This February, writers Jim Zub, Mark Waid, and Al Ewing will reunite to assemble a new Avengers team for Avengers: No Road Home, a "spiritual successor" to their previous Avengers weekly story-arc, "No Surrender." With a new threat looming, Voyager will return with a new Avengers team to take on villains that threaten the entire universe.
Newsarama spoke with Jim Zub to find out more about what's in store for Voyager and her team as they take on a threat that has turned the universe dark, including which Avengers will be along for the ride, which artists from No Surrender will return, and what this means for Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Newsarama: Jim, Avengers: No Road Home spins off from the "No Surrender" weekly event in Avengers. How do we get here from there?
Jim Zub: Not entirely true. Avengers: No Road Home is more of a spiritual successor to "No Surrendor" than a direct sequel. A few of the characters and plot threads carry over but it's also been built as a self-contained story that readers can pick up and enjoy on its own. The writing team is the same and our art team is similar to "No Surrender," but the story will feel quite different.
What I can say at this point is that Voyager detects a new powerful threat poised to cause untold destruction unless Earth's Mightiest heroes can answer the call and save us all.
Nrama: What's the core team look like for this story?
Zub: It's a smaller and more focused cast this time with Hawkeye, Hercules, Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Spectrum, Vision, Voyager... and Rocket Raccoon, pulled together in a slightly chaotic fashion. It's a nice cross section of fan favorites along with characters who haven't been in the spotlight as much recently. All of them get some solid panel time and the character dynamics are a ton of fun.
Nrama: Can you tell us anything about the mysterious stranger that's been teased for the series?
Zub: Our mid-point brings in an unexpected addition to the story. That's all I can say for now. Tom Brevoort made the suggestion when we were out for dinner at C2E2 and I thought he was joking, but it's really happening and I can't wait for readers to see how it all plays out.
Nrama: There are some ominous words about the villain of No Road Home in the solicitation for the first issue. What can you tell us about the threat here?
Zub: Well, like it covers in the solicit, darkness has fallen and the villain at the center of this bleak threat is powerful enough to slay gods and enact their will on a universal scale. Hercules is firmly in the crosshairs of this epic evil on the march and, through Herc and Voyager, the other Avengers in our story are assembled to find out what they seek and how to stop it.
Nrama: You're getting the band back together for No Road Home with Al Ewing and Mark Waid, your "No Surrender" co-writers. What's it like reassembling with two other Avengers writers? Has the dynamic shifted at all?
Zub: We all met at the Marvel office back in May to build the story that would become No Road Home and it was an absolute blast. With "No Surrender" I was actually quite nervous because I hadn't worked with Mark or Al before and felt like I was an underdog trying to prove I was worthy enough to be in that room. This time we already had the comradery well in hand and understood what we all bring to the table, so it was wonderful. The in-jokes immediately kicked in and we started kicking big ideas out into the room that we could start working with. Having C.B. Cebulski in there with us was a nice addition. He brought a lot of fun elements into the mix and encouraged us to really swing for the fences in terms of character and story.
Nrama: Artist Paco Medina is back for issue #1 as well. How much of the 10-issue series will he be drawing? Will there be a rotating art team again?
Zub: Paco is drawing half of No Road Home and Sean Izaakse is drawing the other half. Both of them delivered incredible quality on "No Surrender" and on No Road Home they've both leveled up. Every day there’s new art coming in and it’s just stunning.
Paco's work on No Road Home is appealing and action-packed. Every page is packed with little details, but it never distracts from the power of the page as a whole.
I've worked with Sean on every Marvel team book I've been involved with so far (Thunderbolts, Uncanny Avengers, Avengers, and Champions) so we're ridiculously in sync when it comes to story and visuals. He's a superstar on the rise and I'm so happy I've been able to watch that evolution in real time.
Like on "No Surrender," we've given the art team wild scenes that are incredibly complex and they're knocking it out of the park. Our saving grace is that we're ahead of schedule on the writing so both Paco and Sean have the time they need to deliver their absolute best.
Nrama: Last time, the fate of the entire Earth was at stake in a cosmic game. What's at stake in No Road Home?
Zub: This time it's just the li'l ol' universe at stake. No biggie.
Nrama: There are no bigger superheroes right now than the Avengers. What can fans of Earth's Mightiest Heroes count on in No Road Home?
Zub: C.B. and Tom asked our team to go as big as possible and remind people that although the Avengers movies are epic entertainment, comics can still deliver ideas and visuals you've never seen before. Even with that lofty goal, we knew that none of it would matter if the characters didn't have their chance to shine. It's a big story, but one with a lot of heart, channeling our excitement about what the Avengers are and how they inspire us all.
Or, as Stan Lee might say- Avengers: No Road Home is Massive Mythic Mayhem and Monstrous Mirth in the Mighty Marvel Manner!