Editor Alanna Smith interviews the writer about Quicksilver: No Surrender!

On May 16, writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Eric Nguyen team up for a psychedelic sprint alongside Pietro Maximoff in QUICKSILVER: NO SURRENDER #1!

Quicksilver’s super-speed and abrasive personality have always isolated him, but he’s never been truly alone…until now. Spinning out of the pages of AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER, Pietro finds himself trapped beyond the perception of friends, family and allies, waging a one-man guerrilla war against a monster that he’s not even sure is real in order to save a world that he may never be a part of again.

To prepare for this new adventure, we called upon series editor Alanna Smith to join Saladin for a deep dive into their shared love for Marvel’s greatest speedster.

Alanna Smith: In the first phone call we had about this project, I remember you asking me what I liked so much about Quicksilver. Now that we’re further along, I’d be curious to hear your answer to that question—what do you like so much about Quicksilver?

Saladin Ahmed: I think the things I’ve come to love about Pietro in writing him are sort of flip sides to the things that readers have long hated about him. I’ve come to see his standoffishness as a powerful story about living out of pace with other people. I’ve come to see his arrogance as a sort of dry old-world skepticism toward American super hero pluck.

Alanna: Coming off a book with a more straight-laced character like Black Bolt, is a bit liberating to be writing someone who’s, uh…kind of a tool?

Saladin: Well, a big part of BLACK BOLT was his coming to terms with what a tool he’s been! Pietro has a rep as one of the Marvel Universe’s hero-jerks, but honestly most Marvel heroes have deeply jerky sides. What is immensely fun after BLACK BOLT is writing an iconic character who likes the sound of his own voice.

Alanna: When we were still brainstorming, you called me up to say that the more you thought about Quicksilver’s impatience with the world and other people, it felt more like anxiety than anything else (which made me think, “Dang, guess I picked the right writer!”). How has that realization played into the story you’re telling here?

Saladin: Many of us who’ve suffered from serious, weapons-grade anxiety or manic episodes know this set of familiar physical & mental symptoms—racing heartbeat, sleeplessness, racing thoughts. Fury at everything moving so slowly around you. Having to stand in line or sit to get your hair cut can fill you with this surging terror but also this absolute rage at the tiniest inconvenience. Peter David touched on a version of this 25 years ago in a incredible bit where Pietro’s being analyzed by Doc Sampson. But where David saw super-speed breeding a contempt for other people in Pietro, I see it as having bred a fear of them.

Alanna: One of the things I love about Quicksilver is that his temperament really isn’t suited to being a super hero, but he does it anyway. Have you formed any theories about why that is?

Saladin: Well, one thing I hope to show in this series is that Pietro’s temperament might not be quite what we think it is. Pietro will spend a lot of time alone in this book and we’ll get deeper into his head than we’ve been in decades. What readers will find is not a cruel man. They’ll meet a man who literally rescued a kitten from other boys when he was a kid, but was then made hard by life.

Alanna: And most importantly—how do you think his hair does that thing? Does he sculpt those antenna bits with gel or is it some secondary super power? How?

Saladin: Gel. Lots of gel.

Read QUICKSILVER: NO SURRENDER, by Saladin Ahmed and Eric Nguyen, on May 16!

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The speedster sprints into our therapist’s office!

The client, Pietro Maximoff (birth name possibly Mateo Maximoff), may be best known as the superhuman called Quicksilver. Maximoff has long identified as both a mutant and the son of the mutant extremist Magneto, however, recently he’s been presented with evidence that not only is he not the offspring of Magneto, but he may not be a mutant at all. According to the criminal geneticist known as The High Evolutionary, the client—and his twin sister Wanda (A.K.A. The Scarlet Witch)—are actually results of one of his highly illegal experiments on human subjects. The client remains conflicted about accepting this reality.

We have discussed this revelation with some depth and the client has admitted to three significant reasons he has not yet decided to trust this information. The first—and, arguably, the most logical—is that The High Evolutionary has a long history of manipulating the victims of his experiments, often purely for the sake of seeing what might happen.

