King in Black Reading Order Checklist

King in Black Reading Order Checklist

For the past two years, Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman have been setting the stage for the arrival of Knull, god of the symbiotes, in the Venom comic book series. Now readers will see him reach Earth in the latest Marvel comic book event, King in Black.

Although, Knull’s arrival is not a good thing, as he has also brought along an army of symbiote dragons that number in the hundreds of thousands. Venom and Marvel’s heroes are going to have their work cut out for them!

Marvel’s comic book events can be confusing. The King in Black Reading Order Checklist is here to make reading it easy. It includes a recommended reading order, tie-ins, background reading, release dates, and heaps more.

Happy reading!

Do I need to read all of the tie-ins?

Tie-ins are made to expand the story out into the wider Marvel Universe. Readers get to see events from different perspectives and see things that are happening in the background.

You don’t have to read all of the tie-ins for the story to make sense. King in Black #1-5 is a complete story, but if you’re looking for more then check out the tie-ins.

Marvel doesn’t expect readers to read every tie-in, so read the ones that interest you the most. This could be based on the characters involved, situations that are set up in the main story, or the creators making the comic. If you only read one King in Black tie-in then make it Venom. It’s the comic that has built up to this big event and ties the closest to it.

Venom (2018 series) #1 cover by Ryan Stegman.
Venom (2018 series) #1 cover by Ryan Stegman.

Background Reading

Looking to do some background reading before diving into King in Black? Check out the following comics.

Thor: God of Thunder #6

Knull first appeared (albeit unnamed) in Thor: God of Thunder #6 as the god of Klyntar symbiotes.

Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s Venom Run

Donny Cates would take the idea Klyntar symbiote god and turn it into Knull, which has been permeating in throughout his time on Venom. If you don’t want to read the full run then check out the Absolute Carnage event.

Otherwise, if you just want to read a few Knull-centric issues to get a general feel for him then Marvel will also release Knull: Marvel Tales, which reprints Venom #2-3, #25, and Web of Venom: Carnage Born. This will be available on December 2nd, 2020.

Silver Surfer: Black #1-5

Written by Donny Cates and incredible art by Tradd Moore, this series see Knull as the antagonist. This has been collected into a trade paperback of the same name.

King in Black Handbook

This is a guide that gives readers all the information they need to know about the characters and concepts of King in Black. Originally scheduled for early December, it has now been pushed back until March, 2021.

Web of Venom: Empyre's End cover by Phillip Tan.
Web of Venom: Empyre’s End cover by Phillip Tan.

Preludes

These are comics that are set before King in Black and either lead right into it or tie into it in some fashion.

Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #1 (of 5)
Written by Peter David. Art by Greg Land.
Available November 18th, 2020

Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #2 (of 5)
Written by Peter David. Art by Greg Land.
Available December 16th, 2020

Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #3 (of 5)
Written by Peter David. Art by Greg Land.
Available January 6th, 2021

Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #4 (of 5)
Written by Peter David. Art by Greg Land.
Available February 24th, 2021

Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #5 (of 5)
Written by Peter David. Art by Greg Land.
Available March 31st, 2021

Note: Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black is a series that is set in the past during a time when Venom was still Spidey’s alien costume.

King in Black: Namor #1 (of 5)
Written by Kurt Busiek. Art by Ben Dewey and Jonas Scharf.
Available December 9th, 2020

King in Black: Namor #2 (of 5)
Written by Kurt Busiek. Art by Ben Dewey and Jonas Scharf.
Available December 20th, 2020

King in Black: Namor #3 (of 5)
Written by Kurt Busiek. Art by Ben Dewey and Jonas Scharf.
Available January 13th, 2021

King in Black: Namor #4 (of 5)
Written by Kurt Busiek. Art by Ben Dewey and Jonas Scharf.
Available February 24th, 2021

King in Black: Namor #5 (of 5)
Written by Kurt Busiek. Art by Ben Dewey and Jonas Scharf.
Available April 14th, 2021

Note: Just like Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black, King in Black: Namor is set in the past. As a result, it is set before King in Black but ties into it.

Web of Venom: Empyre’s End (one-shot)
Written by Clay Chapman. Art by Guiu Vilanova.
Avaialble November 4th, 2020

Note: Web of Venom: Empyre’s End bridges the gap between Marvel’s last event Empyre and King in Black.

Atlantis Attacks #5 (of 5)
Written by Greg Pak. Art by Ario Anindito.
Available December 2nd, 2020

Note: Atlantis Attacks #5 is the final issue of this miniseries and helps set up plot threads for King in Black.

King in Black #1 cover by Ryan Stegman.
King in Black #1 cover by Ryan Stegman.

King in Black Reading Order

Below is the recommended reading order for the King in Black event, with all the relevant tie-ins.

