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Mordred (Earth-616)

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Mordred (by Keith Pollard)

Mordred was the illegitimate son of King Arthur Pendragon and his half-sister Morgause. Merlin prophesied that a son born on May Day would rise up and destroy both him and Camelot. To prevent this, Arthur had all the children born that day put on a boat with a leak and sent to sea. Mordred survived and eventually returned to his mother, where he was raised and educated to be a knight[1].

Mordred's history is steeped in the Authurian legend, and it can be presumed that these legends are fact on Earth-616. The scope of this article is do catalogue the events in Mordred's life that are unique to Earth-616.


As an adult, Mordred began working with his aunt Morgan le Fay to overthrow his father King Arthur and take control of Camelot[2]. His earliest recorded activities was when he went on a hunt with King Arthur and found the injured knight Sir Belair whom unknown to them at the time was the son of the demon Asmodiar[3].

Not long after this, Merlin became aware of Mordred and Morgan's plots to destroy the kingdom and sought out Sir Percy of Scandia whom he trained to be his secret warrior the Black Knight. Mordred soon took King Arthur on a hunt, having hired assassins to eliminate him, however he was saved by the Black Knight. The Knight was officially knighted by the king, who promised to never ask for the Knight's true identity, much to Mordred's chagrin. Likewise, while the Black Knight was aware that Mordred was behind this and other future schemes, he could never find the evidence needed to incriminate Mordred[2]. Eventually, Merlin had created a number of ebony weapons out of the Starstone and offered only one to the Black Knight, believing that the correct weapon could help halt the downfall of Camelot. After the Black Knight chose the Ebony Blade, Merlin used his magics to seemingly destroy the other weapons, unaware that both Mordred and Morgan were overhearing and prevented the destruction of the Ebony Staff, which would be the key to Camelot's destruction. Mordred sent the weapon to be reforged into an Ebony Dagger and then resumed his attempts against the throne in the meantime[4]. Shortly there after, Mordred briefly usurped the throne of Camelot when he had his minions kidnap King Arthur in the night and toss him in the royal dungeons below the castle. However the Black Knight managed to free the king, forcing Mordred to give up the throne[2].

When King Arthur later went out to visit the neighboring baronies, Mordred and Morgan le Fey worked with the Norman conqueror Sir Robert du Quency to invade and conquer Camelot. However this invasion was thwarted by the Black Knight foiling Mordred's plans[5]. Mordred then became focused on learning the true identity of the Black Knight. During a contest battle between the knights of Camelot, Mordred paid Sir Guy of Gascombe to injure the Black Knight in battle. Before Mordred can unmask him, the Black Knight was spirited away by Merlin. Mordred then began walking about the castle, purposely bumping into people to see if they shared the same injuries as the Black Knight. To his surprise, he found that his distant relative, the seemingly cowardly Sir Percy, shared those same injuries. However when Mordred and his minions confronted Sir Percy in his chambers, they were surprised to see both Percy and the Black Knight together, unaware that the "Black Knight" was Merlin wearing the fabled armor. Mordred fled and was soundly defeated by the real Black Knight, thus preserving his double identity. Not long after this, during King Arthur's birthday and celebratory lion hunt, Mordred paid a number of Gypsies to unleash too many lions for King Arthur to handle on his own. This plot would have succeeded had not the Black Knight been there to once more thwart him[6].

Not long after this, Mordred hired French-Sicilian pirates to kidnap King Arthur, his ward Lady Rosamund and Sir Percy among others. He then returned to Camelot and claimed the throne, sending the Knights of the Round Table on false leads to rescue the king. However Sir Percy managed to escape captivity and as the Black Knight led the knights of Camelot to their leader and rescued him, Mordred once more gave up the throne[7]. Later, Mordred conspired to overthrow Camelot with the help of Sir Gilles using a "Torjan horse" disguised as the Dragon of Kentswood Swamp, but this plot was thwarted by the Black Knight[8].

Fall of Camelot and Death

After learning of the affair between Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot, and with England in the middle of a civil war Mordred then put his plans into bringing down Camelot into full force[1].

During the final battle, Mordred used the Ebony Dagger and succeeded in eventually slaying King Arthur as well as the original Black Knight, but also was felled by the Knight himself[9][10][4]. However as Mordred died, he threw his spirit into the Netherworld in order to cheat death[11].


Mordred's spirit eventually found itself in the 12th Century during the Crusades and plotted to foil the plans of King Richard by orchestrating events so that Richard was captured by the Muslim armies in an attempt to change history. He was assisted in this era by Chandu the Wizard and his demonic minions. Learning of this plot, Merlin took the spirit of Dane Whitman, the Black Knight of the modern era (who at the time had been turned into stone), and sent his spirit back in time to possess the body of his descendant Eobar Garrington the Black Knight of the Crusades, to rescue King Richard.

Seeking to restore Dane Whitman to flesh and blood Doctor Strange and Dane's teammates in the Defenders were pulled back in time to the 12th Century. There they joined the Black Knight in battling Mordred and Chandu. Mordred attempted to gain control of the powerful Evil Eye to use against his foes, but he was stopped by the time travelling Prester John who then used the Eye to banish both Mordred and Chandu[12].



Mordred, as he was garbed while serving the Nethergods

Mordred was later resurrected in the Modern Age and served the demonic Necromon, coming into conflict with the most recent Black Knight (Whitman) and Captain Britain[13]. Eventually, Necrom was defeated and Mordred was banished into the Outer Dark[14].

Eventually, Mordred was returned when Morgan le Fay summoned him, as she needed a masculine sorcerer/familiar to complete her future schemes[15].

Mordred was later involved with Morgan as she used the Norn Stones to reshape reality, overlapping it with Earth-398 a world where Morgan ruled the world, a medieval world of magic, and commanded the Avengers under the name Queen's Vengeance[16]. Eventually, Mordred was defeated by the Avengers and their recently resurrected ally Wonder Man and presumably banished with Morgan when reality was restored to its natural order[17].

In his appearances in the Black Knight series in Hulk Comic, Mordred is often mistakenly referred to as Modred. However, he has no connection to Modred the Mystic.

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