Hail to the King (King in Black #1 Comic Review)
Writer: Donny Cates
Penciller: Ryan Stegman
Inker: JP Meyer
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
What You Need To Know:
Knull, the Dark God and Creator of the Symbiotes is on his way to Earth after the end of Absolute Carnage woke him up. Eddie Brock has been spending the past couple arcs preparing for his arrival, along with the rest of the Marvel Universe once he told the Avengers about Knull. Dylan, Eddie’s son, was born with Symbiote controlling powers, like a hive mind all his own. In fact, they just got back from an alternate universe, where Dylan ruled his Earth through a large Symbiotic Hive Mind. The God of the Symbiotes, the King in Black, is here.
Before Knull actually shows up, Eddie gets to work. He sends out a message to all of the Avengers(and likely other heroes as we’ll see soon), and takes Dylan to a secret bunker. And not just any bunker, but the one that Ezekiel made Peter Parker to protect him from Morlun back in the JMS Spider-Man run. The Avengers get to work setting up the plan. In orbit there are a bunch of leftover Kree and Skrull shipwrecks from the events of Empyre, and they’re all rigged to blow when Knull and his Symbiote dragons get close. The bombs go off and take out about a hundred of the dragons, but it’s not enough. And so the Avengers and the Fantastic Four get to work on evacuating as many people as possible. They’ve put a lot of thought into this, getting as many electricity, cosmic and magic based heroes together to work on it since they know those are Knull’s weaknesses. Unfortunately Thor, the guy who fills all 3 of those categories, is busy dealing with some other stuff in his book, so he can’t be here to help. But it’s okay, because the Avengers’ “other big gun” is on the way. And then suddenly the X-Men arrive to help. Storm in particular is ridiculously helpful against the dragons. Finally, Eddie arrives at “The Spire”, a giant symbiotic throne under New York that Carnage used to control his legion of monsters during Absolute Carnage. His plan is he hopes he can take control of some of the dragons once they’ve been weakened enough, maybe give them an army of their own. However, the heroes start losing, and then these Symbiote infected Celestials arrive. Knull finally defeated his ancient enemies and turned them into his slaves. Knull then arrives, and proclaims 2 things. That he is going to kill the Earth, and that he wants Brock. That’s when the Big Gun arrives. That Big Gun, is the Sentry! Sentry flies down from space and battles Knull head-on. However, Knull knows who Sentry is, since he’s the one who killed Carnage years ago by ripping him in half above orbit. And so, Knull does the same to him, absorbing the Void, some kind of evil entity/personality within Sentry.
Upon killing Sentry, Knull encases the entire planet in a large case of Symbiotic goo, blocking out the sun. And with that, Eddie realizes they have no other choice, and gives himself up to Knull, hoping it can buy the heroes some time to come up with a plan. Knull finds him and taunts the Symbiote, only to see Eddie underneath. Knull reveals he assumed that Eddie died way back when he fought the Dragon at the beginning of Cates’ run, and that there’s been some sort of confusion. Knull’s not here for Eddie, he’s here for Dylan. So, he steals the Symbiote and drops Eddie from the sky, ending the issue.
Oh boy! This was a fantastic start to this event. Knull is terrifying, his arrival completely destroys any hope the heroes had left. Eddie is so desperate to win, he has to defeat Knull and save Dylan. Dylan himself is also scared, he wants to help but Eddie refuses to risk that. I appreciate that thee events of Empyre carried over a bit with the remains of the ships in Earth’s orbit to act as the initial trap against Knull, even if it doesn’t do a whole lot. Sentry’s appearance here was fun, though apparently it’s a continuity error as in another book Sentry managed to merge with the Void or something, but as I’ve made clear on both my Twitter and this very site, I don’t really care about the continuity that much so it doesn’t bother me, but I figured I’d bring it up here anyway. Seeing the X-Men heree was cool, I love Charles’ line of “Surely a God of Thunder would be helpful, but may I suggest the Goddess of-” and then Storm interupts him so she can concentrate on obliterating dragons. The Symbiotic Celestials are horrifying to look at, not even these Space Gods of Marvel can stand up against Knull anymore. Stegman’s art is absolutely phenomenal the whole issue. I seriously can’t wait to see the next issue!
…. Oh I have to wait until the 23rd. Oh well.
Summary Knull has finally arrived on Earth. God is here, and nothing can stop him now... Nothing, except a lone man, named Brock.