Black Knight: Exodus #1

Issue Date: 
December 1996
Story Title: 
The Bond

Ben Raab (writer), Jimmy Cheung (penciler), Andy Lanning (inker), Tom Zuiko (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Kelly Corverse (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief), Gerard Calabrese (president), Stan Lee (publisher)

Brief Description: 

In the Ultraverse, Sersi is trying to transport herself and the Black Knight, Dane Whitman, back to their own dimension. Sersi makes a desperate attempt, but only succeeds in transporting them to the 12th century. Dane awakens in the body of his ancestor, Eobar Garrington, with a familiar face standing above him, Bennet Du Paris. Dane’s consciousness is hidden deep in Garrington’s mind, but his thoughts help to shape the outcome of the next few days. Finding out that he and Bennet are on a quest to find a pharaoh’s temple, it seems something is telling Eobar not to go. During a conversation of theirs, Eobar is startled to see a young woman being beaten. Stopping the slaughter, he finds out that this woman is accused of sorcery. For some reason, Eobar thinks he knows this woman. He even goes as far as denouncing his and Bennet’s quest in order to save her life. After a brief quarrel, Bennet and Eobar part ways. Eobar soon finds out that the woman’s name is Sersi. During a trek to find the missing Bennet, Sersi reveals the truth about Dane’s soul abiding in Garrington’s body. Eobar does the noble thing and sacrifices his own soul, so that Sersi can coerce Dane’s own soul to inhabit his body. Nearby, Bennet fights for his life against a horrific Scarab, only to find out that he, himself, is a mutant with a vast array of powers. The Scarab calls him Exodus and commands him to use his powers to kill it, which he does. After Bennet disappears, Dane and Sersi arrive, only to find a mutant by the name of Sahreed, who is intent on stopping them. Dane easily defeats Sahreed and, soon after, they find themselves captured by Apocalypse and in his dungeon. Exodus is commanded to fight Eobar to the death but, thanks to the timely intervention of Sersi and Bennet’s own feelings for Eobar, the fight is finished. Exodus uses his powers against Apocalypse, but to no avail. Apocalypse imprisons Bennet in a comatose state and takes him away to hide him from the world. After six months of searching, Dane finally finds Exodus’ tomb in the Swiss Alps. There, he places two guards at the tombs entrance, so they can protect Exodus’ body till it is finally time for Apocalypse’s curse over him to be lifted.

Full Summary: 

Dane Whitman stands upon a cliff. Looking out, he sees Sersi trying desperately to get him to hurry up, as she can only hold her portal open for so long. The two of them are trapped in the Ultraverse and are desperate to try and get back to their own dimension. Sersi tells Dane that if the two of them don’t leave now they may never get home.

Secretly, she thinks to herself that their Gann Josin bond will never be complete, as well, if they do not return. Dane warns Sersi that the last time they tried this jaunt the two of them were nearly torn in two. He asks her if she knows it won’t happen again? She tells him, as the two of them begin to fade, that she is not sure if it will happen once more.

Elsewhere, namely the 12th century, a Frenchman by the name of Bennet Du Paris stands above an awaking Black Knight, smiling. Bennet calls Dane by the name of Eobar Garrington and welcomes him back to the land of the living. Dane asks Bennet where he is and asks who he is talking to? Bennet asks him why he cannot remember his best friend’s name, suggesting that last night’s revelry might have been a little too much for him. Bennet suggests, in jest, that the sands heat might have finally gotten to his mind.

The two men stand to their feet and begin to walk towards what seems to be rows of tents set up in a dry and desert place. Dane tells Bennet that it seems he vaguely remembers a woman whom he was just with? Bennet states that, knowing his friend Garrington, he is not surprised. Bennet tells Eobar/Dane that his nocturnal tale can wait, as they have finally neared the end of their quest. Eobar/Dane questions Bennet about the “quest”? Bennet questions why Garrington could forget the reason they have traveled throughout the desert for the past year? Eobar/Dane states that his mind is such a blur almost, as if, he doesn’t belong there.

