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"King in Black #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics


Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Ryan Stegman
Inked by JP Mayer
Colored by Frank Martin
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2021, 32 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on January 20th, 2021


Knull has taken over the planet with his symbiote army and the combined forces of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men have not even put a dent in his invasion. It's time to bring out the big guns (or the bigger guns, since the last time they tried this, the Sentry was ripped in half). Thor has arrived to take the fight to Knull himself. It's god against god as these two square off, but will the King of Asgard be enough to stop this nightmare?

We're at the midway point in King in Black and any hope that manages to pierce through this shroud of darkness is quickly snuffed out. Everyone that's gone up against Knull has failed and things don't look too good for Thor. We understood the sheer power of the symbiote god from the first issue, so this feels rather repetitive. It has led to some great action sequences, but it's more style than substance.

Even Eddie Brock's son, Dylan, gets into the action, using his strange powers over the symbiotes on the battlefield alongside the likes of Spider-Man and Captain America. It's proof that he's ready and willing to step up, having learned how to be a hero from his father. It seems Eddie wasn't a failure after all.

Click images to enlarge

There are also a bunch of nods to other books from writer Donny Cates. It looks like this is a culmination of his work in the Marvel Universe, tying together a number of his cosmic stories and his recent work on Thor. If you weren't reading some of those titles, you might be a little lost. For example, the final page delivers a cool cliffhanger, but you might not have any idea of the importance of this if you didn't read a mini-series Cates penned from two years ago. It also feels like throwing in another powerhouse to repeat this process again in the next issue.

I did like how the narration in King in Black #3 is handled. Letterer Clayton Cowles sets up a nice bit of misdirection with how it's set up with its color and tone.

Thor arrives on the scene with raw power and is quickly humbled by Knull. He's polished and clean at first. Those features are quickly scarred. The battle is heated and intense. There's one gorgeous full-page spread where artist Ryan Stegman really lets loose. Knull's jaw is knocked clear off his face with a huge swing of Thor's hammer. The thunder god screams with anguish with lightning flying from his eyes. It's pretty awesome. Inker JP Mayer brings this to life in exquisite detail, capturing every little piece of grit in Stegman's pencils.

Click images to enlarge

King in Black #3 feels suffocating at times with Knull's complete and total takeover. The sky has turned red, creating a foreboding tone expertly crafted by colorist Frank Martin. Fire rains down from the sky in oppressive fashion.

King in Black keeps getting bigger, not just in this main series, but with its many tie-ins. It's still in a growth phase with no hope for any of the heroes here. We've seen that over the first two chapters already and this is more of the same. Judging by the way this issue ended, we could be in for another month of this bloodshed. The action is off the charts, but the story itself hasn't quite come together just yet.


Story: Twoandahalfstars Cover
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Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 3 Star Rating

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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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