After he and his teammates on the Demon Knights successfully defend the town of Little Spring from the forces of the Questing Queen, the team moves on while Madame Xanadu explains the relationship between herself and Etrigan and Jason Blood.
After escaping from hell with the rest of the team, Shining Knight was present for the rebirth of Merlin in Avalon as Adam One. He is knighted by Arthur as Merlin dubs the Demon Knights, his first Stormwatch. One they return to the mortal plane, Ystin agrees to Exoristos' previous proposal to live together with the new mission of watching over the evil of the Black Diamond Exoristos brought back from hell while continuing to seek out the Holy Grail.
Ten thousand years ago, in a time before the Biblical flood, Sir Ystin fought alongside the Knights of the Broken Table in a last stand against the Sheeda's harrowing. These knights were led by Sir Lancelot, as Arthur had already fallen. Sir Ystin is also called Justin at various times. Ystin is presumably an ancient version of the name and is similar to the Cornish Yestin.
Ystin is initially introduced as male, like his predecessor, but he is later revealed to be intersex and genderqueer. The Shining Knight is both physically male and physically female, and regards himself as both, though he prefers male pronouns. During the fall of Camelot, Merlin gives a dying Ystin a sip from the Holy Grail, granting Shining Knight immortality but also creating within him a drive to seek out the Grail once more.
Ystina was created by Grant Morrison and J.H. Williams III and first appeared in Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #1 (May, 2005).
Major Story Arcs
Last of Camelot
While his fellow knights fought to defend Camelot from the invading Sheeda who are led by Neh-Buh-Loh, Ystina and his winged horse, Vanguard travelled to the Sheeda's Castle Revolving to retrieve Arthur's imperishable treasures. They found the Cauldron of Rebirth and Plenty, but were immediately attacked by Gloriana Tenebrae, the Sheeda Queen. Ystina snatched Arthur's sword Caliburn (another name for Excalibur) from the queen and fought her. Ystina realized that the fight was hopeless and pushed the cauldron through a time portal, though he was not aware of what it was, and followed soon after with Vanguard.
Out of Time
Ystina and Vanguard literally fall out of the sky over modern day Los Angeles, where he is immediately taken into police custody. He is completely unable to communicate with the police officers, so he escapes their custody and runs off into the night. While contemplating what happened to him, he is confronted by a Sheeda Mood 7 Mind Destroyer.
No one but Ystina can see it and even he cannot physically attack it, it threatens to kill him with words. The Mind Destroyer than proceeds to taunt him with the fall of Camelot and how the Sheeda had desecrated all he had once loved. The Mind Destroyer mused that perhaps things might have been different if the Shining Knight had not ran away.
While sitting on a bench, listening to the Mind Destroyer's insults, a gang attacks the old man sitting next to him. Ystina fights them off, vowing that virtue won't disappear from the Earth while a knight of Camelot still lives. With his guilt gone, the Mind Destroyer crumbles away. The old man, speaking a language she understands, changes his clothes and warns him of the fight to come.
Meanwhile, Vanguard is taken to the stables of Don Vincenzo, the undying Don. The Don has Arthur's Cauldron of Rebirth and Plenty, as well as a number of other magical and technological treasures. The Don's home is attacked by Sheeda, again led by Neh-Buh-Loh. Vanguard helps the Don in his last stand, though Vanguard himself is rescued by Zatanna.
Back In Police Custody
Ystina heads to a nearby police station and voluntarily surrenders to them. F.B.I. agent, Helen Helligan and antiquities expert, Gloria Friday, are brought in to investigate his story. Examining Ystina's sword, Friday explains that the sword is from the first Arthurian Epoch, ten thousand years ago and that civilizations are cyclical in nature. Helligen expresses concern that the knight may have brought ancient disease with "him" and Friday explains that disease was unknown in Arthur's court as they were "peak human" and even microscopic races owed allegiance to Arthur. Gloria then questions Ystina in ancient Arthurian where he explains his story and warns of the coming Sheeda. Before Ystina's warning can be given, he realizes Gloria is Gloriana, the Sheeda Queen. The queen's soldiers attack the police station and they escape with the sword and Ystina. Before leaving, Gloriana bites Helligen's arm, poisoning her. She is suffering the effects of the poison when she meets Bulleteer.
At Gloriana's throne room, she reveals that she has corrupted Ystina's mentor Sir Galahad, the Perfect Knight. Galahad has been transformed into a sadistic monster during his imprisonment by the Sheeda. Despite Ystina's pleas for reason, he attacks him, as Gloriana gloats at her triumph. Having defeated the Shining Knight, Galahad lifts "him" up and jokes that he is about to make a eunuch. The Sheeda Queen realizes that she can smell the "blood of a womb". Galahad rips open Ystina's chest armor, revealing the truth, to the amusement of the queen.
Ystina once again tries to appeal to Galahad for mercy, but he continues the battle. Gloriana then commands for Ystina to be broken and made into a slave too before leaving to greet her husband. Galahad drops his swords and begins beating him with his fists. Realizing there is nothing of the couragous knight he once served left, he raises his swords and cuts open his head. He then vows that he will be Gloriana's death.
Ystina confronts Gloriana in Castle Revolving. They fight hard, but Gloriana is convinced of her victory as only seven can beat her and Ystina is just one. Ystina does severely wound her, however. In her rage, Gloriana pushes him over the castle edge to fall on the streets below. As he falls she is rescued by Vanguard who was in the streets below with Zatanna. Spyder shoots Gloriana with an arrow that sends her into the streets, where she is killed by the Bulleteer's out of control car.
With the Sheeda defeated, Ystina enrolls in a modern school. He is still haunted by the destruction of Camelot and Galahad, whom he loved. The magician Ali-Ka-Zoom informs him that although the records are sketchy, there is mention of a Queen Ystina the Good who helps rebuild civilization, ending the Age of Death. He may have big adventures left after all.