Bennet states that Eobar is speaking nonsense, because where else should he be but the Holy Lands? Taking a scroll, Bennet rolls it out at the feet of Eobar/Dane. He asks Eobar to remember the aftermath of the siege in Jerusalem and the “wizened fellahin,” who whispered parables of an primeval power that surpasses the wonderment of man. Eobar/Dane states that he can vaguely remember the tale. Bennet goes on to say that he thinks he has finally found where the temple lies, in the hinterlands of Palestine… a place called Akkaba. Bennet, excited, tells Eobar that they will soon enter the tower of the “Eternal Pharaoh” and all its hidden mysteries shall be theirs.

With that said, an Egyptian by the name of Sahreed enters the tent of Eobar and Paris’. Sahreed tells Bennet that the High Lord has little time for his brash demeanor and impudent tongue. He explains that he too was once brash like him, but since the day the master unleashed his potential he has been forced to sheath his brashness. He goes on to say that Bennet better put away his disrespect as well, for the High Lord, or he may have to forget his oath to guide them and keep them safe till they reach the temple.

Sahreed reaches over to a nearby sword that hangs sheathed nearby the seated Eobar. Picking the sword up, Sahreed turns his attention to Eobar telling him that their journey is not for the weak. Unsheathing the sword, Sahreed goes on to say that only the strong shall survive to claim their rewards and he challenges Eobar’s right to them. Eobar/Dane stands to his feet, standing nose to nose to the hulking Sahreed. Eobar/Dane places one hand on his sacred Ebony Blade and kicks Sahreed to the ground for daring to touch his sacred steel. Eobar/Dane states to Sahreed that he accepts the challenge. Pointing his blade at the fallen Egyptian, Eobar/Dane tells him to be gone from their sight. Sahreed stands to his feet. Walking out, he tells Eobar that he has made two enemies this day.

After Sahreed leaves, Eobar/Dane questions Bennet on the company he keeps and the intelligence of the quest they are on. Bennet states that it seems Eobar’s memories are coming back to him and since he is now reunited with his Ebony Blade no force will be able to stop them. Holding the blackened steel up to his eyes, he tells Bennet that he does feel strangely empowered by this obsidian steel, as if he has been reunited with a long lost friend.

Outside their tent, Sersi hears Eobar/Dane telling Bennet about the sword and the bond he feels with it. She ponders to herself how her and Dane’s bond will never be sealed if he is going to be trapped in his ancestor, Eobar Garrington’s body again. She remembers Dane’s tale to her of the Second Black Knight, Eobar Garrington, how he was charged by King Richard to rid the Holy Land of the Moors. She remembers the tale of how too many people tasted the Ebony might of Garrington’s steel. She thinks to herself about how Dane once spent five years inhabiting the body of Garrington and she wonders how the two of them ended back at this juncture?

Sersi’s thoughts are broken as a hand pulls her away from the tent and to the ground. The hand came from a knight named Angus, who tells her that she should not be spying where she is not wanted. Two other knights follow Angus’ lead, as the knight explains to Sersi his thoughts on how she looks so frail. Sersi, angered by his bigotry, lashes out with her powers, seemingly turning Angus into stone. The other knights see her “sorcery” and tell Sersi that she will pay with her life. Suddenly, her green power signature wraps around her own body, as she falls to the ground she ponders why her own power has turned against her? Angus seems to come back around as Sersi falls and he commands them to slay her.

Inside the tent, Eobar and Bennet hear the commotion that is taking place outside and rush to see what the matter is. Upon arrival, Eobar witnesses Angus preparing to strike. Eobar demands Angus to stay his hand. Angus explains that this wench has used heathen magicks against him and she will not do so again! Eobar lifts Sersi’s head off the ground questioning Angus about her magicks? Bennet leans near Eobar, stating that he speaks as if he knows her? Eobar/Dane tells him that for some reason he thinks he does remember her. Angus suggests that they may be able to use her…Bennet finishes his statement by saying “and her sorcery!” Eobar’s face tenses, telling Bennet that he may be able to use this woman, but he will not join him anymore in his quest.

