Little-Known Marvel Characters: Knull


Knull is the God of the symbiotes, the first being born in the whole of the Universe, and the 6th Cosmos. He is easily one of the most powerful beings alive and is the creator of the symbiote species, which include famous examples such as Venom, Carnage, Riot, Phage, Lasher, Toxin, and Scream. The first symbiote he ever formed was All-Black, the Necrosword. He used it to cut off the head of a Celestial, and then, using the inside of the Celestial’s head as a forge, he refined the blade, and it was imbued with the headless Celestial’s might. Knull himself was unaware of this until the Valkyries, immortal warrior maidens of Asgard, managed to separate him from this power.

So what are Knull’s abilities? Well, to start with, he’s a god, and it clearly shows. His strength is unchartable; he ripped the Sentry, one of the multiverse’s strongest heroes, in half and absorbed the Void, the dark side of the Sentry’s powers. He is immortal, so he physically cannot die, and while Venom may have appeared to kill him by throwing him into the sun, it remains a question as to when Knull will return, considering how popular Marvel’s “King in Black” event was. He has the ability to fly, manifesting dragon-like wings out of his back, or using a symbiote dragon as a steed, and is nearly indestructible. It takes a lot to hurt Knull, but even when he is injured, he has a regenerative healing factor that kicks in to take away any damage inflicted on him. His intelligence is cruel and calculating, on par with Tony Stark, but not quite to the level of Reed Richards. He has millennia of battle experience, which he uses to devastating effect against his enemies.

Knull’s most impressive power is classified as “Supreme Umbrakinesis.” This means that he has the near unlimited power to control what he refers to as “The Living Abyss”, which is basically the primordial void. This is how he created the symbiote hivemind. The symbiotes, symbiote dragons, the Exolon, and a couple of individual examples such as Mister E. and the Void Knight, are all comprised of this living darkness. Not only did Knull create them out of the living abyss, he can dominate any symbiote within his vicinity by a mere thought. There are a couple of exceptions to this within the Marvel Multiverse, including the Venom symbiote and Gwen Stacy’s artificial symbiote. He commands an enormous army of symbiotes; just to give you a sense of scale, he wrapped the entire earth in a symbiotic dome, and still had enough to absorb everyone on earth and cover the ground and buildings, and manifest an enormous hand of darkness.

Knull also has temporal manipulation, which isn’t exactly time travel but can influence the past. For example, he resurrected Mister E and gave him his full power in the past in a bid to prematurely free himself from his prison. This is also why if you read the new Venom comics, Eddie Brock seems to travel through time because as the new King in Black, he inherited this power from Knull.

Knull is a multiversal being, meaning he is not exclusive to just one universe, and there are hardly any variations between his manifestations in the multiverse. Not only that, his multiversal selves seem to be able to interface with each other, providing what works in one universe, and it may work in others. The last time the multiverse dealt with a threat like this, everything collapsed, and the multiverse ended. That’s the kind of threat that Knull is to not only the main Marvel universe but to the very existence of the multiverse.

Can we see Knull make an entrance into the MCU? Surprisingly, even though Marvel Studios does not have the right to the symbiotes, as they are under Sony’s universe of Marvel Characters, we do in fact have a potential setup for Knull. Allow me to explain: in Thor: Love and Thunder, the character of Gorr the God Butcher is the main antagonist. However, the fact that Gorr exists as is in the MCU means Knull has to exist somewhere within that universe, simply because his sword exists. That sword is All-Black, the very first symbiote to ever be created, and the primary instrument of Knull’s will. Not only does that serve as a setup, the space station Knowhere is a Celestial’s decapitated head, and could be the corpse of the slain Celestial. Also, in the end scene of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock made his way into the MCU, and his Venom dropped what appears to be a clone, which will likely be a large plot point in the upcoming new Spider-Man trilogy. So the groundwork is definitely there, however, it will likely be a long time before we get to see Knull in the MCU. Since Knull is such a massive threat, making Thanos look like a playground bully, it will likely take a full three phases to set him up and deal with his threat, leading to the King in Black Saga. However, this is likely some way out, due to licensing differences of the characters necessary for the story to function.