Kang the Conquerer just made a big mistake, biting off more than he can chew on the eve of King in Black and leaving himself in need of rescue.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #1
In a new tie-in comic series to Marvel’s upcoming King in Black event, Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #1 sees Spider-Man in the days just after Marvel’s original Secret Wars event, which are also his first days wearing the black costume that would ultimately be revealed as the symbiote Venom. As a result, Spider-Man was unknowingly being watched by Uatu the Watcher – a being dedicated to chronicling major historical events. However, Uatu wasn’t the only only one interested in Spider-Man’s new look and what it meant for the future (aka Marvel’s actual present day). Kang the Conqueror is invested as well, but ends up embarrassing himself in his desire for knowledge during this issue.
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At the time the story is set, Peter Parker didn’t fully understand what he was wearing: an otherworldly alien symbiote. Marvel fans know that the symbiote would eventually try to corrupt and overtake Peter, leading to Spider-Man rejecting the symbiote, which would then find its way to Eddie Brock, birthing the character known as Venom. This was the seed for a plethora of different symbiote-based heroes, villains, and narratives over time; King in Black being one of the biggest, focused on the sinister Symbiote God Knull and his invasion of Earth with his legions of symbiote followers. Knull’s invasion will impact the entire the Marvel Universe, and seeing as how it’s only made possible due to Spider-Man bringing a souvenir home from Secret Wars years ago, it makes sense why it would garner the attention of powerful interests like Kang and Uatu.
However, Kang the Conqueror has become invested as well in Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black #1 from Peter David and Greg Land. The time-traveling despot captures Uatu and takes him aboard his ship, seeking to obtain all of the knowledge and history that the Watcher has observed, in the hopes that the upcoming MCU villain might be better informed and prepared to save the future (supposedly from Knull’s invasion). However, Uatu doesn’t seem all that concerned that he’s been taken hostage and is having his mind violated. He’s too powerful to care or be worried. Not only that, but while Kang’s systems are reading Uatu’s mind, Uatu is able to secretly read the ship’s data banks, absorbing and learning about events he’s never seen in the past, present, and future (including the future Kang is trying to prevent). Apparently, whatever Uatu saw in the future was very dark, making a connection that overloads Kang’s ship until it explodes and taking his leave with Kang left floating in space for all his efforts.
This issue seems to do a lot of foreshadowing for the upcoming event, and not just for Spider-Man and the symbiote. Two of the most powerful cosmic beings in the Marvel Universe have apparently taken a keen interest in the symbiote ever since its arrival to planet Earth, and its seems as though the greatest consequence is almost upon the Marvel Universe, with Kang preparing for the worst. Kang is supposed to be a formidable foe with vast amounts of knowledge of the timeline and its proceedings, so it’s embarrassing to see him end up free-wheeling through space, ultimately rescued by a nonplussed Rocket Raccoon. It’s also been heavily rumored that his role in the MCU will be as a Thanos-level threat, so fans may have assumed he’d be better equipped to handle a pacifist like the Watcher. Instead, it seems as though Kang severely underestimated Uatu, and has now paid for it as a result. Furthermore, if Kang has indeed been trying to prevent the events of King in Black for all this time, it will be interesting to learn why he’s seemingly failed so badly.
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