The second reason for Pietro’s uncertainties has a more emotional origin: to accept that Magneto is not his father would be to accept that most of his early criminal behavior was done on behalf of a power-mad terrorist instead of a family member. It may seem a minor distinction, but for Maximoff, the change would be significant; he can rationalize activities he did for his father as motivated by a kind of love and thirst for respect. Without that personal aspect, his activities were coldly calculated acts of terror.

The final reason for the patient’s skepticism relies on his connection to mutantkind. Although he has long been known as a member of various Avengers’ teams, he’s also been an outspoken crusader for mutant rights. Having worked tirelessly on behalf of equal protections for all mutants, he now feels like an outsider looking in at the one community he thought of as his own.

The High Evolutionary’s discovery also comes at the end of several years of significant personal and professional upheaval for Maximoff, which serves to complicate all matters. In no particular order, the client has seen his sister decimate the mutant population by taking away the vast majority of their powers (including his own); sought to return powers to his fellow mutant comrades by stealing Terrigen Mists from his Inhuman former in-laws; regained powers that aged him at a rapid pace; reconciled with his daughter; joined and rejoined the Avengers twice; and fought against a Captain America seeking to plunge America into Hydra rule. In short, even his good days were marked by significant changes in the status quo of his life.

Unfortunately, as this writer was warned by Doctor Sampson, Pietro’s tolerance for therapy has proved incredibly low. He expects solutions as quick as he moves and generally rejects the concept of process. Questions requesting clarification or observations that do not fit his perspective are often mocked and discarded with little thought. Worse, he views his own natural vulnerability as a weakness; one can almost literally feel him shifting his own attitude the moment he starts to open himself up to any therapeutic methods.

Given that he has been visiting in the immediate wake of a making a tremendous mistake when battling a villain called The Juggernaut, his defensive stance seems more resolute than ever before. The closer we get to “touching” that incident, the shorter and more agitated he becomes. This single event brought him to the office, but he refuses to discuss it, making our sessions more like power struggles on multiple occasions.

This serves no one well, so this writer has decided to refer the client out to a previous therapy team that the client once experienced a level of therapeutic rapport with, who therefore may be better able to break down the client’s defensiveness more quickly and efficiently. A team of doctors, including Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub, and Pepe Larraz, will meet with him for evaluation on January 24 with notes on their session available in folder AVENGERS #677. After that session, a decision will be made if he will transition to their observation permanently.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who must go faster, must go faster!

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Mark Waid and Barry Kitson discuss an Avengers story of epic proportions!

As we see the present-day Avengers – complete with a refreshed line-up – battle Kang once more, the story of a long-past Avengers team also unfolds before us. Captain America leads a trio of reformed criminals – Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver – to take on continued threats to Earth while his fellow founding members break from the team.

Writer Mark Waid teams with penciller Barry Kitson to tell an Avengers story of old that will intertwine with the adventures of the current team. We grabbed the two of them for a chat to see what we could learn about this new and unique series.

Marvel.com: How did the idea come about to run these parallel stories of an early Avengers team alongside the current team battling Kang?

Mark Waid: I’ve been itching to tell this story for a long time. I love, as I did with Captain America: Man Out of Time, to be able to tell flashback stories within continuity, and I’ve forever been fascinated by whatever untold story lay behind how the world came to accept Cap’s Kookie Quartet as a viable replacement for Iron Man, Giant Man, Wasp and Thor. 

Marvel.com: A still-recently-thawed Captain America is joined by three heroes who have their origins as villains. What prompts this particular group to come together? What threats are they teaming up to face?

Mark Waid: The original Avengers, as per established continuity, were all facing personal issues that demanded a break from the team, so Iron Man put out the call for new members–and these are the ones who showed up…at first. But not the ONLY ones, as we’ll soon see.  As for menaces, the Frightful Four and the Stranger are two–and that’s only the beginning of the list!

Marvel.com: What about working with the Marvel universe of the past has been most exciting for you? Has working in this time period something you’ve wanted to do for a while, or a wholly new opportunity?

