One of the most incredible locations in the entire Marvel Universe is now its own self-contained Hell.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Return of the Valkyries #2 by Jason Aaron, Torunn Gronbekk, Nina Vakueva, Tamra Bonvillain and VC’s Joe Sabino, on sale now.
The story of Knull’s history started being told long before the events of King in Black. Every moment of the dark god’s existence is described as sheer terror, save for the time he spent imprisoned by his own creations. Now that he has been freed and made his way to Earth, our world is awash in destruction and death. All of the carnage is visible from afar to Jane Foster, the current bearer of the title of Valkyrie. The creeping darkness extends far beyond just Earth itself, all the way to a place that has long been an important part of the Marvel Universe — though it was only recently revealed to be the most horrifying location of all.
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After Knull murdered the Sentry up above the Earth’s atmosphere, Valkyrie was there to meet his soul and ferry it off to Valhalla. While the hero’s demise was gruesome, to say the least, a place in the eternal hall of heroes is more than earned after all that he has been through. Unfortunately, something else appeared along the way, or rather, somewhere else. Sentry and Valkyrie had no sooner come across the long-dead corpse of a Celestial than they were set upon by the menacing undead that burst forth from within it. Sentry was lost to the horrors they had stumbled upon, though Jane didn’t leave empty-handed. In her efforts to rescue Sentry, Jane set free one of the very first of her kind. Once they are reunited with Brunnhilde they are finally able to learn the truth of what they have just escaped.
Knull existed before life itself, drifting peacefully through the void that came before anything else. When the Celestials birthed life into the universe, their light drove Knull into a rage, and from his own newly cast shadow he drew a blade of living darkness. With his newly formed blade, Knull decapitated one of the Celestials in retaliation. As Brunnhilde tells it, this was the very first death, and the impact of it went farther than anyone could have ever expected. The head of the Celestial, dubbed Knowhere, became the first seat of Knull’s throne, as well as a forge in which he could perfect his craft of creating monsters and dragons from the living darkness he commanded. Knowhere has been an important location for a long time, not just in the comics, but in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well, though the body of the Celestial has never been found. At least, not until now, and Brunnhilde knows all of its secrets.
The body of Knowhere, though dead and drifting through the newly birthed universe, still contained a portion of its Celestial soul. That last remaining part of itself created a world within its own corpse, somewhere connected to the blade that slew it. While the body of Knowhere feeds itself from the lives taken by Knull, it shares the energy harvested from them to the dark god’s Necrosword. Knowhere’s corpse isn’t just a prison for the damned, it’s an afterlife unto itself. It’s probably the furthest thing from Valhalla that the Sentry could have been taken to, and readers can only hope it’s still him whenever he comes back out.
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