Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #3 Review

by Nick Devonald on May 19, 2021

Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: Sergio Dávila
Inks: Sean Parsons
Colours: Arif Prianto with Chris Sotomayor
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

We’re at the halfway point of the Curse of the Ebony Sword and Si Spurrier has redefined the mythology behind the Black Knight and his Ebony Sword, taking a good look at the history of the Ebony artifacts and the truth behind their origin. Three issues into the series and Spurrier has a particularly interesting team, consisting of Dane Whitman, Elsa Bloodstone and new comer scholar Jacks. One of the key area’s that this issue, and the larger series, explores is the difference between history and truth. The saying that ‘History is written by the winners’ feels particularly apt here, not only is it an interesting exploration of how history and truth can differ greatly, it also lets Spurrier make up his own origin for the Ebony Sword and gives him a freedom to rewrite certain aspects of it.

A modern superhero story filled with magic and swords, exploring Arthurian legend, while also taking a good, hard look at the protagonists less favourable personality traits makes for a fantastically interesting and varied story. Key to this story arc is the theme that it’s the negative personality traits which are the true strength behind the sword. To wield it fully requires the wielder to be flawed and most definitely not heroic. It makes Whitman much more human than his counterparts in the Marvel universe. It makes him infinitely more relatable as well.

Elsa Bloodstone is one of those interesting characters who has been regularly underutilised in Marvel comics but a character that Spurrier can really work with and make the most of. In a similar fashion to how Spurrier was the perfect writer for John Constantine he’s also an excellent choice to write Bloodstone, hopefully he’ll continue to write her long after this story arc has finished. Mordred is the perfect antagonist for the Black Knight, a long-standing nemesis of his he also has more intimate knowledge surrounding the Ebony artifacts and this makes him an excellent foe.

One of the biggest strengths of the comic is the way it doesn’t feel like typical Marvel fare. If it wasn’t for the occasional appearances of major Marvel characters like Thor it could be a story from any other publisher. If you pick up an Avengers comic, or Hulk, or Guardians, you have a pretty good idea what to expect. Sure it’ll be filled with twists and turns, the story might take you by surprise, but readers know what they’re getting. Not so with the Black Knight. Filled with a rich mythology dating all the way back to Arthurian legend, with Spurriers own unique take on it, each issue is filled with swords and magic.

Sergio Dávila brings this world to life. It doesn’t look like standard Marvel fare at all, here each page is infused with magic and swords, flying horses and the ruins of Camelot, Knights in all their armour. Aside from a brief Thor cameo this could be an epic fantasy comic with everything readers would expect from such a tale. It looks fantastic and over the course of the issue we get to see the Black Knight go through a number of changes which look stunning, and the combat throughout the issue looks incredible.

One of the more exciting comics that Marvel is currently publishing, precisely because it doesn’t feel like a Marvel comic. Spurrier reminds readers why he’s one of the most interesting writers in the industry, not afraid to tackle themes like mental illness. Spurrier and Dávila appear to be having a blast, diving deep into a rich Arthurian mythology with their own unique take on it all. Interesting characters, intriguing plot, stunning art, magic and swords, so much to love and recommend in this series.

Our Score:


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