”What ???”, Bennet questions? Eobar states that seeking a ”warlock’s” friendship is sacrilege and not befitting of knights such as themselves. Bennet tries to reason with Eobar, telling him that he can feel the power that resides in himself and the only thing he wants is to find out how to tap that power. Eobar states that his friends’ wants still do not make heresy all right. Bennet taunts Eobar’s wrath by asking him if slaughtering innocents is? Eobar explodes in anger, hitting Bennet in the face with a left hook. He tells Bennet that what he done was beseeched to him by King Richard, but who does he pledge his loyalty to? Bennet pulls a dagger from its sheath and lunges on top of Eobar. Holding the knife to Eobar’s face he tells him that he above all others should know where his loyalties lie, because he is true to those that are true to him.

Standing to his feet, Bennet tells Eobar that he has changed. Eobar leans down to pick up the unconscious Sersi, stating that the world changes and so does he. Sheathing his dagger, Bennet tells Eobar not to insult him, because there was a time when this quest of theirs would have been welcomed by Garrington. Bennet walks away from Garrington, telling him that he can see, now, that those days are gone. Eobar watches his friend walk away. Looking down upon the woman in his arms, he wonders to himself who she is and if she is the one responsible for his change in attitude?

Later that night, Eobar dips a rag in some water to place on Sersi’s head. He wonders, as he does so, who this woman is and why it seems he knows her? He thinks to himself that it seems he has known her in a thousand dreams, but not the ones he has known in this lifetime, but maybe – just maybe, in another.

Sersi begins to awaken and she thinks to herself that this time jump might be her last. Surprised, she screams Dane’s name, as she sees the person who is taking care of her. Eobar questions the name Dane? He explains that his Christian name is…Sersi finishes his statement, “Eobar Garrington.” Eobar, angered, demands her not to use her sorcery on him. She lies to calm him down, stating that she heard his companions call him by name. Sersi thinks to herself about how skittish he seems. Sersi asks ”Eobar” what year it is? He states that it is the 12th century. With that said, a knight rushes in, warning Eobar that Bennet has left the camp.

Bennet has been pushing himself and his camel steed through the dessert storms for hours, intent on one thing: that of finding the place that can release the power that is within himself. Bennet thinks to himself about his childhood and growing up knowing something about himself was different from the other kids, but never being able to figure out what it was. In exhaustion, his steed collapses to the desert floor, dead. Bennet checks himself, knowing that he has just sprained his ankle and hurt his ribs, he still presses on to his goal.

Back at the camp, Garrington readies his camel for a trek through the desert to join his friend. He ponders to himself his reasoning for not going with Bennet, wondering why he turned his back on him? Sersi follows nearby, stating that he would be lost in a sandstorm too, maybe even dead. Eobar tells her that Bennet was his friend and would have done no less for him. Mounting his steed, he asks aloud why he is even talking to a girl? She calls him a boy, stating that this matter concerns her a great deal and he won’t be able to find Bennet in the middle of a desert at night.

Garrington turns to her and asks if she expects him not to try? Sersi rises into the air, beginning to glow. She tries to open the dimensional portal to get them home. She thinks to herself about the pain she is enduring, but she must keep enduring it so they do not lose the Gann Josin. With a large FOOM, Sersi falls to the desert floor. Eobar hops from his steed asking the “girl” if she is okay? Sersi rises from the ground asking Eobar to stop calling her ”girl”, she states she has a name it is… Eobar/Dane finishes her statement ”Sersi”!?

He questions how he could know her name? Sersi places her hands on Garrington’s shoulders, telling him that he does know her – from another time – another place. She goes on to say that their bond is like that of his bond with the Ebony Blade, only stronger. Eobar states that Sersi speaks as if they are married? She tells him that in some ways… they are. Watching them from the shadows, the Egyptian named Sahreed tenses.

