Dane Whitman’s role in Eternals may have been a letdown for those who hoped to see more of Marvel’s Black Knight, but the character could still have a bright future in the MCU. Despite having a large set of core characters, Eternals took the time to introduce some important names in the Marvel universe. On top of Kit Harington’s “Mr. Whitman,” the movie also featured a brief cameo from Harry Styles’ Starfox and teased Mahershala Ali’s Blade. While Dane Whitman had never appeared in live-action, the Black Knight has a long history in the comics that involves different eras and could offer the MCU many possibilities to explore.
In the comics, Dane Whitman comes from a family of different characters who bore the mantle of the Black Knight. Far back in the Atlas Comics era, Sir Percy of Scandia debuted as the first Black Knight, a warrior with a double identity who served under King Arthur’s and wielded a magical sword known as the Ebony Blade. A few years later, the character would be revisited by Marvel Comics this time as an Avenger’s villain. Nathan Garrett, the descendant of Sir Percy, was not worthy to wield the Ebony Blade and decided to use the techno-upgraded version of a medieval spear instead Lather in the timeline, Dane Whitman, a third version of the Black Knight, was introduced as being the nephew of Garret and the new wielder of the Ebony Blade.
While some of the Black Night’s lore was teased at the end of Eternals, which showed Dane Whitman finding from Ebony Blade, not much else about the character’s comic book history was featured in the film. For casual audiences who not be aware of Whitman’s significance in the Marvel universe, the character played by Kit Harington would not strike as anything being of special. Whitman’s role in the movie was closer to being a comic-relief and a human anchor for Sersi’s journey in Eternals. Those who went to the movie with expectations of seeing a full-fleshed Black Knight will have to wait for future MCU productions to showcase the character in its full potential. Whether in a Disney+ series, a solo film, or even as a cameo in the stories of other heroes, it is likely that the Black Knight will have a more substantial role in the franchise going forward.
Since Eternals had to devote a lot of time to introducing its many new heroes, the decision of not focusing on additional characters such as Dane Whitman and Starfox may have been the correct one. Despite being the second-longest film in the MCU, behind only Avengers: Endgame, Eternals has received some criticism on its pacing and lack of development to the characters. Accordingly, having Whitman be a central part of the story could have made the movie even more overstuffed. In addition, the MCU already has a track of introducing important characters through small cameos, which will familiarize the audiences with the new hero or villain, before giving them the spotlight. That same logic was applied to Dane Whitman.
Black Knight’s future in the MCU promises to be way more exciting than his appearance in Eternals. By casting Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, the MCU assures that the plans for the character are much bigger than a supporting role in an already packed film and that the audiences can expect to see more of Black Knight soon. With many MCU’s Disney+ series and theatrical films ahead, there is no shortage of possibilities of where the Black Knight can show up.
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- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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