King in Black #5 from writer Donny Cates and artists JP Mayer, Frank Martin, and Jason Keith sets a surprising new course for Eddie Brock, as promised - with the original Venom host and his symbiote becoming the new god of the symbiotes.
Meanwhile, Venom #34 from Cates and artists Iban Coello and Jesus Aburtov explores the nature of what becomes of Eddie, and also resurrects Flash Thompson.
With the two issues each forming part of the penultimate chapter of Cates and Stegman's Venom run, which caps off with June's Venom #200, we're digging into everything that went down in both issues right now.
King in Black #5 picks up just about where King in Black #4 left off, with Eddie about to inherit a brand new power (new for him, anyway).
With the so-called 'god of light,' who stands in opposition to Knull as the 'god of darkness,' now revealed as the Enigma Force that powers Captain Universe (a cosmic entity that has bonded with numerous Marvel heroes over the years), Eddie Brock embraces the power of Captain Universe, returning his consciousness from being trapped in Knull's hivemind in a new body which is equal parts Eddie and Venom symbiote.
Eddie, now empowered by the 'god of light' and restored in a new, fully bonded Venom form, returns to the battle with Knull just in the nick of time, as Silver Surfer tries to hold the dark god back. Utilizing every ounce of the Enigma Force/god of light's power, Eddie utterly obliterates Knull, essentially turning him to dust and dissipating his control over all the symbiotes.
Though the fight starts to come to an end, things aren't over yet. Eddie seeks out Dylan, his son, who bears a connection to Knull. Reaching inside, Eddie removes the piece of Dylan that is connected to Knull so that the villain cannot make Dylan his heir.
As Eddie crushes the last remaining bit of Knull's darkness, taken from Dylan, the Enigma Force leaves Eddie behind, telling him he "has a new role now."
And indeed it seems he does. Eddie tells Dylan they're going to be fine, and rises into the sky on Venom's wings, realizing that he is now the god of the symbiotes, now free of Knull's dark influence.
Eddie says it himself in his narration – he's now the 'King in Black.'
Venom #34, which happens both slightly before and alongside King in Black #5, goes deeper into Eddie's return and his connection to the Enigma Force/god of light, showing the circumstances of his resurrection from Knull's hivemind, where his consciousness is separated from his comatose body.
Trapped in the 'hive' of symbiotes alongside fellow Venom host Flash Thompson (who is himself stuck in the form of a Knull dragon, with his human body dead and buried), Eddie battles Knull's essence whose goal is to keep him there. But on the outside, Silver Surfer arrives at the battlefield heralding the god of light, the Enigma Force, which seeks out Eddie's body (as seen in King in Black #4, some of which is reprinted in Venom #34).
Using the power of the Enigma Force, Eddie rebuilds his body into a new form which is fully bonded with Venom (we talked about all that), returning to the fight and destroying Knull once and for all.
But Venom #34 doesn't stop there – Flash Thompson also gets his due, as the final page shows Flash's hand bursting from his grave, his body having been revived by the Enigma Force.
Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman will end their Venom run with June 9's Venom #35/#200, which will wrap up the story of King in Black and set a new course of Eddie Brock.
Meanwhile, Flash Thompson will appear as Agent Anti-Venom in the upcoming Extreme Carnage event.
Venom is one of the most iconic characters to spin-off of Spider-Man. Stay up on our listing of all the Spider-Man comic book releases planned for 2021 and beyond.