Barry Kitson: For me this encapsulates a childhood dream becoming fully realized. This was the era of Marvel that I first began reading and lead me to fall in love with US comics rather than the very cartoonish British fare I had been used to. I was reading these stories when I was five or six years old and already dreaming of drawing these characters for a living – so for me it is the perfect realization of that dream – despite all the time that has passed I feel like that little kid again getting to work with the characters I most loved in the incarnations that first drew me to them. I’m sure Mark will bear witness that when he approached me about doing this series – I had agreed before he had managed to get beyond saying it would focus on Cap’s cookie quartet… I may also have threatened terrible retribution on him if he let any other artist get anywhere near this particular series!

Not only does the series feature the Avengers line-up that I feel most personally connected to, but also a whole cast of characters from the era that I have always longed to draw – I’m not sure how much I can give away but there are guest stars and villains aplenty that I think anyone who loves this era in Marvel history will thoroughly enjoy! (As you have probably gathered I could ramble on about how excited I am for some time!)

Marvel.com: You two have worked together on other comics, but this is your first time combining your talents in the Marvel universe. What’s the process like?

Mark Waid: Seamless. We’ve been working together for so long that we bring out the best in one another. Barry gets a plot and as much freedom as he needs to tell the story visually, and then I’ll go back and add dialogue to match his storytelling. We trust one another!

Barry Kitson: It’s pretty much our standard operating procedure, I think. Mark and I have developed a process over the years where we trust each other to bounce ideas back and forth perhaps more than many writer/artist teams – possibly purely because we have done so much work together. We work pretty close to the classic ‘Marvel method’ whereby Mark will provide the plot (although sometimes much more than a plot for certain scenes when it can be almost full script) and I will break the pages down into panels – after that will bounce things back and forth to make sure we’re both happy – then I’ll draw up the pages and Mark will dialogue from the finished pencils – usually added great touches that I sometimes don’t even know about until the comic sees print – which is always one of the most fun parts of working with him for me!

Marvel.com: Barry, you’ve been away from Marvel for a few years, how has returning to these characters and this world been for you?

Barry Kitson: I guess most of my long and rambling response to the earlier question applies here also. I really can’t overstate what a joy it is for me to be working on these particular characters especially in this setting and with Mark as writer – I might quite possibly be the happiest penciller in the business right now!

Marvel.com: The .1 numbering implies that the adventures of this team will be connected in some way to the present-day Avengers. Can you let us in on anything about that? Kang is known for his time-traveling ways, after all.

Mark Waid: And yet, it’s not really Kang-related. What we’ll be seeing is the origin of a menace that will come back to threaten the modern-day Avengers.

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Celebrate the year's biggest adventure with these two clips from the action-packed film!

Watch Vision confront Ultron and see the Maximoff Twins track down the man in charge in these clips from Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”! Watch the clips above and below and pick up your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” out now on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download and VOD.

In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Ultron (James Spader) attempts to craft a synethetic being in his own image. Luckily, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) intervenes and injects J.A.R.V.I.S. into the vibranium body to create the pure Vision (Paul Bettany)! Watch what happens with the two superpowered creations collide in the clip above!

To obtain the vibranium needed to create his new body, Ultron sent the loyal Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) to find Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), the man who controls the world’s biggest reserves of the precious alloy. Hoping to intimidate him into handing over vibranium, the Twins realize the task might prove more difficult than anticipated. Check out the clip below to see if Klaue gets intimidated!

Get your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download and VOD now! Make sure to follow @Avengers on Twitter and like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on Facebook for all the latest news and updates on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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Watch the duo try to avoid further destruction in a clip from Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron,' out now on Digital HD!

The Maximoff twins use their enhanced abilities in hopes of saving the day in a clip from Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”! Check out the clip above and get your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on 3D Digital and Digital HD today or on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital SD, and VOD October 2.

Narrowly escaping a deadly dispute with Ultron (James Spader), Captain America (Chris Evans), Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), and Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) find themselves on runaway train with no way to slow down! Despite their quarrelsome past, Cap calls on the twins to see if they can help save civilians. See the twins spring into action by watching their resuce efforts in the clip above!

Pre-order your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and get your Digital Download now! Follow @Avengers on Twitter and like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on Facebook for all the latest news on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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The Maximoff twins make their move in a clip from Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron,' out now on Digital HD!

