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Knight of Darkness
KnightOfDarkness
Darkness Falls
Vital statistics
Name Knight of Darkness
Race Unknown
Home Planet Black Nebula

Character HistoryEdit

Matt DoughtyEdit

Darkness-Soldier-Concept-Art-5-ALT

Early "Knight Trooper" concept art

"When I first received the Knight of Darkness "doll" from my folks back in the late 70's, I was really taken by the strange and blunted "Vader-like" look of the helmet, as well as the silver and black color combination. Because I was also obsessed with Stormtroopers at the time, I thought the Knight also looked like some kind of elite version of the Empire's prime military force. Naturally, I expected to see other S.T.A.R. Team antagonists like the Knight show up at the toy store, filling out the "bad guy" ranks like Star Wars was starting to do. Each time my family traveled to The Maine Mall I was on the lookout for new S.T.A.R. Team recruits, but nothing ever materialized beyond the Knight and a few Zem 21 figures. This actually bugged me more than it ever should have, especially since legitimate Star Wars figures were starting to invade the shelves. The Knight of Darkness needed his own troopers to command!

I kept my original Knight of Darkness for many years, losing various pieces of its body as time rolled on. Eventually all that remained was the poor guy's head, battered and scraped from years of service. The Knight's noggin one day ended up on my work desk, while I had some cruddy enamel model paint opened up (80's kids know the kind). I thought back to my desire of seeing a trooper versions of the Knight and I applied some of that nasty enamel paint (a red color) to its worn out dome. Needless to say, the paint refused to dry, but for a small window I was able to sneak a glimpse of what might have been.

Fast forward to nearly 4 years ago, around the time I started to develop new S.T.A.R. Team (Project X) concepts with Toyfinity's John Kent (who now held the licenses for some of my most beloved Ideal toy lines including S.T.A.R. Team) and our long time collaborator Ralph Niese. During those extensive work sessions, we discussed how we could bring back the Knight of Darkness and give him an army of armored soldiers. The old "trooper" concept then resurfaced from my youth, and things began to fall into focus for the Knight's resurrection."[1]

Kodtoylineart

Knight of Darkness line art for STAR Team by Ideal Toys

Darkness-Soldier-Concept-Art-ALT

Early "Knight Trooper" concept art

"As I produced various sketches of the Knight of Darkness and his proposed "troopers" for Project X in late 2012 and into 2013, I started to realize that the core design principles of the original vintage figure had a lot in common with our very own Space Traveler Pheyden. That sneaky domed would-be conqueror from the 70's had actually left an indelible subconscious impression on my tiny brain! It seemed that I had inadvertently discovered Pheyden's long lost cosmic grandpa through the act of drawing oddball pictures.

Strange skull-like swept angled helmet? Check. Simplified segmented chest? Check. Skinny arms and legs? Check. Asymmetrical weirdo belt? Check. That last one really jumped out at me. All that time playing with the original Knight of Darkness had definitely affected my creative choices when I was developing old Pheyden, I had just never really put it all together until I seriously analyzed the basic aesthetics of both designs next to each other.

In many ways, the concept of Toyfinity is truly best proven by the very projects that it undertakes. The Knight of Darkness/Pheyden connection may never have been made if we hadn't collectively decided to bring the original S.T.A.R. Team back from deep space. Being able to collaborate, design and develop with John and the Toyfinity team has allowed us to open up all new dimensions, even without Traveler powers.

Or weirdo asymmetrical belts."[2]

John KentEdit

Daddy

The original Ideal Knight of Darkness holding a Nibbler[3]

Phantom-of-the-paradise

Phantom of the Paradise poster

"My own relation to the Knight of Darkness, at the time it was released? I didn't have one, didn't know about him until much later in my toy collecting days.

I think it's part of my birth year - I missed MEGO by a few years, so the classic "doll" style of figure isn't one that does much for me. I much prefer something in the 3 3/4 or smaller scale.

Now, because I saw a loose figure first, I don't associate the Knight of Darkness with Star Wars - I associate him with another classic from the 70's: PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. Whereas Winslow Leach's alter-ego wears a chrome-looking bird-inspired mask, the Knight of Darkness clearly draws inspiration from an owl's head. Such is the nature of things - inspirations came from other sources, which were inspired by sources, which....

