King in Black: Scream #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on March 24, 2021

Writer: Clay McLeod Chapman
Artist: Garry Brown
Colours: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

King in Black: Scream is a one-shot which acts as an ending of sorts to the Scream: Curse of Carnage series which was an unfortunate casualty of COVID last year. Clay McLeod Chapman gets the opportunity to wrap up the loose ends from that series and to explore some of the idea’s he had presumably planned to before the series was prematurely ended. Fans of that series won’t be disappointed with what’s on offer here.

The issue starts off as Scream vs Demagoblin. Demagoblin had been resurrected during Absolute Carnage and then has been strangely absent since then. It makes sense that King in Black would resolve those plot points. Demagoblin is the perfect vessel to explore Andi Benton’s Hell-Mark, and it’s clear that Chapman had plans with these characters which have had to be wrapped up a lot quicker than originally intended. While their confrontation is good it does feel like it’s a little rushed in the execution, hurrying onto the second part of the comic which really explores Scream’s role in the larger King in Black event.

One of the things this comic does well is explore the bond between Scream and Benton. The series had begun to do this before it’s cancellation, and this issue remedies that by focusing on the pain that the two of them have experienced, and how it’s that pain which helps bond them. Again it feels a little hurried and forced because Chapman doesn’t have the room to explore this as naturally as he might have given more time to tell the story, but it’s a more than satisfying conclusion to his earlier storyline and there is plenty of potential for this character to appear again in the future.

The art from Garry Brown looks great, he captures the horror vibes from Chapman’s earlier series, and the symbiote fights look great with some creative designs. And when the titular King in Black makes an appearance he looks incredibly menacing and deadly. This one-shot really captures the horror vibe and overwhelming force that the symbiote invasion of the galaxy brings. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colours look incredible as always, with a brightly coloured symbiote like Scream there are plenty of opportunities to throw much brighter colours into the mix than the other King in Black tie-in issues. The bright yellows are a great contrast against Knull’s black and reds, and look fantastic.

This issue reads like a conclusion to the previously cancelled Scream series using the excuse of the King in Black event to tell a final chapter to Chapmans series. It’s a logical tie-in to the event but the real lure will be for fans of Scream. It’s nice to learn a little more about what happened to Demagoblin following her resurrection in Absolute Carnage, and it feels like a resolution for the character of Scream. The art really captures the horror vibe that Chapman is going for and the result is a creepy one shot.

Our Score:


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