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King in Black Reading Order: A Marvel Guide

by Rita Quisenberry
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Greetings, True Believers! The 2020s have been good for Marvel, spotlighting one of the coolest villains yet in the form of Knull (inspired in part by an equally awesome character Elric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock).

With Knull’s introduction, we got to learn a lot about the symbiotes, a.k.a. the Klyntar, all the way from the beginning of the universe itself to the genesis of our fan-favorite villains. Those being, of course, Venom and Carnage.

One major event that covered Knull attacking the Earth and its strongest champions defending it was the successful King in Black, by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman.

King in Black: An Introduction

Introduction

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The story within the King in Black takes place after another major Marvel event, Maximum Carnage. During this event, Venom, in the process of killing Carnage, blasted open the symbiote homeworld of Klyntar. This caused Knull to be released, alongside an army of symbiotes at his side. Knull, free again after being imprisoned by his own creations billions of years ago, now moves towards Earth, ready to take it over.

But Knull will run into resistance. Eddie Brock will definitely face him off, but with such a planetary threat, he won’t be able to do it alone. Both the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the stalwart mutant warriors the X-Men will aid Venom in taking down this massive intergalactic threat. And somewhere along the way, your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man will also lend a hand.

How Many King in Black Books Are There?

The King in Black event is massive. The Omnibus edition contains more than 1500 pages! However, it will not be available until August 2 of this year. Mark that date up, because you’ll want your hardcover edition of this absolute masterpiece.

In terms of books themselves, you have quite a few of them to read. The main series by Cates and Stegman spans over five issues, with no less than 28 titles serving as tie-ins. There are also prelude issues to check out, such as Atlantis Attacks (by Greg Pak and Ario Anindito) and Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black (by Peter David and Greg Land).

The King in Black Reading Order

Order

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Listed below are the collected editions of King in Black. They are listed in the preferred order of reading and collect both the main series and most of the tie-in issues:

King in Black (contains King in Black #1-5, i.e., the main series)
King in Black: Avengers (contains King in Black: Black Panther #1, King in Black: Captain America #1, King in Black: Ghost Rider #1, King in Black: Immortal Hulk #1, King in Black: Iron Man/Doom #1, and King in Black: Wiccan and Hulkling #1)
King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes (contains King In Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #1-3, and King in Black: Black Knight #1)
King in Black: Namor (contains King in Black: Namor #1-5)
King in Black: Thunderbolts (contains King In Black: Thunderbolts #1-3, and King in Black: Marauders #1)
King in Black: Gwenom vs. Carnage (contains King In Black: Gwenom vs. Carnage #1-3, King in Black: Scream #1, and King in Black: Spider-Man #1)
King in Black: Return Of The Valkyries (contains King In Black: Return of the Valkyries #1-4)
King in Black: Atlantis Attacks (contains Atlantis Attacks #1-5)
Symbiote Spider-Man: King In Black (contains Symbiote Spider-Man: King In Black #1-5)
Spider-Woman Vol. 2: King in Black (contains Spider-Woman (vol. 7) #6-10)
Black Cat Vol. 4: Queen in Black (contains Black Cat (vol. 2) #1-4 as well as sections from X-Men: To Serve and Protect #4)
Venom by Donny Cates Vol. 6: King in Black (contains Venom (vol. 4) #31-35)
Savage Avengers Vol. 4: King in Black (contains Savage Avengers (vol. 1) #17-22).

In addition to the upcoming King in Black Omnibus collection, you can also look forward to Venomibus by Cates and Stegman, which also collects important issues from the event. The Venomibus will be available on July 26.


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