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King In Black #5 (of 5)

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 12 critic ratings.


Bonded with the God of Light, Eddie battles Knull once more. By combining Thor’s hammer Mjolnir and Silver Surfer’s board into one weapon Eddie gains the advantage and seemingly destroys Knull, leaving Eddie with a new role to fill.

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
36 pages
Amazon ASIN

12 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100

    But Why Tho?

    King in Black #5 serves as the perfect conclusion to one of the best Marvel events ever and sets up a new status quo for Venom. Though Cates and Stegmans time on Venom is coming to an end, the work they have done with the Lethal Protector is groundbreaking in every sense of the word.
  • 100

    Comics: The Gathering

    This issue demonstrates two masters at the top of the game, crafting an ending to not only the King in Black event but also their years long run on Venom. A satisfying ending which ties up most, if not all, of the loose plot threads from their run. An ending to an event that felt truly universe threatening. This issue, along with the entire event, is not to be missed.
  • 94

    The Super Powered Fancast

    Stegman takes the epic scope of the story and brings it to life brilliantly with the art in this issue. There are beautifully done action and fight moments that are contrasted by amazing character moments. A great looking issue from start to finish.
  • 90

    On Comics Ground

    The climactic ending to Marvel's latest event is here! How will Eddie defeat the King in Black, Knull? And what awaits him in the future? Let's find out!
  • 85


    Many may think it was too easy to come to this conclusion. Certainly, Venom didn't have to try all that hard to defeat Knull, but given the event's simple and certain focus it makes a lot of sense. This is not the most complex or interesting event ever, but it never tried to be anything it wasn't. For that, you have to respect its hyper-focus on a Knull vs. Venom showdown to end things, even if the advantages from either side weren't earned. King in Black #5 ends by asking, "What if Venom could be the strongest there is?" and for that, it succeeds in showing off a hero's very best day.
  • 85

    Comic Book Revolution

    Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman made sure that the final battle between Venom and Knull was as epic as possible. And that is exactly what we got as King In Black #5 delivered an action packed conclusion that had some good heart at the end. This will definitely go down as one of Marvel's best big event. If you missed out on getting King In Black in single issues I highly recommend reading it when it comes out in hardcover or trade paperback form.
  • 80

    Graphic Policy

    King in Black #5 was a total package of fun and excitement, coupled with some really cool art. Im not huge on Marvel or DC events but my overall feeling is that this one ended up being fun while also bringing a lot of stuff that Cates has worked on at Marvel to a head. As far as Venom goes, King in Black serves as a good exclamation point on a really great run for the character. Not sure if its worth the cost of admission but I think youd like what you would read.
  • 80

    King in Black is bananas. It's big, explosive, and bordering upon absurd, when you really think about it. It's also excellent, an exercise in how much fun a comic can be when everyone involved fully buys into its vision.
  • 80

    Horror DNA

    As it stands, this is a satisfying albeit abrupt conclusion to King in Black. There are a few open questions about what this means for the symbiotes, Eddie, and his son Dylan, however we've got Venom #200 coming soon to presumably wrap all those up. This is some absolutely epic action-horror, showcasing a perfect blend of the genres, playing out in the heart of a super hero universe. It's a dynamite combination.
  • 70

    Graphic Policy

    King in Black #5 is a fine finale. It wraps up the event well and there's some cathartic aspects to it. But, for an event that was so good, it's a bit of a letdown. The comic lacks that memorable moment and the one it delivers feels like we've seen before. It's the end sequence for a summer popcorn film that attempts to be full of ideas and visuals but lacks depth.
  • 65

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    I would be lying if I said the story wasnt interesting. It certainly had my attention. However, as comics go, it was missing logical sequences as well as a chain of events that fit. Cates practically made Eddie Brock a Messiah. And might I add, there are many characters I can think of that fit those credentials more than him. Heck, this VENOM is so dang powerful he can literally stand in the sun! Really?!?! It can burn away the God of the Symbiotes but not a guy wearing something that very God created… I'm sorry, but the story just felt like it was skipping key essential components.
  • 60

    Weird Science Marvel Comics

    I've enjoyed enough of Donny Cates run on Venom, especially his Absolute Carnage event, but for the long three year Knull saga that the Venom book quite honestly was, it wasn't worth this. A swift and easy win from a hero who has had almost no presence in this event book, hosting the ultimate MacGuffin power, our big bad, fearsome, God-intimidating Knull is rendered void in the most undeserved conclusion. All things considered, Knull has left me knumb.

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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