The Third Eye Guide to King in Black

Published November 30th, 2020

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One of the most highly anticipated Marvel books of the last couple of years has been Donny Cates’s epic Knull maxi story, KING IN BLACK, and it finally kicks off this new comic day in the pages of KING IN BLACK #1!

After nearly two years of brewing in the pages of series like Cates VENOM and ABSOLUTE CARNAGE, not to mention little tidbits here and there in things like his THOR run, his SILVER SURFER BLACK, and more, this monstrous masterpiece is ready to EXPLODE into Third Eye this week!


After a campaign across the galaxy, Knull’s death march arrives to Earth and, worse yet, he hasn’t come alone! 

With an army of hundreds of thousands of symbiote dragons at his command, the King in Black is a force unlike any Earth’s heroes have ever faced. EDDIE BROCK, A.K.A. VENOM has seen firsthand the chaos that even one of Knull’s symbiotic monsters can wreak – will he survive an encounter with the God of the Abyss himself? 

From Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin and VC’s Clayton Cowles comes the definitive chapter in their two-year-long VENOM saga that changed everything you thought you knew about symbiotes!

Even if you’ve yet to begun reading Cates work on VENOM, and more, this is a MUST-READ place to start, as it serves as a perfect jumping on point not just for the saga of the dark Symbiote god, KNULL, but also the present-day MARVEL UNIVERSE as a whole!

Who is Knull & Why is he the coolest new Marvel villain since… THANOS? Get started with everything leading up to the KING IN BLACK here!

For the last couple of years, Marvel has been brewing up some big stuff with Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s VENOM run, while showing us little peaks at just how big the KING IN BLACK is in the pages of things like SILVER SURFER BLACK, THOR and more!

You’re probably asking yourself: OK, so I wanna dive deep on this Knull stuff… who is he, where’d he come from, and all that. Fear not, Third Eye Faithful, we’re here to help!

What to read before KING IN BLACK!

While KING IN BLACK is a fresh jumping on point, and no prior reading is mandatory, you still may want to get the full scoop on Knull, and here’s where you can start!

1 – VENOM by Cates & Stegman, beginning with VENOM TP VOL.1 REX

The definitive starting point (outside of Knull’s first appearance in THOR GOD OF THUNDER #6), is the epic VENOM run that Cates & Stegman have been building since issue 1.

You can get caught up with the trade paperbacks, all in stock and available at all Third Eye locations, with four volumes out so far, to get you current!

2 – ABSOLUTE CARNAGE by Cates & Stegman

An extension of their VENOM run, ABSOLUTE CARNAGE was an excellent event series that really showed just how far the influence of Knull could be felt throughout the Marvel U.

In ABSOLUTE CARNAGE, Carnage, the psychotic offspring of Venom, has returned – and he plans to slaughter everyone who’s ever worn a symbiote! Cletus Kasady has skirted the periphery of the Marvel Universe for months, but now he stands poised to make his grand return to New York – and he’s more powerful than ever!

To make matters worse, a new player is on the board, and it’s not who you’d expect!

Spider-Man and Venom must face down Carnage’s madness, but things aren’t looking good.

Barely able to escape with their lives, the uneasy allies have no choice but to drag a slew of other heroes into Carnage’s crosshairs.

And the hard truth is that not everybody will make it out of this conflict in one piece…if they make it out at all! Collecting ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #1-5.

3 – SILVER SURFER BLACK – a look at the cosmic terrors of KNULL

Is this the end of Norrin Radd?

In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, the cosmos’ greatest defenders were thrown through a black hole – including the Silver Surfer! But his story doesn’t end there! To beat back oblivion and avoid losing himself to the darkness, the Sentinel of the Spaceways must call on all his inner light to save his own soul!

With his Power Cosmic fading and the all-consuming darkness descending, will help come in the form of an unexpected ally?

When the Surfer discovers something with the potential power to turn the tide, is he prepared to pay the terrible price for awakening it?

And how does the Surfer’s predicament tie in to the sinister world of symbiotes?

Donny Cates and Tradd Moore take the Surfer on a journey that will change him forever! Collecting SILVER SURFER: BLACK #1-5.

VENOM FIRST HOST TP – Before Peter Parker, before Eddie Brock — the VENOM symbiote had another host!

Before Eddie Brock…before Peter Parker…there was the Venom symbiote’s first host!

And now, that host has returned in need of the symbiote’s help – because only by reuniting can the two prevent cosmic ruin!

Meet the Kree soldier named Tel-Kar, and learn a secret chapter in the Venom symbiote’s history!

And now, as Venom faces down a Skrull ambush and the universe teeters on the brink, the symbiote must choose: allow its newborn offspring to die, or separate from Eddie Brock – forever! But Eddie won’t give up his “other” without a fight…after all, the fate of Earth is at stake!

Can Eddie and the symbiote trust one another long enough to save the galaxy – or will the First Host prove to be Venom’s undoing?! Collecting VENOM: FIRST HOST #1-5.


While not directly tied into the KING IN BLACK saga, Donny Cates THOR run is pure awesome, and gives a very interesting glimpse at what may be coming in the aftermath of KING IN BLACK… with something that’s only known as the BLACK WINTER.

The prince is now a king. All of Asgard lies before Thor, the God of Thunder, and the Ten Realms are finally at peace. But the skies above the Realm Eternal are never clear for long.

The Black Winter is coming – and to triumph over this new threat, Thor must be transformed in a most unexpected way!

Bursting with new power and set on a dangerous path, Thor will battle friend and foe alike. But can he convince Beta Ray Bill to let him continue his bloody mission to save all that is?

The Black Winter has the power to reveal the means of any person’s demise. Thor will glimpse his future – and if the vision is true, Asgard will soon need a new Odinson to take the throne! Collecting THOR (2020) #1-6.

Collect ALL the KING IN BLACK chapters & tie-ins with our Third Eye Pullbox service & KING IN BLACK Checklist!

Whether you want to just subscribe to the main KING IN BLACK series, or you want to go in for the entire event, including all the tie-ins, we have just the thing to help you get started: our free Third Eye Pullbox service.

Just click here and browse our catalog to add the KING IN BLACK titles you want to have pulled and held at your local Third Eye shop, and we’ll get you taken care of!