From Cates, Stegman, Mayer, and Martin and published by Marvel Comics.
I am trying to guess the last time a comic book had me react out loud. Damn the reactions from anyone that may hear me. I was stunned three times in this comic. Three. From the start I’ve been saying that there is so much packed into every issue. A shocking amount. An amount that would be stretched out to twice the length this series is scheduled to run (5 issues).
How do I talk about this without spoilers? This comic is huge and this issue is the biggest yet. This is all cards on the table, time to set up the final battle. And what a final battle it is shaping up to be.
First, the art is incredible. The symbiote ball surrounding one of our heroes is frightening but an amazing visual. Stegman draws a kid thrust into a battle of gods as a scared innocent child but also one that is summoning up everything he has inside of him to be stronger than he ever thought possible.
Dylan (the aforementioned kid) is hearing a voice in his head offering help while he battles Knull. I was sure I knew who that help would be but when it was finally revealed I actually yelled out “no way!” I’m not reading all the twists and turns for this character or their connected titles but this flop on the table was immense. Here I am, boom, what are you going to do now?
Then there is the search for an opposite to Knull. If he is darkness, then it only makes sense that there would be an equal and opposite light. And, duh, there is. Spoiler, the heroes will find a way to win in the end. But who this opposite is was right there all along and yet also a huge surprise. A brilliant use of Marvel lore. It also sent me to eBay and I’ve already spent enough this month on comics that were in dollar bins a year ago that are now skyrocketing in price.
Finally, a champion rises. A last page huge moment to set up the final battle in the next issue which will be the last. And it all makes sense too! I didn’t see all of these twists and turns coming but as part of Venom, Spider-Man, and all of Marvel’s history all of these huge beats makes sense even with a new character like Knull.
The comic is by far more enjoyable than I ever expected and made me open my wallet even further for some of the spin off titles. Which is the whole point. When the series started I did think this was going to be a way to bring the Aliens franchise into the Marvel Universe and as of issue 4 of 5 that does not seem to be the plan. I’m not expecting it in the last issue now either. Slight chance of final page reveal, but King in Black has been so great it doesn’t need any other gimmicks.