MARVEL'S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PRELUDE artist overcomes the intimidation factor for this tie-in.

Sure, everyone’s excited about the holiday season we find ourselves in, but plenty of fans can’t help but look forward to May 4 when Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” blasts into theaters.

To help make the wait a bit easier, Marvel’s releasing a pair of MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PRELUDE issues with the first debuting on January 24. Written by Marvel Studios’ Creative Research Manager Will Corona Pilgrim and drawn by Tigh Walker!

The issue features Captain America and Winter Soldier attempting to track down a terrorist. However, they’re not the only ones and Iron Man soon shows up as well. The issue promises to offer plenty of first looks and surprises for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans.

We caught up with Walker to talk about the intimidation factor that comes along with a project like this, working with Pilgrim and playing in this different Marvel sandbox.

Marvel.com: How does it feel to be working on a book like this that sets up such a highly anticipated film?

Tigh Walker: How doesn’t it feel, TJ? Know what I mean?

I think in an early e-mail to [editor] Mark [Basso], I used the word “intimidated” about 73 times. He responded, asking why I’d sent him an e-mail that just said “intimidated” 73 times without any context and I told him that it’d make sense later on when I was talking with TJ, and not to worry about it. So he sent me back a GIF of an alligator making cupcakes and we both laughed and I wasn’t so intimidated anymore, but I was slightly obsessed with alligators making cupcakes from that point on.

Also, I was really excited and honored to be a small part of it all, I mean… it’s Avengers! Did I mention it felt intimidating?

Marvel.com: How was it getting an early peek at what the characters would look like in the film and translating that to the page?

Tigh Walker: How doesn’t it feel, TJ? Know what–wait–sorry, got my answers mixed up, let’s try that again. It was super cool getting to see a little bit of what’s to come for these characters.

And it was fun but challenging to translate them to the page, because you want something that’s representative of what they are and will be, but you also want it to be a bit of a different flavor because it’s not the same medium, if that makes any sense.

Marvel.com: Did any of the costumes or characters give you more trouble than others when figuring them out?

Tigh Walker: Yes, absolutely! Iron Man’s costume was tough to figure out from certain angles for sure and Captain America’s torso/chest design-y bits were a little tricky at first, but once you figure them out, it’s smooth sailing.

Really, the Winter Soldier’s beard was the toughest out of all of them. Is it a beard? Or is it more of a 5 o’clock shadow thing he’s got goin’ on? Is it a beard junior? Needless to say, I toiled over it, made lists, diagrams, apple pie charts and then I chugged three Cherry Coke Zero’s, threw a goat into a lake and said to myself “Maybe don’t think about it so much? Maybe it’s more of a feeling than a beard?” And that’s really when it clicked for me and I knew just what to do.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about the way characters like Captain America and Iron Man react to one another in this story? They didn’t exactly leave each other on the best terms when last they met on the big screen.

Tigh Walker: Well, we start with a conflict you’ve seen in the recent films as a lead-in to some of the new status quo for our heroes.

I’m not sure what I’m allowed to reveal here (Mark?) but we do see a bit of (ahem, Mark?) Cap, Winter Soldier and T’Challa chatting about (Mark-I need you now more than ever!) y’know…stuff and things. And we get a glimpse of Tony’s mindset that leads us right into his actions for the next film.

Marvel.com: How was it working with Will on this gateway to “Avengers: Infinity War?”

Tigh Walker: Working from his script was a ton of fun! It was written “Marvel-Style” which was interesting creatively for me–being fairly unaccustomed to working that way–but I found that I really liked it. It gives you a bit of room to try things out that you might not otherwise have thought of because you’re sort of in a different head-space.

Like when I decided to start drawing all the characters as potatoes, but dressed in their proper costumes… Mark had to reel me in on that one, but having the leeway to turn characters into potatoes, if my heart wanted it, was quite freeing.

Get your first taste of “Infinity War” on January 24 with MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PRELUDE #1 by Will Corona Pilgrim and Tigh Walker.

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Symbiote and Spirit of Vengeance mix as Ghost Rider goes Venom!

Simon Spurrier and Tigh Walker just might tip the scales in favor of the symbiotes in the pages of EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #3. The July 26-dropping issue brings a new Venomized character into the fold: Ghost Rider! With the Spirit of Vengeance, otherwise known as Robbie Reyes, on the side of the symbiotes, it may seem impossible for the good guys to pull out a win—but we’ve got faith in them.

While we wait on the big event, we talk with Walker about bringing these two deadly designs together, working towards a monumental story, and working with Spurrier!

