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Comic Book / Avengers: No Surrender

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A phenomenon unlike any other...
"Avengers — you fight for mankind! You give your all and then double it! You look death in the eye and you tell it no! No retreat! NO SURRENDER!"

Avengers: No Surrender is a 2018 Bat Family Crossover by Marvel Comics, published as part of their "Legacy" initiative and featuring The Avengers at its core.

Released weekly, it combines Mark Waid's The Avengers, Al Ewing's U.S.Avengers, and Jim Zub's Uncanny Avengers into a single title they each co-write, while Pepe Larraz, Kim Jacinto, and Paco Medina provide the art.

Imagine waking up one morning and realizing something's totally off. Now imagine said thing that's totally off is that, somehow, the Earth is not where it's supposed to be. This is what's happening and to solve this mystery, the three Avengers teams - the main group, the American Idea Mechanics, and the Avengers Unity Squad - as well as many other former Avengers, must assemble like never before.

To complicate matters, Thanos' Black Order and the Lethal Legion are dropping in for some "fun." And in the middle of it all is a mysterious woman named Voyager, who claims to be a member of the original Avengers... but is she really?

No Surrender ran for a total of sixteen issues, unofficially leading up to the release of Avengers: Infinity War in April 2018. An interquel, Quicksilver: No Surrender, was published after the conclusion of this storyline. A weekly sequel, Avengers: No Road Home, was released in 2019, with most of the same creative team returning. Immortal Hulk also followed from this series, following the exploits of a newly resurrected Hulk.

Avengers: No Surrender contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: During its climax with a poker game. Begins with Lightning betting his freedom to free another Avenger. Then betting his life for two comrades' freedom. Then he bets Earth to be destroyed against Earth to be restored. Then Lightning bets that the loser will be erased from history, and Grandmaster folds. Try to match this, Kakegurui!
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Why the Challenger is so pissed off with the Grandmaster, having spent an eternity on the Farthest Shore, the place beyond the edge of existence.
    Beyond all life, and death... at the edge of mystery. Where there is no time, no space, no self. Where all you are is not. Where each picosecond lasts forever and forever, without end... there, I waited in the dark, in the cold, alone and friendless.
    • As the Hulk is coming back to life yet again, Bruce is having an internal monologue pleading for help, stating that the Hulk can't die. The desperation is comparable to their situation in Incredible Hulk: The End, where Bruce is similarly trapped with a Hulk that won't let him die.
  • Arc Welding: All of Bruce Banner's previous brushes with, or just outright actual, death(s) are cited as examples of how Bruce just cannot die.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Pyramoids obliterate the person who touches them. Lightning is too slow to warn the Human Torch of this before his grandstanding gets him obliterated. However, it turns out that they actually just teleport those people to another location, encased in crystal. Red Wolf guesses it based on the Black Order and Lethal Legion's lack of hesitation in touching the pyramids. Hulk ends up smashing the last one, bringing an end to the game.
  • Avengers Assemble: Voyager makes the call for all Avengers, active and reserve, to gather at the mansion.
  • Back from the Dead: Bruce Banner and the Hulk, snapping up alive with their third revival in less than two years.
  • Bat Family Crossover: Every current lineup of Avengers —the main team, the Unity Squad, and the American Intelligence Mechanics— feature into this arc.
  • Batman Gambit: Ultimately Lightning defeats the Grandmaster in a game of poker despite the fact that he barely knows the rules by raising the stakes to such a level where the Grandmaster couldn't risk losing while his opponent would have made the sacrifice in the name of saving the world.
  • Battle Trophy: Partly because it's useful and partly as a "screw you" gesture for Johnny's "death", Rogue takes Corvus Glaive's weapon as her own.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The Grandmaster and the Challenger, an until-recently unrevealed member of the Elders of the Universe.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Hawkeye (dressed in his old costume) and Red Wolf drop in at the end of Part 7 to stop a member of the Lethal Legion from getting a Pyramoid.
