King In Black has taken the Symbiotes to a whole new level with their standing in the Marvel Universe. That is all thanks to the masterful way that Donny Cates has built up Knull, the ruler of the Symbiote planet, as one of the biggest threats that exists in the Marvel Universe. The villain has only been further elevated through the actions he has taken to completely takeover the Marvel Universe and leave very few heroes left standing to take him on. Things got even worse for our heroes as King In Black #2 ended with Eddie Brock seemingly passing away from the injuries he sustained fighting Knull. What will this mean for how King In Black will progress from here? Let’s find out with King In Black #3.
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Ryan Stegman
Inker: JP Mayer
Colorist: Frank Martin
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Dylan Brock mourns the death of his father, Eddie Brock.
Meanwhile Invisible Woman and Blade lead the vampires to fight Knull’s Symbiote army, which includes a Symbiote controlled Cyclops. As they fight Invisible Woman calls on Reed Richards to get going with the plan.
Reed Richards proceeds to talk with Namor, Captain Marvel, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Magneto, and Charles Xavier that their mission is now to protect Dylan Brock at all costs.
Dylan suddenly taps into his Symbiote based powers ready to kill Knull. Spider-Man and Wolverine back Dylan up in the escape. The Symbiote Captain America suddenly shows up and throws his shield at them. Dyaln catches the shield and immediately uses his powers to turn Captain America back to normal.
Knull senses this and immediately turns his attention to attacking Dylan. As Knull moves absorb Dylan and his powers Thor suddenly shows up to provide the heroes with the back up they needed.
All of the heroes work to protect Dylan. As they do that Dylan uses his powers to turn the heroes Knull was controlling with the Symbiotes possessing them back to normal.
Knull finally has enough and personally goes to Dylan’s location. Thor immediately stands in Knull’s way. This leads to Thor and Knull clashing. Initially Knull is able to gain the advantage in the fight with Thor. This gives Knull the chance to begin the process to absorb Dylan’s powers. Thor stops this by launching a massive attack that knocks Knull’s chin off his face.
As that happens Iron Man calls out to the others to inform them that Knull has activated the Symbiote Celestials.
This development distracts Thor long enough for Knull to recover and form his Symbiote sword. Knull then proceeds to drive his sword straight through Thor’s chest.
Iron Man suddenly shows up with the Symbiote Dragon that he was able to tame with the help of Dylan. Iron Man uses this new connection to gain control of one of the Symbiote Celestials to make them fight one another.
As Knull is about to absorb Dylan’s powers Thor calls on sends out his cosmic ravens to recruit the help they need. Not long after the cosmic ravens leave, they return with Silver Surfer speeding to Earth. End of issue.
The Good: King In Black #3 is a showcase of how to maintain the momentum created by earlier issues in an event and constantly elevating what just happened. There is never a page or panel that felt like the story was waiting to gestate what just occurred. We were constantly on the move feeling the impact of every moment that proceeded King In Black #3.
All of this created a sense of urgency even in the moments that characters did get a brief moment to talk with each other. Even when the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and X-Men were able to have a conversation about their plan you always felt that they could not waste time. They needed to say exactly what the plan was without arguing about who is leading things or if it is the right move for them.
That all speaks to how big and credible of a threat that Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman have built Knull to be. At all times Knull is presented as this larger-than-life threat who must be treated seriously. You are constantly on edge expecting Knull to make things even worse for the remaining heroes that are left to fight him. There is just an aura of fear around the villain that is further elevated by how Earth has been turned into another Symbiote planet.
This made how Cates brings Dylan Brock to the forefront as the most important person in this war against Knull so fascinating. The way things quickly developed the story in King In Black turned into how our heroes could defend Dylan while the kid used his connection to the Symbiotes to help them turn things around. Setting things up in this way gave way for a clear understanding of what Dylan’s powers were and how they are playing such a key factor in the King In Black story.
In showcasing the kid’s power set Cates also gets us further invested in Dylan Brock’s character development with how he tapped into that power. Seeing Dylan mourn his father, Eddie Brock’s, death made for a great trigger that fully got you behind why Dylan would become more proactive. Dylan wants to take out the thing responsible for killing his father. That is a powerful motivational tool that made you keep an eye out for any time Dylan was on screen.
All of this was the perfect set up to finally bring Thor into play and once again present him as the Superman of the Marvel Universe. As soon as you see Thor appear on screen there is an immediate sense that things are turning around for our heroes. Even if that isn’t how it turns out, Cates does a fantastic job showing how Thor is one of the few people who can go toe-to-toe with Knull and win. The fight Thor and Knull get into came across as a clash of titans where you did not know who would win.
Having the fight end with Knull using the Celestials he is controlling to provide the opening to incapacitate Thor was well done. This showed how Knull does understand that he cannot simply fight Thor in a fair fight and win. He needed to use all of the weapons at his disposal to defeat the God of Thunder. Which he did by using Thor’s respect for the Celestial to give himself the opening he needed to take down Thor.
While Knull was able to defeat Thor, Cates does a good job keeping the hope alive for our heroes throughout King In Black #3. The last few pages with Iron Man controlling one of the Symbiote Dragons and then the final appearance of Silver Surfer all help show that this story is far from over. There are still ways for our heroes to fight back against Knull. Which makes what the next steps in Knull’s plan something to look forward to as King In Black continues.
With King In Black #3 being so action heavy Ryan Stegman once again steps up big to deliver the exciting artwork that you expect from a big comic book event. This issue was relentless with how you always felt like we were moving forward with one action set piece after another. The clash between Thor and Knull looked like a fight between two God-like beings. This all leads to the final splash page of Silver Surfer’s arrival having you even more pumped up for what will happen next in King In Black.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: The war that the Marvel Universe’s greatest heroes have found themselves in against Knull and the Symbiotes continued to escalate with each passing page of King In Black #3. The appearance of Thor and another major cosmic character further elevate what is going on with Marvel’s latest big event. By the end of King In Black #3 you are left even more hyped for what comes next. And as a fan that is all I can ask for from an ongoing story.
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