Two New Marvel #1s Look At What It Means To Be A Hero

A few #1s dropped over the past week from our friends at Marvel, and while they both come from very different places, each title does a great job highlighting what makes each character enduring.

King In Black: Amazing Spider-Man #1

There are ton of of one-shots and mini-series’ tying in to the massive King In Black storyline that has been orchestrated by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman. This particular issue, focused on our favourite wall-crawler, is written by Jed MacKay and illustrated by Michele Bandini, finds Peter dealing with some severe panic as New York City is being overrun by the acolytes of Knull – very specifically, the giant symbiote dragons. In the midst of his anxiety, Spider-Man runs into former Young Avenger Reptil, who has the capabilities of turning into various dinosaurs. Soon the two of them are inspiring one another as they set out to save who they can. Along the way, they end up inspiring the reader as well.

In the midst of another end of the world catastrophe, MacKay and Bandini manage to deliver a somewhat intimate story about hope and determination. Peter Parker has always been the struggling everyman of the Marvel Universe (of course, one with some pretty spectacular powers), and King In Black: Amazing Spider-Man #1 finds him considering the questions that have always make him so compelling – Who am I? How can I help? Who can I help? Considering the world we live in today, those are questions we should be asking ourselves and, like Spidey, help who we can.

Black Knight: Curse Of The Ebony Blade #1

The Eternals are coming, the Eternals are coming! And with that, Marvel Comics is doing their best to bring Dane Whitman, the Black Knight to some sort of prominence.

The new Eternals film is due out later this year (fingers crossed) and the movie will include Kit Harrington as the Black Knight, the wielder of the Ebony Blade. In this first issue of the new Black Knight series, writer Simon Spurrier and artist Sergio Fernandez Davila are tasked with really making readers care of the character who’s been in and out of the Avengers for years and is perceived by his contemporaries as, well, a bit of a joke. For the most part, Spurrier and Fernandez deliver.

In the span of its 23 pages, we see Dane interact with the Avengers in battle that, while humourous to read, also demonstrates the Black Knight’s value to the world (though it comes with a personal cost). We also get some fairly great violence that’s head and shoulders above what I was expecting to see in the book. Like the above Spider-Man book, Black Knight: Curse Of The Black Knight manages to do all that while also exploring the psyche of the character, who questions his own value and place in the superhero pantheon. Is it enough to keep me reading AND caring about the Black Knight? Well, I’ll be back next month so I’d say the book has done its job.

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