The great challenge has been to reinvision these characters so that the Knight is more than what he was before... and with the Darkness Soliders on the loose, the evolution of the S.T.A.R. Team begins here."[4]

StoryEdit

Target: EarthEdit

Knightofdarknessartwork

Art from STAR Team Knight of Darkness from Ideal Toys

"The fearsome enemy from outer space."[5]

Leader of the Shadow Warriors[6] (and eventually revealed to be a henchman of Nazgar the Tyrant[7]), the Knight of Darkness planned to invade Earth with his dark forces. Armed with a powerful Uni-Blaster, the Knight of Darkness faked a crashing of their ship to position the Matter Transmitter between their home base and this ideal striking position on a barren moon of Saturn. Only ZEM-21 and the S.T.A.R. (Space Travel And Reconnaissance) Team could hope to keep him at bay. While the Knight of Darkness was able to overpower and paralyze ZEM-21 temporarily in order to gloat about his plans, Zeroid Blue and Zeroid Red managed to sneak around the ship and distract the villains long enough to damage the Matter Transmitter. The Shadow Warriors and their leader beamed back home to plan another attack.

Returning to Nazgar the TyrantEdit

CursetemSTARTEAMComicPanel

Comic Panel from 1977 promotional comic featuring the Knight of Darkness and his Shadow Warriors

The Knight of Darkness found himself on Diavolus where he was currently battling the local population of bat-like creatures when he was recalled to Zeton by Nazgar. The unexpected activation of Maxx Zero and subsequent defeat of Hun-Dred during their first encounter had caused a change in the Tyrant’s long-term plans. Failing to properly enslave the Zetonian population with "rust rain", Nazgar tasked the Knight with finding him the perfect prototypes off-world to create a new group of elite soldiers.

Hun-Dred ReforgedEdit

After Hun-Dred's traumatic experience at the hands of Maxx Zero and ZEM busting out of the lab in Celestia, the Knight of Darkness was ordered to find a new alloy to allow Nazgar and his scientists to reforge his long time soldier into something better than he was before. With Solution Fourteen stolen from the Gendrone Rebellion, Hun-Dred rises again, tougher than ever. Hun-Dred locked down Celestia, and created Battlestar in his own image with one purpose: capture Maxx Zero and ZEM.

Encounter at EcroyexEdit

Enemy-Ecroyex-2-ALT

Enemy the Dictator

The Knight of Darkness used his abilities to step between the bonds of reality to cross the dimensional barriers in his search. His second stop was inside the fortress of the sinister ECROYEX INITIATIVE, home of powerful cyborg beings bent on universal destruction. A crack team of Darkness Shadow Troopers and the Knight himself slew the Ecroyex warriors, discovering a great prize among their war machines: a new type of mechanical warrior bristling with weaponry.

This new ENEMY for Maxx Zero concealed double cannons in his chest, complimented with powerful arm blasters and a devastating retro-blaster concealed in the rear of his head. Given more substantial programming than their predecessor Guardian robots, Enemy and his partner-in-evil ROBO FORCE’S SENTINEL THE PROTECTOR were given a special "Ultra Silver" laser-reflective armor coating and directives to bring back Maxx at any cost. Going against their programming, Enemy and Sentinel pursued Maxx into the wastelands beyond the city of Z-Celestia, beginning a journey which would last many years to come…

Hammerforged: a Soldier and a WarriorEdit

Brutal ult

Brutal the Activator

"Harvested by the Knight of Darkness to boost the power of NAZGAR's warriors!"

Stepping off the bonds of reality onto the world of Monkaa in another dimension, the Knight of Darkness soon discovered a new type of power to cultivate. Monkaarians, known to the rest of the universe more commonly as Weaponeers, offered unique power boosts which could be combined with Zetonian designs through a Force Sync to create more powerful Ultimate forms with Hammerforge Fists.

An army of Soldier and Warrior drones would soon march on Zeton soil, but it was Cruel and Brutal who would be the first to tap into the hidden Ultimate power within. The Weaponeer ability fused with the Zetonian form to unleash Cruel's true unnatural strength and power while Brutal gained true mastery over combat.

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://onelldesign.blogspot.com/2016/06/beyond-black-nebula-part-2.html
  2. http://onelldesign.blogspot.com/2016/06/beyond-black-nebula-part-3.html
  3. http://onelldesign.blogspot.com/2011/02/real-x-nibbler.html
  4. http://onelldesign.blogspot.com/2016/06/beyond-black-nebula-part-2.html
  5. http://www.wildtoys.com/zeroids/
  6. http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix5/starteam.htm
  7. http://www.toyfinity.com/comics/?c=3&p=26

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