Avengers: No Surrender is Complete!

Back in December 2016, Avengers Editor Tom Brevoort asked the writers of Avengers, U.S.Avengers and Uncanny Avengers if they wanted to pool their efforts to build a big weekly story to close out this era of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, clear the decks for Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness’s Avengers run, and ride the media wave happening for a li’l movie called Avengers: Infinity War.

Over the next six weeks we bounced ideas back and forth until we had a few story threads going, then got together in person at the Marvel offices in early February 2017 for a story summit day to hash it all out. In March we started delivering a script every two weeks, zipping along at that pace for the next eight months until the writing was all done. By New York Comic Con, Avengers: No Surrender had been announced and the writing team was finishing the script for the Epilogue issue…the same one that arrived in comic shops today to wrap up our big story.

To say it’s been a “roller coaster ride” is like saying Mjolnir is a “hammer.” The whole thing has been a wonderful, wild, and ridiculous experience from start to finish. Tom put together a creative team that did what Avengers do – tackle a battle bigger than any one person could handle.

As the tent post of the “Marvel Legacy” initiative, we took that theme and ran with it. The idea of “Legacy” permeates every part of our 16-part 16-week story: a shared history and how we’re remembered. It showed in the history of the Avengers and the addition of a “new” founding member, to the surprising origin of the title of “Grandmaster” and the secret “ace” in his twisted games, to the Hulk’s many deaths and returns brought to new light, or a character like Lightning who never felt like he’d made the most of his time as part of the team. Each element gave us a chance to explore the concept of legacy and create a framework for world-shaking “special effects” and epic battles.

26 heroes, 15 villains, and one Jade Giant, all swirling around in a crazy cosmic game with the fate of the world at stake. At every stage, our team elevated the material.

Mark Waid has done it all and still manages to make it look easy. His unflappable confidence when guiding these characters was the rock-solid base we needed to build from. He’s one of the most gracious and kind creators I’ve ever worked with.

Al Ewing is an idea machine with a ton of heart. Some of the warmest and wildest moments of No Surrender came from his fevered mind and I’m now a high-ranking member of the Al Ewing fan club.

Pepe Larraz, Paco Medina (with Juan Vlasco on inks), Kim Jacinto, and Sean Izaakse turned in the best pages of their careers (so far) with Mike Perkins, Joe Bennett, and Stefano Caselli heroically stepping in to help when Kim was busy with the arrival of his newborn son.

David Curiel, Jesus Aburtov, Morry Hollowell, Ruy Jose, and Federico Blee enhanced every page with stunning colors that brought mood, volume, and texture.

Mark Brooks delivered a stunning set of sixteen cover illustrations that gave the story a high-quality cohesive presence on the stands.

Cory Petit went above and beyond the call of duty with extensive lettering revisions under the gun from three writers and two editors.

Alanna Smith tirelessly ran the gauntlet of continuity and reference, while pulling together the back matter page material we called The Assembly to help make every issue extra-special.

Tom Brevoort started us on the path and made sure we kept the big goals in sight. There’s a reason why he’s the longest running editor currently at Marvel. He knows these characters and their world. His guidance and support at each step made No Surrender what it is.

And now we’re done.

Getting the chance to play with the big toys on the big team has been incredible. I cannot thank our crew enough for their hard work and don’t know how to fully express the gratitude I have for readers, retailers, and reviewers who have made this such a heartwarming and joyful project.

Wherever I go from here, this was one I’ll always remember.

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