King in Black #1 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available December 2nd, 2020

The Union #1 (of 5) (Tie-in)
Written by Paul Grist. Art by Andrea Di Vito.
Available December 2nd, 2020

Venom #31 (Tie-in)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Iban Coello.
Available December 9th, 2020

King in Black: Immortal Hulk (One-shot tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Aaron Kuder.
Available December 9th, 2020

Black Cat #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Jed Mackay. Art by C.F Villa.
Available December 16th, 2020

King in Black #2 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available December 23rd, 2020

Spider-Woman #7 (Tie-in)
Written by Karla Pacheco. Art by Pere Perez.
Available December 23rd, 2020

King in Black: Iron Man/Doctor Doom (One-shot tie-in)
Written by Christopher Cantwell. Art by Salvador Larroca.
Available December 30th, 2020

Venom #32 (Tie-in)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Iban Coello.
Available January 6th, 2021

Guardians of the Galaxy #10 (Tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Juann Cabal.
Available January 6th, 2021

King In Black: Return of the Valkyries #1 (of 4) (Tie-in)
Written by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk. Art by Nina Vakueva.
Available January 6th, 2021

Spider-Woman #8 (Tie-in)
Written by Karla Pacheco. Art by Pere Perez.
Available January 6th, 2020

King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Clay McLeod Chapman and Frank Tieri. Art by Guiu Vilanova and Danilo Beyruth.
Available January 13th, 2021

S.W.O.R.D. #2 (Tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available on January 13th, 2021

King in Black: Gwenom Vs Carnage #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Seanan McGuire. Art by Flaviano.
Available January 13th, 2021

King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Matthew Rosenberg. Art by Juan Ferreyra.
Available January 13th, 2021

The Union #2 (of 5) (Tie-in)
Written by Paul Grist. Art by Andrea Di Vito.
Available January 13th, 2020

Note: Only The Union #1-2 tie into King in Black. The remainder of this 5-issue miniseries goes off in a different direction. A previous version of this list had issues #3-5 on it but have been removed.

King in Black #3 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available January 20th, 2021

King in Black: Black Knight (One-shot tie-in)
Written by Simon Spurrier. Art by Jesus Saiz.
Available on January 27th, 2021

Black Cat #2 (Tie-in)
Written by Jed Mackay. Art by C.F Villa.
Available January 20th, 2021

Deadpool #10 (Tie-in)
Written by Kelly Thompson. Art by Gerardo Sandoval.
Available January 27th, 2021

Daredevil #26 (Tie-in)
Written by Chip Zdarksy. Art by Marco Checchetto and Mike Hawthorne.
Available January 27th, 2021

King In Black: Return of the Valkyries #2 (of 4) (Tie-in)
Written by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk. Art by Nina Vakueva.
Available January 27th, 2021

Savage Avengers #17 (Tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Kev Walker.
Available January 27th, 2021

Venom #33 (Tie-in)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Iban Coello.
Available February 3rd, 2021

King in Black: Captain America #1 (One-shot tie-in)
Written by Danny Lore. Art by Mirko Colak.
Available February 3rd, 2021

King in Black: Marauders #1 (One-shot tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Luke Ross.
Available February 3rd, 2021

King in Black: Gwenom Vs Carnage #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Seanan McGuire. Art by Flaviano.
Available February 3rd, 2021

King in Black: Black Panther #1 (One-shot tie-in)
Written by Geoffrey Thorne. Art by German Peralta.
Available February 10th, 2021

King in Black: Thunderbolts #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Matthew Rosenberg. Art by Juan Ferreyra.
Available February 10th, 2021

S.W.O.R.D. #3 (Tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available on February 10th, 2021

Daredevil #27 (Tie-in)
Written by Chip Zdarksy. Art by Marco Checchetto and Mike Hawthorne.
Available February 10th, 2021

Fantastic Four #29 (Tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Ze Carlos.
Available February 10th, 2021

King in Black #4 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available February 17th, 2021.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #23 (Tie-in)
Written by Saladin Ahmed. Art by Carmen Carnero.
Available February 17th, 2021

King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Marc Bernardin and Geoffrey Thorne. Art by Kyle Hotz and Jan Bazaldua.
Available February 17th, 2021

King In Black: Return of the Valkyries #3 (of 4) (Tie-in)
Written by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk. Art by Nina Vakueva.
Available February 17th, 2021

Savage Avengers #18 (Tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Kev Walker.
Available February 17th, 2021

Black Cat #3 (Tie-in)
Written by Jed Mackay. Art by C.F Villa.
Available January 24th, 2021

King In Black: Wiccan and Hulkling (One-shot Tie-in)
Written by Tini Howard. Art by Luciano Vecchio.
Available March 3rd, 2021

King in Black: Gwenom Vs Carnage #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Seanan McGuire. Art by Flaviano.
Available March 3rd, 2021

King in Black: Thunderbolts #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Matthew Rosenberg. Art by Juan Ferreyra.
Available March 3rd, 2021

S.W.O.R.D. #4 (Tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available on March 17th, 2021

