Marvel’s Eternals is finally out in cinemas and it’s stuffed to the brim with new characters to get to know. Alongside the mega cast of new superheroes is average guy, Dane Whitman. Well, he’s played by Kit Harington so he’s not exactly average, but in the world of Eternals, he’s a pretty normal guy. …Or is he?
Dane Whitman has quite a comic history of his own. If you’re wondering how exactly he fits into the wide world of Marvel we’ll break it down for you.
Who is Dane Whitman aka Marvel’s Black Knight?
In Marvel Comics, Dane Whitman is the nephew of the villain known as the Black Knight (Nathan Garrett). After Garrett’s death, he inherits the Black Knight mantle but instead, Whitman chooses to use it for good.
Whitman dons the Black Knight outfit and attempts to perform heroic deeds, during which he comes into contact with the Avengers. They don’t trust him, assuming he is like his villainous uncle.
Whitman tries to earn the trust of the Avengers in a number of ways, such as infiltrating the Masters of Evil. He doesn’t score their respect, however, until he helps them beat Kang the Conquerer, after which they offer him membership as a reserve.
The Black Knight has also served stints with the Defenders and the Heroes for Hire.
In Marvel’s Eternals movie, Whitman is in a relationship with Sersi (Gemma Chan) which is also something derived from the comics.
What is the Ebony Blade?
Another core part of the Black Knight character is his famous Ebony Blade.
For Whitman, he gained the blade after returning to Garrett Castle in England, which he had inherited from his uncle. While there he was contacted by his ancestor Sir Percy Scandia, the OG Black Knight.
Whitman proved himself worthy of wielding the Ebony Blade (kind of like Excalibur) and was able to use it to defeat the guardian of the sword.
The Ebony Blade is special as it was believed to be carved from a meteor and enchanted by the wizard Merlin for the original Black Knight.
The blade is able to cut through any physical substance and can absorb energy and deflect magical attacks. It also bestows the wielder gifts of immortality and can manifest a suit of black armour as well as return when called like Mjolnir.
Like any good thing, the Ebony Blade comes with a curse. In this case, the blade comes with uncontrollable violence and bloodlust which can drive the wielder mad.
As for superpowers, Dane Whitman doesn’t really have any inherent mystical abilities but he is a brilliant physicist in his own right. As the Black Knight he has the powers contained within the Ebony Blade and as a result, is an excellent swordsman.
Where could the Black Knight show up next?
There’s no telling where Dane Whitman could go next in the MCU but including him in Eternals seems to suggest Marvel has plans for him.
Should there be an Eternals sequel it’s likely we’ll see Whitman there. Alternatively, Marvel could go the Disney+ route and give Harington his own series telling the origin story of the Black Knight.
Given the Black Knight’s ties to the Avengers and Kang the Conquerer, we could even see Dane Whitman wield the sword and become an Avenger in future films.
Regardless, keep an eye on Dane Whitman, we’re sure to be seeing more of him.