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King In Black #2 (of 5)

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 13 critic ratings.


Having fallen from a great height, Eddie is in critical condition. With the aid of the Human Torch, Spider-Man is able to get Eddie to help. While Reed and Sue Richards attempt to save Eddie, Iron Man plans to contain and use a dragon symbiote to heal him. The plan backfires leading to Dylan revealing his powers to everyone.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
26 pages
Amazon ASIN

13 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    The premise is simple but it's executed wonderfully, and Ryan Stegman remains the king of all things gnarly.
  • 100

    But Why Tho?

    King in Black #2 pushes the heroes of the Marvel Universe to their limits, featuring stellar scripting and mind-melting artwork. In true Cates/Stegman fashion, the issue ends with a whopper of a cliffhanger that feels like it will fundamentally upend the Venom mythos. I can't wait to see what issue #3 brings.
  • 95

    On Comics Ground

    King in Black continues with an explosive 2nd issue! How will Eddie survive his literal fall from grace? How are the heroes gonna make a comeback? Find out!
  • 90

    Graphic Policy

    King in Black #2 is a hell of a second issue. It takes us on an emotional rollercoaster while also delivering big screen popcorn levels of visuals. It's a great combination and what events should be. Two issues in and this is one of Marvel's best events in many years.
  • 90

    Word Of The Nerd

    I think the biggest praise I could give King in Black #2 is that after reading the final page I immediately wanted issue #3. It made me want more of it. For me and, I assume, many others, that is a pretty solid sign of a good book. I am not even really that big into what has been going on in Venom recently, but man, King in Black has grabbed ahold of me and I am loving every minute of it! This is what an “event” comic should be. Full of action and intrigue, but still finding some heart and soul through all of it as well. King in Black #2 is a definite winner.
  • 85

    Comic Book Revolution

    King In Black #2 picks up where the first issue left off and does not miss a beat. Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman do a great job throughout this issue getting over how the remaining Marvel heroes now have their backs against the wall. This situation led to a lot of character interactions and decisions that add greater interest in how things will turn out when all is said and done with King In Black.
  • 80

    Comics: The Gathering

    The cool thing about Venom’s story now involving the larger Marvel universe is that Stegman and Mayer get to really show their skill. Their ability to clearly communicate such a wide range of characters’ personality traits through their acting is nothing short of astounding. Stegman’s work feels very deliberate and in sync with the words provided by Cates, making for a very cohesive experience on every page. Finally, Frank Martin has more opportunity to direct his coloring effort towards emotional effect in this issue, and it pays off. Without getting into spoilers, his lighting choices significantly raised the stakes on more than one occasion in this issue.
  • 79

    Weird Science Marvel Comics

    Ryan Stegman's visuals are at their peak in this second chapter of the newest Cates event. Cates himself writes a story that works surprisingly well even with the the most important characters almost completely missing or out of commission through the whole issue.
  • 78

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    KING IN BLACK #2 is a base hit, where KING IN BLACK #1 was a home run.
  • 70

    Horror DNA

    We're in uncharted territory with King in Black, with such a monumental force seemingly taking over the planet in one fell swoop. Earth's heroes are falling one by one and hope is dwindling. Things don't get any better in this issue. With such a wild ride so far, I have to wonder where this can possibly go next.
  • 69

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    Readers, Knull is barely in the issue nor is any of the symbiotes that are taking over the world. The most amazing facets of the story surrounding our heroes being taken over are merely touched on, as well as some of their sacrifices. Why? Readers wont mind a fast-paced story as long as you dont leave out the best parts. Instead, the purpose of the issue is to place Eddie Brock at the center of the Marvel landscape and make him the most important linchpin to the 616 Universe. And fans, thats just a hard pill to swallow. Cates is forcing Eddie to be something hes not… something thats never really been apart of the character before. It feels like a square peg in a round hole. Maybe if the lead up in VENOM concentrated more on boosting Eddie instead of taking him on a magical mystery tour to islands and alternate realities, we could buy that. But right now, I cant. I absolutely loved KING IN BLACK #1 … but what happened?
  • 60


    King in Black is playing out as a gloomy and depressing event with little to root for or get excited about. The tie-ins have been incredibly well done, but so far the event isn't doing enough, especially in a second issue that is more about setup than progressing the plot. Knull continues to be a mystery as well. That said, the book looks great and hits those blockbuster notes we desire -- it's just not presenting a narrative that'll keep your interest.
  • 50

    Newsarama by Gamesradar+

    Two issues in, King in Black has yet to have a moment that really sticks with you after you read it. Future issues will need to focus on the heart of the story, otherwise this becomes just another event.

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.


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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