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"Fall of the House of Pendragon"

(24 pages)
Writer: Rick Veitch
Artist(s): Tom Yeates
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Karen Berger
Asst.Editor: Art Young
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson
Etrigan the Demon Created by Jack Kirby

Cover: ST is a giant spider with a castle on his back. By Rick Veitch, Steve Bissette and Tom Yeates (signed)


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Artist Tom Yeates teamed with writer Jeff Limke on the graphic novels "King Arthur: Excalibur Unsheathed" (Graphic Universe, 2006) and "Arthur & Lancelot: The Fight for Camelot" (2007).

2:1 The Shining Knight (a.k.a. Sir Justin) first appeared in Adventure Comics #66 (1941), created by Creig Flessel. The great fantasy artist Frank Frazetta made his mark on early 1950's stories of the Knight.

5:4 Etrigan the Demon has appeared in the past two issues of ST. The reason that Etrigan recognizes ST would have been explained in the aborted "Swamp Thing Meets Jesus" story.

6:2 In Etrigan's first appearance in THE DEMON #1 (1972,) Jack Kirby told the story of how Merlin used his Eternity Book to bind Etrigan to the mortal form of Jason Blood in order to protect the Demon from falling into Morgaine LeFey's power.

6:3 Like Merlin, Morgaine Le Fay is a traditional figure in the Arthurian legend and in the history of DC's Demon. Merlin is also a key figure in many Shining Knight stories.

7:2 Pendragon is King Arthur's family name, hence the title of this story. Etrigan refers to the adage that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

7:3 In DC Comics, Merlin and Etrigan have the same father, the arch-demon Belial (who would have appeared in the aborted "Jesus issue".). This may be the hidden "truth" which Merlin refers to.

8:4 Merlin refers to the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS which Swampy experienced in #46, although nobody in the DC universe is supposed to remember it.

9:4 Sir Tristan and Sir Galahad were traditional Knights of Arthur's Round Table.
Note the wound on the left side of Arthur's head. In Arthurian legend, Arthur's son/nephew wounded his head in battle before Arthur's death.

10:1 In Arthurian legend, Queen Guenevere betrayed Arthur by loving Sir Lancelot.

11:2 The happy warrior in the middle there is Hal Foster's PRINCE VALIANT from the newspaper strip running since 1937. (Not a DC Comics character, but I won't say anything if you won't.) As for the knight at the left in this panel Authurian scholar Alan Stewart tells me "I'm pretty certain it's supposed to be Sir Gawain, who was a frequent companion of Val, especially in the first few decades of the strip." This is probably correct since the crest on Gawain's shield in this panel seems to match the one on his chest in the picture shown at right. Visit Alan's site at

18:3 The Holy Grail played a key role in the TIME MASTERS series (1990). The heroes of TIME MASTERS bumped into ST in the beginning of SWAMP THING #86. The Grail also appeared in DOCTOR FATE Vol.2, Issue 4 (February 1989), in a flashback involving the protagonist of the old I, VAMPIRE series.

18:6 ST became lost in time as result of the alien attack. See issues #80 and #81 for more info on the INVASION!

19:5 The secret of what the amber contains is revealed in issue #89.

22:3 This explains where the amber piece turned up in last issue.

23:1 Abby found the photo in #85.

23:4 The Shining Knight indeed appeared as a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory in LEADING COMICS which premiered in Winter 1941-42, as well as in Roy Thomas' 1980's ALL-STAR SQUADRONseries which was set in WWII. A different Shining Knight, perhaps from a different Camelot, more recently appeared in Grant Morrison's SEVEN SOLDIERS collection of mini-series.

COMMENT: The title of this story is a play on the title of an Edgar Allan Poe story, "The Fall of the House of Usher".

COMMENT: The next issue would have explained how the amber fragment ended up in the Grail, but the story was axed because DC Comics felt it would offend people with it's depiction of Jesus Christ. Sadly, Rick Veitch quit after this issue and the time travel saga didn't end as neatly as he'd planned. Doug Wheeler was brought in as writer, and for the sake of completeness, I'll continue these annotations to the end of the storyline. I have however written annotations to the unpublished "Swamp Thing Meets Jesus" story.

Comment: Issues #82 and beyond have not yet been reprinted in a trade paperback.

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