Avengers: No Surrender – The Weight of Leadership
Avengers: No Surrender so far has been an event storyline that aims to break the mold. They surprisingly did this from the minute the situation was revealed to be that Earth was actually stolen. That is as disastrous as it gets when before you can figure out who did this, you have to save the Earth from destroying itself over such a drastic change in setting. That is how you raise the stakes. And to further raise the stakes? Take the three branches of the Avengers teams and force them to work together under leadership that not everyone is used to.
That is where I wanted to focus here because I enjoy the way they have written Falcon, Rogue, and Citizen V to bear this weight on their shoulders with everything falling apart at the seams. They second guess decisions, they struggle to make sure that everyone takes them seriously, they feel the sting of every failure when ultimately they will hold themselves responsible for what goes wrong.
Lets start with the Avengers team. That is the team where Falcon holds command, and this has been a rough patch for the guy whose life was shaken by the actions of HYDRA Cap. From the start of this event you could see how he was going through a serious period of adjustment to the position that he has been put into. This wasn’t like most situations where they could easily go fight the big bad. He along with everyone had to quickly process the world falling apart around them while playing catch up to what game is being played with them. Normally Sam would have so much more confidence in his leadership skills, but this was a first where there was a true struggle to figure out how to get everyone working on the same page. This is not to say that he didn’t command attention when the situation called for it. There’s no other person who will look at you and expect that you know how to respond.
I enjoyed the way they portrayed Falcon so far, because in spite of this he has been the more collected in the heat of the moment. Not to mention he puts more effort into trying to think before springing into action. Maybe the game doesn’t reward those who aren’t quick to the draw, but the difference between them and everyone else has to be considering the dangers of what they are stepping into each time. We all saw what happened to Human Torch, and that is why you need a leader like Sam.
Compared to the other three, Sam has the perk that he can inspire. He may not be considered a heavy-hitter like others, but that doesn’t stop him from having a strong presence in the face of these enemies.
Rogue finds herself leading the charge here and I have been quite shocked by the way she leads. It is a good day to be an Avengers fan when you have not one but two X-Men who are leaders of an Avengers team. Only unfortunate that she struggles so hard with not being an Avengers while having that X-Men chip on her shoulder. When I say chip on her shoulder, I mean the part of her that is in constant survival and attack mode. Her first instinct is always to strike back in kind, and that comes with the feeling that she has to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Even to say what needs to say no matter how cold. Personally I do think we have gone long enough without an Avenger like Rogue on the roster. Someone who knows how to go to that dark place, but do so with the best of intentions. Do you want to make enemies of those around you? Of course not, yet there is a time to be a hero, and a time to be something more in the face of an extinction level event.
We have already seen her take the life of someone from the Black Order. This was a big move for her as a hero who you would expect to lead by example. She took him out permanently and her first response was that she wasn’t sorry for what she did. If you were to look at things from her perspective, then you might say that is the best attitude to carry. Unlike the other three, she acts and cares little about being questioned. When Quicksilver was becoming a problem, she shut that down for better or for worse.
Roberto, or Citizen V is the only one in leadership who so far has somewhat disappointed me. He started off as a leader who was taking charge, but so easily fell to the background as things heated up. Maybe because he has grown more into the position of someone who gives the commands instead of carrying them out, who knows. Though there has not been one time genuinely where he has made his presence known. With that said, this could all change easily in just one issue, but that time has not come just yet.
At the end of the day, Avengers” No Surrender thrives on so much that they do differently from some of the more recent Avengers events. It made a big difference to have these three contrasting leaders, to have three very different Avengers rosters combining forces, and to create new situations and obstacles for them to overcome.