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Avengers Episodes Heroes Marvel

Issue 139 – Dane Whitman

Prior to the Eternals movie premiere, we cover the Black Knight, DANE WHITMAN! How many Monty Python jokes are made? The answer may surprise you!


  • Intro
    • Upcoming holiday hiatus
  • Background (2:38)
    • Dane Whitman created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in Avengers #47 (Dec. 1967)
    • Dane Whitman is the nephew of Nathan Garrett, a descendant of Sir Percy of Scandia who served in the Court of King Arthur as the Black Knight, and was bestowed with a sword known as the Ebony Blade, carved from a meteorite and only to be wielded by the most honorable of knights
    • The sword then made its way to Nathan Garrett, who called himself the Black Knight and used the Ebony Blade to commit crime – on his deathbed, he renounced his life and told Dane to take up the sword and restore the family legacy
    • After initially being mistaken for his villainous uncle, he later joins the Avengers and the Defenders
    • While serving with the Avengers, he discovers the Ebony Blade is cursed – the more blood is shed with it, the more its wielder becomes insane – after battling Morgan le Fay and Mordred, Sir Percy’s spirit merges with the blade, cancelling the curse
    • He then becomes romantically involved with Crystal and Sersi – He is attracted to both, but in an effort to save Sersi from an intergalactic illness, Dane is unwillingly bonded to Sersi in a merger called the “Gann Josin” – the bond is broken during a battle with alternate dimension versions of the Avengers, led by Proctor, a Dane Whitman from another world who was rejected by his Sersi and now travels the multiverse killing every version of her he can find – a Watcher creates an alternate reality where Sersi can be free of the curse, and Dane goes with her over guilt of his actions #BecauseComics
    • Meanwhile, his squire Sean Dolan gets the Ebony Blade, and becomes the villain known as Bloodwraith
    • Dane & Sersi are sent to the Ultraverse, home of Malibu Comics, where Dane becomes the leader of Ultraforce – attempts to return home, but ends up in the 12th century, where he battles Apocalypse and the mutant who would become Exodus
    • Upon returning to the 616 universe and current time, he joins Heroes for Hire for a period
    • After killing the villain Carnivore with the Ebony Blade, he leaves for Weirdworld, but is followed shortly after by the Avengers, who want to bring him to justice – Steve Rogers takes the Blade from him, but it drives him mad, and only after battling a possessed Steve and regaining control does the team realize Dane has things more under control than believed
    • During King In Black, it’s revealed that the Ebony Blade is actually an evil blade that amplifies the anger and insanity within its wielder – Merlyn lied to Dane, who realized all the times that he lost control were all his fault
    • Recently revealed he had a daughter, Jacks, who now shares the mantle of Black Knight with him, because the two of them can split the burden of the Ebony Blade so that neither handles the madness alone
  • Issues (8:01)
    • Addicted to the Blade
    • Guilt over how much of his actions were his doing vs the blade (19:36)
    • Legacy character – trying to undo the negativity of his uncle, all while “failing” in his own way (27:53)
  • Break (35:16)
    • Plugs for BetterHelp, Bedknobs & Broomflicks, and Philip Kennedy Johnson
  • Treatment (38:57)
    • In-universe – Bring in Kazuma Kuwabara from YuYu Hakusho, who can manifest energy into a sword, and teach him to let go of the Ebony Blade and focus on other things
    • Out of universe – (41:02)
  • Skit (47:27)
    • DOC: Hello Dane, I’m Dr. Issues.
    • DANE WHITMAN: Hi Doc.
    • DOC: So what can I do for you?
    • DW: Well…
    • SIR PERCY: Why do ye waste yer time with this fool? He cannot comprehend the magnitude of yer burden.
    • DOC: Are you alright? You seem a bit… distant.
    • DW: Doc, schizophrenia is when you hear voices in your head, right?
    • DOC: Auditory hallucinations can be a symptom, although they’re not exclusive to schizophrenia nor are they present in every case of schizophrenia. What makes you bring that up?
    • SP: Go on, tell him. Tell him ye hear yer great-great-granda talk to ye. Better yet, tell him ye can SEE me. Aye, that’ll help.
    • DW: *shut up*
    • DOC: I’m sorry, are you-
    • DW: No, not to you.
    • SP: Doin’ great so far.
    • DW: It’s my great-grandfather. Great… I don’t even know how many times over.
    • SP: Greater than ye’ll ever be, at this rate.
    • DOC: OK…
    • DW: Let me start over. I have this sword.
    • SP: Oh sure, blame the sword. Not the sword’s fault yer a foppish twit who’s in over ye head.
