King In Black (2020-) #5 by Donny Cates

King In Black (2020-) #5 (of 5)King In Black (2020-) #5 by Donny Cates
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

King In Black comes to an end and, while I warmed to it and kinda’ got into it by the end…this really wasn’t for me.

It’s still a good comic, though. Well written and with excellent art, but I just have no real connection to any of these characters…which is a me problem, I know.

I’m honestly not sure why I read this, other than a desire to find out in what way the X-Men would be involved. The answer being that some of them were just…there…included in the action, but never really the focus of it. Cates, inevitably, focuses on the characters he knows, and actually has some control over.

So, stuff happens, I’ll not spoil the ending, but Venom fans should be suitably pleased with it all.

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King In Black: Wiccan And Hulking (2021) #1 (King In Black One-Shots by Tini Howard

King In Black: Wiccan And Hulking (2021) #1 (King In Black One-Shots (2020-))King In Black: Wiccan And Hulking (2021) #1 (King In Black One-Shots by Tini Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was rather lovely!

Written by the ever awesome Tini Howard and illustrated by the fabulously talented Luciano Vecchio (check out his art in The Interactives from Markosia, written by my good friend Pete Rogers, coloured by my other good friend Yel Zamor and lettered by my very good self), this issue picks up with the newly weds, Wiccan and Hulkling, being gifted a much needed honeymoon by the Shi’ar.

Of course everything does not go as planned, and the couple’s alone time is rudely interrupted by a boat load of symbiotes who insist that there can be only one…king, that is, and that king is Knull.

Much saving of the day ensues.

It’s a lot of fun and it’s beautifully illustrated (even if I am a little biased) and I’d love to see this creative team tackle an ongoing Wiccan and Hulking book.

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King In Black (2020-) #4 by Donny Cates

King In Black (2020-) #4 (of 5)King In Black (2020-) #4 by Donny Cates
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, I’m definitely into this now, it’s taken me a while but…yeah…this was pretty damn good.

I like the fact that Cates is genuinely working all of the Marvel Universe into this, rather than the usual thing of forgetting that some incredibly powerful heroes exist who could probably lend a hand.

Instead we have jean Grey turn up and use her immense telepathic abilities to help break Knull’s hold on Dylan, and, in turn, bring Doctor Strange, Thor and other back into the fight.

Perhaps ore significantly is the Silver Surfer’s involvement…because why wouldn’t the Surfer be involved? He breaks through the barrier to Earth allowing…something else to make it through.

And what this is would be a big old spoiler. But suffice it to say that Cates appears to be making one of the more obscure corners of the Marvel Universe relevant again…or maybe, really, relevant for the first time.

The art is superb too, and it all makes for a very fun read.

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King In Black (2020-) #3 by Donny Cates

King In Black (2020-) #3 (of 5)King In Black (2020-) #3 by Donny Cates
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I keep giving this series three stars, but in actual fact it’s been getting better with every issue…or, rather, I’ve been enjoying it more. And I’ll also add that I’m certain that had I been reading all the lead up to this event I’d be a lot more into it than I am.

This issue is pretty much all action, but it’s very well done, and Cates manages to keep the plot moving. The Thor/Knull fight is pretty awesome and Knull comes across as a genuine threat. Also, Iron Man riding a giant dragon and then co-opting a Celestial as a giant suit of armour is, indeed, pretty cool.

It’s not this series’ fault that I really don’t care about the characters, though. That said, I think more could have been made of the death of Eddie Brock, but, then, I assume it was over in his own book…

This is by no means bad, it’s just not for me…but it’s managing to draw me in with each passing issue.

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King In Black (2020-) #2 by Donny Cates

King In Black (2020-) #2 (of 5)King In Black (2020-) #2 by Donny Cates
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, this is better…or maybe that as it’s #2 I’m not coming in completely cold and so I’m a bit less confused as to what’s going.

Knull, the titular King In Black, is notable by his complete absence from this issue, however. Not that he was really in the first part much either. I get the feeling that he’s off doing things in the various tie-in series. I assume that’s also where various heroes, including Cyclops, The Thing and Storm got taken over by him too. This is always a problem with these big event books, if you’re not reading all the tie-in issues then things seem to just randomly happen without any real explanation.

That said, this issue is more tightly focused on attempts to heal Eddie Brock and come up with a plan to defeat Knull…which, uh, aren’t exactly successful. But, hey, there are five issues of this, you can’t expect everything to be solved by #2!

The art continues to be excellent, of course. Stegman’s doing a great job. But, yeah, this event is definitely not new reader friendly, but as I said in my review of #1, I wasn’t really expecting it to be. I’m really just here to check if it’ll have any real impact on the X-Men…which I doubt. And to read a few of the tie-in books, I guess. But, hey, maybe I’ll start to get into it, I know this issue drew me in a little more.

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