King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 17, 2021

American Kaiju!

Writer: Marc Bernardin
Artist: Kyle Hotz


Writer: Geoffrey Thorne
Artist: Jan Bazaldua

Colours: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

The second issue in the Planet of the Symbiotes anthology series works exactly the same as the first issue did, it shows readers the extent of Knulls invasion of Earth as well as featuring a couple of fun stories that wouldn’t make it into the main storyline.

First up is American Kaiju!, and for readers unfamiliar with Todd Ziller the title alone gives it away, picture a Godzilla who chants “YEWWWW! ESSSS! AYYYYY!” to show off his patriotism, and you've got the gist of it. Essentially this is Godzilla versus an army of symbiote dragons, and that description alone tells you all you need to know about the story. It’s all action, with very little story, but equally it’s an awesome giant monster fight, and who doesn’t love that?

It doesn’t have quite the same appeal that the first issue did, where both stories felt like a continuation of storylines stemming from Absolute Carnage, and there is a real absence of story here. But equally, if a giant monster fight with plenty of destruction sounds fun you will love this story. But if you’re expecting the same level of quality storytelling and tie-ins as that first issue you may be sorely disappointed.

Kyle Hotz art does everything that you would want it to. The monsters are huge. The battles are epic. Destruction is rife. With a short story like this readers have one very clear expectation for what they want in the comic and Hotz delivers it in spades. Rachelle Rosenbergs colours compliment his art nicely, and capture the red’s and blacks of the event brilliantly.

The final story in this issue is Hornet, and centres on Hobie Brown. This feels like more of a continuation of last years Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man and fans of that series will love this, as it not only directly carries that storyline on but it also lets readers know what happens to Hobie Brown during Knulls invasion. We start off in Tavern on the Green and things are relatively serene. There is a discussion around Brown being the Prowler which lets readers catch up with Brown as well as filling new readers in with all the details they need to understand the story. Then the symbiote army strikes. This is particularly effective as it gives readers an insight into how the invasion affects the public rather than watching our superheroes fight, and that’s one of the real strengths of the story.

Ultimately this feels like this is setting up a future storyline involving the Hornet. Whether or not this ties into King in Black anymore is up in the air, but this close to the conclusion of that storyline it feels unlikely. More likely this is a chance to catch readers up before the next chapter of the Hornet unfolds.

Jan Bazaldua does a great job with the art, he captures the emotions on the characters faces really well, and does an excellent job of bringing a more grounded look at the symbiote invasion. The big fight scene is particularly effective. Having Rachelle Rosenberg on colours throughout the comic gives the comics a consistent feel, even while the stories and art are wildly different.

Not quite as effective as the first Planet of the Symbiote comic, this is still a fun tie-in to the main event, but without quite as strong an appeal as the first one. If you’re a fan of giant monsters smashing things, or Hobie Brown/The Prowler/Hornet then this is a comic to pick up. If you’re looking for a bit more King in Black because the main story wasn’t quite scratching that itch, pick this up. Otherwise this is a tie-in you can happily avoid without missing out on the main story.

Our Score:


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