King In Black Week Eight Might Be Small, But It Is Mighty
Marvel’s current event, King in Black, is starting to get bigger and bigger every week, but it looks like the editorial team needed a break for week eight. And it’s easy to see why – King in Black #3 is so epic; it makes the first two issues look quaint. And to balance the intensity of KiB #3, we also have Black Cat #2, which starts her heist to steal Doctor Strange from Knull, the god or the void. Should be a cakewalk. So, let’s take a look at these two issues, starting with the big one.
King in Black #3 Needed Week Eight To Be a Light One
I think you just need some eyedrops, son. (Image: King in Black #3, Marvel Comics)
Writer: Donny Cates
Penciler: Ryan Stegman
Inker: JP Mayer
Colorist: Frank Martin
It’s particularly hard to know where to start with this beast of a comic. Firstly, There’s the epic showdown, teased to perfection on the cover. Secondly, there’s the big cliffhanger. Also, we have Eddie Brock’s son, who is a little upset that Knull killed his dad. But really, let’s start with something a bit inconsequential but worth mentioning.
In Week Eight of King in Black We See, Once Again, Reed Richards Being a Jerk To a Preteen Boy
Dude, he’s right there! (Image: King in Black #3, Marvel Comics)
Seriously, Reed? At this instant, the kid is literally crying over his dad’s dead body, and you’re talking about him like a science project. He also calls “Protect Dylan” a mission, as if he isn’t in the room. Meanwhile, Spider-Man’s having none of that. Though Dylan’s newly found power is needed, Peter tells the kid that he doesn’t have to do anything if he doesn’t want to. That’s called empathy—and it is one of Reed Richards’ many failings. But in this case, it’s a bit more painful because Reed has kids about Dylan’s age. Either Cates doesn’t have a handle on the character, or Reed really is that obtuse (and for film nerds, did you immediately think about Shawshank Redemption when you read that? You’re welcome). Okay, now that that’s done, let’s talk about the kid.
Evidently, the Badass Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Badass Tree.
Eddie would be so proud. (Image: King in Black #3, Marvel Comics)
So, this kid. Yeah, he’s sad, and his eyes are doing some kind of creepy symbiote thing, but this kid is the biggest badass in an issue bursting with badasses (wait until we talk about Iron Man). With Wolverine and Spider-Man helping him protecting him, Dylan doesn’t cower, even if he is afraid. He now has the power to remove symbiotes not just from their hosts but also from Knull’s hivemind. But just to empathize, Dylan takes down a symbiote-enhanced Captain America without even touching him!
But even with Dyan’s enthusiasm to kill Knull, the heroes are still horribly overpowered. So, despite assists from Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Thor, Dylan still can’t face Knull on his own. He tries to use his power on the god, but it doesn’t work. But don’t worry, he has one more assist on the way. We’ll get to that soon.
Thor Finally Joins the Battle in King in Black Week Three
Thor has the best manners. (Image: King in Black #3, Marvel Comics)
In the very first issue of this event, the heroes were hoping for Thor to come to their aid. Well, they had to wait until week eight, but Thor finally brought the thunder in King in Black #3. Not only does he help Dylan fight symbiotes, but we also get an epic battle between him and Knull. I was going to post an image from that…but that scene above is a wonderful example of the great small moments in this series. So, we don’t really need to see Thor smashing Knull’s—ah, just kidding. Here’s Thor asking Knull to stop as politely as possible:
See? So polite. (Image: King in Black #3, Marvel Comics)
The kick in the nuts? It’s still not enough. With half a face, Knull still fights and overpowers Thor. Sure, he’s not able to rip him in half the way he did to the Sentry in week one, but he doesn’t leave Thor in a good place. However, there might be a silver lining here. His battle with Thor forces Knull to draw the All-Black, an incredibly powerful sword. But, while using the sword to stab Thor, Knull also decides that it’s time to use the two Celestials under his control.
He might regret that decision.
The Redemption of Tony Stark (and His New Pet)
If a symbiote dragon craps on you, is it still good luck. (Image: King in Black #3, Marvel Comics)
Previously, in issue one, Tony Stark screwed up royally. It’s sort of his trademark lately. But in King in Black: Iron Man/Doctor Doom, Doom (yes, that Doom) gives him a pep talk. It was a strange, touching moment between them. Evidently, it worked. While the Celestials are attacking New York City, Tony returns, riding on top of the dragon that he tried to merge to Eddie Brock. When Dylan removed the symbiote from his dad, he freed the symbiote from Knull. And Tony and the Dragon apparently become friends.
