King In Black #5 Review: Overwrought

Oh. Oh, no. All right, well, in the immortal words of the philosopher Alvin Joiner, "it all comes down to this," as the winding and worrisome King in Black crossover comes to an ending with King in Black #5 that is needlessly overwrought and largely unimportant.

King In Black #5 Review: Overwrought
King In Black #5 Cover. Credit: Marvel

This final (hopefully) issue posits the possibility that everything that has happened in every previous issue, every tie-in, and every offhanded reference didn't matter as much as a hill of beans. The works and machinations of Avengers, X-Men, gods, and heroes … pfah. It's all unimportant as a symbiote from an earlier age (which was too short and too undeveloped a twist to build on itself) steps forth and kind of just marches through wildly implausible symbolic gestures (Paul Bettany knows what we're talking about here) to literally ignore a poster-worthy assemblage of heroes to take on the god of symbiotes and paper-thin motivations, Knull.

There's not a lot to say here. Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin, Jason Keith,  and Clayton Cowles all showed up for work and did the best one could do with white text on a red background or white text on a black background (truly an accessibility nightmare, don't call the Section 508 crowd) and the goopy, ragged edges of sacks of space goo. No, alas, this cliched (click for a spoiler if you must) "you kill it, you bought it" challenge is in the hands of the script from Donny Cates and whatever editorial guidance he received, invalidating every previous page in an abrupt and overpowered finale.

Much like The Rise of Skywalker, it's over, and that's something at least. Let's never speak of this again, shall we? RATING: NO. JUST … NO.

King In Black #5
By Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman

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About Hannibal Tabu

Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on, and more information can be found at his website, Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at
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