    • In issue 9, as Beast is getting gnarled by the infection in Jarvis' brain, Nadia swoops in and helps kill it.
  • Blood Knight: Drall of the Lethal Legion loves fighting, and killing.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: This story marks the end of the post-Secret Wars era of the Avengers with multiple teams, and instead consolidates the franchise to one single "All-Star" team.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Iron Patriot and Enigma, whose armors are destroyed, and Red Hulk, whose gamma radiation is drained, all get depowered by the Immortal Hulk.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Onetime Avenger Living Lightning — now simply calling himself Lightning — makes his first substantial appearance in many years with this story, and is said to be an important part of the story.
    • Red Wolf, who was last seen as part of a Bolivian Army Ending in the final issue of Occupy Avengers, returns in part 1, confirming his survival in Secret Empire.
    • Captain Glory was a character last seen in Grant Morrison's Marvel Boy series, now sporting a new outfit.
  • Call-Back:
    • Issue 2 has several scenes from the early days of the Avengers, only now with added Voyager. Her disappearance is explained as being the result of the Avengers' fight with the Squadron Sinister, from all the way back in Avengers issue 70.
    • The Challenger was exiled from the universe by the Grandmaster, only managing to get back in after "everything died".
    • Issue 10 begins with an extended prologue of Bruce Banner recounting the many, many ways he and the Hulk have died over the years.
  • Came Back Wrong:
    • The Hulk is back, because he just can't die. Ever. Also, he's the Challenger's minion.
    • Vision gets smashed by Hulk, and is seen undergoing repairs in the final issue. In Champions (2016) #22, he arrives home, and Toni Ho and Nadia Van Dyne reassure Viv and her Champions teammate Snowguard that Vision is back to normal. But once the Champions pick Viv, Nadia and Snowguard up, Vision and Toni discuss the truth... his internal systems are failing, doesn't want Viv to know... he's dying. This is why Vision isn't on Jason Aaron's Avengers team.
  • The Cameo: The original Wolverine shows up as part of the "Where is Wolverine?" after-"credits" page, another hero paralyzed in stasis.
  • Captain Ersatz: The fictional villain Victory, a member of the Squadron Sinister, is easily this for minor Justice League character (and fellow Mark Waid creation) Triumph — their designs and name are practically the same. In addition, Triumph was a founding Leaguer who was wiped from everyone's memory, just like Voyager and Victory for their respective teams.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Thanks to his Terrigen poisoning, Sunspost's powers burn off years of his life with every use, and he already burnt through a few during his involuntary stay in a HYDRA camp during Secret Empire, but at the climax he figures the situation is desperate enough for it to not matter.
  • Character Shilling: Issue 2 has Falcon, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver telling everyone just how gosh-darn great Voyager is. Which would be suspicious even if Quicksilver wasn't holding a Jerkass Ball toward everyone else, but has nothing against this mysterious hero we've never seen before.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Lightning's poker skills (or lack thereof) come back in the climax in order to get the Grandmaster to restore the Earth and the captured heroes to its proper place.
  • Comic Book Death: Black Dwarf and Johnny Storm touch the pyramoids and supposedly die. Turns out they're just teleported to the Grandmaster's lair.
  • Comics Merger: Avengers, U.S.Avengers, and Uncanny Avengers are consolidated into a single title for this story arc, published once-a-week for roughly four months.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The head of the smuggling ring Lightning busts recognises him from the Rangers, his team during the days of the Initiative.
    • As they fight, Black Dwarf taunts the Metal Master by reminding him his distant predecessor was once defeated by someone with a cardboard gun, all the way back from the original Incredible Hulk issue 6.
    • Voyager takes the Avengers teams to a mysterious bunker that only she knew of. As it turns out, Tony Stark actually built it way back when, in Avengers issue 13.
