Scream fans, rejoice, as this week she’s getting a new adventure thanks to a one-shot tying into King in Black. Clay McLeod Chapman and Garry Brown are back on the character and she gets to show off a whole slew of powers. One might call this issue the trials of Scream as she’s put through the wringer, but should we expect less from Knull seeking out his very last Symbiote?
But first, it’s Scream versus the Demagoblin! This issue is a great example of how trial after trial can build to a dramatic climax that’s hard to turn away from. Scream’s many talents are on full display here and Chapman and Brown don’t let up. This issue serves as a great single issue to show anyone who doesn’t get Scream’s uniqueness as a Symbiote character, but also as a relentless hero who never gives up.
She’s of course a monster in her own right, but much of that stems from her very real pain. That plays a big part in this narrative and further cements the fact that when Scream’s feet are put to the fire she’s stronger for it.
This story doesn’t hold back, either. For an event tie-in, this issue raises the stakes and increases the tension quite well. I won’t spoil a single thing, but it comes to a conclusion that’s at once fitting and a bit surprising given this is a one-shot. Chapman and Brown do a great job to supply plenty of action and event-level intrigue.
The art by Brown with colors by Rachelle Rosenberg has a rougher style that suits the edgy event. One might call it metal. From Scream to Demagoblin and Knull’s Symbiote dragons in between, the art uses darkness to lift up the color throughout. From specks of red in the blacked-out sky to Scream’s yellow body, Brown captures manic energy in textures and hatching. Between Scream’s Hellfire and the explosions that get thrown about from Demagoblin, this is a bright book, especially when compared to other King in Black stories. That enhances the excitement. The layout design is quite cool too, with panels practically flying off the page, or reflections in shattered glass exposing Demagoblin in an interesting full-page splash from their perspective.
While the narrative does raise its stakes well, it does end rather abruptly, and also via a repeated confrontation that a certain villain should have seen coming. It’s the kind of ending that is largely due to the event itself requiring an open-ended continuation. Whether or not Scream shows up in the final issue of King in Black remains to be seen, but it’s fairly obvious this is Scream’s chance to shine. For that, the creative team has done well.
King In Black: Scream #1 is a great reminder of how compelling Scream is in the Marvel universe and how much more interesting they are in this modern age. It’s also a banger with constant action and the stakes being raised over and over. It’s everything you want in an action comic that’s also a tie-in. If King In Black: Scream isn’t an effective argument she deserves her own series, I don’t know what is.
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