Marvel King in Black event: story, cast, schedule, and everything else we know

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Knull is coming.

The dreaded, powerful god of the symbiotes is arriving on Earth soon and he's not alone. He'll be bringing his massive army of symbiotic monsters and is the newest great threat to the Marvel Universe at large.

The upcoming event King In Black is the culmination of writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman's remodeling of everything fans have known about the Venom symbiote and the wider symbiote mythos inside Marvel. The seeds have been planted across Silver Surfer: Black, Thor, and of course Venom, and now the fruition is at hand.

Knull is not just making his arrival, he's preparing for war.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

What is King In Black? 

King In Black is a crossover mega event that will encompass the ongoing Venom title,
a core King in Black limited series, several spin-offs and one-shots, and also take over other Marvel ongoing titles like Black Cat, Spider-Woman, S.W.O.R.D., and more. The main story is a five-part series in itself, though, out this December.

"As far as event books go, this is the coolest, darkest, most heavy metal, Cthulhu dark horror thing I've ever been able to do," Cates stated in a video announcement in early September. "I still can't believe that Marvel is letting us go as dark and scary as we're going."

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

Who is involved in King In Black?

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Obviously, the true Venom, Eddie Brock, will be the main protagonist of King In Black, but the cover to the first issue hints he won't be alone in the fight against Knull. As we've seen from the King In Black #1 preview, Brock will be joined by the Avengers, while the X-Men, and longtime rival Spider-Man are hinted on the cover, teaming up in trying to defeat the dark god. It's possible in the main Venom book we'll see Brock's allies grow from there, and it's also a possibility the events in Thor will bring more Asgardians to Brock's side as well.

Considering the tie-ins, we can expect the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, Doctor Doom, Namor, Black Cat, Joe Fixit, and Jessica Drew. The Namor limited series is a flashback story with a teen Namor and Atlanteans encountering Knull and his forces decades ago.

However, a new force revealed itself to Eddie...sort of. In Web of Venom: Wraith #1, the Kree outsider Wraith faced off against Knull and it did not go well for Wraith. Knull easily rips into Wraith and sends him into the great void of space.

While Wraith is floating, he encounters a great bright light, and this light leaves Wraith a message, and he takes it right to Eddie Brock on Earth. Now powerless, the Kree soldier only has moments before he faces the inevitable oblivion, and he uses those moments to warn Eddie that something else is coming for him: a god of light.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

We've known that Knull is as old as the emptiness of the universe, if not older, but now this opposite force is coming to, hopefully, help Eddie and the rest of Earth in their fight against the dark god.

Brock previously warned the Avengers about Knull and what he's capable of, so expect a colossal fight on a gigantic scale of literally light versus dark.

When is King In Black coming out?

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The King in Black series itself begins December 2 with King in Black #1, but the event will actually begin a few weeks before. Here's what's been announced so far:

  • November 4: Web of Venom: Empyre's End #1
  • November 18: Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #1 (of 5)
  • December 2: King in Black #1 (of 5)
  • December 2: King in Black Handbook #1
  • December 2: Atlantis Attacks #5 (of 5)
  • December 2: The Union #1 (of 5)
  • December 9: Venom #31
  • December 9: King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1
  • December 9: King in Black: Namor #1 (of 5)
  • December 16: Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #2 (of 5)
  • December 16: Black Cat #1
  • December 23: King in Black #2 (of 5)
  • December 23: Spider-Woman #7
  • December 30: King in Black: Iron Man/Doctor Doom #1
  • December 30: King in Black: Namor #2 (of 5)
  • January 2021 (no date specified): Black Cat #2
  • January 2021 (no date specified): King in Black #3 (of 5)
  • January 2021 (no date specified): King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #1 (of 3)
  • January 2021 (no date specified): King in Black: Return of the Valkyries #1 (of 4)
  • January 2021 (no date specified): King in Black: Return of the Valkyries #2 (of 4)
  • January 2021 (no date specified): King in Black: Gwenom & Carnage #1 (of 3)
  • January 2021 (no date specified): King in Black: Black Knight #1
  • January 2021 (no date specified): King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 (of 3)
  • January 2021 (no date specified): Daredevil #26 
  • January 2021 (no date specified): Deadpool #10
  • January 2021 (no date specified): Guardians of the Galaxy #10
  • January 2021 (no date specified): Savage Avengers #17
  • January 2021 (no date specified): S.W.O.R.D. #2

How does King In Black fit into the rest of the Marvel Universe?

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

With Marvel big events, it usually touches titles across the board, even if not directly involved. With Knull bringing his dark army to Earth and set out to conquer the planet along with the cosmos, Marvel's heroes (and maybe some villains) aren't willing to just roll over so easily. From Atlantis to New York to all over, there's a good chance Knull's ooze-y grip will reach out for it.

Considering everything we've seen and how ambitious and dark the series will be, readers should expect major changes to the Marvel Universe, especially when it comes to the Venom corner.

Lan Pitts likes watching, talking, and writing comics about wrestling. He has mapped every great taco spot in the DC and Baltimore areas. He lives with his partner and their menagerie of pets who are utterly perfect in every way.