Following the conclusion of Marvel's current King in Black crossover, writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman will conclude their run on Venom with Venom #200, in April.
The oversized Venom #200, announced via IGN (opens in new tab), will bring Cates and Stegman's Venom saga to a close with a new status quo spinning out of King in Black. The milestone issue will also feature contributions from an unnamed roster of artists who have contributed to Cates's Venom run over the years.(opens in new tab)
"It's something that we've been building to, and building to, and building to. Now we're here. Ryan and I talk about that a lot," Cates tells IGN.
"About how Ryan will send in a new page or King in Black, and it's finally like a drawing of something that we've all been thinking about, a particular moment or a scene that we've all been thinking about for almost four years now," Cates continues. "So it's pretty surreal. It's crazy. It really is a testament to how awesome the Marvel fanbase has been and the Venom fans in general, that they've supported the book so much. That this crazy idea of this Knull thing has stuck around so long, that we're actually getting to do this."
Cates also goes on to address the potential status quo changes that King in Black will bring to Venom, which the writer says have been in the works for some time. King in Black readers know that Eddie Brock's body was destroyed at the start of the story, though his consciousness survives as part of the symbiote hivemind – developments which may lend themselves to what comes next.
"Both King in Black and the Venom tie-ins themselves are both structured to really, really, really give a new status quo, to give gifts back or add things to the Marvel landscape," Cates explains.
"So far we've been pretty destructive. So far we've been taking things away. So without saying too much, the Venom storyline that follows the events of King in Black is really a fun chance to be a little bit more introspective and to get a little bit more - surreal is maybe a word for it - and go into the depth of the void, and Knull's abyss, and see what's in there and really feel the suffering and all those things."
Cates states that the ending of his arc was always in place – it just so happened to also line up with the right timing for Venom #200, which the writer says completes the tale he and Stegman set out to tell.
"Our Venom run is one big, long arc. It just lined up that Venom #200 was the completion of that story," Cates states. "It's the story... much in the same way that Jason [Aaron] was on Thor for so long and then he told the story."
"He told his Thor epic and then it was time for some idiot to come on and try and do his best," Cates continues jokingly, as the "idiot" who took over on Thor following Aaron's departure.
"I don't want people to get to think that we're upset or that we're sad or anything. We're really proud of this run. We just think this is it."
"This is the story and we're really, really proud of that story, and proud to see it continue. Let someone else have their chance to tell their story," Cates concludes, explaining that he and Stegman are already planning their next collaboration.
"This isn't a funeral, this is a celebration. Ryan and I are cooking some stuff up that we think people are really going to enjoy. While our run on Venom is coming to a close, there will be more Ryan and Donny things for sure."
Venom #200 is due out in April. Watch for Marvel Comics' full April 2021 solicitations later this month on Newsarama.
Will King in Black make it to the ranks of the best Marvel Comics stories of all time?