Bennet walks, bare-chested and parched from the heat. He wonders where the tower he searches for could be? Bennet crashes to the desert ground, thinking to himself about how he needs to press on. A voice is heard asking Bennet if he is so eager to satisfy his own ambitions that he would risk his own life to become one of the strong? Bennet states that he is. With that said, a large boulder hurtles towards the, now standing, Bennet Du Paris. The voice tells Bennet to prove his willingness. It goes on to say that he needs to look into himself to find the power to protect himself. The boulder is upon Paris when he screams, ”NO”!!! Bennet is not crushed though, as power courses through his body exploding the oncoming rock into dust. Bennet looks at the red power signature emanating from his hand and wonders what is happening to him.

From beneath Garrets feet, an explosion occurs and a Scarab-like beast arises from the ground. The Scarab states that Bennet is realizing his potential; seeing the gift he was born with it is now time to use it or die! Bennet pulls out his sword and holds it in front of himself. He tells the Scarab that he will not flee from either it or it’s threats. Bennet leaps into the air, towards the horror that he faces. With ease, the Scarab swats it attacker away separating Bennet from his sword.

Bennet kneels on the ground, pondering his next move. He thinks to himself that although he is not as skilled at the sword as his former friend, the Black Knight, he is still going to need it. He wonders how he is going to get past the Scarab to reclaim his weapon and still remain alive? Bennet maneuvers himself around the beast and reclaims his sword. He states, as he does so, that his suspicions are confirmed… the power he has been seeking has been inside of him all along. The Scarab breaks Bennet’s blade into pieces. As it does so, it explains to Bennet that he will become the Exodus; a journeyman that will bridge the gap between the past and the future. It goes on to say that Bennet will not be able to beat it with steel, only by releasing his pent up powers will he finally be able to win.

Bennet thinks to himself about the strange electricity that courses through his body, cascading over his mind. He tells the Scarab that if it wants a taste of his power than it can have that taste. With that said, power surges from Bennet and into the Scarab, tuning the Scarab into dust. But as the ashes from the Scarab disappears so too does the man named Bennet Du Paris!?

A few miles away but closing in, Sersi calls Eobar by the name of Dane again. He wonders aloud who this Dane fellow is? Sersi asks Eobar if he is sure he wants to know the answer? She tells him that is a long story. Eobar tells Sersi that they have time.

Sersi’s account of Dane Whitman’s past:

She explains how Dane is the Black Knight of the 20th century and a direct descendant of his. She explains to him about the Avengers and about Dane’s first love, Crystal. She goes on to tell him about her jealousy of the love Dane held for Crystal and of her plan to change all that. She explains to Eobar about the Gann Josin, about how it links two minds together. Sersi begins to cry, telling Eobar that she is afraid, because, now that Dane’s soul is trapped in his body, their Gann Josin bond will never be sealed.

Eobar, saddened by Sersi’s tale, asks Sersi if it is true that he must die for his descendant’s soul to live? Sersi does not answer, closing her eyes in sadness. Garrington pulls Sersi off the camel. Drawing closer to her lips, Eobar states that Sersi has risked her very life for that of Dane and he could do no less. Kissing Eobar, Sersi reaches into Eobar’s body and gently coerces his soul from his body, granting him the eternal peace he had sought after. Eobar’s soul tells Sersi, before it fades away, that he hopes she finds the love she seeks.

Dane awakens from what to him must have seemed like a slumber, asking if they made it home? Sersi picks Dane from off the ground. She tells him that they are not quite home, and then ask him if he remembers the name Akkaba? Dane is shocked that he is reliving the Crusades once more. He tells her that he is happy to see her again, but he cannot be reliving his ancestor’s life, not again. Sersi tells Dane to calm down and let the healing power of the Gann Josin heal his mind. She tells him that she knows it is painful to be living this nightmare over again, but he will not be alone this time, she is there with him.

