A Tribute to the of






I’m late to the party, but recently caught the first season of Stargirl on HBO Max and boy, was I enjoying it. Granted, some of it is due to the fact that I have an upcoming piece on the Star-Spangled Kid in BACK ISSUE, but I was also getting a particular kick out of seeing DC’s Golden Age heroes in a live action setting, however briefly, including Dr. Mid-Nite, Wildcat, Hourman and Johnny Thunder. Easter eggs abound, too, like the Action Comics logo on the side of a panel truck (Action Movers) and a package addressed to Pat Dugan, aka Stripesy, on Siegel Lane.

Great, great stuff and I was also tickled when Stripesy pulled out an old black and white photo to show to his stepdaughter of the Seven Soldiers of Victory. Further, it became apparent that one of those fabled members was in their midst in the Nebraska setting, but obviously, he’d lost his memory. It was the only member with kinda sorta powers via his horse, Winged Victory. I speak, of course, of Sir Justin, the Shining Knight, who just so happens to be celebrating a milestone birthday this month as it coincides (at least the publication date) with his debut in Adventure Comics #66 from September of 1941. That makes Sir Justin 80 years old! I thought we might as well check out that initial appearance in the anthology title, sporting a Jack Burnley rendered Starman on the cover, with editing by Whitney Ellsworth. The Shining Knight’s self-titled tale is by Henry Lynne Perkins and illustrated by Creig Flessel [Sage #193], perhaps better known for his work on the Sandman.

The action begins on the splash page as the medieval figure on the winged steed is using lance and broadsword to round up some crooks and turning them over to the police. The vernacular would fit well into any Thor comic from the competition and a scrolled page invites the reader to “…unroll the scroll of history and travel back to the time when knights were bold!

And that’s exactly where we find ourselves on the next page, back in time to when knights and round tables were as common as cell phones and electric vehicles. The scene is King Arthur’s citadel and the year is 532. The knights of the round table along with Arthur himself are in attendance, as is Sir Justin. Arthur is sending Justin out on a mission where the knight has pledged to rid the northern ice country of an ogre.

Justin, astride Victory, rides forth, but the caption alerts us that it is the last time Arthur and the other knights will see their comrade. His destiny lies centuries away.

A number of days later, Justin encounters a couple of mounted guards denying him passage. Obviously not the bashful type, Justin proceeds to run them off. Pursuing them into the woods, Justin prods a tree with his lance and it appears to speak. As it happens, it isn’t the tree, but the wizard Merlin who emerges from it that was doing the talking. He offers his gratitude to Sir Justin for freeing him from the wood prison he’d been placed in by a witch.

As a token of his gratitude, Merlin transforms Sir Justin’s armor into a new model. Lighter, cooler and composed of solid gold as well as bullet proof, but Merlin says Justin won’t be finding out about that until much later. The wizard doesn’t forget Victory, either, granting the mount his wings.

Refreshed and ready with his new armor and aided by the power of a flying horse, Justin continues on his quest, and soon encounters the giant amidst the fields of ice. Blunderbore looks like your garden variety caveman, though quite a bit bigger, even wielding a club at one point, but despite his great size, it’s soon apparent that he'd be no match for Sir Justin, especially with his new assets.

Unfortunately, in the heat of battle, Justin and Winged Victory are kicked into a nearby hole by the dying giant and soon he and his horse are trapped in the ice at the bottom. The cold and darkness soon cause man and beast to lose consciousness.

As it happens, however, they aren’t dead, but merely placed into a kind of cryogenic sleep and centuries later, a chunk of ice with a silhouette inside floats to the shores of America. It is quickly spotted by a man on shore and he can see there’s something inside the miniature iceberg, so he beats feet to his car to get some dynamite, because after all, doesn’t everyone carry dynamite in their car? Perhaps we should consult AAA…

One spectacular explosion later, Sir Justin and Winged Victory are freed from their prison of ice, none the worse for wear. Fearing the strangely garbed man could be an ally of the giant, the Shining Knight goes on the offense, but is soon made to understand that he’s no longer in the 6th century, but in 1941. Soon the man is escorting Sir Justin and Winged Victory, who luckily can fit into his convertible, back to his museum.

Once they arrive, the unnamed man takes Winged Victory to the basement for a makeshift stable and introduces Justin to the wonders of indoor bathing and a soft bed with some modern clothing to wear.

The next day, after a hearty breakfast, Sir Justin is taken to the museum itself where he sees an exhibit containing a jewel from King Arthur’s very crown. Justin exclaims that it was his most favored diamond and a gift from Lady Guinevere.

On the next page we finally learn Sir Justin’s benefactor’s name when a young woman arrives and addresses Dr. Moresby. Introduction is made to Moresby’s “new assistant” and the woman is both taken by the “handsome brute” and confused at his period dialect.

After she leaves, the smitten Sir Justin asks her name and Moresby explains it’s Eve Barclay, whose father is Roger Barclay, a major supporter of the museum. He further elaborates that she’s a “despair” to her father. While she has no malice, she “…needs someone to knock some sense into her.

In a shift of scenes, we find three gangsters entering the museum intent on theft. One knocks the good doctor out and Sir Justin quickly gets his armor to take on the criminals. A melee ensues and Merlin’s prophecy rings true as the golden armor causes the henchmen’s slugs to carom off the Shining Knight.

The thugs beat a retreat and Sir Justin takes the opportunity to rejoin Winged Victory for a hot pursuit. Once he gets ahead of the getaway car, Sir Justin turns his mount around and charges, burying his lance in the car’s nose, then finishing off the poor hoopy with his sword.

Chasing down the newly afoot thieves, Sir Justin soon has them completely subdued and returns to Moseby with the stolen jewels. In the closing panels, Sir Justin vows to be a champion of the people and to battle evil in this modern world as the Shining Knight.

Not a bad little introductory tale and I cannot help noticing that certain elements of the story were a little bit familiar. I’m a DC guy through and through, but didn’t Captain America come back after being on ice for decades? And doesn’t ol’ Goldilocks sound a bit like Sir Justin? Just something to ponder.

Before we leave the Golden Age, I just have to mention that I had the great privilege of writing up a tribute to Golden Age artist Bob Fujitani in the latest issue of Alter Ego, #171 to be precise. Pick up a copy. You’ll be glad you did. For more Fujitani, watch this space.

The webmaster and I appreciate your visits, as always and hope you enjoyed your time here at the Silver Lantern. There’s plenty more to see, so feel free to explore, either here in the archives or at the numerous resources my best pal has so laboriously provided.

Do join us again on the 15th for the next edition of this ongoing feature. And as usual, you can be a part of things if you so desire. Just fire off an email to my address with your questions, comments or suggestions. It’s right here at: professor_the@hotmail.com.

See you soon and…

Long live the Silver Age!



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