Marvel.com: When creating the look of this symbiote-possessed Ghost Rider, what were the key elements of each individual icon that had to come through in the finished product?

Tigh Walker: One thing that I really hoped to carry over from both characters was that slick black oiliness against those clean, crisp white designs. From Venom, the spider, and from Ghost Rider, those bold blocky lines. So I tried to combine those two iconic shapes into something new but familiar for the Host Rider.

More specifically, I really wanted to include Venom’s tangle of teeth, tentacle-y tongue and scraggy eye shape.

Then, I was also looking to borrow Ghost Rider’s skeletal schnoz, cheek bar thing—I don’t know what it is but I dig it!—and that fountain of forehead flames.

I really wanted to make him something you might actually be scared of if you met him in real life. I mean, I’m sure if you met him in real life he’d be totally disarming. His name would be Stu or something, and he’d be a dentist or an accountant and he’d have two corgis, a favorite movie, and a song that made him cry every time he heard it; he’d be a lovely guy. But because it’s not real life and both Venom and Ghost Rider are a tad horrifying on their own, it was important that that quality be mirrored in the Host Rider.

Marvel.com: How was the actual design process for this combined character? Was there a lot of back and forth about getting him to look just right?

Tigh Walker: My first impulse was to go out, grab a Ghost Rider and a Venom costume, put them on at the same time, stand in front of the mirror, take some pics and send them to [editors] Devin [Lewis and] Allison [Stock] for feedback. But the sales clerk thought I was saying denim, not Venom, and basically I got some sweet jean shorts that I didn’t want instead.

I’m just kidding. I totally wanted the jean shorts. They’re amazing and do wonders for my calves.

For the design, Devin/Allison initially sent me a few really nice covers that had been done previously, so I had those as a reference to begin with. Then after reading the script, I had a fairly solid idea of what I thought this [fiery]/goopy/toothy guy should look like.

For the Host Rider himself there wasn’t too much back and forth, but there was a bit for his mount/vehicle, just to get that sweet puppy looking right.

There were a lot of designs for this issue and every one of them was insanely fun to work on. So much so that I’ve started Venomizing random things at home. Toothbrush? Venomized. Grape soda? Venomized. My fish, Fin Diesel? Venomized. It’s pretty fun, you should totally try it. Or don’t, I’m not the boss of you, do what you like.

Marvel.com: With a Venomized Ghost Rider you’ve got two very different kinetic elements at play between the symbiote and the latter’s fire. How was it playing with those two from panel to panel?

Tigh Walker: It was interesting to find a balance for sure. Both of those elements can get pretty busy visually just on their own, so it was fun to marry them and find ways to have them co-exist.

I found that the fire really helped show large sweeping movement because you can have it trailing off of the Host Rider in fun ways. There were also cues from Simon about which element should be favored and when, which really helped.

For his weapons, the Host Rider uses a sort of fiery flail type thingy sometimes, but he can also shoot chains—like webbing—that are covered in that slick, black symbiote goopy stuff. So there are opportunities to showcase it all.

Marvel.com: Both Venom and Ghost Rider are pretty powerful on their own, but combined they sound almost unstoppable. Is it fun playing with that level of ability on the page?

Tigh Walker: Look TJ, by now I feel like we’re friends, so I’m not going to sit here and lie to you: it really is. It’s super fun. It was a challenge to try and convey that amount of energy on the pages, but I tried to fit as much in as possible. Oddly, as I was drawing this issue, every now and again I caught myself smiling giddily for no other reason than the page was just crazy fun to be drawing. And I don’t normally smile, like, ever. Not even for pictures.

Marvel.com: How has it been working with Simon and editorial on this important lead up to a big event?

Tigh Walker: Working with Simon/Devin/Allison has been sincerely fantastic.

I can’t really say enough about Simon’s script for this issue. Immediately after reading it for the first time I stood up, screamed “Are you kidding me right now?!?” at some random cat that just happened to be in my living room, ran down three flights of stairs and whipped an egg salad sandwich at a parked car. So basically, Simon owes me an egg salad sandwich. That’s how good his script is. It’s egg salad all over a car good.

Devin and Allison are super great to work with and I’m very honored and excited to be a part of the lead up and to see where the story takes us. I’ll tell you what though, if I ever get a chance to meet them—they’re both getting hugs. And I’m not even a hugger, like at all, so it’s sure to be extra awkward for all of us.

EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #3 by Simon Spurrier and Tigh Walker roars into stores on July 26.

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