Skip to content

King in Black Reading Order: How to read Marvel’s crossover, the sequel to Absolute Carnage?

King in Black Reading Order

Introduced* as a big threat to the Marvel Universe by Donny Cates when he started writing Venom’s new continuing series (go to the Reading Order), Knull, god of the symbiotes, is finally coming to conquer Earth—with an army of thousands of symbiote dragons at his beck and call. Of course, Earth’s heroes will fight back.

Eddie Brock, AKA Venom, is obviously front and center. He has already seen firsthand the chaos that even one of Knull’s symbiotic monsters can wreak. But will he survive an encounter with the God of the Abyss himself?

Here is the official synopsis: Darkness reigns across the Marvel Universe! After a campaign of terror across the galaxy, Knull — ancient and malevolent god of symbiotes — reaches Earth, with an endless army of symbiote dragons at his command! The King in Black is a force unlike any ever faced by Venom and the rest of Earth’s heroes — but now Spider-Man, the Avengers, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the Sub-Mariner and many, many more must battle an endless wave of darkness! Outgunned and badly outnumbered, can anyone possibly survive Knull’s symbiotic onslaught? Or will they all be forced to bow to the King?

*Knull was really introduced in Thor: God of Thunder #6, but he was not named and he was just an idea that Cates took and developed.

What to read before King in Black?

As I said, the story began some time ago. Even if Knull played a big part in Donny Cates’ run on Venom (here is the reading order), he also appeared in other series. Here is a guide of what you’ll want to read to be up to date:

  • Knull: Marvel Tales
    Collects Venom (2018) #3-4, Venom : Carnage Born, and Venom (2018) #25. It collects what is essential.
  • Absolute Carnage
    Collects Absolute Carnage #1-5, Absolute Carnage Vs. Deadpool #1-3, Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel #1, Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk #1, Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man #1, Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Of Vengeance #1, Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #1-3, Absolute Carnage: Avengers #1, Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1-3, Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus #1, Absolute Carnage: Scream #1-3, Absolute Carnage: Separation Anxiety #1, Amazing Spider-Man #29-31, Venom #16-20, And Absolute Carnage Stinger Pages. For a more detailed look at this event, go to the Absolute Carnage Reading Order.
  • Silver Surfer: Black
    Collects Silver Surfer: Black #1-5.
  • Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black
    Collects Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #1-5. This is and optional miniseries set just after the first “Secret Wars.”
  • King in Black: Namor
    Another optional miniseries set in the past.

We also invite you to read our guide to the main symbiotes characters if you want to refresh your memory about the most important symbiotes in the Marvel universe.

King in Black Reading Order

King in Black Reading Order:

King in Black Reading Order: Collected Editions

The Omnibus

  • King In Black Omnibus
    Collects King In Black #1-5; King In Black: Immortal Hulk, Iron Man/Doctor Doom, Black Knight, Marauders, Black Panther, Captain America, Wiccan And Hulkling, Spider-Man, Scream, and Ghost Rider; King In Black: Gwenom Vs. Carnage #1-3; King In Black: Namor #1-5; King In Black: Planet Of The Symbiotes #1-3; King In Black: Return Of The Valkyries #1-4; King In Black: Thunderbolts #1-3; Symbiote Spider-Man: King In Black #1-5; Black Cat (2020) #1-3; Daredevil (2019) #26-27; Deadpool (2019) #10; Fantastic Four (2018) #29-30; Guardians of The Galaxy (2020) #10; Miles Morales: Spider-Man #23; S.W.O.R.D. (2020) #2-4; Savage Avengers (2019) #17-19; Spider-Woman (2020) #7-8; The Union #1-2; Venom (2018) #31-34; And King In Black Handbook.

The paperbacks

King In Black Paperback Cover - King In Black Reading Order

King in Black Reading Order

King in Black Reading Order: Issue by issue

Venom by Donny Cates Vol. 6 - King In Black Reading Order

King in Black Avengers - King In Black Reading Order

Notes: Most of the tie-ins take place after King in Black #2. There is not enough information to know if some events take place around King in Black #3 or King in Black #4. With that in mind, that’s why I recommend reading the Gwenom Vs Carnage and King in Black: Thunderbolts miniseries in the middle of it all because there are not connected to the main plot.

King in Black Reading Order

After King in Black?

With Venom #200, Donny Cates said goodbye to the title (Al Ewing will now write the series) and introduced what’s to come. In order to be ready, you can reconnect with the members of the Venom Family post-King in Black in the Extreme Carnage miniseries (more information here).

Last Updated on June 7, 2023.