Well, King in Black continues to expand its tie-in series, Future State steps in following the aftermath of Dark Nights Death Metal, and Spider Man continues to clean up the wreckage from Last Remains.
In this article I’ll be diving into 4 of the tie-ins that were released this week. (Once I get my hands on SWORD 2, Immortal Hulk 42 and Namor 3 I’ll do write ups on those as well…)
The Union #2 (King in Black tie-in): After Knull’s initial attack kills Britannia, the leader of Britain’s super-team, her allies struggle to process the loss. A grounding influence for the team, Union Jack realizes that the connections that remain are frail, but attempts to rally the other heroes to save The Choir after she is corrupted by Knull. While they’re successful in separating Knull’s corrupting spirit from their comrade, Union Jack is confronted with the reality that he’s not the leader the team needs. Kelpie, Choir and Snakes depart, leaving him alone.
Just when he thinks he’ll be able to strike out on his own, Union Jack realizes that as Britannia’s stand-in, he’s responsible for putting together a new team and fulfilling his duty, or else be locked away forever!
This was another fun jaunt with a very different sort of superhero team, though didn’t connect with me as much as the first issue did. Choir’s background as a rebellious superhuman and Britannia’s benevolence seemed a little too overdone, and the closing piece of drama around threatening Union Jack with prison seemed laughable when Knull is literally in the process of destroying the world and the sky has gone completely black.
I digress. Solid art, some fun action sequences. 7/10
Gwenom vs Carnage (King in Black tie-in): If you’re in the comic book realm, you know that Gwen Stacy’s alternate incarnation as Ghost Spider is extremely popular. So, it’s no surprise that Gwenom vs Carnage got a lot of attention, especially when its cover landed on solicitation sites a couple months back.
In this opening issue, Gwen is doing her best to navigate the symbiote dragon attack, helplessly watching as the symbiote “goo” turns helpless bystanders into monsters, including her roommates. After doing her best to get a grasp on the situation, she attempts to use her necklace to teleport and Mary Jane appears due to some yet-to-be-disclosed connection between the two.
Sadly, there’s not much time for girl talk as Knull is annoyed at Gwen’s suit being outside of his influence. The goo surrounds MJ and within moments she is transformed into Spider Man’s greatest foes: Carnage!
Great issue – Gwen definitely carries that same level of sass and humor that fans have grown to know and love. Some great action shots, though not much time for emotion as things move at a break-neck pace.
Curious to see how the series continues as Gwen and MJ square off! 8/10
Planet of the Symbiotes (King in Black tie-in): A standout from this week, Planet of the Symbiotes features the return of Scream, and the introduction of a menacing new symbiote: Plague. In the first half of the issue, we see Scream doing her best to protect the shattered remnants of the world following Knull’s invasion. Battling 4 other symbiotes to protect a young boy, she appears to be consumed before erupting in an explosion of light and heat, rejecting Knull’s attempts to corrupt her. She then works to get the boy to safety as the first half comes to a close.
In the more dramatic second half, we descend upon Ravencroft, where the body of Cortland Kasady, a prolific serial killer from the 17th century and ancestor of Cletus Kasady, who we know best as the symbiote super-villain, Carnage, lies in rest.
That is, until Knull arrives and decides to reward one of his most loyal followers with new life as the symbiote Plague.
Confronted with guards and the designated keepers of Ravencroft, Plague seems uninterested in battling them, instead disappearing to properly assess his new powers and plan his next steps.
Knull’s resurrection of Cortland and Scream’s mini-narrative were both well executed and definitely left me excited for what other vignettes the Planet of the Symbiotes arc has in store.
Fantastic issue! The standout of the week for me. 9/10
Thunderbolts (King in Black tie-in): Justice, like light- ah who am I kidding? These Thunderbolts don’t really have the same redemption arc that you might be expecting from the original super-team that served under Thaddeus Ross and others. Instead, Kingpin is seeking to build a team to help secure his survival, and ultimately the survival of the world because you can’t be a crime boss if there’s nobody to intimidate and exploit!
While one of the recruited members attempts to back out early on, Kingpin has him shot and thereby “convinces” the others to play along with his plan to form a new Thunderbolts team – which he explains he now owns the trademark for.
On their first mission, one of their members is immediately killed, another attempts to flee (and is killed by Mister Fear for his cowardice), and Rhino decides to leave knowing that Taskmaster can’t really sway him to stay.
After a close encounter with some symbiotes, and quietly slipping by as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist deal with their own onslaught of symbiote monsters, the Thunderbolts are able to run to a nearby boat and make their way towards Ravencroft.
Upon arriving, the team is greeted by Norman Osborne, whom Kingpin believes has the means to defeat Knull.
Loved this read – very sarcastic/sassy with some great action sequences. With what’s going on over in Amazing Spider Man I’m also very curious how Norman plays into all of this.
Fun read – 8/10
Alright! That’s all for now! Feel free to let me know in the comments what you think of King in Black so far!