The Shining Knight

+ The Squire

Created by Lynn Perkins & Creig Flessel 

NAME + ALIASES:
Sir Justin, alias Justin Arthur

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
The Knights of the Round Table, Seven Soldiers of Victory, All-Star Squadron, Justice Society Reserves

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Adventure Comics #66 (Sept. 1941)

The Knight I

NAME + ALIASES:
Percy Sheldrake, Earl of Wordenshire (the Squire I)

KNOWN RELATIVES: Cyril Sheldrake (the Squire II, son)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
The Dome, Club of Heroes, Young All-Stars

First Appearance: Batman #62 (Dec. 1950/Jan. 1951)

The Knight II

NAME + ALIASES:
Cyril Sheldrake (the Squire II)

KNOWN RELATIVES: Percival Sheldrake (the Knight I, father)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Club of Heroes, Ultramarines

FIRST APPEARANCE: Batman #62 (Dec. 1950/Jan. 1951)

The Shining Knight II

NAME + ALIASES:
Ystina (aka Justina, Sir Justin)

KNOWN RELATIVES: None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Seven Soldiers of Victory

FIRST APPEARANCE: Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #1

History

Sir Justin was new to the court of King Arthur at Camelot in the 6th Century C.E. when a knight named Sir Fallon was gravely wounded by a giant ogre named Blunderbore. King Arthur chose Sir Justin to rid the frozen Northland of the ogre.

On his journey northward, Sir Justin was confronted by two outlaws in the Forest Perilous. While pursuing the outlaws, Sir Justin accidentally stabbed a tree with his lance, thereby releasing the wizard Merlin, who had been magically imprisoned within the tree by a sorceress. Merlin magically transformed Sir Justin's armor, making it lighter and bulletproof, and giving it a shining gold color. Merlin also enchanted Sir Justin's sword and magically gave the knight's steed, Victory, wings. Sir Justin renamed the horse Winged Victory.

In the Northland Sir Justin mortally wounded Blunderbore, but the dying ogre kicked the knight and his steed off a mountainside. There was an avalanche of ice, burying Sir Justin and Winged Victory, casting them into suspended animation.

The mountain of ice eventually broke apart, and in 1941 a museum curator named Dr. Moresby found the portion containing Sir Justin and Winged Victory floating off the New England coast. Moresby released the two captives, who revived, and brought them to New York City. There Moresby gave the knight the new identity of Justin Arthur, his assistant. Soon there after, Sir Justin, in his knightly garb, captured criminals who had robbed the museum. Sir Justin decided to dedicate himself to fighting evil in his new time period as the Shining Knight, and became a member of both the Seven Soldiers of Victory and the wartime All-Star Squadron. (Adventure Comics #66, All-Star Squadron #62)

In late 1941, he saved the vulcanolgist, Danette Reilly. Soon thereafter, Danette became Firebrand II and also joined the All-Star Squadron. Justin and Danette had a chaste romance, but she was apparently killed by the Black Dragon under unrevealed circumstances. (Justice League of America #193, All-Star Squadron #3) Soon, Justin became Winston Churchill's bodyguard and divided his time between England and America. (#13)

The Squire

The Shining Knight had two "sidekicks" as well. Sometimes, he was accompanied by Sir Butch. (Adventure #124, 132) For a brief time, Justin also mentored a young English boy named Percival Sheldrake, the Earl of Wordenshire. Percy and his mother were saved by Justin, and the twenty-year-old became the Squire. When the Shining Knight returned to England, he would spend time with Percy. The Squire also encountered the Young All-Stars, (Young All-Stars #22) and tagged along with the Seven Soldiers (#27) and the multinational Allies. (#22-25)

In the 1950s, Percival struck out on his own. He took the name of the Knight and joined the Dome (which later became the Global Guardians). His son, Cyril, became the second Squire. (Batman #62, Infinity, Inc. #32)

Percival was killed by his arch-enemy, Springheeled Jack. Cyril also spent some time in a coma, perhaps from the same attack. Cyril. Cyril became the second Knight and was sometimes called the "English Batman." His helmet was modeled after Batman's cowl. Cyril was also active with the Ultramarines, and he took on his own Squire (III, Beryl Hutchinson), a young girl talented with all forms of communication. (JLA #26) Note: In continuity following the Infinite Crisis, the Squire/Knight had no Golden Age history. He was instead a member of the Club of Heroes, which formed after the debut of Batman.

Lost!