Strucker refuses to give in to the impending Avengers in a clip from Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”! Check out the clip above and get “Avengers: Age of Ultron” now on 3D Digital and Digital HD, out on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital SD and VOD October 2!

With the Avengers inching closer and closer to his stronghold, Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) refuses to forfeit his position! While trying to assure his lackies that they have nothing to fear, his most powerful assets, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) take the offensive against Strucker’s orders! See Strucker remain steadfast in the clip above.

Pre-order your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and get your Digital Download now! Follow @Avengers on Twitter and like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on Facebook for all the latest news on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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Learn about the development of the Maximoff twins' powers in Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron,' on Digital HD September 8!

The amazing abilities of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver come alive in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”! Watch the featurette above and get your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on 3D Digital and Digital HD September 8 and on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital SD and VOD October 2.

In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Earth’s Mightiest Heroes meet a set of twins with mysterious powers. Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) can run at incredibly fast speeds and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) has mind manipulation abilities. Learn more about how the filmmakers found new ways of portraying these astonishing acts in the featurette above!

Pre-order your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, or Digital Download now! Follow @Avengers on Twitter and like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on Facebook for all the latest news on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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Plus learn about what makes the Maximoff twins integral to Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron,' out on Digital HD September 8!

See the process of bringing Ultron to life for the big screen in a new Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” featurette! Watch the video above and get your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on 3D Digital and Digital HD September 8 and on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital SD and VOD October 2.

Despite James Spader’s performance bringing the monstrous mechanical menace Ultron to life, the complicated filming process created many challenges for other actors on set. Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda Maximoff, details the experience of trying to maintain focus in heavily dramatic scenes! Learn more about the process in the video above and learn more about what makes Wanda and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) integral to the Avengers’ story.

Pre-order your copy of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, or Digital Download now! Follow @Avengers on Twitter and like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on Facebook for all the latest news on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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Gerry Duggan and Ryan Stegman speak on their newest project, including changes to Deadpool, balancing fun with danger & more!

Any Marvel Comics fan will tell you the Marvel Universe can be a volatile place where tensions abound, just waiting to be ignited. Thankfully, this fall the Marvel Universe will also boast UNCANNY AVENGERS, from writer Gerry Duggan and artist Ryan Stegman, featuring a team devoted to promoting the peace including Steve Rogers, Spider-Man, Deadpool, Rogue, the Human Torch, Quicksilver, Doctor Voodoo, and more.

“They are the opposite of the Secret Avengers,” explains Duggan. “Eight months later there are new conflicts and tensions in the Marvel Universe. This group is meant to project cooperation and coexistence between humans, Inhumans, and mutants. That means visible successes.”

Of course, those kinds of hopeful results demand strong teamwork, no guarantee with this new team.

“[Questions of if the team makes sense and what binds them] are questions the cast must confront themselves,” the writer reveals. “Steve Rogers is the reason this particular group is together. Not everyone will be thrilled to be on a squad with [Deadpool], especially [Spider-Man].”

Thankfully for fans, Duggan and Stegman have found collaboration far less bumpy then their fictional cast.

“To be honest, I’m not sure our approaches have had to change much,” Stegman asserts. “We’ve just kind of fit together like puzzle pieces and it’s working out great.”

“Like all great writers, Gerry is extremely collaborative,” the artist continues. “Gerry and I have had a lot of conversations about the tone of this book, and the things we want to do stylistically. The best part about this project is Gerry and I have known each other for quite some time. Heck, Gerry and I have already spent time in Vegas casinos together, which pretty much makes us brothers.”

“He tagged my father instead of me in his Uncanny Avengers announcement on Facebook so, it’s going about as well as you would think collaborating with him could go,” jokes Duggan of Stegman. “The truth is that Ryan’s an amazing collaborator and his art has never been more thrilling. It’s going to be a fun book, even when the characters aren’t enjoying themselves.”

To be clear, Duggan and Stegman will be very dedicated to making sure the characters often do not enjoy themselves.