    • DW: *Keep it up, old man, and I’ll find a way to bring you back to life just to cut your head off.*
    • DOC: Alright, I’m getting the idea that I’m definitely not the only person you’re talking to here. Are you talking to the sword?
    • DW: No, but the sword is the reason I’m talking to someone else.
    • DOC: Keep going.
    • SP: Aye, I cannae wait to hear how ye explain this.
    • DW: This sword is powerful. 
    • SP: *sarcastic clap* bravo, hero. Are ye gonna tell ‘em it cuts things, too?
    • DOC: For you to put so much stock in it, I’m sure it is. How does that connect to talking to someone else?
    • DW: If it weren’t for my kin, I wouldn’t have it.
    • DOC: Ah, a treasured heirloom…but more to it still, I’m guessing. Any soldier
    • SP AND DW: KNIGHT
    • DOC: Sorry…any knight holds their weapon dear to them. You don’t just keep it close, though. You’re staring at it. 
    • SP: It’s better than lookin’ at his face. Ye know he’d see through ye, right?
    • DW: He’s bonded with the sword…my ancestor…I know this sounds crazy
    • DOC: I’d never say that
    • SP: Cuz he’s blind to ye, lad.
    • DOC: Is there anything that keeps you distracted, so your stress doesn’t overwhelm you?
    • DW: I don’t part with my duties. I have sworn to protect what’s right.
    • SP: Atta’ boy!
    • DOC: Sometimes being away from something you cherish can give a person a fresh perspective.
    • DW: I’m uniquely qualified to handle this weapon. That’s not the problem. It’s what happens when I let others get in my way
    • SP: So ye see now? He doesn’t know how special you are…WE are. This is a gift, lad.
    • DOC: Nobody is put on the Earth to solely be your obstacle. Only circumstances and personal choices ever do that. I actually want to take this psychological journey WITH you, not against you.
    • DW: I’ve fought alongside many. I’m not paranoid. Just stressed.
    • DOC (subdued)  AND SP (emphatic) : I can see that
    • DW: If my mind’s not right, I’ll lose control. Believe me, nobody wants that.
    • SP: So take control
    • DOC: So let go a bit
    • DW: *clearly confused* what?
    • SP: This ward of potions wants to weaken ye, too soft.
    • DOC: You’re going to have to…I don’t know…ration out or delegate your responsibilities. That’s a tough thing to do in the short term, but you’ll be able to redouble your efforts if you give yourself time to rest. Plus, the fact that you’re STILL staring at that sword concerns me.
    • DW: (somber) Tell me, doctor…do you think a man can do good things with dark intentions?
    • SP: What are ye on about? 
    • DOC: I don’t pretend to know the answer to hypotheticals
    • DW: It’s NOT hypothetical. *frustrated groan* This sword…feeds off of some things that I’d rather not talk about, not even to a psychiatrist. When it works…oh MAN does it work. I can slay any enemy. I can save people. But when things go bad…like I said, let’s not talk about it.
    • DOC: Well, that’s kind of my thing, sooooo
    • SP: Keep going and someone who would not be considered worthy of the court will know more than some of the sorcerers in my day
    • DW: I…can’t. The point is, I don’t want to go nuts. I don’t need to be labeled insane. I have a lot of wrongs to right. Not just for me…for anybody who ever held this sword.  My family. Does that part make sense?
    • DOC: Definitely.
    • SP: Ye see? You only need yerself, and that sword. I can still guide ye.
    • DOC: From everything you’ve told me, I want to make an alliance. It’s my own oath to help that compels me to make sure you remain fit to wield that thing. A combination of talk therapy along with medication management
    • SP: *interrupting* No apothecaries
    • DW: I…have a bit of trouble with that last part.
    • DOC: You, or someone else?
    • SP: HE CANNAE KNOW THAT!
    • DW: I’d rather not say
    • DOC: I’ll let you in on something…your delays in responses are a giveaway that you have what we call internal stimuli. I’m not trying to judge that. But if you have to hesitate like that when there are life and death decisions to be made, and even if they’re distracting you with positive ideas, you’re going to falter. I see it all the time. And if you don’t take charge of this right now, then one of your fellow heroes or friends or family will try to protect you by whatever means necessary. It doesn’t have to get to that point. 
    • SP: Aye, he means well, but he doesn’t know our kind.
    • DW: *pause* You don’t make this easy
    • DOC: Nothing over a sword ever is, right?
  • Ending (53:45)
    • Recommended reading: 2015 Black Knight solo series
    • Next episodes: Donna Troy, Homelander, Polaris
    • Plugs for social

References:

  • Crystal episode – Anthony (4:09)

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