ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘King In Black: Planet of the Symbiotes,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Planet of the Symbiotes #1

Planet of the Symbiotes issue #1 published by Marvel Comics, is a mini tie-in series to King in Black. The issue is comprised of two stories. “Scream” is written by Clay McLeod Chapman, art by Guiu Vilanova, and colors by Dean White. “Ravencroft” is written by Frank Tieri, art by Danilo S. Beyruth, and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg. The lettering for both stories was created by VC’s Cory Petit.

Knull has invaded Earth, and his infection of symbiotes has spread around the globe causing mass havoc and utter carnage. The Avengers have been ravaged, with some members succumbing to the hive, while the rest have gone into hiding trying to devise a plan of redemption. Eddie Brock likes physically broken, while his soul is trapped in the hive mind with some unlikely allies. Meanwhile, there are still a number of other Earth-born symbiotic partnerships roaming the globe trying to avoid the supremacy of Knull.

“Scream” details the events of Andi Benton, and her symbiote of the same name. The latter was a prior member of a pack of deviant symbiotes that are the offspring of Venom himself. When last we saw Andi, she was dealing with the events of Absolute Carnage, but it seems she’s never far from the action. In her mini-story, she comes face to face with her old siblings: Riot, Lasher, Agony, and Phage. Her prior family is hunting down the son of Eddie Brock, but can’t tell the difference between one human child to another, so it’s up to Scream to stop them.

Chapman has such a knack for writing this character, and the story is really entertaining. Andi’s voice via the narrative dialogue is such a direct, waste no time voice. The plot is packed with action and hits all the best bits of a Symbiote storyline. The most frustrating part is just simply left wanting more to see where this story goes.

Vilanova’s art, mixed with White’s colors delivers a delightfully messy visualization, with the living suits bleeding over into other panels. The individual suit designs are all enjoyably unique with colors that make them pop from the page. There are a lot of brilliant individual pieces of art to entertain you during this story, with the Scream close-ups being number one with a bullet.

“Ravencroft” unearths the sinister story of Cortland Kasady, a descendant of the Cletus Kasady, better known as Carnage. In this dark tale, the all-powerful Knull personally pays a visit to Ravencroft institute for the criminally insane to resurrect his long-standing servant and endow him with some new and terrifying abilities.

Tieri’s story comes in the subsequent party of the issue, and Ravencroft continues to be a dark, and terrifying location. The story itself offers very little hope to the would-be guardians of the institute, as a new symbiote is born, blessed with horrendous powers, terrorizes the security. Tieri addresses the horror element well, and the use of Cortland Kasady was a touch of class, tying back to the Ruins of Ravencroft mini-series.

Beyruth’s art starts off a little wobbly, and the colors from Rosenberg sadly follows suit. As the story progresses, however, the creatives hit bigger, and more frightening visuals. The introduction of  Plague, and how he raises himself from the crypt is just a great image. The design is part specter, part symbiote, with the transcendent hues of purple reinforcing the image of evil incarnate.

Petit’s lettering is very good, given he balances the depiction of dialogue for two very different plots. The speech is well placed, and doesn’t distract from the images, while maintaining the flow of the stories.

Overall, Planet of the Symbiotes #1 is a great read for any Venomaniac. These are the kind of tie-in stories that add extra depth to a major event like The King in Black, as he wreaks havoc across the Marvel comic universe. I just can’t get enough of these symbiote stories. The issue is more than worth its weight in value with two different stories to pour over, and as promised by the editors, more to come in the future! Oh, what a time to be a Venom fan at the moment.

Planet of the Symbiotes issue #1 is available in stores on January 13th, 2021.


King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #1
4

TL;DR

Overall, Planet of the Symbiotes #1 is a great read for any Venomaniac. These are the kind of tie-in stories that add extra depth to a major event like The King in Black, as he wreaks havoc across the Marvel comic universe. I just can’t get enough of these symbiote stories. The issue is more than worth its weight in value with two different stories to pour over, and as promised by the editors, more to come in the future! Oh, what a time to be a Venom fan at the moment.