The Shining Knight continued his 20th century adventures until October 1948. Then, he and his Seven Soldiers comrades were scattered across time in a battle with the Nebula Man. Justin landed in 13th century China, at the camp of Genghis Khan. Though the time he spent in China was brief, many decades had passed in the 20th century. Justin was rescued by Superman, Metamorpho, and the original Sandman arrive. Now in the time of modern heroes, Justin rejoined the Soldiers alongside the JLA and JSA to finally defeat the Nebula Man. (Justice League of America #101-102, Stars And S.T.R.I.P.E. #9)

Upon his return, Justin was often recalled to the past by Merlin to defend Camelot. (It's uncertain why neither of them chose to free Justin from his ice prison.) (Adventure Comics #132) Towards Camelot's end, Justin became the last of the Knights of the Round Table. During their battle against Morgaine LeFay, he and Merlin met the Swamp Thing. The creature was traveling through time, and was enlisted to help find the Holy Grail. In this he succeeded, but the Swamp Thing was drawn back into the timestream. Camelot — which was borne on his "back" — then fell! After this, Justin returned to the 20th Century and gave word to Abigail Holland of the Swamp Thing's fate. He swore by oath of chivalry to find time-lost Swamp Thing, but never sees him again during past travels. (Swamp Thing #87) Twenty years later in his career, an older, long-traveled and bearded, Justin returned to Abigail to tell her he was unsuccessful. (This was only one year later for Abby.) Of course, by then the Swamp Thing had returned to the 20th Century and the creature entrusted Justin with a second Holy Grail. (Swamp Thing #109)

Justin chose semi-retirement in the 20th Century. Ever-chivalrous, though, he answers the call when needed. Recently, he returned to squash his former lover's (Firebrand) supposed killer, the Black Dragon. (Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #13) He has also enlisted as part of the Justice Society's reserves. (JSA: Our Worlds at War, JSA #49)

———from Censullo:

In 532 A.D., a new knight of the Round Table, Sir Justin, searches for the ogre Blunderbore, to avenge the death of Sir Fallon. On the way, he accidentally frees the wizard Merlin from a spell which had imprisoned him. Merlin transforms Justin into the Shining Knight, and casts a spell which gives the knight's horse, Victory, functional wings. In his new armor, atop his magical steed dubbed "Winged Victory", Justin quickly finds the ogre and slays him. But the battle causes an avalanche of ice which buries both the knight and his steed. In the Summer of 1941, the Shining Knight awakens from suspended animation fourteen centuries later when Dr. Moresby, a museum director, frees him from an iceberg with dynamite. As a cover, Justin takes the name Justin Arthur and attains a job in Moresby's New York City museum. Occasionally, Merlin uses his magic to summon the Shining Knight back to Camelot. The Knight is sometimes aided by Sir Butch. [1st app. of the Shining Knight in Adventure Comics #66 (Sep 1941), origin retold in All-Star Squadron #62 (Oct 1987), the new Camelot adventures and the origin of Sir Butch featured in Adventure Comics #132 (Sep 1948).] [Note: All-Star Squadron #62 clearly places Sir Justin's resuscitation in the Summer of 1941.] [Additional Note: In Swamp Thing [2nd series] #87 (June 1989), Sir Justin, the last surviving Knight of the Round Table, returns to King Arthur with the Holy Grail. During that time he meets the time-lost Swamp Thing. In Superman [2nd series] #55 (May 1991), during the Fall of Camelot, Merlin attempts to summon Sir Justin from the 20th century, but is blocked by the magicks of Morgaine Le Fey.]

In the Fall of 1941, caught in one of the Luftwaffe's bombing raids on London, Percy Sheldrake (age nearly 20 years) and his mother are rescued by the Shining Knight. Whenever the Shining Knight is in England, Percy becomes his secret sidekick, the Squire. [1st app. of the Squire in Young All-Stars #22 (Jan 1989).] [Note: According to Young All-Stars #23 (Mar 1989), by June of 1942, Percy Sheldrake had a wife and one year old son, Cyril. Batman #62 (Dec 1950-Jan 1951), Infinity Inc. #34 (Jan 1987), and New Teen Titans [2nd series] #44 (June 1988) show that Percy will become the Earl of Wordenshire and take up the costumed identity of the Knight by the Fall of 1950, while his son Cyril will become the new Squire.]

Some months after returning to Europe, Percy Sheldrake is captured by the Nazis. He remains a P.O.W. for the rest of the war. [Refer to Infinity Inc. #34 (Jan 1987).]

