Writer: Simon Spurrier
Art: Jesus Saiz, VC’s Cory Petit, and Dan Mora
Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
Release Date: February 3rd, 2021
Knull’s brutal raid upon Earth has commenced and Dane Whitman, former Avenger, warrior, and owner of the Ebony Blade, draws his blade to assist against the never-ending horde of symbiote dragons and creatures. Now, even though the blade fortifies Dane with extraordinary powers and abilities so too does it absorb him with an insatiable craving for violence and devastation. As the infinite multitude of symbiotes blackens the skies of Shanghai, will the BLACK KNIGHT overcome the surging depravity within himself and protect the city?! Let’s dive into KING IN BLACK: BLACK KNIGHT #1 by Simon Spurrier and see what mysteries will be revealed from his battle against the KING IN BLACK.
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To those comic fans interested in the BLACK KNIGHT, as well as his Ebony Blade, this is the issue for you. Brand spanking new readers will get the cliff notes version of his backstory relatively quick with some rather confusing monologuing sprinkled throughout the narrative. Simon Spurrier flaunts an image of a broken, self-absorbed, and utterly cocky man slugging out one-liners and zingers amongst the chaos of symbiote dragons and mental aberrations. Is this an accurate portrait of the BLACK KNIGHT? To be upfront, I’ve had very little interaction with Dane Whitman. From my understanding of the character, Spurrier hits the highlights but lays on the humor just a bit too thick.
Additionally, two other “Avengers- adjacent” characters make an appearance filling out this issues roster with three total characters that aren’t the most intriguing, two of which have their series ending, and the third that’s getting a mini. My point: readers get a KING IN BLACK tie in to take a pulse of the status quo involving these characters. Is there any actual interest in any of them? Frankly, I am fascinated with the BLACK KNIGHT and wouldn’t mind finding out a bit more.
However, the other two “Avengers-adjacent” characters just took up page space that could have focused more on the BLACK KNIGHT, which is ultimately why I was reading the issue… hence the name of the comic. Furthermore, their appearance and dialogue helped bog down the issue heaping on heavy conversation and littering the page space with an excessive amount of lettering that wasn’t necessary. Plus, I didn’t even mention the old English style of narration mixed in with the current vernacular that just drove me bonkers at times.
By the end of the issue, readers will get a pretty intriguing discovery about the BLACK KNIGHT that trips Whitman up for a bit. Moreover, it appears as though it may be the foundation for his future mini-series. Granted, Whitman bounces right back into the fold, however, it’s a change to a core belief about the character that I think is going to be explored down the line. Additionally, I was expecting more answers as to the effect of the Ebony Blade on Knull. Needless to say, why the KING IN BLACK wants it and why it has such a strong effect on the symbiotes will remain to be seen in this issue.
Spurrier reintroduces the BLACK KNIGHT in a fast and furious way that takes fans on a quick tour of the character. Now, even though Spurrier finds clever ways of adding in elements of light humor into the story that provides a certain spice to the issue, the story was still a bit too cluttered and disorganized to follow. Additionally, Jesús Saiz’s page layouts, mixed with heavy narration, were overly jam-packed amplifying the confusion of the issue. Don’t get me wrong, I love Saiz’s crisp and remarkably detailed illustrations. However, the pages, blended with the lettering by Cory Petit, just made the issue almost messy and hard to follow at times. There is a ton of positive things to look forward to in this issue. Nevertheless, I feel the focus could have been a bit more straightforward and easy to pursue. I would still recommend giving it a look but only if you find the BLACK KNIGHT charming and dynamic. Otherwise, KING IN BLACK fans can pass on this one and not miss a beat. What did you think? Let me know, have a great week, and God Bless!
If you’re interested in KING IN BLACK: BLACK KNIGHT #1, click HERE to get a copy! Maybe you’d like to catch up on THE BLACK KNIGHT? If so, click HERE! Additionally , if you’re interested in the KING IN BLACK event, click HERE to get caught up on Donny Cates’ VENOM now with related comics and trades! And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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