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Supervillain Origins: Knull, God of the Symbiotes

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Thomas O'Connor
Our Father, who art in… Klyntar? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re recounting the origins of Knull, the powerful dark god who created the Symbiotes. The story of this relatively new character is intertwined with that of his famous progeny, making this an origin story not just for Knull, but the entire Symbiote race.
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Our Father, who art in… Klyntar? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re recounting the origins of Knull, the powerful dark god who created the Symbiotes. The story of this relatively new character is intertwined with that of his famous progeny, making this an origin story not just for Knull, but the entire Symbiote race.

Before the universe burst into existence in the Big Bang, things were pretty quiet and pretty empty, but not entirely so. Dark, eldritch gods lurked in the gloom before creation, and Knull was one such being. When the universe was formed, bringing with it light and life, Knull wasn’t too happy to see his spotless realm besmirched by all these new arrivals. He was especially unhappy with the presence of primordial beings and gods like the Celestials and went to war with the powerful cosmic deities.

But you can’t go to war without a weapon, so Knull forged a powerful blade that would come to be known as the All-Black. This deadly weapon was the progenitor of the symbiotes, formed from Knull’s own being and tempered in a forge inside the decapitated head of a Celestial. And if you think that a powerful sword forged by an eldritch god in the severed head of a celestial deity in order to wage war on the gods of light is the most metal thing ever, you are correct.

Armed with this fearsome weapon, Knull waged war on the Celestials and any other gods he could get his pasty hands on. But no matter how powerful you are, waging a one-man war on the gods isn’t likely to end well, and Knull was eventually defeated and fell to a nearly barren world. While Knull lay helpless, the All-Black was picked up by Gorr, a being with a similar desire to massacre the gods. Gorr’s story is one for another time, however.

Eventually, Knull awoke and began to rebuild his strength, and it was around this time that he learned a new trick. Similar to how he created the All-Black, Knull found he was able to create symbiotic organisms capable of bonding with other lifeforms. These creatures formed a hive-mind with their master, acting as remote-controlled extensions of his will and feeding the power taken from their hosts back to him.

With his new Symbiote army, Knull got back to work in his war against the gods, a quest that eventually brought his forces to a little planet called Earth. Knull came to the small blue world in the form of a gigantic dragon formed from multiple symbiotes. In this powerful form, he attacked a Norse settlement that fearfully named the creature “The Grendel”. The beast was eventually felled by none other than Thor, who struck is down with a bolt of lightning.

But Thor’s wrath did more than just give The Grendel a nasty shock. The bolt also severed Knull’s link to his progeny, freeing them from his control and trapping his mind inside the body of the creature, which became frozen inside a glacier. Now able to determine their own path, the symbiotes rebelled against Knull and imprisoned his true body in Klyntar, a massive planet-like swarm of Symbiotes named after their word for ‘cage’.

Flash forward a few centuries, and The Grendel’s body was found and secretly used by S.H.I.E.L.D to form a group of Symbiote-empowered super-soldiers, most of whom were put into stasis when they became inseparably bonded together. Eventually, Knull’s consciousness awakened within the body of The Grendel, allowing him to reach out to the Symbiotes that had been extracted from it by S.H.I.E.L.D. Reuniting with its missing pieces, The Grendel and Knull’s consciousness were reawakened, releasing a terrifying new villain into the Marvel Universe.

The Marvel Universe is home to a near-countless number of Gods, cosmic entities and other all-powerful beings, but few are quite so imposing as this new face.
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