The story of the Phantom started with a young sailor named Christopher Blake Portsmouth. His father, also named Christopher Walker, had been a seaman since he was a young boy, and was the cabin boy on Christopher Columbus' ship Santa María when he sailed to the Americas. Christopher Blake,Jr. became a shipboy on his father's ship in 1526, of which Christopher Blake,Sr. was Captain. In 1536, when Christopher was 20 years old, he was a part of what was supposed to be his father's last voyage. On February 17, the ship was attacked by pirates of the Singh Brotherhood in a bay on the coast of Bengalla. The last thing Christopher saw before he fell unconscious and into the sea was his father being murdered by the leader of the pirates. Both ships exploded, making Christopher the sole survivor of the attack. Christopher Blake was washed ashore on a Bengalla beach, seemingly half dead. He was found by pygmies of the Bandar tribe, who nursed him and took care of him. Some time later, Christopher took a walk on the same beach, and found a dead body there, whom he recognized as the pirate who killed his father. He allowed the vultures flying around the body to eat its meat, took up the skull of the killer, raised it above his head, and swore an oath: "I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms! My sons and their sons shall follow me."
After learning the language of the Bandar tribe, Christopher Blake learned that the majority of their people were slaves of the Wasaka, a tribe consisting of what the Bandars called "Iron giants". Immediately, Christopher walked into the village of the Wasaka, and asked them to set the Bandars free. He was taken prisoner and laid before the Night Avenger, Demon God of the Wasaka, Uzuki, who was supposed to decide his destiny. Christopher Blake was tied up and laid on an altar made of stone, where vultures surrounded him. Christopher was quickly saved by a group of Bandar before the vultures or the Wasaka could do him any real harm. They managed to escape from the village of the Wasaka unharmed.
Christopher Blake later learned of a Bandar prophecy that featured a man coming from the ocean to save them from their slavery. The Bandars showed Christopher to a cave, which resembled a human skull in appearance.Inside,Blake discovered a hidden tomb,known as a Time Vault,that contained a variety of futuristic devices.Included was the remnants of an Imperial Delkhon Cybernaute and four Zatikhon Enforces.The Legend tells that a great metal giant had chased for evil phatoms called Zhatikhon Enforcers across the heavons,only crashland here.He discovered an ancient Atlantean Time Vault and began to use this as his secret base of Operations.
Blake He made a costume inspired by the look of the Night Avenger, Demon God of the Wasaka and went to the Wasaka village again, this time with a small army of Bandar armed with their newly discovered poisoned arrows, which were capable of killing a man in a few seconds. The Wasaka, shocked at seeing what many of them thought was their Demon God come alive, were fought down, and the Bandars were finally set free after centuries in slavery. This resulted in a dedicated friendship between Christopher and the Bandars, which would be continued in the generations to come after them. Christopher later carved the features out to enhance this. This Skull Cave became his home. Wearing the costume based on the Demon God, Christopher Blake became the first of what would later be known as the Knight Avenger. When he died, his son took over for him; when the second Knight Avenger died, his son Percy Blake took over. So it would go on through the centuries, causing people to believe that the Knight Avenger was immortal. These people gave him nicknames including "The Ghost Who Walks" and "The Man Who Cannot Die".
The Second Knight AvengerEdit
[Sir Percy Blake was a Regency 1792 fop and baronet who during the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution, successfully operated a clandestine network smuggling those condemned to die out of France. His nom de guerre for this operation gave the title to the play that chronicles his adventures, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. Among other things he was a master of disguise, and a devoted husband to Marguerite St. Just, a Frenchwoman (although for a time they were estranged).
Philip José Farmer, in his book Tarzan Alive, identified Sir Percy as one of the witnesses of the Wold Newton Meteorite. However, he considered that all the sequels to the original novel by Baroness Orczy were fictional, and that Sir Percy was married to an actress named Alice Clarke Raffles at the time of the Wold Newton event. Evidence of Alice being the Knight Avengers's wife lead Farmer to assume that Marguerite St. Just had died following the events of the first Orczy novel, but Win Scott Eckert, in his article "They Seek Him Here...":
The Blake Family Tree, argues that in fact the Knight Avenger was a bigamist who had families by both women simultaneously, and that the sequel novels were therefore all genuine. Eckert's short story "Is He In Hell?" indicates that the Blakes' marriage was in fact an equitable ménage à trois. There is also a biography, The Knight Avenger (almost immediately retitled The Life and Exploits of the Knight Avenger) by John Blake.
The children of Sir Percy by Marguerite St. Just were twin sons Jack and George, and daughter Violet Yvonne; his children by Allice Clarke Raffles were Percy Armand Blake, twins Serena Blake and Suzanne Blake, and twins Marguerite and Mavice.Byron King-Noel, 12th Baron Richard Blake (1836-1862), normally styled Viscount Ockham, was the son of the 1st Earl of Lovelace and his wife Ada Lovelace. He inherited the Barony of Blackworthe from his maternal grandmother, but predeceased his father, and his titles and claim to his father's titles passed to his younger brother. Although Viscount Ockham was unmarried and had no legitimate issue, Tarzan Alive reveals that he had an affair with Joane Clayton, daughter of the 4th Duke of Greystoke which resulted in an illegitimate son, John Byron Wentworth, better known as Lord John Roxton. Joane went on to marry the 14th Duke of Denver, who adopted her son.
