Marvel Comics has officially confirmed that its greatest villain is Knull, the God of the Symbiotes. The last few years have seen writers Ryan Stegman and Donny Cates rewrite Venom's mythology, adding both cosmic and mystical elements to the tongue-slavering symbiote's lore.
They've revealed that the symbiotes were created by an ancient being of darkness called Knull, who lived in the void before the Big Bang and objected vehemently to the creation of light. Knull has fought against life and light since the beginning of time, and he fashioned the symbiotes so he could enslave others to his cause. Fortunately, he was trapped at the heart of the symbiote planet of Klyntar; he's currently attempting to escape in the "Absolute Carnage" event, and if he succeeds, all life will fall before him.
Donny Cates' Silver Surfer: Black has revealed just how dangerous Knull really is. The five-issue miniseries sees the Silver Surfer transported back in time to the dawning days of the universe, when Ego the Living Planet was newborn and the Celestials were commonplace. To his horror, the Surfer discovers that this is a time of cosmic darkness, with Knull campaigning to snuff out all trace of life and light. He's already forged All-Black, the Necrosword, a blade of darkness powerful enough to slay even a Celestial. Even the Silver Surfer's Power Cosmic isn't enough to beat Knull.
Donny Cates is transforming Knull into the most formidable threat the cosmos has ever seen. According to Silver Surfer: Black, Knull's rage delayed the development of life across the entire universe. The few civilizations that were able to develop were hidden, desperately afraid of the dark, destined to be hunted down by the God of the Symbiotes and slain. Fortunately, the Silver Surfer is able to work together with Ego the Living Planet in order to tap into the ambient life energy of these developing civilizations. He combines this with the Power Cosmic, and successfully deals Knull a devastating blow, banishing him for a time and giving the universe a chance to develop.
Meanwhile, Jason Aaron's King Thor run has confirmed that the threat of Knull will endure to the end of the universe itself. That comic is set shortly before the heat death of the universe, at a time when only a handful of beings are still alive. One of them is Gorr, the God-Butcher, who wields the Necrosword - a weapon so formidable that it has the potential to kill even the All-Father Thor himself.
Silver Surfer: Black is on sale now from Marvel Comics.