You Could See The Ending Coming From A Mile Away
- Written By: Si Spurrier, Sergio Dávila
- Art By: Sean Parsons
- Colors By: Arif Prianto
- Letters By: VC’s Cory Petit
- Cover Art By: Iban Coello, Jesus Aburtov
- Cover Price: $3.99
- Release Date: July 28, 2021
Jacks is dead. Dane is dying. Elsa Bloodstone is nowhere to be found. And Mordred wears the Ebony Crown. What we didn’t know is the Ebony Crown feeds on pain and misery. Worse yet, thousands of people all over the world have willingly streamed their personal pain to Mordred via a smartphone app, and there aren’t enough likes and shares to stop New Camelot from becoming a reality.
Was It Good?
One of the great missions for any comics story is to surprise the reader… in a delightful way. This issue is remarkable in that it not only doesn’t surprise you but it telegraphed the twist almost since the first issue.
Wait, wait. Hold your horses. Let’s talk about the art first.
The art throughout this entire run has been great, and this issue is no exception. The colors are vibrant. The action scenes are kinetic. The mystical, magical energy ‘splosions crack like fireworks on the 4th of July, and it keeps your attention almost as well.
This is good art and the entire art team should be proud of how well this issue turned out.
On the other hand, the writing commits one of the most ancient of writing sins. It’s predictable.
If you hadn’t figured it out by now because the cover spells it out, Jacks is the new Black Knight… sorta.
Jacks becoming the Black Knight could have been predicted right from issue one when she showed up and appeared to have some pivotal presence in the story despite doing absolutely nothing. Spurrier might as well have put a sign on her that said “Black Knight ver. 2.”
That said, there is a bit of an odd twist in that Dane dies but is somehow resurrected through the Ebony Crown by feeding his LISTENR confession on to the data servers storing all the confessions into the crown. It’s a deus ex machina that makes almost no sense and isn’t worth the mental gymnastics to figure out.
However, credit where credit is due. When a villain needs a source of misery, creating an app to allow people to willingly prattle on in non-stop streams of confessions and therapy is an inventive approach. That said, the weakness of this invention is not in its construction, its in how Spurrier used it to turn the tables on Mordred to bring Dane back from the dead.
“But, wait,” you say. “How can Jacks be the new Black Knight if she isn’t from King Arthur’s bloodline?”
Ahh, that is one plot twist I did NOT see coming. Jacks is from King Arthur’s bloodline because she’s secretly Dane’s daughter from an old girlfriend. Her initial invitation to meet Dane was an elaborate ruse for him to get to know his estranged daughter, and so the Black Knight legacy going forward is a sort of Father/Daughter team.
That last plot twist (which admittedly was a mild surprise) is both a positive and a negative. On the plus side, it’s a status quo change that helps Dane deal with the burden of the Ebony Blade by sharing its negative side effects. On the down side, it seems Marvel is still unable to tell a high quality Black Knight story where he truly comes into his own as the hero he was always meant to be without effectively giving him a kind of sidekick/partner.
Oh, Dane. I guess it was never meant to be.
Bits and Pieces
BLACK KNIGHT: CURSE OF THE EBONY BLADE #5 has great art and a fairly inventive master plan by the lead villain, but it all feels a little too much like a contrived setup to have Jacks take over as the new Black Knight.