WARNING: The following contains spoilers for King in Black #3, by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin and VC’s Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
In King in Black #3, Knull continues to tighten his grip on the entire world. After transforming much of the Avengers and the X-Men into his symbiotes, Knull sets his new army loose on the remaining heroes, who have devised a plan to protect Dylan Brock. Luckily, Thor finally shows up to fight Knull, but despite a grueling battle, even the God of Thunder himself fails to defeat the supervillain. Worse still, Knull has now activated his dark Celestials, who begin to destroy everything in their path. And yet, hope remains. Indeed, as the issue comes to a close, the Silver Surfer appears, ready to join the fight against the god of the symbiotes.
Norrin Radd is a one-man, cosmic cavalry who may just be able to turn the tide in favor of the superheroes. But where has he been all this time, and what has he been up to?
At the start of 2018’s Guardians of the Galaxy series by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw, the Silver Surfer was swallowed in a black hole that transported him billions of years into the past. There, Norrin Radd found a nascent universe where Ego, the Living Planet was still young, where Galactus had yet to be born and where Knull was only beginning to rise in power in Silver Surfer: Black by Cates and artist Tradd Moore. At the beginning of time, Silver Surfer faced Knull in battle, and while the god of the symbiotes proved to be a terrifying and powerful opponent, Norrin got some help from Ego.
Thankfully, the Surfer was able to defeat Knull, and propel life all across the cosmos in the process. He eventually returned to his own time, but he was greatly affected by the battle. Now, he was no longer shining silver: he was covered in luminescent black.
Since then, the Silver Surfer has made a few other appearances, taking part in the fight to control the Starbrand in Avengers, and helping Thor take on the Black Winter in Thor. Most recently, the Silver Surfer was contacted by Reed Richards in Fantastic Four #27. At that point, the cosmic superhero was located in the constellation of Sciath, and Mr. Fantastic contacted him thanks to the Cosmi-Comm. During their conversation, Norrin explained that he went back in time and lived through the duration of the universe once again.
Now, the Surfer is finally heading back to Earth, and he’s coming to fight Knull once again. During their first battle, Knull nearly proved superior, but Ego helped the Surfer win the day. This time, there will be no Living Planet present to help Norrin fight Knull. And to make matters worse, the god of the symbiotes looks to be even more powerful and frightening than he did at the beginning of time. This is a different Knull than Norrin first faced. But the same can be said for the Silver Surfer: he is not the same cosmic hero Knull faced billions of years ago. Both characters have evolved and grown in power. And that means their rematch promises to be one for the ages.