King in Black: Gwenom vs Carnage #1

by Nick Devonald on January 13, 2021

Writer: Seanan McGuire
Artist: Flaviano
Colours: Rico Renzi
Letters: VC’s Ariana Maher

This mini-series feels less like a tie in to the ongoing King in Black event and more of a continuation of the Ghost-Spider series which ended with #10 back in the summer. Which isn’t to say that Knull and his army of symbiotes don’t feature, but primarily this feels like a Ghost-Spider issue which happens to be happening at the same time as Knull invades the Earth. Which is exactly how the best tie-ins should read. It doesn’t feel unnecessary or forced, it feels like the next logical step in Gwens story and is stronger for it. Fans who read Ghost-Spider will definitely follow the story easier, but don’t be deterred if you haven’t read them, Seanan McGuire makes sure the story isn’t written well enough that no prior knowledge is necessary to understand the story.

While initially the story focuses on Gwen dealing with Knulls invasion, it’s not long before events on Earth-65 with familiar characters end up having an influence on the storyline. And that’s what makes this a successful tie-in. By not just asking how Gwen would deal with Knull invading, rather there is an ongoing story involving Gwen and Earth-65, which is then interrupted by Knull. It works well.

As if all that isn’t enough the ending of the issue has an excellent twist which fans won’t see coming. It’s one of those twists where it’s worth staying away from anything online that might spoil it and read it first hand. Sharp eyed readers might notice that Carnage hasn’t been mentioned throughout this review, and considering that the title is called Gwenom vs Carnage you may be wondering where Carnage comes into it all. Again, avoid spoilers and read the issue. You won’t regret it.

Flaviano’s art manages to capture the insanity of a world over run with symbiotes with a Gwen Stacy who feels very reminiscent of Into The Spiderverse. Rico Renzi manages to capture the reds and blacks which are currently infusing all the King in Black comics, but without being overwhelming with it, a difficult balance to capture.

Fans of Ghost-Spider who were disappointed with the abrupt ending of the series will lap this up. For readers coming solely from the King in Black event it answers the question of what Gwen is up to, as well as being more symbiote goodness. The twist ending promises plenty of excitement in the next issue. With King in Black it feels like Marvel are getting the tie-in issues just right.

Our Score:


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