“Gerry is known for his comedic writing on DEADPOOL, I certainly have a ‘cartoonier’ style, and people think that means that this book will be silly and cartoony,” Stegman acknowledges. “But that’s not the case. We are doing some very heavy, dark stuff. Like all good stories, there will be moments of extreme darkness and there will be moments of levity. We are going to cover it all. So stylistically I am pushing to really sell both extremes.”

“We’re going to mess up the personal lives of these characters while we’re throwing them into constant danger, and hopefully we’ll have some moments of levity along the way,” echoes Duggan.  “The first arc features a new villain with a definite sympathetic point of view. We’ve been enjoying writing him as much as this group of Avengers. I will say that you will see some unexpected villains and heroes show up in UNCANNY AVENGERS.”

Unpredictable fast becomes the watchword for UNCANNY AVENGERS with the passage of time having made changes, big and small, in many of the heroes’ lives since before Secret Wars.

“Everyone is slightly different eight months later, and I’m looking forward to exploring how this team finds a way to operate together,” Duggan says. “Deadpool has fame and fortune eight months later. Sure, he’s bought a few slushy machines and other frivolous gear, but he’s also diverting most of his fortune to helping fund the Avengers. Quicksilver is in an interesting spot. [He] isn’t just trying to adjust to life as an Avenger, but life not as the son of Magneto. That’s several tons of emotional baggage that falls off his shoulders. He’s loving life and living it to the fullest.”

“I didn’t know how much I’d enjoy drawing Deadpool,” confesses Stegman. “He’s really, really fun. Drawing his body language from panel to panel is a pleasure.”

“I am trying to prevent myself from just writing a list of what I like about drawing each character right now, because the truth is I’ve found something about all of them to enjoy,” he continues. “It’s always a surprise to me how I’m going to react to drawing a character. But all these ones have such distinctive personalities that it’s been a blast so far.”

While having a great time with the work, neither creator has lost sight of the honor of tackling an Avengers book for the first time.

“I’m trying to apply everything I’ve learned from my first two years at Marvel into making the biggest and best Avengers book I can,” promises Duggan.

“It’s a team book and that means it’s really freaking hard to draw,” admits Stegman. “You have to keep track of so many characters doing so many things. But, this is an Avengers title, so you just have to bite the bullet and think about how many great artists have tackled them before and succeeded. At this point in the comic book industry, there is no greater property than the Avengers, and to be a part of that is a challenge I look forward to.”

While Duggan continues to keep a tight rein on spoilers, he does not hesitate to give his editors credit or tease readers with some exciting developments to keep an eye out for.

“[Editors] Tom Brevoort and Alanna Smith gave me a suggestion that drops like an atomic bomb in the second issue,” he reveals. “I do hope it manages to roll off a printer and into fans’ hands unspoiled.”

“Teams are families,” the writer concludes. “Families don’t always get along, and this team has the added pressure of projecting unity. Difficult but fun times lay ahead. I will say this: there will be surprises throughout the first arc, some dealing with the make-up of this roster.”

UNCANNY AVENGERS begins its mission of unity this fall! Stay tuned to Marvel.com and our social channels for the latest All-New All-Different Marvel news!

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Hear from some of the artists participating in the showcase for Marvel's 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' at Hero Complex now!

The Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles, known for their shows celebrating pop culture, has shined their spotlight on Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” with their current showcase!

The show, which can be seen at the Hero Complex Gallery from now through May 17, features original work from dozens of artists across the country and globe, with prints of select pieces available online now.

To kick off the special “Avengers: Age of Ultron” showcase, Hero Complex held an opening gala open to the fans with a number of artists in attendance. Marvel.com stopped by the event to chat with some of the artists about their work.

Some artists, such as Phillip Ellering, decided to try out an entirely unfamiliar art style for this show. Ellering produced his pieces in a more Art Deco fashion,  something he’d never attempted before.

“I was inspired to work in that style because I started to see all this amazing artwork and stuff that was kind of geared towards the style that I had previously worked in, felt comfortable in, and I wanted to push myself on this,” recalls Ellering. “I was like, what am I going to do that would be different, that would be cool? I needed to start looking at this movie in a different tone, in a different era. I started really falling in love with Art Deco, looking at different posters that I had seen, different artwork from that era. I just thought, that’s a cool take, I’m going to go for it. It was scary going for that style not really ever dabbling with it.”

