Published October 9, 2020

NYCC Metaverse: Watch the Venom/King in Black Panel Now

Editor Devin Lewis joing writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman for the lowdown on Marvel's upcoming event!

If Marvel's massive symbiote story is on your NYCC Metaverse wish list, you're in luck! Join Marvel editor Devin Lewis, writer Donny Cates, and artist Ryan Stegman as they get into the nitty gritty of Marvel's upcoming comic event KING IN BLACK! Who will be part of this fearsome fight? Who is the greatest threat? Who will step up to be a hero? Will there be another symbiote dog?

You can watch the whole New York Comic Con x MCM Metaverse panel above! Here's a recap:

Lewis kicked off the panel with a promise that KING IN BLACK will change everything you thought you knew about the symbiotes and serve as the culmination of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s two-year run on VENOM. The event will involve almost every major Marvel hero who must all rally around Eddie Brock in his final confrontation with Knull, God of the Symbiotes.

Donny Cates said he’s excited for everyone to be “excited-slash-furious at us.”

Team Venom talked about “reinventing the mythos” of Venom and the symbiotes and the Knull Trilogy: Venom Rex, ABSOLUTE CARNAGE, and KING IN BLACK.

Cates said that Knull is “on a warpath across the stars heading straight for us” after being released.

“What’s really fun about KING IN BLACK is that it’s got a little bit different of a structure… ABSOLUTE CARNAGE, everyone was taken off-guard. Carnage has come back from the dead and he’s this god-tier, Doomsday cleric for Knull.” Since there has been more time with Knull, Eddie’s role in the Marvel Universe has become more prominent. And now, with his closer ties to other Marvel characters like Captain America, Eddie has “been able to prepare them. So what you’re gonna see in KING IN BLACK is a united front of the entire Marvel pantheon, gathered together with a foolproof plan to defeat Knull that goes perfectly, and doesn’t fall apart whatsoever.”

It’s gonna go super great, everyone! A very feel-good series.

Just kidding. It’s going to be BONKERS for everyone involved.

Lewis teased a massively epic page by Stegman that he can’t wait for people to see featuring Knull, a character he co-created to “go up against the entire Marvel Universe.”

Stegman: “I always loved Marvel characters, so to get to draw so many of them is pretty amazing … The fact that we created Knull, and that he’s a threat to the entire Marvel Universe, and that it’s going over well… now we get to have him run roughshod over the universe, and I get to draw all the characters I always dreamed of.”

Cates talked about the roots of creating Knull and the “gamble” they took for this story that has been “years in the making.” He said the threads that have been showing up in other books like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, DOCTOR STRANGE, and SILVER SURFER BLACK are all leading up to something that he can’t wait to reveal. He’s had this story in mind even before writing VENOM, calling it a “grand tapestry”      

Cates: “SILVER SURFER BLACK was absolutely engineered in order to place certain characters in certain situations by the end of it so that they would be crucial keys to locks that needed unlocking in KING IN BLACK.”

King in Black #1
KING IN BLACK (2020) #1

They also talked about their approach to KING IN BLACK following ABSOLUTE CARNAGE, and how this time was a bit different. Cates and Stegman talked about what they’ve learned and what they could do better, “particularly in regards to the scale of the event, and how do you get that grand scale, that ‘Marvel versus Everyone,’ galactic, huge, end-of-the-world threat kind of thing, and with such an immense cast of characters, how do you do that while simultaneously giving each of these ‘guest stars’ their own kind of shining moment that defines them as a character … while also keeping it very centrally focused emotionally on the man who is carrying this event on his back, which is Eddie Brock?”

Team Venom also gave a shoutout to the other creators who have been together for several books and events: Frank Martin, Clayton Cowell, and Iban Coello, who has provided art on the VENOM tie-ins.

Stegman: “It’s been a joy to watch him grow and expand his abilities. He was great coming in, but he’s gotten even better throughout the series.”

Then they turned back to what will be happening in VENOM and KING IN BLACK: Lewis said that Knull is “not bringing a couple hundred dragons, it’s a couple hundred thousand dragons.”

A few more hints about what’s to come:

  • Cates says they’re leaning into the “cosmic dark horror” more than before for VENOM and its tie-ins.
  • Cates: “Don’t read VENOM #31 until you’ve read KING IN BLACK #1. Please, please don’t do that.”
  • The VENOM arc takes inspiration from things like The Dark Tower, The Matrix, and Event Horizon, according to Cates.
  • Cates also teases several “Oh my god, Marvel let them do this??” moments in KING IN BLACK.
  • Lewis: “New York ensnared in dragons”
  • Stegman on dragons: “Hard to draw.” He added that there might actually be “a million dragons.” Marvelites, keep your eyes peeled.

What effects will this have on the Marvel Universe?

Cates said, “The events of KING IN BLACK change Eddie Brock in a profound way. … This is a fundamental change to Eddie Brock, and his place in the larger universe, and his place as a Marvel character going forward.”

Stegman ominously added: “Good luck to anyone who has to work on it after us.”

Another milestone to look forward to: The first issue of VENOM following KING IN BLACK is VENOM #200.

It was a lively, fun panel about putting your favorite characters in mortal danger under the threat of a seemingly unstoppable cosmic god. And in case you didn’t think it could get crazier: Can ghosts have symbiotes?

For more details about New York Comic Con x MCM Metaverse, including the full schedule, guest list, and merch, visit! And for the latest on Marvel at NYCC Metaverse, stay tuned to all week!


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