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King In Black 2 Main

"King in Black #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

article-cover

Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Ryan Stegman
Inked by JP Mayer
Colored by Frank Martin
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2020, 32 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on December 23rd, 2020

Review:

Knull is here and Eddie Brock has fallen. What's left of Earth's heroes are trying to come up with a new plan to stop this impending destruction, but they're coming up short. If the first attack was Plan A, they're on something like Plan T by this point. They need Eddie and he's lying in a hospital bed, knocking on death's door. As hope begins to dwindle, is there any way out?

Where King in Black #1 hits with a bang, showing the raw power of Knull, the symbiote god, this issue is a bit lackluster. There's a whole lot of dialogue as the heroes, usually so confident as they rush head long into battle, realize just how unprepared they were for this attack. Sure, they had a few ideas and brought out some big guns, but they were swatted away like flies. Now Knull's army is even larger, having taken over some of their heavy hitters with symbiotes, so options are limited.

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Surprisingly, it's Iron Man who takes up most of this issue, heading out to fight a dragon in an effort to retrieve it and save Eddie's life. It's a bit complicated, but it tracks. Writer Donny Cates drives home the futility of these moves, preparing for any and all deus ex machinas fans might throw out. Why can't they just use the Infinity Stones or the Ultimate Nullifier? Actually, those questions aren't answered, but they are referenced. That feels weird.

This begins a planet-wide quest to bring out whatever buried weaponry might be lying around, although a reason is not provided for the absence of the biggest weapons in the Marvel Universe. Most of this serves as plugs for the tie-ins to this event. This is a pet peeve, as to fully understand where folks like Namor, Blade, and the Kingpin are going with all this, we'll have to pick up some additional books instead of getting a full story within this main title.

Artist Ryan Stegman goes all out for King in Black #2. The first issue is impressive and this one maintains that same level of quality with some amazing pencils. We see a few more corners of Earth with some new characters, but what takes the cake is Iron Man's fight with the symbiote dragon. The detail work on this thing is off the charts.

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Click images to enlarge

Inker JP Mayer brings out all the gruesome details in Stegman's pencils. This is especially true with the dragon. The calmer moments also stand out, showing the creases in each character's face as they worry about what to do next.

King in Black #2 comes to a head with a climatic ending, amplified by Frank Martin's colors. The scene gets very intense very quickly and Martin shades it in a violent red, quickly followed by somber blacks. It's a nice one-two punch. Letterer Clayton Cowles adds a lot to this with some great sound effect work. It's scrawled across the page, creating a claustrophobic feeling.

We're in uncharted territory with King in Black, with such a monumental force seemingly taking over the planet in one fell swoop. Earth's heroes are falling one by one and hope is dwindling. Things don't get any better in this issue. With such a wild ride so far, I have to wonder where this can possibly go next.

Grades:

Story: threestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.
Art: fourstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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