    • In issue 5, the Grandmaster refers to Earth as "the Avenger's World", the Arc Words of Jonathan Hickman's run, before citing the various things the heroes of it have done, such as beating the Phoenix, and Thanos, and changing Galactus' very nature.
    • Sunspot tries fighting off Mentacle's psychic intrusion using the "red triangle" technique taught to him by Professor X. As with U.S. Avengers, it doesn't work.
    • Beast gets a view of Avengers history going through Jarvis' brain, including in a little bit of a cheat, the covers from Avengers vol 4 issue 1 and vol 5 issue 1.
    • Squirrel Girl grumbles about the Avengers choosing to beat up the Challenger rather than trying to reform him, much like how she grumbled about Songbird kicking Vermin in the face back in New Avengers.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Immortal Hulk vs. the remains of the Lethal Legion and the U.S.Avengers. General Glory's back is shattered and Mentacle is seemingly driven mad by his attempt to control the Hulk. Pieces of Enigma's suit are ripped off, causing intense pain to her, Hulk casually slaps Cannonball away, Quicksilver breaks his ribs trying to catch him and Lightning's full power attack does absolutely nothing. It gets worse as General Maverick is stripped of his Red Hulk form by the Hulk draining his gamma radiation then damages Vision's head. Not even the might of Hercules and the Jane Foster Thor is enough to stop him.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Voyager is actually an alien. She's the daughter of the Grandmaster and acts as his ace in the hole, in this game her role was to be a fake Avenger, however she wants to try something new and challenge her father for the Grandmaster title.
  • Decoy Backstory: When she was first introduced, Voyager claims to be an original founding member of The Avengers, having been erased from existence because of Victory the Electromagnetic Man. Thanks to Edwin Jarvis, he exposed the truth that she had never been an Avenger in the first place, implanting fake memories regarding her personal history to make her story more believable. It's eventually revealed that she's the daughter of the Grandmaster and her real name is Va Nee Gast. She was sent to Earth to act as his ace to reclaim his title as the Grandmaster, as Earth was chosen to be the battleground for the contest.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Voyager acts as one to The Sentry, what with the both of them being supposedly Silver Age superheroes who were "forgotten" due to a cataclysmic threat, although she brings significantly less baggage with her return.
  • Due to the Dead: Captain Glory salutes what he thinks is Johnny Storm's death.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Voyager first appears in the Marvel Legacy one-shot, showing up in a statue bust of the founding Avengers at Avengers Mansion.
  • Exact Words: As is well know, Cannonball is nigh-invulnerable when he's blasting. Emphasis on the "nigh". He's not designed for head-on collisions with Mjolnir.
    Rogue: Lot of room in that "nigh", Sam.
  • Fake Memories: This turns out to be the case with Voyager's entire alleged backstory and history with the Avengers, as she actually implanted herself into their minds to manipulate them.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Pietro suffers from a majorly wounded pride due to getting Synapse injured by the Juggernaut. This ends up biting him in his speedy little ass when he decides to run off to save one of the Avengers teams, only to be affected by Wanda rescuing Vision from the statis, putting him at the mercy of the Lethal Legion.
    • Johnny Storm is stuck in the past, putting down the Falcon over Reed Richards. This ends up ultimately biting him in his fiery ass as he decides to grab the Pyramoid before Lightning can warn him, seemingly getting him obliterated.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: The final part has the three teams declaring their dissolutions and desiring to return to their normal status quos.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: An event based around the dissolution of the current Avengers line-up to make way for a relaunched book with a different, more high profile cast? Sounds a lot like Avengers Disassembled. Tom Brevoort even acknowledged this, saying that No Surrender could be seen as Disassembled for the modern era of Avengers books that began with All-New, All-Different Avengers.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • After everything's over, Toni Ho reforms her branch of AIM into R.E.S.C.U.E.
    • Nadia makes her own version of J.A.R.V.I.S.. When the actual Jarvis asks what it stands for, she admits she has no idea.
