You know, one of the pluses, for me, with the rise of live action superhero TV shows and movies is I get all kinds of ideas for this weekly column.
Case in point: the new Stargirl series reminded me of the Shining Knight now that he has been revealed to be a supporting character.
That’ll make sense when I get to the end of this week’s column.
Sir Justin, the Shining Knight, first appeared in the September 1941 issue of Adventure Comics. He was a new, though poor, knight in the service of King Arthur. Though his armor and weapons were less than ideal, he rode out to take care of a ogre that had killed the Queen’s cousin. En route, he rescues Merlin from a tree the magician was trapped in. Grateful, Merlin upgrades Justin’s armor and shield to indestructible, the sword to something that could cut through anything, and his horse Victory to an indestructible winged horse, now named Winged Victory.
So, with all that fancy magical stuff, that should mean he could easily defeat an ogre, and he did…but he also was suspended in time until the 20th century. Waking up in modern times, he became one of the original Seven Soldiers of Victory. In the 40s, he also had something of a relationship with a heroine named Firebrand.
That said, due to the fact he carried a very sharp sword, he apparently found a knack to knock out his foes by hitting them with the flat of his blade.
These days, the Shining Knight took a few…interesting paths. DC’s Stargirl series showed an amnesiac Sir Justin working at Stargirl’s high school as a janitor.
And that version of the character is a cast member on the current DC Universe/CW Stargirl series as played by actor Mark Ashworth.
But maybe more interesting is the current Shining Knight. Writer Grant Morrison did his own take on the Seven Soldiers of Victory, using seven somewhat forgotten DC heroes in a superhero team where none of the members actually met. The only original member of the Seven Soldiers seemed to be the Shining Knight.
But then, in a twist, the final part of the Seven Soldiers story showed this Sir Justin was actually a Ystina, a girl with aspirations to knighthood. That Shining Knight appeared in a New 52 series called Demon Knights set in medieval times, but I couldn’t say if she’s been seen since.
Then again, maybe she’s an amnesiac mopping floors in some teenage hero’s high school. You never can tell sometimes.