One of the MLJ superhero line's most interesting bad guys, The Black Knight was a powerful and dangerous supervillain who debuted in Zip Comics #1 and returned for revenge in Zip Comics #2 — and beyond. "The Death-Master of the Underworld" as he was called, the Black Knight was a ruthless leader and super-scientist with a legion of henchmen, and he posed a serious threat to Steel Sterling and beyond. The Black Knight was ultimately defeated in his debut, but he came back repeatedly to leave a lasting impression as one of the Man of Steel's most formidable foes. Part of the saga of one of the Golden Age's most unusual villains, there's a Zip Comics #2 (MLJ, 1940) Condition: VG+ up for auction at 2022 May 22-23 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122221 at Heritage Auctions.
The Black Knight had a seemingly limitless number of soldiers and henchmen at his disposal, who wielded a wide range of weapons, planes, ships and other vehicles (which eventually included flying tanks among other things). But it was his prowess as a criminal mastermind that made him truly formidable. And like all the best supervillains, the Black Knight had a knack for escaping seemingly fatal predicaments. He also pivoted into Lex Luthor-style superscience under the names Dr. Yar and the Radium King. The Black Knight was last seen in the Golden Age in Zip Comics #5, seemingly killed once again when a truck carrying a load of dynamite exploded while he was driving it. Able to escape seemingly impossible situations and pivot into new areas of expertise, he was a formidable opponent, even for an incredibly powerful superhero like Steel Sterling.
While MLJ's Black Knight certainly isn't the most famous comic book character that used that name, he might be the strangest. Making it even weirder, the character wore a brown and yellow costume, and there was never any explanation behind the use of the name. Part of the story of one of MLJ's strangest characters, there's a Zip Comics #2 (MLJ, 1940) Condition: VG+ up for auction at 2022 May 22-23 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122221 at Heritage Auctions.