  • Grand Finale: Mark Waid has described this storyline to be the Avengers Disassembled for the Marvel NOW! (2016) Avengers team.
  • Handwave: While at microscopic size inside Jarvis, Beast notes that the Pym Particles are going the breathing for him. Then he notes "best not to dwell on the how of it".
  • Headbutting Heroes: Rogue and Quicksilver — in fact, Pietro only came back because of Voyager.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Voyager realizes she's made a big mistake and decides to side with the Avengers instead of her father once she sees how amazing the team is.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Red Wolf grabs the fourth pyramoid to save the Earth.
    • Nadia shrinks Beast down so he can save Jarvis from his illness, while she plans to grab the fifth pyramoid. It doesn't work when she can't actually touch it.
    • Quicksilver pushes himself beyond the limits of his usual speed and vanishes, grabbing the Grandmaster's stasis beacon.
  • I Can Still Fight!: General Maverick, despite Toni trying to point out, repeatedly, that he is in absolutely no condition to do so.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In their battle, Rogue absorbs Corvus Glaive's powers and then shoves her arm all the way through his chest.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: In issue 13, the scene goes from Jarvis assuring Bruce Banner to never give up, to Toni Ho declaring she gives up trying to fix Vision.
  • It's All My Fault: Lightning takes Johnny's supposed death seriously because he wasn't fast enough to do so. Later on, he takes Vision getting smashed personally.
  • Jerkass: Quicksilver, just for a change. His internal monologue has him grumbling and complaining about everyone else, being a condescending ass about his sister, then complaining some more when she tells him to just do what he's told for once.
  • Kill All Humans: The Hulk knows what the Challenger's endgame would result in, and is totally onboard with it.
    Hulk: When the game ends, Earth ends with it. No more puny humans, Simon. Just me. Alone. Finally.
  • Killed Off for Real: While Aikku is alive, the Engima Suit, thus what was left of Pod, is rendered inert by the Hulk.
  • Lack of Empathy: Lightning asks Grandmaster if he even cares about his daughter, as the Challenger prepares to kill her. His response is an immediate "no".
  • Laughing Mad: Hulk, after getting punched into orbit by the Challenger.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: A villain-on-villain example. The Black Order and the Lethal Legion tussle on first meeting, until a pair of ominous voices (later revealed to be the Grandmaster and new villain the Challenger) tell them to knock it off.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: Thanks to literally saving the world, Roberto has no idea how much longer he has left to live, so he's stepping back from everything.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Before Vision is refrozen, he attempts to ask Wanda who Voyager is, showing that not everyone remembers her. This becomes a plot point, as Voyager is a mole that can implant memories, but only in organic brains, necessitating Vision as one of the Avengers put in stasis.
  • Mind Rape: Supergiant unleashes it on Metal Master, forcing him to relive being exiled by his people.
  • Monumental Damage: The Coliseum in Rome is torn apart by the Black Order and the Lethal Legion tussling.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: At the end of the event, when Earth is restored to its normal place, Sasquatch notes it. Then he adds that the moon's been returned as well under his breath.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Wanda ultimately realizes her spell that ended up temporarily freeing Vision didn't work at all and it got Quicksilver injured.
    • Bruce Banner is horrified by what the Hulk does to the USAvengers and tries his best to stay away from the others.
  • The Narrator: Each issue has a different character narrate the events of the main story:
    • Part 1: Lightning
    • Part 2: Falcon
    • Part 3: Quicksilver
    • Part 4: Human Torch
    • Part 5: Challenger
    • Part 6: Rogue
    • Part 7: Captain Glory
    • Part 8: Red Wolf
    • Part 9: Beast
    • Parts 10 and 11: Voyager
    • Part 12: Wonder Man
    • Part 13: Wasp (Janet Van Dyne)
    • Part 14: Quicksilver
    • Part 15: Lightning
    • Part 16: Edwin Jarvis
  • No-Sell: Lightning unleashes a full-power blast on the Immortal Hulk, nearly passing out from the strain. It doesn't do a thing.
