In Donny Cates' King in Black crossover event, Venom went from villain to anti-hero to the Earth's savior. Cates has spent years developing and enhancing the symbiote mythos. Now, readers understanding the Klyntar species are so much more than the evil symbiotic beings we were first introduced to in Secret Wars.
The Klyntar were originally created to be extensions of Knull the God of Symbiotes. Knull created the universe's first symbiote, All-Black the Necrosword. He then created the Klyntar race as a means to spread his darkness across the universe and snuff out every light after his defeat by the Celestials. When the Klyntar began bonding to hosts, they grew emotions and gained empathy for other life forms. They found that they genuinely liked some of their hosts and began to understand that their creator was evil. The Klyntar race did the only thing they could against Knull. They bonded together and formed the first living prison.
Throughout the King in Black event from Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman, the living prison planet of Klyntar kept Knull in captivity for centuries. The near-omnipotent Knull carefully planned his escape by spreading his darkness to Earth using what remaining offspring he could control. His influence was so powerful that a cult formed on Earth to worship the Lord of the Abyss and plot his return and escape from Klyntar. He used the Kasady bloodline that had served him for so long to aid in his escape. Cletus Kasady, the host that became Carnage, gathered every symbiote codex on Earth to empower and free his master. In King in Black #5 by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, the Klyntar race has a new king.
All hell broke loose when Knull was freed. The God of Symbiotes had his eyes set on Earth, and specifically Eddie and Dylan Brock. Knull always had a connection to Eddie because of his symbiote and thus had a deep connection to the incredibly powerful Dylan. Venom prepared The Avengers and Earth's protectors for the coming battle, but there was no amount of preparation that could deal with what was to come. Knull used his symbiote army to enslave every living being he came across during his travels to Earth. This conquest included some of The Celestials themselves, creating symbiote Celestials. Knull became such a threat to the Marvel Comic universe that beings like Kang the Conqueror and The Watcher took notice. The universe was falling into darkness because of Knull's control and dominance over the Klyntar.
With the help of The Enigma Force, Venom defeated Knull and frees the entire Klyntar race from Knull's influence. Earth is free of Knull's control and the Klyntar are free from centuries of subservience. The big question is, what's next for the most capable army in Marvel Comics? The Klyntar have never been free of Knull's influence since their creation. They were always tethered to The Lord of the Abyss through the hive mind. Now there is a new hive and a new king. Venom is the new King in Black which means the Klyntar are finally free. Their eternal battle is won and the sentient beings finally have control over their own thoughts and actions. As they fly into the sunset seemingly away from Earth readers must wonder where the fantastic creatures will fit in the Marvel Comics ecosystem.
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