15 covers (and counting) for Marvel event King in Black #1

King in Black #1 variant cover
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The upcoming King in Black limited is the culmination of a two-year saga that writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman have been cooking up in the pages of Venom and their 2019 event series Absolute Carnage, and for the occasion Marvel is ramping up the various variant covers to the first issue.

(Image credit: Ryan Stegman (Marvel Comics))

So far there's been the primary cover by Stegman, and variants by Stegman, Shannon Maer (for Comics Mint), Leinil Francis Yu, Inhyuk Lee, Ian Bederman, Peach Momoko, Superlog, Philip Tan, Donny Cates, Todd Nauck, Alex Horley, Natacha Bustos, Iban Coello, and Mirka Andolfo. Here they are:

Additional King in Black #1 variants planned (but as yet unrevealed) are coming from  Taurin Clarke and others.

"Darkness reigns! After a campaign across the galaxy, Knull's death march arrives to Earth and, worse yet, he hasn't come alone!," reads Marvel's solicitation for 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, a.k.a. 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?"

Although the event itself doesn't begin until December, a prelude come November 4 with Web of Venom: Empyre's End - a thread connecting the recently-concluded Emprye event with this next Marvel event.

"The King in Black is something of an all-pervading force, an entity that is so corrosive, it consumes absolutely everything in his path... He feels unstoppable," that one-shot's writer Clay Mcleod Chapman told Newsarama recently. "The characters in play within this one-shot are left with a sense of hopelessness when they first realize he's coming, that they're doomed - but then they rally and fight back. That's all they have at the end of the day - to fight back.

King in Black #1 (of 5) goes on sale on December 2.

Get up to speed on this upcoming event with our guide to King in Black.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)