What’s Love Got to Do with The Black Knight?
There are two types of speculators: those who lead and those who follow. By the time news hits, cheap copies of relevant keys are gone and sometimes all that are left are overpriced, often lower grade scraps. It’s the individuals who actually read and research comics who ultimately profit by making insightful, sometimes far-out, connections that puts them far ahead of the market.
Last weekend, it was revealed that Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, a character Kevin Feige has long expressed his fondness for, will debut in Marvel’s Eternals movie, played by Kit Harrington. Likewise, although absent from the initial SDCC announcement, Sersi will be played by Gemma Chan. While the key issues of both characters and have been detailed in other CBSI articles, the casting of the pair seems to reveal a major point in the movie.
Consider the connection between the two in the comics. They met as members of the Avengers and the two became linked due to the manipulations of the Black Knight’s evil doppelganger, Proctor. Dane Whitman became her “Gann Josin,” her mental and spiritual life mate, and the two remained together for quite awhile, including a trip to Malibu’s Ultraverse, where the two joined that Universe’s answer to the Avengers, UltraForce. (UltraForce/Avengers Prelude #1 from 1995). Eventually the couple returns to the 616 universe proper and ultimately dissolve their relationship prior to her death in Avengers #4 (2019). For investment considerations, there are a few underrated keys that are worth grabbing prior to the movie’s release.
One book that has already seen some speculation is Avengers #314 (1990), where Sersi accepts Captain America’s invitation to join the Avengers. There are only 19 graded copies, 12 of which are 9.8s in the CGC Census; a Mark Jeweler variant is also available. The two first share a panel together in a two-page spread in Avengers #329. However, it isn’t until Iron Man #278 (1992), part 6 of Operation Galactic Storm crossover that the two even speak to each other.
The Census reports that there are 14 graded copies of this book and only 2 9.8s. Be on the lookout for newsstand rarer newsstand copies of the book. The issue that clearly launches their relationship, is Avengers #350 (1992), where Sersi accosts Dane Whitman on the roof of the Avengers’ HQ despite his existing relationship to the Inhumans’ Crystal. This giant-size, double foldout cover flip-book, is certainly under the radar of most speculators and offers a significant investment opportunity.
The Census lists 18 graded copies (7 9.8s) and once again, there is a newsstand edition. This future key can be currently found in dollar bins. Perhaps when Marvel Studio explores the multiverse in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it could open the door to the introduction of Proctor, who makes his debut in Avengers #344 (1992). There are 16 graded copies, 12 of which are 9.8s.
Whichever direction the storyline takes, casting Harrington seemingly confirms the studio’s commitment to the Black Knight. Whether he joins an Avengers team or ultimately appears in his own movie, his relationship with is a significant aspect of the character’s arc in the comics. Besides his major keys (Avengers 47, 48, etc.), be on the lookout for these cheap keys.
A special thanks to Topher for his help in researching this article!