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King In Black 5 Main

"King in Black #5" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

article-cover

Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Ryan Stegman
Inked by JP Mayer & Ryan Stegman
Colored by Frank Martin & Jason Keith
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2021, 38 Pages, $5.99
Comic released on April 7th, 2021

Review:

This is it. The climactic finale to King in Black has Knull standing toe-to-toe with Venom. Eddie Brock isn't just a lethal protector anymore. He's powered by the Enigma Force, turning him into a god of light. It's Captain Universe Venom vs. Knull, the god of the symbiotes. This is some big, blockbuster comics.

Just as writer Donny Cates has merged a few ideas in other books, such as Cosmic Ghost Rider (The Punisher, who is also a herald of Galactus and Ghost Rider), he does the same here with Venom. Not only does Brock have the symbiote and the Enigma Force, but he also grabs Thor's hammer Mjölnir and the Silver Surfer's board for good measure. This seems like overkill, but he's literally fighting a god of darkness, so I guess he needs all the help he can get.

Unsurprisingly, most of King in Black #5 consists of this knock-down, drag-out fight between good and evil. Artist Ryan Stegman delivers some of the most dynamic and action-packed images of his career as these two juggernauts square off. So much has built up to this epic encounter so the blows have a lot more impact than if this had happened earlier.

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Up until this point, Knull has been an unstoppable force of nature. This makes Venom's attacks all the more surprising, as he basically hobbles the god of the symbiotes. This event has been incredibly one-sided since it began and it's only until this issue arrived where anyone else has had even the faintest resistance. Letterer Clayton Cowles shows this change in Knull in his speech, going from the conniving position of power to a stammering humble quality, adding to the shock factor.

Stegman adds depth to Venom in a way that's rarely seen. He's not just a huge slick monster of muscle. There's a humanity to him and it shows in the way he's depicted. Stegman and inker JP Mayer highlight all the little details in this look, creating a great texture that's only amplified by the colors from Frank Martin and Jason Keith.

There's still a lot of doom and gloom in this issue with the sky filled with a horrifying red, however there's a beacon of hope shining out of the most unlikely place. Venom, of all characters in the Marvel Universe, stands as an entity of light, wielding some of the most powerful weapons in the cosmos. It's incredible to think of how far he's come to get to here.

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While this is an exciting way to wrap up the series, it feels rather abrupt, like this event and Cates & Stegman's run on Venom has been cut short. I know that they had a lot planned for Venom, so I wonder if this was the ending they had originally intended or if things changed. I get the feeling that this grew to be such a mammoth event that it just got way too large, becoming a cure-all for everything from Ghost Rider to Ghost-Spider.

As it stands, this is a satisfying albeit abrupt conclusion to King in Black. There are a few open questions about what this means for the symbiotes, Eddie, and his son Dylan, however we've got Venom #200 coming soon to presumably wrap all those up. This is some absolutely epic action-horror, showcasing a perfect blend of the genres, playing out in the heart of a super hero universe. It's a dynamite combination.

Grades:

Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.
Cover
Tfaw Buy Button
Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4 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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