Comics
Published December 23, 2020

Darkness Looms in 'King in Black' #2

Spoiler alert! Has a hero already fallen to Knull’s rampage?

Warning! This article contains spoilers for today's KING IN BLACK #2, so read on at your own risk, True Believers!

Last year, Venom and the heroes of the Marvel Universe triumphed over Carnage in ABSOLUTE CARNAGE. However, they are currently paying the price for that victory in KING IN BLACK. Eddie Brock had to choose between saving the world and saving his son, Dylan. He chose Dylan, and Knull was subsequently freed to resume his campaign to bring darkness back to every corner of creation. Within the first issue, Knull easily overpowered Earth’s heroes, before stealing the Venom symbiote and letting Eddie fall from a tall building.

Writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman continue their tale this week in KING IN BLACK #2.

KING IN BLACK #2

But the VENOM collaborators didn’t go easy on Eddie. There was no last minute save, and Eddie slammed into a car. Miraculously, Eddie survived with severe injuries, which briefly frustrated Knull.

Fittingly, the only hero who was able to reach Eddie’s broken body was Spider-Man. Years before, Venom was Spidey’s greatest enemy. While it would be a stretch to call them friends, they have both moved past their former enmity. Together, they’ve faced fearsome foes like Carnage and Red Goblin. This time, Eddie wasn’t able to help Spidey take on the newest threat. The good news is that Knull didn’t kill the first wave of heroes. The bad news is that they’ve been “Knull-ified.” Cyclops, Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Storm, the Thing, and She-Hulk now serve a new master.

Spidey’s oldest friend, the Human Torch, was able to give Peter and Eddie a chance to escape. But unleashing his Nova Blast left the Torch vulnerable, and he understood that Knull would be able to claim him as well. The heroes regrouped at the Fantastic Four’s headquarters, where Eddie’s life was held by a thread. Jane Foster, AKA Valkyrie, told Spider-Man that Eddie didn’t have much time left. She literally saw the specter of death hanging over him. It fell to Spider-Man to share the bad news with Dylan. But Eddie’s son already knew that his dad had been grievously injured.

Tellingly, Professor Xavier and Magneto pulled back their support for the heroes after losing so many of their own to Knull’s initial attack. Times are so desperate that even Phil Coulson’s Squadron Supreme may align with their rivals, the Avengers. The biggest game changer may be the arrival of Namor the Sub-Mariner. He’s been at odds with Earth’s heroes lately, but Namor is ready to defend his world against Knull.

KING IN BLACK: NAMOR #1

KING IN BLACK: NAMOR #1 recently took a look at Namor’s past with the Swift Tide, a team of heroes who were champions of Atlantis. The link between that series and KING IN BLACK may have been revealed here, as Tony Stark suggested that Namor free the Black Tide. It has not been confirmed that the Black Tide was once the Swift Tide. Yet Namor noted that the Black Tide were cursed by ancient Atlantean magic. He also indicated that it may not be easy to imprison them again. Meanwhile, Blade proposed an alliance with his ongoing nemeses, Dracula and the Vampire Nation. And in New York, Mayor Wilson Fisk enlisted several villains for a mission of their own.

Iron Man argued that Eddie’s survival was of the utmost importance, because he has the ability to break into the symbiote hive mind that Knull uses to control his horde. That’s whyTony used Extremis to capture a symbiote dragon, all in the hopes that it could save Eddie’s life. Unfortunately, even Tony’s technology wasn’t enough to dispel Knull’s influence over the symbiote. It attacked Eddie’s body before Dylan used his own powers to destroy it.

Reed Richards was initially euphoric at Dylan’s display, because it meant that he could be the key to freeing the world from Knull. But that brief moment of hope was shattered by the apparent demise of Eddie. 

Is this the end of Venom?

We’ll learn more when KING IN BLACK #3 arrives next month!

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