REVIEW: ‘King In Black,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

King in Black #3 - But Why Tho?King in Black #3 is written by Donny Cates, penciled by Ryan Stegman, inked by JP Mayer, colored by Frank Martin, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It is published by Marvel Comics. Following the events of the second issue, Eddie Brock has died at Knull’s hand. His son Dylan uses his uncanny ability over symbiotes to start freeing several of Earth’s heroes from Knull’s grasp, while Thor faces the King in Black in solo combat.

King in Black works as an event series because the seeds for its inception were planted during the beginning of Cates and Stegman’s run on Venom. Now those seeds are bearing beautiful fruit, from Dylan’s ability to disrupt Knull’s powers to Thor being one of the few beings who can actually hurt the dark deity. Most event series also give off the empty promise of change, but King in Black actually is making massive changes to the Venom mythos.

This is due to the care and craft that the creative team puts into the book. Cates’s script is packed full of moments that range from emotional, like Dylan tearing up over Eddie’s body, to awe-inspiring, like Thor’s entrance. Cates gives the God of Thunder some of the best lines in the issue, including cutting off one of Knull’s speeches with a savage retort. (The entire issue is also narrated by a mysterious figure that turns out to have ties to another series Cates wrote, and keeping in tradition with his other work leads to a jaw-dropper of a cliffhanger.)

Stegman and Mayer go all out with their packing the issue wall to wall with fight scenes. They also get to illustrate several splash pages, featuring highlights such as Spider-Man and Wolverine charging into battle and Iron Man riding a symbiote dragon. Blade even leads an army of vampires into battle alongside the Invisible Woman! However, the crown jewel of the issue is Thor and Knull’s fight. Their fight is every bit as epic and earthshaking as one would expect, with both deities dealing immense blows to each other.

Rounding out the artistic team is Martin on colors, who adds bluish-white lightning to the crimson red skies-courtesy of Thor. Martin employs a neat visual trick that features characters’ silhouettes standing out against the reddish skies. This makes for several eye-popping images, including Dylan catching a Knullified Captain America’s shield and Thor and Knull charging at each other.

Perhaps the biggest standout image comes from the first page. The issue begins in the middle of space, then starts whizzing past dead planets and stars until it stops at the symbiote covered Earth. Stegman, Meyer, and Martin give this image a cinematic flair that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Star Wars movie, and they don’t even need an opening crawl to hook the reader’s attention!

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 Black…as well as what lies ahead for Dylan Brock.

King in Black #3 is available now wherever comics are sold.

King in Black #3
5

TL;DR

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 Black…as well as what lies ahead for Dylan Brock.