BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME
FB@ The Comic Blog
There’s a big MCU rumor circulating social media, and the game-changing speculation could have major implications for those Knull comics you've been stockpiling.
What’s got fanboys in their latest tizzy? Reportedly, Marvel has plans to bring Knull, God of the Symbiotes, to the silver screen.
The rumor claims that the resident champion of movie studios will reunite Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire so they can square off with the King in Black. It wouldn’t be a party without Venom and Carnage, and the gossip sites report that the two most famous symbiotes will resurface in the proposed movie. Whether or not that will include Tom Hardy (and possibly Woody Harrelson, who knows?) remains to be seen, but it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Venom at this point.
When it comes to gossip, there’s never a shortage for the MCU. The rumor mill churns heavier here than anywhere else, and it is filled with some far-fetched ideas. While it is easy to dismiss most of the speculation as wishful thinking on the part of fans, Spider-Man: No Way Home served as an example that nothing is out of the realm of possibility. At one point, most fans were scoffing at the idea of three Spider-Men and five villains (plus Doctor Strange) coming together for one movie. Lo and behold, here we are.
Speaking of No Way Home, the Knull rumor spins from the movie’s famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) mid-credits scene. If you recall, Venom became part of the MCU for the blink of an eye when Eddie Brock was pulled out of the Sony-verse in the end-credits scene of Let There Be Carnage apparently through Doctor Strange’s spell. That doesn’t completely make sense, but I will cover that in a moment. When Hardy was spotted in the NWH mid-credits scene, he was getting the complete MCU rundown from a bartender. To the disappointment of millions worldwide, suddenly Venom was caught in Doctor Strange’s second spell, making it all a tease.
Famously, Eddie and Venom left part of their symbiotic heart behind. After Venom is sent back to the Sony-verse, Venom dropped a piece of itself in the same bar. No question, it easily sets the stage for a potential black suit saga. Marvel upped the ante when it published concept art that reveals Tom Holland being overtaken by a comics-accurate Venom symbiote. That has fueled the rumor mill like nothing else, and it has spawned the latest Knull news.
Remember when Marvel was so careful with its continuity? Those days seem to be over, and NWH is a great example. For one thing, Venom being dragged into the MCU by Doctor Strange’s spell makes no sense, and that was the implication of NWH. Strange clearly stated that the tampered spell reeled in characters who knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man. Unless Eddie Brock had history with Spider-Man that was not made privy to the audience, he wouldn’t have known anything about Spider-Man much less Peter Parker prior to being merged with the MCU. The only reason he knew Peter was Spider-Man was because he happened to see it on the television in his hotel room, and we still don’t know why Venom was drawn to the image of Peter. Like I said, continuity has apparently been tossed out the Multiversal window.
The only other explanation for Venom sliding into the MCU is Knull. Remember that in the Let There Be Carnage end-credits scene, when the weird shimmer occurred, Venom was attempting to connect with the hive mind on Klyntar. Mainstream movie audiences may not be in the loop (at least not yet, if the gossip can be believed), but comic fans know the implications of the hive mind and its connection to Knull.
For those needing a refresher, in 2018, Donny Cates rewrote the rules for the Venom-verse. Instead of Klyntar being a magical, friendly place where all the symbiotes live in peace and harmony, it is actually a prison for Knull. Although Knull cannot escape Klyntar, he still controlled the hive mind and remained connected to all the symbiotes before he was defeated and replaced by Eddie Brock.
With the hive mind having been mentioned in LTBC, Marvel Studios could use that to bridge the gap and bring Knull into the fold. Since he is a god, it would not be out of the question that he could travel between dimensions. Considering this is Marvel, it’s not like they’ll be overly concerned with interdimensional travel being logical anyway. The easiest explanation would be to blame Venom’s universe warp on Knull. For that matter, it would be simple to attribute the piece of symbiote left in the MCU to Knull’s doing as well. When Peter gets the costume, that could trigger the symbiote god’s arrival to the MCU like a homing beacon.
This isn’t the first time there have been rumors of Knull joining a movie universe. Leading into LTBC, there was speculation that his most devoted follower from the comics, Kletus Cassady, would make a connection with Knull’s spiral or another Easter egg. Although hardly anyone watched it, Hulu’s Hellstrom featured the infamous spiral drawn on a wall, which many fans tied to Knull.
