Some Thoughts on Avengers: No Surrender

With the arrival of AVENGERS #675 in comic shops today and the kick-off to 16 weeks of epic Avengers action for our weekly No Surrender story line, I wanted to put together some quick thoughts to celebrate.

Tracking back through my messages, it looks like the first formal email where we discussed the possibility of a weekly Avengers book combining our individual titles was December 19th, 2016. From there, we spent five weeks tossing ideas back and forth (what kind of threat would be big enough to encompass this story, which characters would be at the core of it, etc.). Our story summit was on February 2nd, 2017. That was our marathon brainstorming session in the Marvel office hashing out the biggest parts of the story and building the over arcing structure that would take us from month-to-month.

Tom Brevoort (Avengers lead editor and Marvel Senior VP of Publishing) and Alanna Smith (editor in the Avengers office) built our strenuous schedule. In order to make sure we had enough material in the can for three different art teams to be working simultaneously without compromising quality, our first script was due March 3rd and from then on we had to deliver a script every two weeks through to the end of October.

No Surrender wouldn’t be formally announced until late September, by which time we had 14 out of the 16 issues written. It was a surreal feeling busting away on this massive story in secret. At first it was kind of maddening and I wanted to tell everyone but then, over time, it just became normal. When it was finally announced, so much time had passed that people actually knowing about it felt a bit wrong, like we’d broken the hushed spell that had been cast over it. I’d gotten used to our mysterious project quietly chugging along with a steady flow of writing and art moving back and forth across multiple time zones.

Now, at last, here we are. The first issue is out. Over a year of work put into this and it’s time for readers to see the fruits of our labors and tell us what they think of it – week after week, issue by issue.

At the end of April when we come to the end of this roller coaster ride I’ll have more to say, but for now I just want to thank everyone on our team for their hard work. When we handed in our first script (on time!) Tom told us that he felt it had been a real team effort, “very much in the spirit of the Avengers.” I can’t fully express how much that meant to me at the time and how much momentum it gave me as we looked ahead to 30 more weeks of intense writing along with proofing and revisions that continue even now as each issue heads out the door to the printer.

It may sound a bit silly, but for the next four months we are the Avengers.

I hope you’ll join us.

  1. Just read the first part of No Surrender and it looks like we’re in for a ride. So far so good, looking forward to the next issue!

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