Neither black nor knightly

Granted this is incredibly obscure, but I think it illustrates a fundamental principle of super-hero costuming that I had to bring it to your attention. One of the primary rules of designing an outfit for your character should be that your costume should have something — anything — to do with your name. Witness the debacle that occurs when you violate this simple rule with the Golden Age villain “The Black Knight“:

Note that the costume is neither black nor knightly. At least, most knights I’ve seen wear metal armor instead of leather, don’t sport a full-on executioner’s hood (in cheery fire-engine red, no less!), and a cape. Plus, of course, they’re not usually afraid of rats.

If you didn’t know this guy’s name, you’d never guess it from looking at him. And that’s not a good thing in the iconic world of super-heroes, folks.

(In my infinite unorganizationalitudiness, I’ve lost the name of the alert reader who sent this in. Dan? Myro? My apologies and thanks all rolled into one for whoever it was!)

(The kind person who forwarded this on was Frevoli! Many many thanks, Frevoli!)

27 Responses to Neither black nor knightly

  1. Also not pictured: Heroism.

  2. Rat Attack – Very awesome action. Battle Rats usually use this battle form.

    I don’t write more, because i can’t write this more.
    In a lot of MMO or any FPS online game this call EPIC FAIL.

  3. @P.F.Bruns: Heroism not required as he’s a villain.

    However with that name I’d expect something more along these lines:
    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-moNsIB9wpvE/ToNGdVaZxeI/AAAAAAAADzw/V7c-3D64J1w/s800/Black%252520Knight.png

  4. SpellCheckingQuill

    What’s he talking about? He’s not dying! It’s just a flesh-wound! Come on, you pansy! Chicken! Chicken!

  5. It looks like… like some sort of unholy medieval cross between Red Skull and Iron Man, with Prince Valiant’s alleged fashion sense and Henry Jones Sr.’s fear of rats.

  6. “I don’t want to die”?!? What kind of hero is this?

    What’s his battle cry? “Not in the face! Not in the face!”

  7. Patriot_Missile

    Mystery Men’s “The Blue Raja” didn’t wear blue and was no mystical Indian royalty, either.

    Now, let’s dicuss “ROBIN the Boy Wonder”s iconic costume: Non-feathered or winged cape, no beak, no claws, and what’s with the rainbow of colors? If anyone can find the actual robin that the hero Robin is supposed to be representing, let me know. In the meantime I’ll be looking up blue bats…

    Seriously, let’s go there. I mean, at least in the movies Spiderman’s costume reflected the colors of the spider that bit him. Also, Wonder Woman’s outfit reflects her dedication to the USA. Just sayin’.

  8. Well, yeah, but “Mystery Men” was a comedy, a pseudo-parody of the entire genre. It makes sense in that context for “Blue Raja” to be neither blue nor in any way Indian — it’s supposed to not match.

    As much as I can figure with Robin, the closest you get is a “red robin” with the red chest plumage matching the red vest he wears. The yellow comes from the beak and the green from … um … the leaves they live in! Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  9. Watson Bradshaw

    When I think of a bad version of black Knight that should have been attacked by killer rats, my mind heads towards this!
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GuUfvlmwnIE/TZgbnsj7lAI/AAAAAAAAAGU/FmxxHdhH8qc/s1600/71974-black-knight-2001.jpg

  10. I think they rename him Captain Condiment since his costume looks like he painted it with ketchup and mustard!

  11. So much for ‘it’s just a flesh wound’.

    I’m assuming that this was long before King Arthur chopped off his limbs.

  12. Jeff, ’twas I whom did point out thigh Black Knight’s badity

    The golden age is just good for such a mismatch of costume and name (my FNF3 Blaster is another example ;) )

    I had a go at making him blacker and knightly, while also hinting at his condament past

    http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/271/c/7/black_knight_by_frevoli-d4b6o3y.png

  13. sadly for Black Knight – he had a panic attack when he met this guy in prison

    http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Black_Rat

  14. Wow! And I thought the movies were mixed up! Turns out there were some pretty bad comics before the movies were even invented!

    @Frevoli, all’s I got to say is: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  15. Patriot_Missile

    @Mr.JH: Good save on Robin, sir.

  16. Rat used “Bite.” It’s super effective!

    Okay, this is weird, but I made this guy in HM2, which means I must have made him over 2 years ago. The idea I was shooting for was to make a costume that would have been consistent with the mid-80s. I’ve never seen this Black Knight character, but I may have over-shot. The similarity is eerie. http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv217/Myrowire/Hero%20Machine%20-%20Original%20Characters/parliament.jpg

  17. I immediately thought of Ironman and the Vision when I saw this guy.

    If you don’t want to die, then take off the classic, cartoon cheese, colored pants, undershirt and cape.

  18. The colours of most golden age comics characters were decided by the printer, not by the publishing house. Witness the marvelousness that is GA Green Lantern…

  19. @6of1 oh yeah? I was wondering why they were all only primary colours

    though you would have thought “hm so he’s called Green Lantern? maybe I should combine the blue and yellow”

  20. @Frankie haha yeah, they are only attacking the yellow parts

    perhaps Black Knight should’ve have made his costume of babybel

  21. *shouldn’t have

  22. @Myro, that is pretty creepy. Was your’s a big wussy around rats, too? :)

  23. @Dan – LOL, not to my knowledge. :P

  24. This *could* be Knightley behavior… if it’s really KEIRA under there….. ;-)

  25. I’m just glad someone GOT it; my puns often go over people’s heads.

  26. iirc, when Robin was first introduced they were going for something that evoked Robin Hood, to appeal to the kids. For my money, they failed. The only thing Robin Hoodish was the use of some green and the fruity shoes.