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King In Black #3 (of 5)

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 12 critic ratings.

After last issue’s shocking finale, the heroes of the Marvel Universe are reeling.

Outgunned and outmanned, but never outdone, they unite and face KNULL, God of the Abyss, as he ensnares the planet in the darkness of his reign!

Superstars DONNY CATES and RYAN STEGMAN continue to raise the game — and the stakes for the Marvel Universe in this Earth-shattering epic!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
27 pages
Amazon ASIN

12 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    But Why Tho?

    King in Black #3 beautifully brings several seeds from Donny Cates, and Ryan Stegman's Venom run to fruit and features a battle three years in the making. With only two issues left, I can't wait to see how our heroes finally defeat the King in well as what lies ahead for Dylan Brock.
  • 91

    On Comics Ground

    King in Black vs God of Thunder! Thor finally arrives to aid in the war against Knull, but will he be enough to turn the tide? Find out!!
  • 90


    King in Black #3 is very good at registering the weight of the moment and leaning into high-octane entertainment. That's why the big twists always feel important to the story, even if they're totally bonkers. The event itself is intriguing--thanks in part to well-written tie-in stories--whereas the event itself is like a good series of jabs with a strong roundhouse kick to the head every eight pages. Whether or not it can land on its feet matters not, as long as you tie the bandana tighter and go in without a care in the world.
  • 90

    Comic Watch

    What can we say about this issue without spoilers? Well, we do know that King in Black is masterfully crafted and continues to carve out a spot at the table of Marvel masterpieces, that much we do know for sure.
  • 90

    Comics: The Gathering

    With only two issues left the stakes have never been higher, there are some incredible battles here and real fan pleasing moments in this issue. It’s clear how long this event has been in the planning, and fans of Cates’ work in general will be rewarded for having read all his Marvel work. Answers to the mysteries surrounding Dylan feel close by, and however this event ends it’s guaranteed to change Venom forever. If you're a fan of Marvel, Cates and/or Stegman, you owe it to yourself to pick this comic up.
  • 90

    Comic Book Revolution

    The war that the Marvel Universe's greatest heroes have found themselves in against Knull and the Symbiotes continued to escalate with each passing page of King In Black #3. The appearance of Thor and another major cosmic character further elevate what is going on with Marvel's latest big event. By the end of King In Black #3 you are left even more hyped for what comes next. And as a fan that is all I can ask for from an ongoing story.
  • 86

    Graphic Policy

    King in Black #3 continues an epic story. While it foreshadows things a bit too much the end of the comic made me forgive that with a new player on the field. Things really feel epic but at the same time the issue and story stays focused on a small cast. There's been a string of misses as far as major events in recent years but King in Black continues to impress and exceed expectations.
  • 85

    The Super Powered Fancast

    Ryan Stegman is a master at eliciting mood and tone with the art in this issue. There are great detailed elements throughout, but Stegman has done a great job of bringing the darkness of the story to life in the expressions of the characters. An impressive and beautifully detailed issue.
  • 80

    You may lose some of the book's magic if you spend too much time thinking about every little detail, but this is a damn fun ride, just how event books should be.
  • 80

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    KING IN BLACK #3 delivers several impressive moments, with a glorious last page.
  • 60

    Horror DNA

    King in Black keeps getting bigger, not just in this main series, but with its many tie-ins. It's still in a growth phase with no hope for any of the heroes here. We've seen that over the first two chapters already and this is more of the same. Judging by the way this issue ended, we could be in for another month of this bloodshed. The action is off the charts, but the story itself hasn't quite come together just yet.
  • 58

    Multiversity Comics

    "King in Black" #3 looks cool and has enough cool to satisfy die hard "Venom" or Cates fans but it's overwritten and lacks the emotional connections needed to sell the event as a whole.

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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