The Shining Knight arrives in China, in the 13th century A.D., at the camp of Genghis Khan. Khan's shaman uses his fiery gaze to mesmerize the Knight, making him a willing servant of the warlord. Superman, Metamorpho, and the Sandman arrive, where they meet monks who explain that the invader Temujn, known as Genghis Khan ("The Universal Ruler"), and his legions are being led by an armored god on a winged horse. Metamorpho searches for and locates the Shining Knight. He is surprised when the Knight attacks him. Metamorpho realizes he is somehow under Khan's control, and escapes to tell the others what has transpired. The next day, Khan's hordes attack. On instructions of the Sandman, Metamorpho creates a sleeping gas, incapacitating the invaders. Sandman devises an antidote and gives it to the Knight and his horse. The heroes are then magically retrieved. [Refer to Justice League Of America #101 (Sep 1972) and Stars And S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (Apr 2000).] [Note: Vandal Savage has claimed to have been Genghis Khan, however it is unclear if Savage was the real Khan or merely impersonated him at one point.]

The Soldiers lose contact with the Shining Knight. They believe he may have returned back to his own time-period. [Refer to All-Star Comics #64 (Jan-Feb 1977) - #65 (Mar-Apr 1977), Swamp Thing [2nd series] #87 (June 1989) and #109 (July 1991), Showcase '93 #9 (Sep 1993), and Stars And S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (Apr 2000).] [Note: Since the Soldiers disappeared in October 1948, it is possible that the Knight's new adventures in Camelot, which didn't begin until Adventure Comics #132 (Sep 1948), took place during this "missing" block of time.]

The Shining Knight promises Abby Arcane that he will locate her time-lost husband, the Swamp Thing. He begins his quest, searching various time periods for the missing Earth Elemental. [Refer to Swamp Thing [2nd series] #87 (June 1989).]

3 years ago, the Shining Knight returns to Abby Arcane with news of the Swamp Thing. Although less than two years has passed for Abby, twenty years has passed for Sir Justin. [Refer to Swamp Thing [2nd series] #109 (July 1991).]

Mere months ago, the Shining Knight contacts Pat Dugan in Beverly Hills about strange goings on in Blue Valley. Against his step-daughter's wishes, Pat moves his new family to Blue Valley. Before Pat arrives, the Shining Knight becomes engaged in battle with the Dragon King, his daughter Shiv, and their minions. His mind is all but destroyed during the ordeal. He later re-appears, dazed, in his cover as the high school janitor. When Pat arrives in Blue Valley, he is unable to locate his old friend. In his basement, Pat Dugan completes work on S.T.R.I.P.E., a new computerized body armor which he hopes will aid him against the Blue Valley menace. It was developed with the help of Dr. Robert Crane, formerly known as the golden age Robotman. Pat had asked Crane for his old body parts, and he was happy to oblige. [Refer to Stars And S.T.R.I.P.E. #0 (July 1999), #1 (Aug 1999), #2 (Sep 1999), #7 (Feb 2000), and #8 (Mar 2000).]

Justina: The First Shining Knight

Another Knight calling himself Justin was actually Justina — a girl in disguise! This hero hailed from ancient Camelot and was knighted by Galahad. When this Camelot fell to the Sheeda Queen, Gloriana, Justin and her horse, Vanguard, fell through time into modern New York City. According to Agent Helen Helligan, a metahuman specialist, she was from the "first Arthurian Epoch," circa the 81st century BCE.

Justina was fated to emerge precisely when Gloriana was making another bid for world domination. The Queen disguised herself as a government agent Dr. Gloria Friday and came to question Justin in custody. Gloriana took Justin's Sword of Aurakles, summoned Galahad back to life, and forced Justin to battle her old friend. She was forced to slay Galahad again. (Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #1-4)

Justina struck the first of several killing blows to the Sheeda Queen. Afterwards, she remained in the 21st century and was enlightened by Ali-Ka-Zoom of the legend of a great queen after Arthur's time named Ystina the Good. (Seven Soldiers #1)

+ Powers

The Shining Knight is a master of the arts of combat of Arthurian times. Wearing his enchanted bulletproof armor and wielding his enchanted sword, Justin can cut through almost anything and can resist magical attack.

At some point he also had a high-tech retractable shield and helmet attached to his armor.

His steed, Winged Victory, can fly.

Though he was born in the 6th century and traveled throughout time, Justin has only lived perhaps five or six decades. He may have also been granted extended longevity from Merlin's magicks.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

  • JSA #49
  • JSA: Our Worlds at War #1
  • Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0, 1, 2, 7, 8, 13
  • Showcase '93 #9
  • Who's Who #20

The Knight and Squire:

  • Infinity, Inc. #34
  • JLA #26
  • JLA Classified #1-3
  • Young All-Stars #22-25, 27

» SERIES:

  • Adventure Comics #66–166 (Sept. 1941–July 1951)
  • Leading Comics, 14 issues (1941–45)
  • All-Star Squadron, 67 issues (1981–87)
  • Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight, 4-issue limited series (2005)
  • Knight and Squire, 6-issue limited series (2010–11)