The other major reveal in this issue was that Voyager is, in fact, the daughter of the Grandmaster -- and was never an Avenger at all. She used her teleportation abilities to travel inside the memories of the Avengers and implant images of herself there. Now that the mystery of the character has been resolved, what can you tell us about the creation and evolution of Voyager? Who came up with the idea to make her the Grandmaster's daughter? And what inspired the idea to hide her among the Avengers?
Mark Waid: [Laughs] I honestly don't remember who first suggested the idea of a faux-founder, though I want to say it was [Editor] Tom Brevoort. All of us were adamant on one point: no ret-conning. I was probably the loudest about that -- having played that card once already in my career with Triumph, I had no interest in pulling the same trick twice, though I knew we'd be excoriated for a few weeks until the truth came out.
I very rarely am the one to bring the thunder, but I take pride in the idea of Voyager selling her fake origin by actually linking it to an existing (though new for this story) scientist that some of the other Avengers might have heard of, giving her tale just the right amount of verisimilitude.
Brevoort, in particular, was rightfully insistent that the character design look fully appropriate to the 1960s Marvel era.
Zub: Yeah, the idea was one of several that popped up while we brainstormed and we revisited it once we had the Grandmaster in place, since it provided a nice "ace" he could rely on. I'm pretty sure I came up with her focus being teleportation (and we realized how useful that would be for shepherding characters to fights all over the world) as a power that hadn't already been used much in the Avengers and wouldn't intrude on other character's expertise, but someone else nailed down the name. My original name for her was Vector, which we ended up using for her secret identity.
The revelation about Voyager's identity begs the question of whose side she's truly on. Can you talk at all about her allegiances? Is she a true wild card? And did pretending to be a hero with the Avengers affect her at all? Is it possible that she's experiencing a sort of "Thunderbolts" effect?
Waid: Those are a lot of reveals left to come that you're asking for, pal!
Ewing: Voyager's another big mystery - at least right now. Have patience, and the next few issues will reward you!
Zub: That's the piece we're going to hold tight for now. Readers may know who she is, but her motivation at this stage and where she ends up is still under wraps.
Avengers #683-684 marked the beginning of Paco Medina's contribution to "No Surrender." He's a veteran superhero artist with a knack for telling action packed and expressive stories that Al has worked with a number of times. What's it like working with Paco on this story and seeing his pages come in?
Waid: Paco crams power and energy into every drawing. It's amazing. It's literally difficult to look away from a Medina page.
Ewing: I'm going to jump in and sing Paco's praises here, as this might be the last time we work together for a little while. He's a rock - classic and modern at the same time, with energy to spare. I honestly can't think of anyone better to do the kind of off-beat, fun, wild and crazy cape-comix madness we've been getting up to together for the last few years. I know I can throw pretty much anything at him and he'll make it sing, which gives me the confidence to get really bizarre on occasion. Hulk's fight with [REDACTED] in issue #686, for example, is one for the ages. And of course, we've had inker extraordinaire Juan Vlasco making it all crisp, sharp and electric - those two are the perfect artistic team, and I'm glad they let me hang around for a while.
Zub: Paco brings confident storytelling to every page. He's one of the best in the business. It's been such a blast working with him, especially with Juan Vlasco's inks and Jesus Abertov's colors taking each page to new heights. The art teams on “No Surrender” have been incredibly consistent and, with so many characters and the many locations and weird situations we put together for the story, I don't want anyone to take that for granted. Paco and the others have made this story what it is.
Waid: I also want to mention that our unsung hero every week is letterer Cory Petit. In a perfect world, the only corrections letterers have to make to their work, if any, are minor, but because of the complexity of this story and because there are three writers telling it, there's an unusual amount of rewriting being done after Cory's turned his work in. No one's doing it to torture the poor guy--it's all about making this story the best it can be--but he's been a champ, and we all owe him a nice bottle of his favorite libation when we're wrapped.
Ewing: Count me in as another who owes a great debt, and an apology, to Cory. I hope he lets us pay for dinner at some point.
Zub: We all owe Cory, big time. Getting these issues out the door, week after week, has involved a lot of lettering adjustments and he's tirelessly delivered the goods. Letterers do not get the praise they deserve because, when they do their job well, their contribution can seem almost invisible. Readers are too busy effortlessly moving through the text to realize how clearly it was laid out and how the lettering enhanced the whole reading experience. Let letterers know that you appreciate their work!