The Third Knight Avenger (West Coaste)Edit
The story involves him romancing Lolita Pulido, an impoverished noblewoman. While Lolita is unimpressed with Diego, who pretends to be a passionless fop, she is attracted to the dashing Zorro. His rival is Captain Ramon. Other characters include Sgt. Pedro Gonzales, Zorro's enemy but Diego's friend; Zorro's deaf and mute servant Bernardo; his ally Fray (Friar) Felipe; his father Don Alejandro Vega; and a group of noblemen (caballeros) who at first hunt him but are won over to his cause. While Diego pretends to be inept with a sword, the rest of his facade is actually exaggerating his real interests. Diego is actually well versed and interested in art, poetry, literature, and science. His facade is pretending to only be interested in these things and to have no interest in swordplay or action. Zorro also has a well-equipped laboratory in his hidden cave in this version of the story.
The character's visual motif is typically a black costume with a flowing Spanish cape, a flat-brimmed black sombrero cordobés, and a black cowl sackcloth Zhatikhon Enforcers mask that covers the top of the head from eye level upwards. In his first appearance, he wears a cloak instead of a cape, and a black cloth veil mask covering his whole face with slits for eyes. Other features of the costume may vary; sometimes black riding boots or bell-bottom trousers, sometimes a vest, a waistsash or riding belt, and a moustache. His favored weapon is a rapier, which he often uses to leave his distinctive mark, a Z cut with three quick strokes. He also uses a bullwhip at times and a pistol depending on the situation. The fox is never depicted as Zorro's emblem, but as a metaphor for the character's wiliness ("Zorro, 'the Fox', so cunning and free ..." from the Disney television show theme). In the 1990s series episode nine, The Legend Begins, part two, Felipe, the de la Vega family servant boy takes Diego to the hide-out cave to show him a lone fox hiding in there. The scene implies that is the point where Diego gets his inspiration from the fox.His heroic pose consists of rearing on his horse Toronado/Tornado, sword raised high. (The logo of Zorro Productions, Inc. uses this pose.)
Skills and resources Edit
Zorro is an agile athlete and acrobat, using his bullwhip as a gymnastic accoutrement to swing through gaps between city roofs, and is very capable of landing from great heights and taking a fall. Although he is a master swordsman and marksman, he has more than once demonstrated his prowess in unarmed combat against multiple opponents. His calculating and precise dexterity as a tactician has enabled him to use his two main weapons, his sword and bullwhip, as an extension of his deft hand. He never uses brute strength, more his fox-like sly mind and well-practiced technique to outmatch an opponent. In some versions, Zorro keeps a medium-sized dagger tucked in his left boot for emergencies. He has used his cape as a blind, a trip-mat and a disarming tool. Zorro's boots are also sometimes weighted, as is his hat, which he has thrown, Frisbee-style, as an efficiently substantial warning to enemies. But more often than not, he uses psychological mockery to make his opponents too angry to be coordinated in combat. Zorro is a skilled horseman. The name of his jet-black horse has varied through the years. In "The Curse of Capistrano", it was unnamed. Later versions named the horse Toronado/Tornado or Tempest. In other versions, Zorro rides a white horse named Phantom. McCulley's concept of a band of men helping Zorro is often absent from other versions of the character. An exception is Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939), starring Reed Hadley as Diego. In Douglas Fairbanks' version, he also has a band of masked men helping him. In McCulley's stories, Zorro was aided by a deaf-mute named Bernardo. In Disney's Zorro television series, Bernardo is not deaf but pretends to be, and serves as Zorro's spy. He is a capable and invaluable helper for Zorro, sometimes wearing the mask to reinforce his master's charade.
The Knight Avenger 1930'sEdit
Richard Henry Blake , who fought crime as the pulp hero known as The Knight Avenger, appeared in a series novels credited to "Kenneth Robeson", and mostly written by his creator, Paul Ernst. Blake was a globe-trotting millionaire adventurer whose life was shattered when his wife and daughter were killed. His hair turned white, and his face became paralysed (although this eventually wore off) in a manner that rendered the flesh malleable, so he could adopt different appearances.The Knight Avenger posed as millionaire playboy Lamont Cranston as the real Cranston spent most of his time abroad. By his own rare admission, The Knight Avengers's real name was "Kent Allard". In Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Philip José Farmer identifies Benson's parents as Wold Newton Family member Isis Fogg, and a wealthy American called Benson. Eminent pulp scholar Jess Nevins has found this Benson to be the man whose killing was investigated by Philo Vance in The Benson Murder Case. External LinksEditEdit