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EXCLUSIVE: War of the Realms Pits the Avengers Against Practically Everyone

When you're an Avenger, repelling extra-dimensional invasions of Earth is part of your job description. Naturally, then, Earth's Mightiest Heroes will fight on the front lines of Marvel's War of the Realms event. In the main War of the Realms miniseries, by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman, they'll be part of a large coalition of heroes fighting to turn back the invading forces of the Dark Council of Malekith the Accursed and his allies. They'll get a bigger spotlight in Aaron and Ed McGuinness' Avengers #19, however, which continues the series' War of the Realms tie-in arc.

The issue will focus on the book's extended cast, giving readers a chance to watch iconic team members like Black Panther and Iron Man in action as well as the Avengers' recently introduced support staff, the Agents of Wakanda. But what role will recent Avengers members like Doctor Strange and Blade play in the story? How does former team member turned foe Namor figure into the tale? And what other heroes will Tony Stark collaborate with? For the answers to those questions and more, CBR spoke with Aaron about the issue.

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CBR: The information I received suggest Tony Stark has a significant role to play in May's Avengers #19, but who are some of the other characters involved in this story? Which of the War of the Realms many fronts are you focusing on in the issue?

Jason Aaron: There are a lot of different things going on around the world in Issue #19. There's action at Avengers Mountain that includes something mysterious that Tony Stark is building with Shuri and Screwbeard the Dwarf. There's also the fact that the Mountain is under siege by Frost Giants, the fire goblins of Muspelheim, and all the different bad guys involved in the War of the Realms. Black Panther will lead the defense of the mountain.

It's the first time we'll have seen the mountain under attack. We don't know all it can do yet either. We just know that the Avengers' headquarters is inside this giant body of a dead Celestial. So it's our first chance to see the mountain in action.

Plus, there are battles raging all around the planet. So you can expect to see a lot of the different forces and factions we've been setting up in Avengers, from Namor and his Defenders of the Deep, to the Winter Guard, and the Squadron Supreme. So all the antagonists and extended cast that we've set up across the planet are involved in the War of the Realms. We're trying to touch base on all the things going on during the event with the Avengers and their many foes.

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EXCLUSIVE: Ed McGuinness' cover for Avengers #19

Your Avengers run has featured a rotating membership position that was originally occupied by Doctor Strange, and in the current vampire civil war arc of the series, that seat is held by Blade. Will Blade and Doctor Strange be part of the Avengers during the War of the Realms tie-in arc?

Doctor Strange is a big part of the main War of the Realms book, and Blade will remain in that spot for War of the Realms. I didn't want him to just pop up for the vampire story. I liked the idea of him sticking around and continuing to be an Avenger and involved in usual Avengers business. So he's right in the midst of this war, and is very involved in the main series, too.

Considering Ed McGuinness' skill at action, character acting, design and delivering humor, it sounds as though this issue since is made for him.

Yes, those are all things Ed is great at, and he gets to do them in pretty much every issue of Avengers -- and in these tie-in issues, he's doing a lot. You get a lot of different characters. We're telling a story of global war affecting the Avengers and the world we set up around them. So we'll have heroes, bad guys, the Agents of Wakanda, and other support staff. Ed is the perfect guy to draw all of them.

He's a huge fan of almost all the characters we've introduced, and has had great ideas for how to design them, tweak them and make them cool. We've seen him draw almost all of these characters before, but he'll expand that over the course of these issues that explore more of the world that we're building up around the Avengers.

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