  • Not Worth Killing: Corvus Glaive's opinion of the Avengers, after seeing their reaction to Johnny's apparent death.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: At first glance, the Hulk is in an state of Unstoppable Rage, and the Avengers assume it's a case of a mindless Hulk stuck in "Hulk SMASH!" mode... then, during his fight with Vision, Hulk crushes his solar gem. And speaks.
    Hulk: Hnh. "Mindless".
  • Oh, Crap!: Falcon, on realizing Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive are right on top of Avengers Mansion, and about to blow them up.
  • People Puppets: In order to get at one of the pyramoids, Captain Glory has Mentacle take control of one of the Blood Brothers. The guy pleads with Mentacle to let him go, knowing what'll happen if he touches the pyramoid.
  • Planetary Relocation: The Grandmaster transports Earth out of its usual position in the universe in order to pit the Avengers against the warriors selected by his rival, the Challenger.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • The end of the Challenger's monologue on rage.
    Challenger: Rage is silent. Rage is cold. Rage cannot be stopped... (full shot of a very angry Hulk) And it never. Ever. Dies.
    • Bruce, on Clint's shooting him in the head with an arrow, and the failure therein.
    Bruce: I asked you... made you... made you shoot me... through the brain... with an arrow.. and it didn't. Even. Work.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Hulk whaling on the Challenger, blaming him for his and Banner's latest resurrection.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: By the end of part one, the Avengers teams are condensed to about 20 - Hercules, Thor, Falcon and Wasp (Nadia Van Dyne) of the Avengers, Rogue, Quicksilver, Doctor Voodoo, Scarlet Witch, Beast, Wonder Man, Synapse and the Human Torch for the Unity Squad, Roberto Da Costa, Toni Ho, General Maverick, and Cannonball of the U.S.Avengers, Hawkeye and Red Wolf of the Occupy Avengers and Lightning.
    • From Part 4-6, the Human Torch seemingly dies from touching a pyramoid and is replaced by Wasp (Janet Van Dyne).
    • After Part 7, Enigma replaces Red Wolf.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Wonder Man tries to talk the Hulk down. The Hulk fires back with a blistering speech against Simon.
  • Red Herring: Voyager's real name, "Valerie Vector", is quite similar to the first names of Valeria Richards and her uncle Victor Von Doom... but she has nothing to do with either character. She's really the Grandmaster's daughter.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • This arc prominently features Voyager, an all-new character who was (supposedly) a founding Avenger forgotten by time.
    • Issue 2 reveals Voyager was (supposedly) removed from reality by Victory, a member of the Squadron Sinister we've never heard of before.
      • She is actually the Grandmaster's daughter who implanted memories of herself into the Avengers' mind.
    • It's eventually revealed that the Grandmaster's opponent is a fellow Elder of the Universe known as the Challenger. He was the former Grandmaster and En Dwi Cast's closest friend and brother, as his greatest game opponent. Unfortunately Gast jealously strove to outdo him, engaging games with higher and higher stakes until their last, where the loser is banished to The Far Shore, and the winner claims the title Grandmaster. His return is due to the multiverse dying and being resurrected during the recent Secret Wars.
  • Saved by Canon: Human Torch's apparent death was revealed to be fake almost immediately by Chip Zdarsky when responding to fans asking him how the Torch's death would impact him writing Marvel 2-in-One.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Quicksilver's story ends in Part 14, setting the stage for Quicksilver: No Surrender. In issue 16, Brother Voodoo and Scarlet Witch ask Synapse to join them in searching for him.
    • The story ends without revealing just what the mysterious Green Door Bruce keeps seeing whenever he dies is, leaving it to be explored in Immortal Hulk.
