Comics

To Infinity War & Beyond with Tigh Walker

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

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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.