SWORD Reveals The King in Black’s Occupation of Earth

King in Black saw Knull’s forces hit the Earth hard, venom-izing several X-Men, but a preview of S.W.O.R.D #2 reveals that was only the beginning.

Warning: spoilers for S.W.O.R.D. #2 and Marvel’s King in Black event!

Marvel’s huge King in Black is currently rocking its titles, with the Symbiote God known as Knull overpowering Earth’s defenses and sealing the planet in an impenetrable dome of sickly symbiote-tar while he hunts down Dylan Brock, Venom’s son and the apparent key to his total victory. While many titles so far have shown heroes battling Knull’s Grendel dragons, several dying in the process, that initial invasion force was just revealed as nothing compared to Knull’s actual occupation of the planet.

A being from before the dawn of time, Knull is the embodiment of the void, seeking the full measure of his power so he can snuff out all life and return to the nothing he calls home. Though Earth’s protectors knew Knull was on his way, Venom and Captain America’s plan failed to stop him in King in Black #1, with the former killed and the latter now under Knull’s control. Even the X-Men suffered casualties, with their strikeforce of warriors falling alongside Marvel’s other big-hitters, but it’s their space program SWORD that’s offering a bird’s-eye view on the extent of Knull’s attack.

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Related: King in Black: X-Men Get Venom-ized in New Preview

As if an army of symbiotes and dragons wasn’t enough, a Marvel Comics preview of S.W.O.R.D. #2 reveals what Knull’s symbiote “shield” around Earth is actually doing to the planet, with symbiote matter coating the buildings and the sun totally blocked, plunging the planet into freezing temperatures and utter darkness. Though the preview only offers a glimpse at Earth under Knull, it’s clear that having failed to stop his incursion, Earth’s remaining heroes are now fighting Knull on what amounts to his home turf.

A dark figure whose red speech-bubbles imply allegiance to Knull stands against the backdrop of a ruined New York, with the city looking like it’s been dropped into the Upside Down from Stranger Things, such is the all-consuming effect of Knull’s power. Knull hit the Earth with incredible force, his minions spreading out across almost all Marvel’s titles, but it turns out things really could get worse. A companion piece to Knull’s invasion, King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes, will be released on Janaury 13 alongside S.W.O.R.D. #2, but the preview from the pages of Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti’s comic makes it clear that title is no boast. Knull has taken over, and there are now fewer places than ever to hide from his vicious symbiote army.

Thankfully, if anyone is in a position to help, it’s SWORD. High above the Earth in their space station, an expert team of mutants are hard at work on perfecting intergalactic teleportation and challenging the very boundaries of creation. While things look grim in this preview, SWORD may be one of very few organizations who can help to pierce Knull’s shield around Earth and bring some back-up to the beleaguered heroes below. Whether that’s SWORD’s aim – or whether the notoriously big-picture Abigail Brand is intending to ditch Earth in its hour of need – will be revealed when S.W.O.R.D. #2 is released on January 13.

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