Protection by Pixel Earth (Phillip Ellering)

Protection by Pixel Earth (Phillip Ellering)

One specific image from the trailers spurred Ellering’s thinking about the piece, and that image eventually unlocked the more classic, Art Deco take on our heroes.

“The first image that would have really grabbed me, that made me think, ‘You’re thinking about this wrong, Phil, you’re looking at this from the wrong angle,’ was the image [of] Ultron Prime shooting his energy burst,” Ellering elaborates. “I kept seeing it and I kept replaying it and I’m like, this kind of reminds me of an old sci-fi movie. Then I started thinking of it in that term and I’m like, oh, that kind of flopped the table on me. That would be cool.”

Just below Ellering’s Art Deco-style illustration rests Kevin M. Wilson’s own take on the Avengers, with Iron Man and Vision taking up the foreground to create an abstracted Avengers “A” framed by two crumbling buildings, with the rest of the team hiding in the background of the wreckage.

Once Wilson decided on the overall composition, he had to determine which Avengers he would spotlight most prominently in the piece.

“It was naturally finite shapes, initially,” explains Wilson. “Iron Man’s a favorite for me personally, so Iron Man was always going to be a central character. Then looking at the shapes and trying to find that negative space, Vision lent himself perfectly [with] that triangular shape. I have not seen the movie yet but hey, I’m assuming he’s going to be a fairly important part. And let’s face it, it’s a cool character and I had really fun drawing him.”

Iron Age by Kevin M. Wilson

Iron Age by Kevin M. Wilson

Walking through the gallery, a wide variety of styles reveal themselves across all the pieces. And just as style varies from one to the next, so too do the artists’ own preferences and interests evidence themselves in which Avengers they choose to focus on.

Some artists tackled the team as a whole. Some, like Wilson, chose to depict the team on a more symbolic level, focusing on an abstracted version of the Avengers’ trademark “A” than on the team members themselves. Then there were artists like Robert Bruno who focused their attention on a single member—in this case, the Scarlet Witch.

“What I wanted to do, when I saw the artist roster which was obviously very impressive, [was] I wanted to do something that was a little different,” relates Bruno. “So I picked up the two new characters [in the film], one of them being Scarlet Witch. I just wanted to do a cool character tribute to her.

“I didn’t read a lot of comics as a kid, but I know Scarlet Witch enough to know the basis of her powers,” the artist continues. I wanted to make the hands a focal point because I noticed in the trailer she really uses [them] to emit this cool red energy, and I wanted to play off of that. So that’s what I did for the piece.”

Not all artists worked on canvas, however. A number of sculptures rest on a table near the gallery’s entrance, including one by Blain Heffner which portrays the Black Widow “picking up after you boys,” as she says in the trailer, carrying Cap’s shield, Thor’s hammer, and more.

I'm Always Picking Up After You Boys by Blain Heffner

I’m Always Picking Up After You Boys by Blain Heffner

“I really like the line from the movie where she’s scooping up Cap’s shield saying, ‘I’m always having to pick up after you boys,’” Heffner acknowledges. “I thought it’d be really awesome if she was picking up everybody else’s stuff, showing just how awesome she is that she can handle everything at once, including Mjolnir, which is a play off of the other line where she doesn’t need the question answered whether she can pick [it] up [or not]. I thought it’d be a nice little play on that, to show she’s badass enough. She can do everything.”

Knowing he wanted to do a sculpture, Heffner had to choose an Avenger—and for him, the choice came pretty easily.

“It was kind of either her or Cap,” Heffner relates. “Cap and Black Widow are my two favorite Avengers, but the idea for Black Widow came first and I really liked it. I tossed it around my friends just to see what they thought, and they really like that idea so I decided to stick with that.”

Marvel fans in the Southern California area can drop by the Hero Complex Gallery during their regular hours now through May 17 to see the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” themselves, but if you can’t make it out check out the gallery’s online store for prints of select pieces and more!

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