Despite his imminent MCU debut, Black Knight has always been a relatively obscure hero, yet he destroyed Marvel’s forgotten Seventh Infinity Stone.
Marvel has a secret, seventh, Infinity Stone, and the only hero strong enough to destroy it is Black Knight. Though Dane Whitman is rarely considered one of the strongest Avengers, his Ebony Blade is capable of incredible things, apparently even able to overcome the strongest Infinity Stone in the Marvel universe.
Originally debuting in 1996, the Ego Gem was introduced as part of a crossover Marvel had with the new superhero universe, the Ultraverse. Far from just introducing the seventh gem into Marvel mythology though, this crossover completely rewrote everything Marvel fans knew about the Infinity Gems and the Marvel Universe’s beginnings. The crossover revealed that a cosmic being known as Nemesis was the very first consciousness to ever exist. Out of loneliness and depression, Nemesis separated herself into seven gems. Though six of the gems stayed in the Marvel Universe, the seventh fell into an alternate universe, the Ultraverse. In Avengers/Ultraforce #1 by Glen Herdling, Angel Medina, and M.C. Wyman, the other six Infinity Gems fall into the Ultraverse. Unfortunately, the Eternal Sersi had exiled herself and Black Knight to Ultraverse, which gave the Ego Gem a perfect vessel. Motivated to find the other gems, the Ego Gem possesses the Sersi so that she could reassemble them.
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Wanting to possess all the Gems himself, Loki sets up a contest with the Grandmaster that pits the Avengers up against the Ultraverse. The contest results in no clear winner, which leaves the Ego Gem possessed Sersi a perfect opportunity to snatch the gems. The seven Infinity Gems then reform into the cosmic being Nemesis. With the combined powers of all seven Infinity Gems, Nemesis is a multiversal threat, capable of reshaping universes on a whim. She initially uses this power to completely wipe out the assembled heroes. Luckily for them though, she is not quite whole. Having spent so much time apart, the Infinity Gems have developed something like personalities, resulting in these pieces of Nemesis bickering with each other. Noticing this weakness, the Avengers and Ultraforce go on the offensive. Black Knight charges ahead of the others, and with his Ebony Blade, strikes at Nemesis’ crown. The resulting burst of energy breaks the Ego Gem, its power then flowing into the other Six Infinity Gems, ending Nemesis for good.
While it might seem initially confusing why Black Knight of all heroes got to be the person who saved the day, it does make a certain amount of sense. As a crossover Avengers/Ultraforce naturally wants to make both of its teams look good. This is why the fight between the two teams ends up inconclusive. Therefore, as a former member of the Avengers and current member of Ultraforce, Black Knight is the logical hero to end things. Given the nearly unlimited power of the Ebony Blade, it also adds up from an in-universe perspective.
Despite how genuinely cool Black Knight’s role is though, it’s hard to deny that the crossover just doesn’t work. The retcon surrounding the origin of the Marvel Universe and the Infinity Gems don’t add anything fresh or interesting to Marvel’s mythology, and Nemesis herself is a forgettable villain. Most disappointing of all, the Ego Gem doesn’t really show its power beyond possessing people. It’s telling that this crossover has largely been forgotten and is essentially non-canon at this point. Comic fans can only hope that the MCU isn’t introducing Black Knight in Eternals so he can destroy a secret seventh Infinity Stone.
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