War Of The Realms Brings a Major Marvel Artifact into the Spotlight

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for War of the Realms #3 by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson

War of the Realms has been tearing through the Marvel Universe, forcing the various superheroes of Earth to work together in a mission to save their world. But while the heroes have finally managed to mount a counteroffensive to bring down the assembled alliance of mythical armies, the villains may have just gained a very potent advantage.

In War of the Realms #3, Malekith steals the Ebony Blade from Black Knight, giving him a whole new range of powers that could make the villain virtually unstoppable in a fight.

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The Fall Of London

While various superheroes group up and head off on different missions around the Marvel Universe, Malekith is able to run rampant across his new domain, Europe. His first stop is London, where he comes up against Britain-based heroes like Union Jack, Spitfire and Black Knight.

The battle hasn't gone well for the heroes, who are already defeated when the story shifts to them. Malekith stops to claim the Ebony Blade from a downed Black Knight. Admiring the "extraordinary" weapon, Malekith almost uses it on Black Knight himself before Captain Marvel and the War Avengers come to the rescue.

It doesn't take long for Malekith to figure out how the sword works though, as he quickly uses it against an attacking Venom. Taking a liking to the symbiote, Malekith is last seen seemingly fusing the blade with Venom in an attempt to replicate the necrosword known as the All-Black. This should give readers an idea of just how bad it is that Malekith has claimed the Ebony Blade, and what he could do with it.

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The Ebony Blade

The Ebony Blade technically predates Marvel Comics. The weapon first appeared in Black Knight Comics #1 by Stan Lee and Joe Maneely, all the way back in 1955 when the company that would become Marvel was still known as Atlas. The sword was wielded by Sir Percy, an ally of King Arthur and a member of his Round Table. The wizard Merlin even enchanted the blade, crafted from a fallen meteorite known as the Starstone, into an unequaled weapon.

After being tempered in the Pool of Blood (a mystical place containing the blood of all those who'd ever lived), it gained new abilities beyond just being a sword. It could cut through almost any metal, and is even capable of slicing through magical and technological barriers. It can also deflect forms of energy, and can also outright absorb those energies as well. The Ebony Blade has managed to slice through Celestial-level threats, including Terminus.

There is a downside to all that power, though. The blade received a blood curse, fueled by the sheer number of people killed by Sir Percy. The blade now has a corrupting influence, turning even good men into bloodthirsty berserkers. The blade practically feeds on blood, and can influence the wielder in a manner not unlike the One Ring in Lord of the Rings to try and force more bloodshed. It was established early that if someone were to gain the blade and fully embrace the darker side of the weapon, they could become a major threat to the world as a whole.

The Ebony Blade was passed down from Percy following his death at the hands of Mordred during the fall of Camelot. His descendants wielded the blade across human history, often for noble reasons, but still leaving bodies in their wake. The current Black Knight is Dane Whitman, a direct descendant of Sir Percy.

A frequent Avenger, Dane has often had to contend with the corrupting influence of the sword and the effect is has on his soul. Dane even tried to leave the sword behind in an attempt to break free of the blade, but it ended up in the hands of his friend and former squire, Sean Dolan, turning him into the dangerous Bloodwraith, eventually forcing Dane to try and reclaim it. The blade ended up in the possession of Black Panther for a time while Dane unwittingly wielded a copy crafted by Dracula. Dane eventually took the sword back.

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The fact that Malekith now has it does not bode well for the heroes. If anything, Malekith could embrace the evil intentions of the blade, making him an even more ferocious threat on the battlefield. He could utilize the abilities of the sword to great effect, slicing through any defense with ease. He would also become increasingly difficult to defeat with some kind of ranged energy attack, as the Ebony Blade can reflect and absorb such energies.

All that pales in comparison to what he could do if he manages to merge the Venom symbiote with the blade to make a new version of the All-Black. That's the sort of weapon the God Butcher used, which should provide an idea of just how bad it is that Malekith has taken the sword for himself.

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