With that said, a large explosion occurs near the desert beneath them and the Black Knight warns Sersi to back away. Tentacles appear from the desert floor, grasping Sersi and dragging her to Sahreed. The tentacles are a part of Sahreed’s mutant powers and, as he uses them to try and kill Sersi, he tells them that he had warned Eobar not to underestimate him. Dane jumps into the air, cutting both arms from Sahreed’s body, asking him where is friend, Bennet is? Sahreed curses him and his Ebony Blade, telling Dane that he will not be getting any information from his lips.

From behind Dane and Sersi, En Sabah Nur’s citadel rises. Sahreed exclaims that the two of them are less than a flea in comparison to his master, En Sabah Nur. Nearby the two heroes, Apocalypse smiles, stating that he has personally seen to it that their ”friend” has found the power he sought after and now and forever more his body and soul belong to ”APOCALYPSE”!

Hours later with-in Apocalypse’s citadel, the two heroes hang from chains and Sersi hopes that Dane appreciates all she has done for him. She thinks about how she helped to heal is fractured mind. She states aloud that she does not want to be left alone. Nearby Exodus (Bennet) tells Sersi that his old friend Eobar will not regain consciousness till he says so. Sersi calls out Bennet’s name, but is interrupted by Exodus, stating that Bennet is dead - only Exodus lives now. Sersi thinks to herself about how the mutant from her timeline and this man are the same.

Exodus grabs Sersi’s chin, stating that he can sense the fear in her mind and she is wise to fear him. Exodus uses his powers to make Dane wake up. Dane sees Exodus and thinks to himself about how this was the day it all ended. Exodus rips the chain holding Dane’s body to the wall. Calling him Eobar, Exodus tells him that his judgment will end today. As Exodus takes the Black Knight away, he tells him to look upon the frail form of Sersi one last time, because today he will die.

After they depart, Sersi uses her strength to pull herself from the wall, muttering about her not being “frail.”

Above the cell that once contained both Sersi and the Black Knight, both Exodus and Dane stand ready for battle. On his thrown sits Apocalypse. As he views the combatants, he tells them about his ability to endure the centuries proving him to be strong, proving that he will be able to survive the coming apocalypse – now it is their turn to prove to him if they are ready. Exodus asks Apocalypse how he may prove he is worthy to survive. Apocalypse states that it is a simple task, kill the Black Knight.

Exodus tells Eobar that he has always been a mighty swordsman, but today he does not face off against a foe that fights sword to sword, because a mighty power surges inside him. With that said, Exodus releases a psi-blast knocking Dane to the ground. Dane calls out to Bennet not to do this, as he can no sooner take Bennet’s life as Bennet can take his own. Exodus nears the fallen body of Eobar, stating that Eobar is wrong… he will survive, even if doing so means killing his old friend.

Dane sees that the battle will only end when one of them is dead, so he quickly lunges at the oncoming Exodus, cutting a gash into Exodus’ skull. Dane stops before going any deeper, stating that he cannot bring himself to slaughter his one time ally, Bennet. Exodus rises from the floor stating that Garrington has made a huge mistake.

With that said, Exodus’ words are cut short by the entry of Sersi and her power over the mind. Exodus screams out in pain saying that his mind is being invaded. Sersi tells Dane that is time for him to finish Exodus off. Dane jumps on Sersi telling her that there has to be another way. Sersi tries to reason with Dane, explaining to him that he was Garrington’s friend not his own. Sersi tells Dane that that is why he recognized the Exodus from their timeline, because he was there when Bennet betrayed Eobar. Exodus feels Sersi’s powers slipping and uses that moment to make his move. Exodus blasts Sersi to the ground with a hug force of psionic feedback. As Sersi prepares for her death, she tells Dane that he is her Gann Josin and she would sacrifice her life to protect him.

