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 I)

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

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Club of Heroes, Ultramarines

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

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)

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)