Earlier this year in the 16-part “Avengers: No Surrender,” which ran through Avengers #675-690, the title characters demonstrated what it means to be Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The epic adventure united the ranks of three separate Avengers squads into one big team to battle two warring cosmic entities with sinister designs on Earth. The story also added to the larger Marvel Universe by introducing a new hero named Voyager, as well as the current “Immortal” incarnation of the Hulk.
Al Ewing, Jim Zub and Mark Waid were the writers of “No Surrender,” and after completing their ambitious epic they immediately began brainstorming a follow-up. That spiritual sequel, Avengers: No Road Home, a 10-part weekly miniseries kicks off in February with art by Paco Medina and Sean Izaakse. In the tale, Voyager brings together the Hulk, Hercules, Hawkeye, Spectrum, Vision, Scarlet Witch and Rocket Raccoon (yes, you read that right) to battle a powerful evil.
CBR spoke with Ewing, Zub, and Waid about creating their story, the characters they're most excited to return to, the surprise character that arrives at the miniseries' halfway point, and how the recent passing of Stan Lee impacted their work.
CBR: What was it like getting the band back together for No Road Home and breaking the story for this follow-up to "No Surrender?"
Jim Zub: The day the final part of “No Surrender” arrived in stores and we sent rounds of congratulations, Tom Brevoort let us know that he was interested in having us build another big Avengers weekly storyline -- if we were up for it. Minutes later, we’d all committed to diving back in to the fray. At C2E2. Mark, Tom and I met up and did a bit of brainstorming, and then we pulled together an in-person story summit at the Marvel offices in mid-May.
When we built “No Surrender,” I was honestly really intimidated. Al and Mark have put out some of the best comics at Marvel over the past few years, and I didn’t want to be the weak link in the chain of this crazy, weekly storyline. Thankfully, we all got along and the whole thing came together well. This time, the comradery was instant. We all know what we’re capable of and feel comfortable incorporating each other’s ideas together to find a story we can all be proud of.
Mark Waid: The first thing we settled on was to not duplicate ourselves. With “No Surrender,” we told the biggest story we could imagine, with the biggest cast the books could handle without bursting at the seams. This time, we wanted to pick one Big Bad and make the challenge to the characters a little more personal.
Al Ewing: Working with Mark, Jim, Tom and Alanna [Smith] – not to mention the rest of the gang – on the first one was so much fun that the decision to essentially do it again (but different) wasn’t a decision so much for me as an inevitability. The immediate idea was, as Mark said, to go the opposite route – which meant getting into something smaller and more magical instead of the big cosmic of the first go-round. And, as before, the whole thing’s got a lot bigger than the initial ideas – it’s mutated and evolved as we’ve gone, which is the bit I always enjoy, seeing what bits fall off when the rubber hits the road and which parts rattle into exciting new configurations.