Above. Apocalypse speaks, he states how touching their display is, commanding Exodus to prove to him his loyalty to Apocalypse! Dane screams out for Bennet to prove his loyalty to the one who would break his heart, rather than the one who as always been loyal to it. Exodus, saddened by his own actions, raises into the air hurtling all his newfound power into that of Apocalypse. Apocalypse stands up, as if not even touched, and encases Exodus in a bubble. He calls Exodus a gnat and wonders aloud if his newfound power has made him so drunk he is blinded to who his true master should be?

A rainbow of colors swirls around both Exodus and Apocalypse, as Apocalypse states to him that he had given him power beyond belief and that power does not come without a cost. The two mutants begin to fade away, as Dane rushes to the spot where they once were and ask Apocalypse not to take his friend from him again. Bennet’s voice can be heard, as he asks Eobar not to mourn him, because he can make him forget this ever happened. Dane tells Bennet not to take his memories of him away, this time. The citadel disappears leaving both Sersi and Dane in the night’s air, as Exodus’ last words ring out, stating that he hopes their paths cross again before their days are over.

Six months later, in the Swiss Alps, the Ebony Blade has finally led Sersi, the Black Knight, and two other knights to the doorstep of Exodus’ tomb. The markings on the tomb read, ”Venture not within, o mortal – lest ye gaze upon the wrath of Apocalypse…”? Dane introduces himself to the comatose body of Bennet du Paris and asks his forgiveness for not being there when he needed him the most. Dane walks out of the tomb stating that he should not worry, because one day he will be there for him.

Dane stands between the two knights that followed him. The two knights state that they will stand guard over Exodus’ tomb for centuries to come till the curse over Exodus’ body is finally lifted. Dane tells them that he is forever in their debt. Sersi questions Dane, as they walk away, how devoted those knights must have been to Eobar and Bennet to sacrifice their lives and that of their descendant’s lives for them. The two lovers embrace, as Dane tells Sersi that it is time for them to go home.

Characters Involved: 

Bennet Du Paris (Exodus)

Dane Whitman (Eobar Garrington {the second Black Knight})


Angus and his two allies

Two unnamed protectors of Exodus’ tomb

En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse)


A Scarab


Black Widow, Captain America, Crystal, Giant Man, Vision (Avengers)

King Richard Plantagenet and his aides

Story Notes: 

The Black Knight recognized Exodus in Uncanny X-Men #307, but could not understand why.

This issue contains the first and only appearance of Sahreed a follower of Apocalypse.

Eobar Garrington’s first appearance was in the Defenders (1st series) #11

Eobar Garrington was knighted and charged with banishing the Moors from the holy land in the name of Christianity.

The Crusades began in 1096 AD, lasted about 200 years, and focused on wars over the Holy City - Jerusalem. The Crusade that Eobar and Dane were involved with was the Third Crusade.

Fellahin is the plural of Fellah, which means: A peasant or agricultural laborer in an Arab country, such as Syria or Egypt.

This issue makes Dane Whitman / Eobar Garrington’s continuity messed up. As during this time Dane was still in Eobar’s body from an earlier point. After the body of Dane Whitman, the Black Knight of the modern era, had been turned to stone, a spell of Merlin's summoned Whitman's spirit through time to oppose Mordred's plot. Whitman's spirit possessed and took control of Garrington's body in Cyprus.

Dane was trapped in Garrington’s body for five years till Garrington’s death in Avengers (1st series) #226

Sir Percy of Scandia was the first Black Knight, Sir Raston was the second Black Knight, Eobar Garrington was the third Black Knight (wrongly referenced in this issue as the second), Nathaniel Garrett was the fourth, Dane Whitman was the fifth, Ernst Wythim (will be, presumably the last Black Knight as told in Avengers Solo #4)

The first Black Knight was Sir Percy of Scandia, knight of King Arthur's Round Table. He received the enchanted Ebony Sword from Merlin, which was made from a meteorite. He was murdered by Arthur's bastard son, Mordred, but Merlin enabled his spirit to return if Modred was ever a menace. Sir Percy resides, now, in the Astral Plane of the Ebony Blade.

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