Today sees the publication of The King In Black #1 from Marvel Comics. But what came before@? Well they include a very handy timeline…,
PRE-CREATION Knull forges the Necrosword and begins the experiments that would eventually become the symbiote species and its offshoots. (VENOM #1-6, SILVER SURFER: BLACK)
100,000 YEARS AGO Knull dispatches the dragon symbiotes into the universe to eradicate all life. (VENOM #4)
1000 DCE Knull, encased in symbiote armor, battles a mysterious golden god on the homeworld of Gorr the God Butcher. (THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #6)
600 CE The dragon symbiotes arrive on Earth and attack man in Scandinavia. Mistaking the creature for an Earthbound beast, humankind names it Grendel. Thor comes to their aid and dispatches the dragon with a bolt of lightning. His attack causes a feedback loop within Knull's symbiote hive that incapacitates the god-king. The symbiotes rebel and entomb their creator. (VENOM #1-#61
700 CE–1970 Encased in ice at the bottom of the ocean, the Grendel lies dormant, lost to time.
VENOM Years ago, disgraced reporter Eddie Brock stumbled upon an alien organism during one of the lowest points of his life. Severed from its own collected consciousness, the symbiote found a willing partner in Brock, and the two became Venom, a vigilante in their own right, who eliminated the criminal element with extreme prejudice.
ONE YEAR AGO After the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., the frozen Grendel symbiote breaks out of containment and unleashes its fury on an unsuspecting New York City. Aided by the younger Spider-Man, Eddie Brock incinerates the monster, but the Maker acquires a small sample of its remains. (VENOM #1-#6)
TEN MONTHS AGO The Maker's sample of the Grendel is stolen from his laborator by a cult that has worshipped Knull for generations. Also in possession of the corpse of Cletus Kasady, the cult bonds the Grendel's remains to Cletus' and the result is the creation of a new, Dark Carnage. (WED OF VENOM: CARNAGE BORN)
THREE MONTHS AGO Dark Carnage launches an all-out assault on the remaining living symbiote hosts, including Venom. With no choice, the Venom symbiote absorbs the Grendel from Cletus Kasady and is once again subsumed into Knull's hive. With enough of the Codex restored to free himself, Knull disperses the symbiotes that form the planet Klyntar around him and reforms them into a horde of hundreds of thousands of dragons — and begins a death march across the universe… (ABSOLUTE CARNAGE)
ONE MONTH AGO The interstellar warrior and Guardian of the Galaxy called Wraith, convinced that Knull is responsible for the parasitic Exolon that gave him his abilities, arrives at the planet Klyntar. Knull, now freed, acknowledges that the Exolon are one of his experiments and strips Wraith of them. Dying without the Exolon, Wraith teleports to Earth to warn Eddie Brock that Knull is free. (WEB OF VENOM: WRAITH)
TWO WEEKS AGO
Eddie Brock warns the Avengers that the Codex is complete and Knull has begun a campaign across the galaxy. Before they can properly mount a counteroffensive and extract all possible intel from Brock, he is swept into the timestream after being ambushed by Mac Gargan. (FREE COMIC BOOK DAY: SPIDER-MAN/VENOM 2020)
And now he has returned… for The King Is Black.