King in Black: Wiccan & Hulkling #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on March 01, 2021

Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Luciano Vecchio
Colours: Espen Grundetjern
Letters: VC’s Ariana Maher

The latest King in Black tie-in, Wiccan and Hulkling, follows our titular couple as they try to get some time alone following their wedding in the recent Empyre event. Our heroes have gone from one disaster to another following the aftermath of their wedding, so when the opportunity to have a proper honeymoon is offered by the Shi’Ar empire it almost seems too good to be true. They make a sweet couple and it would be an entertaining comic just watching them try, and fail, to get some time together. Except this is a King in Black tie-in, so it’s only a matter of time before Knull’s minions show up and throw another spanner into the works. Tini Howard uses this desire to have some alone time to great comedic effect throughout the issue, as our heroes repeatedly try and fail to get their time.

This issue also offers up a continuation of events we saw in Web of Venom: Empyre’s End, so for readers out there wondering what happened to Talos and his crew we get some answers. In recent years it feels like there is an endless supply of mediocre tie-ins which are there purely to bulk out the main event and make some extra money for the Publisher. However King in Black has managed to stray away from this trend, having stories like this which are really about telling the next chapter in characters lifes, set against the backdrop of King in Black. Considering this is one of the biggest, universe shattering events of the past few years it makes sense that literally everybody is affected by Knull and his minions. But rather than making each tie-in essential reading for the main event it feels like we’re getting snapshots of how each character is affected, and it leaves readers to pick and choose the characters or stories they’re interested in without feeling obligated to empty their wallets on every tie-in going.

This story will obviously appeal to fans of the titular characters, but its appeal goes further than that, to fans of the recent Empyre event, and even Marvels Cosmic characters as Hulkling’s role as Emperor makes him an important player. It’ll also appeal to fans who enjoy a good romance, something that can all too often be skimmed over in the world of comics.

Luciano Vecchio’s art is excellent, he manages to bring numerous aliens and different planets to life brilliantly, but it’s the symbiotes where the art really shines. The unique nature of the symbiotes gives artists the opportunity to play around a little with their design and have their own take on them, while still being faithful to their design. In fact one of the highlights of King in Black overall has been watching all the different artists with their different takes on the symbiotes. With a love story the quieter moments are equally as important, if not more so, than the action filled ones, and Vecchio manages to capture the love between Wiccan and Hulkling effortlessly. Espen Grundetjern does a fantastic job with the colours. This issue relies quite heavily on light repelling the dark, and thanks to Grundetjern it not only looks fantastic but also works incredibly well.

While not essential reading for the larger King in Black event it’s a fun love story focusing on one of Marvels biggest couples at the moment. Fans of the couple, along with Empyre and cosmic, will lap this story up, and completionists won’t feel like this is a waste of money. As if an entertaining story isn’t reason enough to pick this up, the art and colours are fantastic too.

Our Score:


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