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King In Black #1 (of 5)

74
Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 19 critic ratings.

DARKNESS REIGNS!

After a campaign across the galaxy, Knull’s death march arrives to Earth and, worse yet, he hasn’t come alone!

With an army of hundreds of thousands of symbiote dragons at his command, the King in Black is a force unlike any Earth’s heroes have ever faced. EDDIE BROCK, A.K.A. VENOM has seen firsthand the chaos that even one of Knull’s symbiotic monsters can wreak – will he survive an encounter with the God of the Abyss himself? From Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin and VC’s Clayton Cowles comes the definitive chapter in their two-year-long VENOM saga that changed everything you thought you knew about symbiotes!

Publication Date
Publisher
Format
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
39 pages
Language
English
Price
$1.99
Amazon ASIN
B08JD4569P

11%
16%
74%
19 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    But Why Tho?

    King in Black #1 is the gold standard for event books, pitting the heroes of the Marvel Universe against an utterly terrifying force. Fans of Marvel's heroes-Venom in particular-will want to read this series. Cates, Stegman, Mayer, and Martin are an immensely talented creative team, and I can't wait to see what else they throw at the Lethal Protector.
  • 100

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    If you love how comic books make you feel like a 12-year-old kid, you need to read KING IN BLACK #1.
  • 100

    Horror DNA

    I was predisposed to like King in Black, as I've been a huge fan of Venom and all of its tie-ins since this creative team took over the title a couple years ago. This book has exceeded my expectations in every way. More importantly, this is an event that surprised me. We've seen huge attacks on the planet before, but there was always a way out. The stakes were never all that high to begin with because it was clear the heroes had a path to victory. That doesn't exist in King in Black. This is a decisive and swift attack that has decimated every hero, big and small, across the entire planet. If this is the opening salvo, where can this possibly go next?
  • 94

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    If you're a MARVEL COMICS fan, you need to read this. There is something for everyone in this story. If you're a VENOM fan, it would be pure lunacy to not read KING IN BLACK #1. Cates has rewritten the mythos surrounding the Symbiotes and has anchored them deep within the entire Marvel Universe. The impact of this event will be felt throughout a variety of comics across all of Marvel, which is ultimately why this isn't just a VENOM event.
  • 92

    The Super Powered Fancast

    Ryan Stegman thrills with the art in this issue. The characters look amazing and the action is beautifully done. I was blown away by the scope and scale of the scenes and how Stegman stages the panels to keep the story character focused while also delivering huge action.
  • 91

    Word Of The Nerd

    Knull is here in King in Black #1 and his arrival does not disappoint. With so many events happening recently in the Marvel Universe, it can be easy to get burnt out. You could possibly see this issue and all the tie-ins and think “I should skip this”. I wouldn't blame you and maybe, yeah, you should skip those tie-in issues. But King in Black #1 absolutely delivers; from art to story, it builds something truly epic! I was not really too excited about this event. I mean, with Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, I knew it would be good, but it truly lives up to the hype.
  • 90

    Graphic Policy

    King in Black #1 kicks things off with jaw-dropping moments and unexpected twists. But, it's the heart of it all where things succeed. Eddie Brock brings a touch to the story that we can all relate to. And, more importantly, he brings a character we can empathize with and feel sorry for. He's likely sacrificing himself to save the world and his kid and knows it. Yet, he goes through with it. King in Black #1 is the shift of Eddie Brock from anti-hero to true hero willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good. It's the start of an event but also the next step for the character that Cates and Stegman have been adding depth to for years.
  • 90

    AIPT

    After shaking off the feeling Marvel is addicted to invasion events, this is a satisfying first strike from the King in Black team. It balances Venom with the rest of the main Marvel characters, features multiple shocking moments that'll get you talking with your friends, and sets up a villain that seems impossible to defeat. King in Black is an event that is audacious, viscerally gripping, and hellbent on raising the stakes.
  • 90

    Major Spoilers

    Eddie as a hero is a dynamic character that I never expected would work. This book proves how wrong I am.
  • 90

    Comics Bookcase

    King In Black #1 is the wailing, heavy metal riff we have been building up to. Like a stack of SUNN0))) amplifiers, it blows me a way into reverberating bliss.
  • 90

    Beyond The Panel

    By the end of King In Black #1, I would dare to say that this creative team made a believer out of me. This story so far not only changes everything you once knew about symbioses, it changes everything you thought you should fear from them too.
  • 85

