Long before Knull, the King in Black, came to drape Earth in living darkness, a major MCU antagonist teamed up with Silver Surfer to fight the Void King. If taking on an entire planet didn’t seem to phase Knull, it’s because he’s had some experience in the area.
Knull’s threat has drawn the attention of nearly all of Earth’s heroes. King in Black features the collective efforts of the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and everyone in between, struggling to defeat the God of Symbiotes and free the Earth from his grasp. Knull existed before the creation of the current universe and has lingered behind Marvel’s history over the centuries. In addition to creating the symbiote species that produced Venom and Carnage, the All-Black Necrosword, the weapon that Gorr the God-Butcher plagued Thor with, came from Knull. Even further back in time, some Marvel characters made the first direct conflict with Knull.
Billions of years ahead of Knull’s Earth invasion, Silver Surfer and Ego the Living Planet stood together against the dark god. After being cast into the abyss of a black hole in Donny Cates, Tradd Moore, and Dave Stewart’s Silver Surfer: Black, the former Herald of Galactus found himself generations in the past and on the doorstep of Knull’s kingdom. The Surfer only escaped the battle that followed with the help of Ego the Living Planet, a character seen in the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, played by Kurt Russell. The version of Ego the Surfer encounters is a young planet who recognizes the danger Knull poses, even billions of years prior to the existence of the Avengers.
After helping the Silver Surfer escape and giving him a space to heal, Ego supplies the weary Surfer with the ability to tap into the living energy of the cosmos. With Ego’s help, the Sentinel of the Spaceways managed to defeat Knull, banishing him to the depths. But the true weapon the Surfer received from Ego were galactic seeds that the dying hero used to seed desert worlds with life, including his homeworld, Zenn-La. The actions of Silver Surfer and Ego not only fought back Knull, but resulted in creating life on countless worlds.
While Ego was not a hero in his live-action adaptation, here he is a clear guardian of the galaxy for his role in the Silver Surfer’s quest. As Marvel’s heroes contend with the King in Black, it’s important to remember Knull could have been even more dangerous, were it not for the past heroics of Silver Surfer and Ego, the Living Planet.