Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #4 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 30, 2021

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Sergio Dávila
Inkers: Sean Parsons with Marc Deering
Colours: Arif Prianto
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

This series from Simon Spurrier has been a delight from the start, redefining the mythology of the Black Knight and his Ebony Sword, taking another look at the legend of Arthur and putting Spurrier’s signature spin on it. He’s transformed the character into his own, while still respecting everything that’s come before. This isn’t typical comic book retcon, this is cleverly thought out and consistent with previous stories.

Thanks to the Ebony Chalice readers get a chance to really explore the history of Camelot. The saying that history is written by the victors has never been truer, and it’s a fantastic reimagining of the whole Arthurian legend. We get to see how Mordred was shaped by Arthur’s shame, how he was made into the man he is. It makes a previously one-dimensional villain into a sympathetic, rounded character.

This series has explored the concepts of the greater good justifying the means, it has taken a good hard look at this, the whole mythology of the Ebony Sword is now locked into this concept, that the wielder gets stronger off their inner darkness. As they fall deeper into shadow the more powerful a force they are. Can the ends ever justify the means? This issue takes an even more in depth look at this concept, a scene which features various wielders over the years. And this is where Spurriers particular brand of magic comes into play. He doesn’t give a definitive answer to that question. He lays all the evidence out for the reader to draw their own conclusions. It’s the kind of concept and idea that tends to linger long after the comic is done. Where is the line? Can a force like that ever be used without eventually falling into corruption?

Sergio Dávila has done a great job with the art as always. He’s taken a Marvel series and rather than feeling like a superhero drama it feels like a fantasy epic. As the Ebony Chalice fills in more of the history of Camelot, and the sword, the pages when he shows these flashbacks are stunning.  Rather than standard panels it’s more like a collage of scenes, cleverly constructed, absolutely gorgeous and incredibly effective. The phrase a picture tells a thousand words is particularly apt when it comes to talented artists like him. A look of anger of Mordreds face. The look of shame on Arthurs. It tells as much of the story, if not more, than the text.

The penultimate issue of the series, if there is any justice we’ll see Spurrier and Dávila team up to tackle this character in an ongoing series. A fantastic exploration of Marvels Arthurian legend, putting a brand-new spin on everything, this is an excellent look at the mythology of the Ebony artifacts. The deep themes and concepts explored in this series elevate it beyond the typical superhero fare into something unique and special.

Our Score:


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