WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Avengers #689
The penultimate issue of the 'No Surrender' arc in Avengers sees the Earth saved when Scarlet Witch transforms the team's famous phrase into a powerful spell. For the past fifteen weeks (and as many issues), Avengers has seen a cosmic game unfold with Earth as the playing field. The planet has disappeared, heroes and villains have been frozen in time, and the various groups of Avengers have come together for an epic battle that will change the face of the team—and lead to one single book. Marvel's Fresh Start will see a new Avengers lineup this summer, and the seeds of that story were planted this week.
With the Grandmaster's daughter Voyager now working alongside the Avengers, the combined forces of Earth's Mightiest Heroes take the fight to the Challenger. Meanwhile, Lightning challenges the Grandmaster to a poker game - and the Scarlet Witch reveals a brand new, supercharged spell born from the very heroes of Marvel's Universe.
The story of Lightning's gamble unfolds alongside the action on Earth as the heroes give their all to stop the Challenger. But as he's an Elder of the Universe, it's clear they'll soon run out of steam.
Luckily, Voyager earns her place on the team by accessing everyone's memories and reminding them what it means to be an Avenger—while Wanda handles the rest.
Though a bit unsubtle, the big finish in Avengers #689 fits perfectly with the idealism of the Avengers and their best stories. As the heroes gather their remaining reserves of strength, Wanda uses her skills to turn the phrase "Avengers Assemble" into something with true physical power. As she upgrades the fighters and they unleash their final blows, the call to arms doesn't just unite the heroes, but literally defeats their enemy.
There's one final issue of Avengers that will wrap up the 'No Surrender' story and help set up the next lineup. Interestingly, that team will involve heroes like She-Hulk and Robbie Reyes who weren't present in this storyline. They may come into play next week, however, as the experiment comes to an end and many of the Avengers go their separate ways.
It's also worth noting that the mission Quicksilver went on last week will lead to something for his character's future as well. Saladin Ahmed will be writing a new Quicksilver solo book that will show what Pietro experienced when he slipped between time during his pursuit of the beacon connected to the frozen Avengers. The story of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch has shifted and changed over the years—partly influenced by the MCU—so it's interesting to see this new story give them both some big moments.
Neither hero will be on the new roster, but Marvel likely has some big things in mind for them and the other soon-to-be unemployed Avengers.
Avengers #689 is available now from Marvel Comics and comic book retailers.