The theories extend outside the Spider- and Venom-verses. Marvel confirmed that Christian Bale will play Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder. In the comics, both Gorr and Thor (which sounds like a sketchy law firm) are tied to the Knull mythos. Gorr first appeared in Thor: God of Thunder #2, a comic that also featured the debut of the Necrosword. Cates retconned the sword’s backstory so that Knull created it from the first symbiote, and somehow that is why symbiotes are afraid of fire (comic book logic).
It goes further than that. Although he was initially unnamed, Knull made his cameo debut in Thor: God of Thunder #6, which puts the symbiote god firmly in the Thor comics. Knull’s connection to Thor goes deeper than just a cameo. He once sent his symbiote dragon, Grendel, to Denmark in a retelling of the ancient Nordic myth. Playing the part of Beowulf in this story was Thor, who called down the lightning to thwart the creature.
Between the LTBC mention of the hive mind, a Venom spawn being left behind in NWH, and Knull’s ties to Thor and the Necrosword, Marvel has a path to bringing the King in Black to the MCU. For that matter, he has a connection to Guardians of the Galaxy since Cates credited Knull with using the Necrosword to behead a Celestial, thus creating Knowhere.
All the previous rumors and theories resulted in momentary boosts in fair market values for Knull’s key issues. In the post-NWH movie world where anything and everything can happen, the latest rumors will cause an even bigger FMV hike for all of his firsts. In fact, it's already begun.
VENOM #3 THIRD PRINT
For the last four years now, the third print of Venom #3 has been the Knull key to own. This is not his first appearance - after all, it is a subsequent printing - but it was the first time collectors saw the King in Black on the cover art. As we know in the collecting world, those first cover appearances are often times more coveted than the actual first appearances. In this case, the inflated prices come down to availability. This particular variant had a smaller print run than the standard editions for the first print, which is only natural, and it’s made this the must-have comic to own among Knull fans.
After Knull met his demise at the end of the King in Black crossover event, the prices for all his keys took a hit, starting with this one. Now that the rumor mill is churning, the values are on the way up. Last year, the third print graded at a 9.8 averaged $462, and the 90-day FMV had a modest dip to $422. On Sunday, one copy surged to nearly $500.
THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #6
In 2013, Jason Aaron unwittingly gave readers their first look at Knull. Of course, he wasn’t known as Knull at that time. He was one of two mysterious cosmic deities who crashed onto Gorr’s planet. It appeared that Knull and a golden-armored figure had killed each other in combat, their weapons impaled in one another. Gorr took the Necrosword from Knull and continued his quest to rid the universe of gods. In fact, Thor became unworthy of Mjolnir due in large part to Gorr. That set the stage for Jane Foster to become worthy, and it could be what we see in Thor: Love and Thunder. If we see Gorr wielding the Necrosword, that will fuel a massive amount of Knull speculation.
Want Knull’s first cameo? The last time a graded 9.8 traded hands, it brought $339 on February 5. It has already sold for as much as $425 in 2022, and the most recent sale for a raw copy earned $150.
VENOM #3 FIRST PRINT
In the grand scheme of collecting, the first print of Venom #3 has become the consolation prize. Although it is Knull’s first appearance, he isn’t on the cover, and that holds the FMVs down, but that is a good thing. Instead of paying the inflated third-print prices, you can own a graded 9.8 for around $300. If the raw copies are any indication, that price is ready to swell. Since this past weekend, those have been earning anywhere from $100 to $200.
As usual, the second full appearance is the participation trophy of collecting. Sure, it’s a nice gesture, but it’s not the same as that all-important first appearance. For Knull fans on a budget, this is a suitable replacement. Instead of paying $300 for a graded 9.8 of the Venom #3 first print, issue #4 will only set you back about $100. Exchange the slab for a raw copy, and that price drops to about $30.
GOD IS COMING
With so many clear pathways to Knull laid out and waiting for Marvel Studios, it is no wonder that fans are putting stock into the latest rumor. It carries more weight than prior Knull gossip, and that will continue to fuel the investment speculation for the immediate future. I doubt we’ll see those $1k prices for the third print like we did last year, but I predict the prices will keep climbing at least into the spring. The telling signs will come from the next Venom and Spider-Man projects, and that will either kill the speculation or drive it into a higher gear.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.