WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Avengers #677 by Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub and Pepe Larraz.
We’re only on the third chapter of the Avengers: No Surrender saga and already the world’s superheroes are on the ropes. After the Earth was stolen from its very place in the Universe and taken to an unknown location, and after most of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were taken out of the fight thanks to some sort of stasis field, what few heroes remain are facing overwhelming odds. The last issue of the series ended with the remaining superheroes regrouping in Avengers Mansion, only to be attacked by the villainous Black Order.
The event’s latest issue, Avengers #677, follows up on that cliffhanger by revealing that just ahead of the destruction of the Mansion, Voyager — the forgotten Avenger — managed to teleport everyone away in the nick of time. But she didn’t take them just anywhere. Instead, she took them to the safest place she could think of — like her, something that was forgotten: an auxiliary Avengers headquarters. Wanda Maximoff calls it “The Avengers HQ that never was,” a place she wonders if Tony Stark even remembers setting up in the first place.
Thanks to a trusty editor’s note, we’re reminded that this emergency HQ actually made its first appearance all the way back in 1965’s Avengers #13, by Stan Lee and Don Heck. In the thirteenth issue of the original Avengers series, the team of superheroes went up against the leader of the Maggia, Count Nefaria. The issue saw the Count creating copies of the Avengers, copies he used to attack the United States. On the run from the government, the real Avengers had no choice but to hide and regroup while planning their next course of action. They did so in a secret bunker — the very auxiliary headquarters that just made its return more than 50 years later, in Avengers #677.
This marks quite a nod to Avengers lore of old, and no doubt the creative team behind No Surrender had to pillage through some dusty back issues to find it. Considering that the auxiliary base appears in only a few pages of the original issue, it’s an easy thing to overlook, or completely forget about — which is likely exactly why is was used.
The return of this old base is a nice metaphor for Voyager, the Avenger who was introduced to the team’s history in the opening act of No Surrender. We only recently learned that Voyager was actually one of the founding members of the Avengers, and that she was there for some of their biggest and most iconic moments, even if the team (and readers) had forgotten about her. Since she was around at the beginning, it makes sense for her to know about this base.
That the current emergency headquarters made a brief appearance in the early stages of the team’s history is a nice nod to other forgotten aspects of Avengers lore. Hopefully the series will continue to dive deep into the Avengers past and bring back other long-forgotten places, items and perhaps characters as it unfolds in the coming weeks and months.
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