Marvel Comics has unveiled a slew of advance December solicitations for titles tying into its Venom-centric King in Black event, ahead of the publisher's full December 2020 solicitations expected later this month.
The titles solicited include the previously announced Black Cat #1, King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1, and King in Black: Doctor Doom/Iron Man #1, as well as the newly announced King in Black: Namor #1 and #2 by Kurt Busiek, Ben Dewey, and Jonas Scharf, a tie-in in Spider-Woman #7 Karla Pacheco and Pere Pérez, and of course the central titles of the event Venom #37, and King in Black #1 and #2.
"I got to co-create a whole new team of Marvel super-villains! Tom Brevoort asked if I could do a mini-series tie-in to the big King in Black epic that's spinning out of Venom, so I get to establish a group called the Sunken, some of the most dangerous threats the Atlantean Empire ever faced, and do an adventure involving them, a teenaged Namor, a teenaged Attuma, of all things, and even a group of undersea heroes from back in those days, who play a big part in the story," Busiek tells Newsarama.
"I'm getting to work with Benjamin Dewey again, my partner-in-adventure on our Autumnlands creator-owned book, who also drew the Marvels Spotlight: Fantastic Four issue earlier this year," he continues. "It's a pretty exciting story and a chance for both Ben and me to do undersea high fantasy and horror, with some cool dives into Atlantean history."
King in Black #1
"After a campaign across the galaxy, Knull's death march arrives to Earth and, worse yet, he hasn't come alone!" reads Marvel's description of King in Black #1. "With an army of hundreds of thousands of symbiote dragons at his command, the King in Black is a force unlike any Earth's heroes have ever faced."
"Eddie Brock, AKA Venom, has seen firsthand the chaos that even one of Knull's symbiotic monsters can wreak – will he survive an encounter with the God of the Abyss himself?" it continues. "From Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin and VC's Clayton Cowles comes the definitive chapter in their two-year-long Venom saga that changed everything you thought you knew about symbiotes!"
King in Black #2
Marvel's succinct solicitation text for King in Black #2 seems to say it all - "Hail to the king!"
Venom #31 by Donny Cates and Iban Coello finally brings Eddie Brock face-to-face with his destiny.
"What happens to Eddie Brock when he finally comes face to face with the lord of the abyss, the King in Black: Knull?" reads the official solicitation.
King in Black: Namor #1 (of 5)
King in Black: Namor flashes back to the past for a story of the young Sub-Mariner and other Atlanteans encountering Knull's forces.
"Spinning out of the King in Black epic comes a dark, chilling story of the birth of Atlantis's greatest villains. The players: Namor, Lady Dorma of Atlantis, the outsider Attuma — all still in their teen years — and The Swift Riders, the Atlantean Empire's greatest heroes," reads the official solicitation text.
"It begins with alliances and possibility, as Attuma's people may join the Empire…but what lies ahead is tragedy, betrayal, and the unleashing of dangerous, deadly magics," it continues. "A deep dive into Marvel history…and the birth of a threat that will only grow in menace across time."
King in Black: Namor #2
The Young Namor, Attuma and Dorma get to accompany the Swift Riders on a mission, see them in action and learn from them," reads the solicitation for King in Black: Namor #2, which continues the five-part limited series.
"But the mission involves Russian alchemists in 1930s Murmansk, a dangerous mystic relic, and a catastrophe that brings to life the most menacing threat that Atlantis has ever faced! Now all of undersea civilization is imperiled, and only three youngsters can save it!"
Meanwhile, in Spider-Woman #7, Jessica Drew's ongoing clash with her newest nemesis Octavia Vermis continues - and crosses paths with King in Black and Spider-Woman and Octavia seem to join forces.
"Abandoned by her friends, there's only one person who comes to Jess' aid…Octavia Vermis! She's got a cure for Jessica, and the prescription is: Crime!" reads the solicitation.
"Under the cover of the Knull invasion, Spider-Woman is stealing elements of a cure to her condition…or is she?"
King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1
King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1 is one of two December King in Black one-shots that incorporates a Christmas theme, this time centering on one of Hulk's most infamous identities, Joe Fixit.
"The Hulk is in a bad place. Half of his alters are dead or missing — including Bruce Banner — and the Leader's got the rest of him on the ropes," reads the solicitation.
"But never let it be said that Joe Fixit doesn't know how to have a good time — and he's out to make sure this is the best holiday the Hulk's ever had," it continues. "He just has to fight his way through a planet of symbiotes first."
King in Black: Doctor Doom/Iron Man #1
And then there's Marvel's other holiday-themed King in Black one-shot, King in Black: Doctor Doom/Iron Man, which features the two armored icons taking on a Knull-possessed Santa Claus.
"Iron Man has risked everything to save Eddie Brock, but now he's left with nothing but guilt. As longtime 'frenemy' Doctor Doom shows up with both counseling words and ulterior motives, they'll be forced to battle an all-too-familiar specter of the holiday season—albeit one now twisted and controlled by the recent invasion of Earth by the symbiote homeworld," reads the official description.
"As Iron Man and Doom fight as temporary allies, their unexpected encounter both with each other and a horrifying inversion of yuletide joy may ultimately reveal to them the true meaning of Knull-mas."
Black Cat #1
Finally, Marvel includes Black Cat #1, a relaunch of the recently-on-hiatus title, which ties into King in Black, but continues as an ongoing series after the event's conclusion.
"Feeling lucky? Knull's attack on Earth interrupts the Black Cat's latest heist, and if you know Felicia, you know that’s a problem," reads the official description.
"So the Cat and her crew aim to steal something of greatest value to both Knull and Earth's hope of survival. You'll have to pick up this issue to find out what! This issue guest-stars the X-Men! Captain America! And Doctor Strange! Do not miss it!!!"