The Sword And The Soceress

Avengers #84

Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: John Buscema
Inker: Tom Palmer
Letterer: Mike Stevens

Featured Issue: Avengers #84

Plot Summary

Racing through the air of an alien world, Black Knight urges his winged horse, Aragorn, onward ever faster.  With palpable urgency the pair make their way to a roiling cauldron in the ground known as the Well at the Center of Time. Black Knight is determined to hurl his enchanted sword, the Ebony Blade, into the Well and rid himself of its vile influence once and for all. But when the moment comes, he cannot bring himself to part with the malevolent weapon. No sooner does he abandon his attempt than he is attacked by a swarm of warriors native to this world. Black Knight makes a valiant stand but is eventually struck down by the leader of his attackers, Arkon the Magnificent.

As Black Knight plummets towards the ground, a vision of his fate intrudes upon the mind of the sleeping Scarlet Witch. Though safe in Avengers Mansion, she is startled awake by the dream. When her fellow Avengers rush in to see what is wrong, Scarlet Witch insists that something is wrong with Black Knight and the Avengers vow to look into the matter. Taking the obvious first step, Quicksilver and Black Panther place a call to Dane Whitman’s English manor, only to be told by his butler that Whitman is not home and that his current whereabouts are unknown. Believing that Arkon is involved with the disappearance of Black Knight, based on Scarlet Witch’s vision, the Avengers rush to summon Thor and his magical hammer, Mjolnir. With this, the heroes hope to open a portal into Arkon’s dimension and rescue their friend.

Back in Arkon’s throne room, Black Knight is brought before the warlord who, believing Black Knight a spy, demands to know the details of his mission. Black Knight insists that he is on a personal quest and refuses to speak of it further, only serving to further enrage his host. Enchantress offers to unlock the secret of his mission and kisses the Black Knight deeply. Now under her spell, Black Knight begins to tell the tale of how he came to Arkon’s dimension. After having stopped a pair of jewel thieves in an overzealous manner, Black Knight is forced to confront the fact that the Ebony Blade’s maligned influence over him is growing. Seeking guidance from his ancestor, Sir Percy, the hero is sent to Stonehenge on a quest to destroy the Ebony Blade and rid himself of its poison. Upon arriving Black Knight is greeted by a mysterious ancient figure who sends him to Arkon’s dimension in order to find the Well at the Center of Time. From there, Arkon knows the rest of the story. Arkon is unconvinced and decides that he must take the attack to the Avengers.

Just as Thor and Black Panther approach Avengers Mansion they are confronted by a wall of magical energy engulfing the mansion, causing it to vanish before their eyes. As the energy clears, Thor clearly sees the face of Enchantress and is warned to stay on Earth if he knows what is best for him. Meanwhile, within Avengers Mansion, the rest of the team find themselves roughly transported to Arkon’s world. This time, Arkon’s guards are waiting for them and although the Avengers spring into action, they are quickly subdued by the guards. Scarlet Witch is the last to fall, after being overpowered by Enchantress’ magic. Encased in Perma-Blast, the Avengers are brought before Arkon, Enchantress and a bewitched Black Knight. After Scarlet Witch once again spurns Arkon’s advances, the entire team is sent to the tower.

Luckily for the Avengers, Thor and Black Panther refused to heed Enchantress’ warning and arrive in the alternate dimension. While Thor engages with the guards, Black Panther secretly makes his way to the tower where the Avengers are being held. When he finds his teammates, they are in a magically induced dejected state. Only Black Panther’s regal commands manage to break through to Vision. Once Vision is free, his fellow Avengers find courage in his actions and soon free themselves as well. The Avengers join Thor in his assault on Arkon and his minions, though they are fighting an uphill battle. The tide finally turns when Scarlet Witch attempts to use her hex magic on Arkon, forcing Enchantress to concentrate even harder on Arkon and lose her grip on Black Knight. Freed from the spell, Black Knight confronts Arkon and in the resulting skirmish, the Ebony Blade disappears into the Well at the Center of Time. With Enchantress’ spell broken, Arkon ceases his fight with the Avengers, admits his error and is then forced to confront the resulting damage to his world as the Avengers return to their home.

Avengers

Black Knight
Black Panther
Goliath
Quicksilver
Scarlet Witch
Thor
Vision

Villains

Arkon
Enchantress

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