In this issue and the last, Voyager reveals her (sort-of) true heroic colors. It feels like her journey as a character in this story has been an homage to the transformative power of fighting against and alongside the Avengers that we've seen over the years in characters from Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch to characters like the original Thunderbolts. Was that your intention with Voyager?
Mark Waid: From the start, yes. Voyager's journey was always about What It Means To Be An Avenger. Possible spoiler warning: it doesn't always mean walking away from every battle intact.
Al Ewing: It's a little tricky talking about Voyager's journey at this point. Because that journey isn't complete, we're at risk of spoilers. She wants to do the right thing, to do better, to be a true part of what the Avengers are. But after everything she's done, is that enough?
Zub: We wanted “No Surrender” to embrace the "legacy" concept. It's central to our story, and Voyager is the embodiment of that idea.
Voyager and Quicksilver's actions in this issue mean some heroes and villains who haven't had a chance to play a role in this story thanks to the Grandmaster's machinations will have a chance to step up and be part of the action. It looks like chief among them is Steve Rogers. What was it like writing him in this story and bouncing him off the other characters?
Waid: More complex than you'd imagine. The thing about Steve Rogers is that he's such a natural leader, it's almost impossible to put him into an Avengers story and not have him automatically be in charge -- but that's not what this story called for. That said, his counsel was unquestionably a big part of the strategy for the endgame battle.
Ewing: Cap's the living symbol of the Avengers in a lot of ways, so having him standing there - his real self again - did end up lending a certain something to the final battle. As everyone knows by this point, I'm a big fan of the "everyone's an Avenger" trope - if you stand up and help someone out, you get to be in the club - but that said, Steve does seem to function as a walking, talking Official Seal of Avengers Approval. So it was nice that he could drop by to give us his blessing before we went.
Zub: An Avengers story on this scale without Cap would have felt strange but, like Mark said, he can also overwhelm everyone else as he naturally takes charge. Taking him out of rotation for a while gave other characters the chance to shine, even as he returns for the final battle.
Kim Jacinto and Stefano Caselli brought all the big moments of Avengers #688 to life. And while there was plenty of action it felt to me like this issue was a testament to their character acting skills. What were some of your favorite scenes in the issue?
Waid: I really do think that every moment of Quicksilver's sacrifice was beautifully realized, and every bit of that falls to Kim and Stefano. We couldn't have been luckier than to have them on the team.
Ewing: The Hulk moment - you'll know it when you see it - is one of my big favorites. And there's a moment where Roberto has one of his signature Big Crazy Ideas, which I thought was beautifully realized.
Zub: The Quicksilver sacrifice was a moment I'd been planning right from the start so it was wonderful to finally see it carried through to the printed page. As sad as it makes me, it's also integral to the whole thing as he sums up why these characters band together. Almost all my attention on this issue was focused on making that scene stick.