Now, Iron Man riding a dragon would be amazing enough, but Cates and Stegman go further, bringing yet another astounding moment to King in Black week eight. With his new pet dragon, they take over one of the Celestials, and Tony uses it as a suit:
Forget the Hulkbuster. This is a Symbiote-Celestial-Buster. (Image: King in Black #3, Marvel Comics)
But what could be bigger than this moment? The next one.
King in Black Week Eight Introduces the Opposite of Knull, the God of Darkness: the God of Light
The last page of King in Black will make week eight one of the most memorable of this entire event, regardless of what comes next. So, who is the god of light? The only Marvel superhero who could truly fill that role:
Now there’s a god I can believe in. (Image: King in Black #3, Marvel Comics)
Silver Surfer. However, as you can tell, he’s not so silver right now. In Donny Cates and Tradd Moore’s Silver Surfer: Black, the Surfer is thrown through a black hole to the beginning of time, and becomes the first hero to confront Knull. Though he survives the experience, his silver shell becomes corrupted. But something happens in Black that is very important to this: Surfer becomes part of the universe before he rematerializes. So, it looks like Norin Radd, like Wonder Woman in the road to DC Future State, ascended to godhood. Silver Surfer is a god. I think Stan Lee and Jack Kirby would more than approve of this development.
This issue had more memorable moments than most events have in their entire run. And we still have two issues left!
Black Cat #2 Give King in Black Week Eight Some Much-Needed Levity
Tom Cruise will have to top this in the next Mission Impossible movie. (Image: Black Cat #2, Marvel Comics)
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: C.F. Villa
Colorist: Brian Reber
With all the drama going on in the main title, it’s always nice to have a tie-in that can take it a little less seriously. Some, like Spider-Woman, were very serious. However, Black Cat is decidedly not. In the first issue, the King in Black – both the villain and the event – came crashing into Black Cat’s heist. But Captain America gave her a new heist—she has to steal Doctor Strange, free him from the symbiote orb he’s being held in. So, how will she accomplish this as a thief with a little bit of luck powers?
In style, of course.
This is a “bond with an anti-venom symbiote while jumping out of a helicopter into a solid sphere of symbiote” kind of heist. It’s a “follow a ghost dog to Doctor Strange and use an anti-venom suit to free him, then jump out of said orb” job. It’s a “grab a thin metal pole on the back of the Spider-Mobile as it drives up a skyscraper” caper. But even though she got Doctor Strange out of the prison, that doesn’t mean she’s in the clear. Unfortunately, being a symbiote, the prison itself turns back into a dragon and pursues them. What’s a thief to do?
Oh, good, my date’s here! (Image: Black Cat #2, Marvel Comics)
How about a “use the Asgardian artifact that Doctor Strange can barely control” kind of plan. Yeah, that’ll do it.
Before and After King in Black Week Eight
How are we not even halfway through this even yet?
- King in Black #1
- The Union #1
- Atlantis Attacks #5
- Venom #31
- King in Black: Namor #1
- Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #2
- King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1
- Black Cat #1
- King in Black #2
- Spider-Woman #7
- King in Black
- Iron Man/Doctor Doom #1
- King in Black: Namor #2
- Venom #32
- Guardians of the Galaxy #10
- Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #3
- Spider-Woman #8
- King in Black: Return of the Valkyries #1
- W.O.R.D. #2
- King in Black:
- Gwenom vs. Carnage #1
- Planet of the Symbiotes #1
- Thunderbolts #1
- The Union #2
King in Black Week Eight
- King in Black #3
- Black Cat #2
- Daredevil #26
- Savage Avengers #17
- Deadpool #10
- King in Black: Namor #3
- Venom #33
- King in Black:
- Gwenom vs. Carnage #2
- Return of the Valkyries #2
- Black Knight #1
- Marauders #1
- Daredevil #27
- Fantastic Four #29
- W.O.R.D. #3
- King in Black
- Thunderbolts #2
- Black Panther #1
- King in Black #4
- Miles Morales: Spider-Man #23
- King in Black
- Planet of the Symbiotes #2
- Captain America #1
- Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #4
- Black Cat #3
- King in Black
- Return of the Valkyries #3
- Namor #4
- King in Black
- Gwenom vs. Carnage #3
- Handbook #1
- Thunderbolts #3
- Wiccan and Hulkling #1
- King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #3
- Fantastic Four #30
- King in Black: Spider-Man #1
- W.O.R.D. #4
- King in Black #5
- Venom #34
- Savage Avengers #19
- King in Black: Scream #1
Epilogues and Otherwise
- Avengers #45
- Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #5
- Venom #200
- King in Black
- Return of the Valkyries #4
- Namor #5
- Ghost Rider #1
(Featured Image: King in Black #3, Marvel Comics)
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.