It’s coming. The Marvel Universe is about to be completely shaken by the arrival of Knull in the upcoming crossover event “King in Black.” In order to set the table for his arrival though, Marvel decided to take a look at the history of Spider-Man and his symbiote suit that altered Marvel history forever.
“Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black” jumps back to a time just after the first “Secret Wars,” when Peter Parker returned home with a brand new, all black Spider-Man suit. At the time, he had no idea what he was getting into by putting on that suit, and even now the full ramifications of him finding it have not yet been realized. But they will be, soon.
Peter Parker is still your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The only difference is, now he’s sporting some new threads. Or, at least he thinks that’s the only difference. Things are about to be completely flipped upside down for Pete when he learns the truth about what his new black suit really is.
That’s story has already been told though. The new story here is more about where that suit really came from and how it was made. Spider-Man gets a visit from some more of its alien kind and… they’re surprisingly friendly. Things just keep getting weirder and weirder for Peter Parker.
Meanwhile, the events of this happening are much bigger that they may initially appear, as is evident by the presence of Uatu the Watcher. Uatau comes across the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror and together they realize something very big is going to happen. The Watcher is forbidden from doing anything to stop it and, even with all his power, Kang couldn’t stop it if he tried. The King is coming.
This is an interesting (not to steal Uatu’s words) way of telling this story. Rather that picking up in present day to begin the upcoming story, we jump back to Peter’s introduction to symbiotes, even if he didn’t realize it at the time. Peter David’s series has been creating these untold stories from Spidey’s time in the black suit, but it feels a bit odd that something of this magnitude wouldn’t have played a role in Peter’s life moving forward, even after going back to his classic red and blues.
Still, this is a good issue to provide some scope for the upcoming conflict. Yes, Spider-Man is the one who brought the symbiotes to Earth so he is going to be at the center of the story, but it’s so much bigger than just that. This is why big players like Uatu, Kang and even the Black Knight appear in this issue to show that they will be playing a role in the story moving forward.
One nice thing about this series taking us back to the past is the fact that it returns us to a time when Peter Parker’s life was much simpler. You know, before he ever entered a multiverse loaded with clones of himself, had a demon erase several years of his life or chose a side to fight against some of his best friends for political reasons. Actually, that last one happened twice! Instead, it’s a time where Peter Parker is a good guy stopping bad guys from doing bad things.
Enter: weird shadowy alien things. The villain of this issue appears to be Allistair Smythe, but nothing is ever exactly as it seems when symbiotes are involved. What we get instead is a truly bizarre new enemy, or at least the herald of one. The design of the new character is great, though he could probably use a better name. Regardless, this is a fun issue that sets up for a whole lot of story yet to be told.
“Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black” is available now.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”