King In Black: Spider-Man (One-shot Tie-in)
Written by Jed MacKay. Art by Michele Bandini.
Available March 17th, 2021

Savage Avengers #19 (Tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Kev Walker.
Available March 24th, 2021

King In Black: Scream (One-shot Tie-in)
Written by Clay McLeod Chapman. Art by Garry Brown.
Available March 24th, 2021

King In Black: Ghost Rider (One-shot Tie-in)
Written by Ed Brisson. Art by Juan Frigeri.
Available March 31st, 2021

King In Black: Return of the Valkyries #4 (of 4) (Tie-in)
Written by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk. Art by Nina Vakueva.
Available March 31st, 2021

King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Rodney Barnes and Steve Orlando. Art by Kyle Hotz and Danilo Beyruth.
Available April 7th, 2021

Fantastic Four #30 (Tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Ze Carlos.
Available April 14th, 2021

Note: Fantastic Four #30 has been delayed till after after King in Black #5 and Venom #34 but is set before.

Venom #34 (Tie-in)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Iban Coello.
Available April 7th, 2021

King in Black #5 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available April 7th, 2021.

Avengers #45 (Tie-in)
Written by Jason Aaron. Art by Luca Maresca.
Available April 21st, 2021

After King In Black

Marvel hasn’t confirmed everything yet, but here is what we do know will spin out of King In Black.

Venom #200
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available May 5th.

Beta Ray Bill #1 (of 5)
Written and art by Daniel Warren Johnson.
Starts March 31st.

Beta Ray Bill gets his own mini, spinning out of King In Black and the current Thor series.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #24
Written by Saladin Ahmed. Art by Carmen Carnero.
Available March 24th

Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #1 (of 5)
Written by Simon Spurrier. Art by Sergio Davila.
Starts March 17th

The Mighty Valkyries #1 (of 5)
Written by Jason Aaron and Torunn Gronbekk. Art by Mattia De Iulis.
Starts April 21st

Have Your Say

Are you reading King in Black? Have you found this reading order helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter.

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Comments (12)

  • Absolute carnage was the comics that came right before king in black and ties into the story as well.

  • Personally I think Venom #34 should be read BEFORE King in Black #5. I read King in Black #5 before Venom #34 as this list states at this time. However, most of the parts of Venom featuring Eddie take place prior to the events in King in Black #5.

  • Hi I was wondering why I can’t seem to find Atlantis Attacks #5 anywhere. It says it was released last December but I did notice it said published Feb 2021. Has this not been printed in the US yet? I can’t even find it on eBay.

    • Hey Cory, I can confirm that Atlantis Attacks #5 was published back in December. My assumption would be that it might be hard to track down due a low print run and high demand. If you can’t find it, the trade paperback will be released in April.

  • Hey, I’ve picked up and fell in love with Donny Cates Venom. I picked up the OHC vol 1, and am currently reading through the Absolute Carnage Omnibus. I’m excited for the King in black event but I’m not sure how to collect the rest of it as I prefer Trades, OHC or Omni’s. The Vol 2 OHC Venom by Cates contains venom 16-25 which means it only contains 5 more issues of Venom than Absolute Carnage which contains 15-20. My question to you is, how will they collect the rest of the story after Absolute Carnage? Should I wait for a King in black Omni? Should I collect the two small trades collecting the rest of that run? What’s the best way to collect the Arc up to and including King in Black? Really enjoying your site. Thanks!

  • Hi,
    you do a great job fantastic site.
    Correct me if I ‘m wrong but you forgot to mention the 10 issues True Believers King in Black: Beta Ray Bill,Ironman/Dr. Doom,Monsterworld,Black Cat,Thunderbolts,Gamma Flight’s Doc Samson,Black Knight,Valkyrie,Franklin Richards,Black Panther & the Web of Venom:Good Son & Wraith (both 1shot-tie-ins) which are prelude to KiB story.The Union #3 to 5 issues are not tie-ins in the KiB story( I do not know if they will be in aftermath though),also Miles Morales Spiderman #24 is a tie-in issue (The King in Black put Miles’ back against the wall using one of his best friend’s super-hands around his throat. Can Miles bounce back with any of his soul intact? )

    • Hi,

      I haven’t included the True Believers reprints as they are often tangential at best when it comes to relating to an event. Also, the Web of Venom one-shots fall under the larger Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s Venom Run that is linked to in the Background Reading section. Thanks for pointing out The Union par, that has now been fixed and a note included to explain that other issue do not tie-in. Miles Morales doesn’t look like it specifically ties in to King In Black. I will but in the the “After King In Black” section as it sounds like Miles addressing things afterwards.

  • Hi
    Sorry but, for to understand the event, i could read the main mini and choose the tie-in. Or should i read everything? Sorry for my english, i’m italian. Your site is fantastic, is very helpful

    • Don’t worry, your English is great. X of Swords is the kind of crossover in which you have to read every comic to get the complete story.