him to give up the fight for his daughter’s sake. Blackwood hurls his magic sword against his shield and they shatter each other. As the police take Blackwood away, he tells BK that seeing him willing to fight and even die for people he didn’t know shook him out of his certainty. As they go, Dane tells Victoria that Arthur won a great victory over himself and his fanaticism….  

Greg Capullo
Tim Dzon
Bob Sharen
Steve Lightle (Cover Penciler)
Steve Lightle (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Rosen.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)

Plus: Crusader (Arthur Blackwood), Victoria Bentley.

> Avengers Spotlight: Book info and issue index

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