Deadpool and the Venom symbiote have met in the past, but they didn’t have James Stokoe drawing their first adventure together in last year’s Deadpool: Back In Black. The visionary cartoonist behind the hyper-detailed fantasy epic Orc Stain has worked on a number of one-shots and short stories for Marvel in the last few years, and he returns to the publisher for the final installment of the Edge Of Venomverse miniseries. Typically Stokoe writes and draws, but next week’s Edge Of Venomverse #5 has him working with writer Clay McLeod Chapman, who wrote the horror-focused Edge Of Spiderverse #4. Chapman and Stokoe are staying within the horror genre, but the presence of Deadpool significantly changes the atmosphere thanks to his steady stream of comedy, allowing Stokoe to tap into the sense of humor that made Orc Stain such a delight.
Stokoe is currently showing off his horror skills with Dark Horse’s Aliens: Dead Orbit miniseries, and the influence of the Aliens franchise on Edge Of Venomverse #5 is clear from the very first panel of this exclusive preview. The close-up of a worm breaking through the skin of an apple is a direct homage to the chest-burster in Alien—there’s an especially explosive chest-burster moment in Dead Orbit—and the lab Deadpool breaks into is named after the central heroine of the Aliens series. Chapman is providing the requisite jokes, but he’s also crafted a story that works to Stokoe’s strengths, giving him the opportunity to make the horror as creepy as possible so that there’s an intense contrast with the fundamental comedy of Deadpool. Things get pretty crazy in these pages before Deadpool and the symbiote get together, and given the energy of their reunion, readers can expect this book to go way over-the-top as the fighting continues.