Comic Reviews 

Review – Captain America: King In Black #1

Review – Captain America: King In

Review – Captain America: King In Black #1 – Blackened Blue

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Danny Lore

Artists: Mirko Colak, Stefano Landini, Roge Antonio & Nico Leon

Colourist: Erick Arciniega

Letterer: Joe Caramagna

Release Date: February 2021

Captain America: King in Black is a recent comic that follows on from the events of the main King in Black series which saw Cap was possessed by a Symbiote. This issue sees Cap, Falcon and Bucky working together to try and win back the streets of Manhattan from the Symbiote invasion led by Knull.

I had not yet read the main King in Black series when I was asked read through the first issue of Captain America: King in Black for review. Yet surprisingly, I was never lost as to what was going on in the issue. That is not always something that can be said about a spin-off comic that makes up one element of a bigger crossover storyline. This rather impressed me from a writing perspective and I think it is a testament to Danny Lore’s talent that they managed to pull this off.

Lore uses voiceover a fair amount in the issue and while some of it is obviously used for expositional purposes, hearing the two voices in Steve’s head competing for control while he is simultaneously fighting the symbiotes is clever. This means that Steve is fighting the Symbiote threat both physically and mentally at the same time.

Review – Captain America: King In
Cap fighting two battles at once.

I also felt that, as out of place as it was to see Steve doubting his methods when he is usually so sure of himself, it was a cool choice as it created an interesting dichotomy within his character that I found fairly unique. We have seen a conflicted Captain America in the past when he’s been brainwashed by a villain or when his loyalty was called into question in Civil War, but never quite like this.

Additionally, as much as I love Captain America, it is always nice to see someone call him out on his “triteness,” (as Knull calls it in the issue.) I thought that Lore did a good job of still making Knull’s presence felt even if he wasn’t physically present in the issue and was instead reduced to a disembodied voice in Steve’s head.

Something else I enjoyed was how Falcon and Bucky helped Steve get rid of Knull’s voice from his mind towards the end of the issue. It highlighted the fact that not all battles are physical ones won through fighting, some are internal ones won with the aid of some reassuring words from an old friend.

I was also impressed with the artwork in the issue. The team of artists that worked on this issue really did a good job of showing the high stakes of the opening fight against the Symbiotes through their visuals. I thought that the character design on the  Symbiote dragons was really cool and menacing and in the fleeting glimpses that we got of Symbiote Cap, he looked great.

The environmental art was also on point and the rooftop locations chosen all made for good fighting arenas. I also loved the use of the Symbiote frame on used on pages 24 and 25 while Steve was passed out and was hallucinating being possessed once again by Knull. It was a fairly subtle touch that broke the fourth wall and was a technique I really appreciated.

Review – Captain America: King In
The visual cue helps convey what is happening in the plot.

I also enjoyed Erick Arciniega’s use of colour in the issue. I thought that it aided in making the costume and creature design look dynamic and I also liked how Arciniega used it to empahise ceratin story beats. For example, while Cap is having his doubts about whether he is really ready to be out on the field so soon after being possessed by the Symbiote, we get a panel of him almost in silhouette looking predominately black and blue with the usually present red in his costume totally missing.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed taking a look at Captain America: King in Black for review. The battles that ensued in the issue, both physically and internally were fascinating to see unfold and the artwork complimented Danny Lore’s well told story exquisitely. This is a series that I will definitely be keeping up-to-date on going forward.

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Daniel Boyd

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Daniel is a 26-year-old writer from Glasgow. He loves sci-fi and hates fantasy. He also hates referring to himself in the third person and thinks that bios are dumb.

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