WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
The Black Templars
Real Names Unknown
Residence: Buckton, a town in New England
First Appearance (Golden Age): All-Flash #29 (June 1947)
The Black Templars are a centuries-year old order of dark knights, dedicated to self-advancement and acquisition of power. In the 10th century A.D., the lord of the knights died but in his final days, he bade his followers swear on the Iron Gauntlet – symbol of their order – that they would pass their creed down through the generations until the Black Templars could rise again. Eventually, the heirs of the original Templars immigrated to America, settling along the Eastern Seaboard.
In June of 1947, an unknown man in the town of Buckton, a small burg in New England, determined to restore the order of the Black Templars and overthrow local, regional and then national governments. Calling himself the Baron of Buckton, he wrote letters to supposed descendants of the Black Templars or perhaps just disenfranchised men in general, rallying them to the Iron Gauntlet. Scores of men heeded the call and a fiefdom was set up in the town of Buckton. Modern structures were destroyed and replaced with castles and moats. Trains were derailed and passing aircraft shot down with flaming arrows. Museums were looted for ancient weapons and armor as in the days of old.
One of the descendents of the Order of the Iron Gauntlet was Major John Williams, father of Joan Williams. While her father had since passed, his mail was forwarded to Joan who showed it to Jay Garrick. Word that Buckton had “vanished”, cut off from society had reached newspaper in Keystone and the letter piqued the interest of Garrick to investigate. As he took off to learn more at the library, Joan Williams resolved to disguise herself as “John Williams” and answer the call to Buckton.
As Garrick learned about the Black Templars, he was astounded to emerge and realize members of the Black Templars had appeared in Keystone City. While the police proved limited in the ability to stave off the knights, the Flash made short work of them. Returning home, he found Joan’s note that she had headed to Buckton and he made haste to intercept her. In the meanwhile Joan had been spying on the Templars and had been captured by a group, shocked to see that “John Williams” was a woman.
When the Flash arrived to rescue her, he again made short work of their armaments but was brought up short when the knaves took Joan hostage. She and the Flash were bound under a swinging pendulum in the Baron’s special dungeon and after revealing the history of the Templars, left to die by the Baron. Using super-speed vibrations, the Flash rescued himself and Joan at the last possible instant. He then raced to Keystone to find the Templars storming Keystone Bank and catching them by surprise, hands them over to the authorities (All-Flash #29).
The Baron was either
released or escaped as the Flash made his way to Buckton to resolve the root of
the problem. There he found that the
Templars had destroyed the arsenal of the local National Guard and cut off
communications with the outside world. Travelers
were being waylaid, their cars destroyed and they were taken into
captivity. When the Flash attacked the
Templars directly, they threaten to execute the entire enslaved population of
Buckton if he failed to relent. Unable to rescue thousands at once, the Flash
The Templars were emboldened and even the federal authorities were loathe to intervene. The Flash concocted a plan to disguise himself as “Merlin”, the advisor to the Baron and convinced the Templar to engage in personal combat to determine rule of Buckton. The plan almost succeeded until the real advisor escaped and revealed that the Baron had been deceived. Victory was still within grasp, however, as “Merlin” held the Flame of Buckton, an enchanted ruby that allowed the Baron to see the Flash’s shadow, even when he could not the speedster directly. After feinting a couple of thrusts in the battle with the Flash, he snagged the speedster on his lance, defeating him as the world watched.
Hearing the news, Joan Garrick raced to Buckton to protest but was quickly apprehended and thrown in the dungeons with the rest of the Buckton natives. A round of disease was spreading among the hostages as they were provided only filthy water from the town’s now medieval plumbing system. The Flash had been sentenced to death and was to be executing by being dropped into a well holding a monstrous octopus. The Flash subdued the Octopus and raced into the dungeon’s boring holes to deliver fresh water. Sensing defeat, the Baron moved to the flood dungeons and drown the captives but the Flash’s sudden arrival led to his quick defeat and the return of control of Buckton to the proper authorities.
Whether any of the Black Templars from the 1940’s had further activities or if other sects arose has not been revealed.
Powers and Abilities
The Templars are excellent tacticians and have a mastery of medieval weapons and warfare. They have a fanatical commitment to their cause and appear to exist in considerable numbers, both openly and hidden among society. Their adherence to the Order of Iron Guantlet has survived for one thousand years, past down from generation to generation. They appear to have access to enchanted artifacts such as the “Flame of Buckton”, the origins of which are unknown and the number of which is also unknown.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Fully confronted with sufficient force, the Templars lacked super-human abilities and could be overwhelmed and defeated as any mortal adversary.
No version of the Black Templars exist on any Earth save Earth-Two so far as is known.
1st appearance and origin, vs. the Golden Age Flash
Flash Comics #92
vs. the Golden Age Flash