  • Sherlock Scan: Red Wolf had developed a technique of sorts to realize when someone is hiding something important or to call a bluff. He's able to tell that the Lethal Legion know something a lot more than they are letting on about the Pyramoids through their actions and is convinced that touching them do not kill people like the other Avengers assume.
  • Shout-Out: In issue 13, Jarvis quotes Paradise Lost when Bruce is feeling worse than usual about himself.
  • Spotting the Thread: When Jarvis comes out of his Convenient Coma, he warns Beast and Nadia that there's no Voyager at all. Beast realizes he's right - having shrank into Jarvis' body and saw the memory portion of his brain, Beast saw nothing of her at all anywhere.
  • Spin-Off: Has three, Quicksilver: No Surrender, The Immortal Hulk and Black Order.
  • The Starscream: Voyager to her father, the Grandmaster.
  • The Stinger: At the end of issue 16, Voyager is shown trying to reform the Challenger by showing him images of the Avengers.
  • Straight Gay: Lightning is shown to be this, only stammering a bit when he talks to his love interest.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: A lot of the Marvel Super Heroes are taken out in the first issue. Carol Danvers and Alpha Flight are left behind and are stuck trying to find out where they disappeared to and many heroes, including Captain America, the Champions, the X-Men gold team and Black Panther are paralyzed by a mysterious blue aura that also affects some of the Avengers. It's said other costumed types are affected, both hero and villain, so it's just not them
    • It's because only a certain number of heroes are allowed on the field, and if one of them is taken out, another one is freed from stasis to take their place. Case in point: Johnny Storm is teleported to the Grandmaster's lair and replaced with Janet Van Dyne in Part 6.
  • Strategy, Schmategy: Lightning manages to bluff the Grandmaster into folding in a poker game despite the fact that he "doesn't play" and barely knows the rules.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The new Metal Master in the Lethal Legion is pretty much a carbon copy of the old one but, seeing as he died in the Black Bolt solo title, this one takes his place.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Wonder Man tries to talk to the Hulk through Banner, but changes his tactics to get through to the Hulk and make him realize he's been used.
  • Tempting Fate: Quicksilver is partway through a preemptive smug gloat when Wanda, in the process of unfreezing Vision, causes him to freeze up in front of the Lethal Legion.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Invoked by Rogue when the Unity Squad is dealing with a tidal wave.
    "Anyone got Namor on speed dial?"
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The solicitations for issue 4. It turns out to be Johnny Storm, though unbeknownst to the Avengers he's not dead.
  • Trash the Set: Avengers Mansion gets obliterated in Part 3, with Voyager barely teleporting everyone away in time. The Avengers Bunker follows suit in parts 10-12.
  • Two Girls to a Team: The founding Avengers lineup becomes this, accounting Voyager's retroactive inclusion. The current-day flagship team also counts for this, with Thor and The Unstoppable Wasp serving as their only female members. The other two teams avert the trope.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • When Jarvis is injured by fallen debris, a hysterical Nadia tells the remaining active Avengers of it, but when Rogue decides that they must ignore him in favor of the rest of the world, she chews her out for it and runs off, causing Beast to follow her. Quicksilver even gets in a nice jab at the beleaguered Unity Squad leader.
    • When Red Wolf claims a Pyramoid, Falcon calls out Hawkeye for casually letting him take it. However, Hawkeye shoots him down, telling him that he trusts Red Wolf and his intuition that the act isn't lethal.
  • While You Were in Diapers: Quicksilver interrupts Cannonball explaining he's nigh-invulnerable when he's blasting with an angry declaration that he's known Sam since he was in short-pants.
  • Who Dares?: The Hulk gets in a few painful punches on the Challenger over his unwanted resurrection, but the Challenger knocks him into space, shouting "HOW DARE YOU?!" over being injured.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Jarvis comforts Bruce after he's finally calmed down, convincing him that he shouldn't be defined by the actions that the Hulk has done, but the actions he does as Bruce Banner.