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"King in Black: Wiccan and Hulkling #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

article-cover

Written by Tini Howard
Illustrated by Luciano Vecchio
Colored by Espen Grundetjern
Lettered by Ariana Maher
2021, 33 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on March 3rd, 2021

Review:

Wiccan and Hulkling got married, but before they could enjoy a honeymoon, they got swept up in the events of Empyre. Now that things have calmed down a bit, they can finally celebrate their nuptials...until Knull's symbiote army swoops in and ruins the fun. The King in Black tie-ins aren't limited just to Earth. Knull's reach is far and wide and no one, not even newlyweds, are free from it.

So much of King in Black has been centered on Earth for obvious reasons, so this one-shot is a refreshing change of pace. It helps that the relationship between Wiccan and Hulkling is absolutely adorable, so the doom and gloom of symbiote dragons is interspersed with fun flirting between these two former Young Avengers. Writer Tini Howard strikes a nice balance between the romance and horror in this issue.

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And of course, you can't have a King in Black tie-in without a symbiote dragon. Since this one is out in space, it has a different look and feel than those on Earth. Artist Luciano Vecchio shows it with an elongated neck and limbs, making it appear much larger than the ones we've seen before. It has an ancient look.

Vecchio's depiction of Billy and Teddy is soft and welcoming. It makes their relationship all the more endearing when you see them look at each other with these big doe eyes. We go from these lovey-dovey moments to ones of abject terror as the two heroes fight for their lives at a far off resort. The symbiotes are your typical monsters with jagged teeth and sharp claws.

Colorist Espen Grundetjern plays up the sci-fi aspect of the setting with a bright palette that's immediately tainted by the darkness of the symbiotes. It's like these creatures suck in any light, drowning out any hope of survival in their gooey waves. Teddy's sword and Billy's magic are some of the few things that pierce through this suffocating blitzkrieg, shining on the page with great energy.

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The contrast between the regular dialogue of the newlyweds and that of the symbiote invaders is shocking. Letterer Ariana Maher handles this well, making the symbiotes all the more menacing. Their speech is shown in jagged balloons that can cut and scrape just as much as their harsh words can.

As King in Black rockets towards its conclusion, it seems that just about everyone in the Marvel Universe has gotten in on the action. It's refreshing to see a take like this one that shows there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Love will persevere even if it has to fight through a bunch of gooey aliens to do so. As a longtime fan of these characters, I'm so glad to see them get a honeymoon, even if it is disturbed by the symbiotes.

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK.
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4.5 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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