    Weird Science Marvel Comics

    This book explodes with chaos, and the art does not disappoint to sell on the catastrophe Knull's arrival brings to Earth. We're finally free to see Knull in action, and Cates writes him with all the menace and calamity a world-ending villain needs to deliver, especially after years of building towards his arrival. This event needs to be a blockbuster, and Cates's is bringing out nukes.
  • 85

    Comic Book Revolution

    Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman do not waste anytime kicking things off as big as possible with King In Black #1. This first issue set the tone that Knull is not messing around as the God Of Symbiotes makes it clear to all the Marvel Universe's heroes they cannot stop him. With how things turned for our heroes by the end of King In Black #1 I cannot wait to see what happens next in Marvel's big event.
  • 84

    Comic Watch

    Make no mistake about it, King in Black will be Marvels highlight series of 2020 and beyond. For about the past year we have seen a stellar campaign announcing this event and if the first issue is any indication of how the rest of the series will play out... buckle up because this is going to be huge and talked about for a long time to come.
  • 80

    ComicBook.com

    Stegman brings out the best in Cates, and vice versa. They make a formidable duo capable of telling some of the most imaginative and death-defying stories in the modern era of superhero comics, even when the premise seems simple to start.
  • 70

    Comics: The Gathering

    It’s not without its missteps, but King in Black #1 is a promising start to the next big thing for Venom and Marvel. It’s rare that a writer can make the stakes so believable in one of the line-wide events that seems to come and go every year. The visuals are fantastic as well. There are many moments that will make readers pause so they can soak in everything there is.
  • 68

    Multiversity Comics

    "King in Black" is an epic, narratively uneven, visually stunning affair that seems to be setting itself up for something even better.
  • 60

    Geek'd Out

    That being said, Im interested in checking out some of the upcoming tie-ins, such as the aforementioned The Union, Return of the Valkyries, and Iron Man / Doctor Doom, which apparently has the odd couple teaming up against a symbiotic Santa Claus? If that doesnt sound like a true Christmas miracle after the hellish year that was 2020, I dont know what does.
  • 60

    Newsarama by Gamesradar+

    For fans of Cates' Venom work, King in Black stands as an exciting continuation of his symbiote story. But if you step back, it feels like Cates is almost going through the motions compared to what we've seen from him before. We know that he's a student of the genre and is looking to deliver a story worthy of the ones that came before him. But it often feels like he's playing at remastering them with some new glossy sheen. He'll remind you of the originals but isn't doing anything more than making them shinier. This opening issue isn't a bad place to start but it lacks the urgency of great events that have come before it.

More From King In Black (2020)

About the Author: Donny Cates

Donny Cates (born September 14, 1984) is an American comic book writer, artist, and podcaster, known for his work on titles like Venom, Thanos, Doctor Strange and Thor.

Early life

Donny Cates was born in Dallas, Texas. Raised in Garland, Texas, Cates states that he was taught to read by his father using comic books. Cates graduated from Garland High School and attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he would meet future artistic collaborators Tradd Moore and Geoff Shaw. Cates majored in sequential art, but left the school after being accepted into a Marvel internship program. While interning, Cates stole a Diamond Distributors Gem Award awarded to Astonishing X-Men #1. At the advice of Marvel editor Mark Peniccia, Cates left the program after a year to pursue writing his own comics. After a chance meeting with a Dark Horse Comics staffer at C2E2, Cates was given the opportunity to write short stories for the company.

Career

Cates’ first comic work was a short story in Dark Horse Presents vol. 2 #24, released in August 2013. Co-written by himself and Eliot Rahal, the title of this story was Hunter Quaid: Armageddon Outta Here. It was followed up three issues later with Hunter Quaid: The Only Things We Have to Fear… are Nazis and Creepy Monsters. Satisfied with these stories, Dark Horse gave Cates the green light for later projects like Buzzkill, The Ghost Fleet and The Paybacks. Between 2016 and 2017 Cates also wrote stories for IDW Publishing, including an entry in Star Trek: Waypoint and a one-shot, Star Trek: Deviations. Cates eventually began writing for Image Comics, where he released God Country. With this title he attracted the attention of editors at Marvel, who offered him a contract.

His first long-term Marvel works were runs on Doctor Strange and Thanos. After the success of these titles, Cates was given writing duties on Venom, where he was paired with artist and podcaster Ryan Stegman. This led to him penning multiple company-wide events, including Absolute Carnage and King in Black.

Personal life

Cates currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, comic artist Megan Hutchinson. The two host a comic review podcast, The Devil’s AdvoCATES Book Club.

[Latest Update: May 28, 2022]

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