The Avengers are known as Earth's Mightiest Heroes, so beating back apocalyptic threats to the planet is part of their mandate. Of course, change is also a crucial and long established component of the team. As far back as 1965's Avengers #16, Marvel Comics' legendary creative team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby established that the composition of the group is something that should and will constantly shift.
Next year, those two elements along with all the other hallmarks that have made the Avengers such an iconic super team will be celebrated in a 16-part weekly tale that will run through Avengers #675-690 by writers Al Ewing, Jim Zub and Mark Waid, and the art team of Paco Medina, Pepe Larraz and Kim Jacinto. The story, titled “No Surrender,” thrusts the Avengers into a cosmic crises and pits them against two powerful teams of villains. It will serve as a farewell to the current era of Avengers stories and a springboard into the next one.
CBR spoke with editor Tom Brevoort about the story, the villains involved which include both the Black Order and a new incarnation of a classic team of Avengers' foes, and how so far overseeing such a massive endeavor has been surprisingly easy.
CBR: Tom, I've seen "'Avengers Disassembled' for the modern era" being used to describe “No Surrender, " but the scope and scale of the project reminds me though of a different Avengers epic: Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco's Avengers Forever. I know the stories differ in plot, but is “No Surrender” atonal comparable to Avengers Forever?
Tom Brevoort: I think that's a reasonable analogy, in that Avengers Forever brought together a particular crew of Avengers past, present, and future from different time periods to go on a big, time spanning adventure that ultimately brought in more and more characters. “No Surrender” starts with a much bigger cast than that, but is comparable in that it brings a whole bunch of different Avengers together for a story with huge stakes, and a lot of crazy things are going to happen in it.
I think that's certainly in the ballpark for the kind of large scale adventure we're trying to do here.
You've got the lineups of the three current Avengers books that are becoming one for this story. Will we also see some iconic past Avengers like Spider-Man, Wolverine and Doctor Strange? Or perhaps some obscure ones like Jocasta and Ares?
You'll definitely see some, if not all, of those characters at least a little bit through the course of the story. Obviously, with a cast as big as we've got, not everybody can always take center stage. The characters you'll see the most of really are the current Avengers roster, the current Uncanny Avengers roster, the current U.S.Avengers roster, and the Occupy Avengers. You'll also see a couple of other classic Avengers who you haven't seen as much of lately, but they'll get into the mix as well.
Through the course of the story, we cover a lot of characters and a lot of ground. Everybody shows up for at least a panel or two somewhere in the course of the 16 issues.
Will “No Surrender” be entirely contained in the main Avengers books? Or will it spill over into tie-ins and the solo books of the various characters involved?
There are no tie-ins. It is one story, with 16 parts. Everything is in just the one weekly book. As a weekly title, it's a bit of a commitment, but it's no bigger commitment than that. One book, every week for 16 weeks.
One character being reintroduced in “No Surrender” is the former Living Lightning, now just known as Lightning.
Yes! He's not living anymore. [Laughs] Is this foreshadowing? Could be...