Did Marvel Just Kill An Avenger?

Marvel Comics' 16-week Avengers: No Surrender, launched in Avengers #675, seems to have landed its first major casualty in the pages of Avengers #677.

Part 3 of No Surrender, released Wednesday, apparently killed off one of Earth's mightiest heroes and one of the Marvel Universe's longest-running characters: Quicksilver, brother of fellow Avenger the Scarlet Witch.

Quicksilver flamed out of the Avengers, leaving devastation in his wake. But now that it's all hands on deck, is this his chance at redemption? Or will his hunger to prove himself be his downfall? — Avengers #677 solicitation

The issue sees two factions of villains in a vicious competition: Thanos' Black Order — comprised of Black Dwarf, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Black Swan, Supergiant and Ebony Maw — and the Lethal Legion, comprised of the Blood Brothers, Metal Master, Mentacle, Captain Glory, Drall and Ferene the Other.

Siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch rescue their teammates as Avengers Mansion is decimated by the Black Order, the heroes taking refuge at a backup Avengers headquarters.

The Avengers form three teams: a reserve unit to stay behind, a strike team to battle the Black Order in Peru, and a second strike team to battle the Lethal Legion in Rome.

Falcon, Red Hulk, Synapse, Wonder Man and the Human Torch head for Peru as Rogue leads Thor, Lightning, Cannonball, and Hercules to Rome. A moody Quicksilver is left behind on Rogue's orders — orders he then disregards.

The defiant Pietro zooms to Rome, soon learning he's the only Avenger standing. As Pietro effortlessly takes out Mentacle, the Blood Brothers and Metal Master with his super-speed abilities, Wanda attempts to stir a frozen Vision from his hibernation back at headquarters.

Wanda's hex frees the paralyzed Vision, but Quicksilver freezes up — literally — immediately immobilized by the same ailment freshly cured by Wanda.

"Looks like the zipster ran out of 'zip,'" says Metal Master. "Take the obstacle out of play."

The order pleases the Blood Brothers, who brutally pummel a defenseless Pietro into the ground, sending pieces of Earth flying — seemingly ending the speedster Avenger.

Comic book cliffhangers aside, the solicitation for issue #678 teases an Avenger paying the "ultimate price," adding an ominous stinger: "the first Avenger falls!"

Marvel Comics releases Avengers #678 January 31.

One of Quicksilver's two cinematic iterations, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, was killed off in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. His sister, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen), lives on as a member of the Avengers and will next appear in Avengers: Infinity War in May.

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Another version of Quicksilver appears in Fox's Marvel universe as a member of the X-Men. Evan Peters reprises the role in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, out in November.