Advance Guard were known as an "icon" group, meaning that they were one of the hero teams that also pushed an agenda in the civilian sphere.
Specifically, Advance Guard's ideology focused on moving forward and new approaches, leaving behind the mistakes of the old world. Their views on what this new world should look like differed from the other notable "progressive" icon team, Foresight.
Advance Guard cooperated with police, sometimes using mover powers to increase their response times. This tied into their larger strategy of fast strikes against an enemy to overwhelm them.
Advance Guard appears to be a hero team with a structure similar to the old Protectorate model of multiple members under sub-leaders; the team that attempted to interfere in Cedar Point was led by ReSound. Mayday was apparently involved with planning their excursions and talking to people. They are an affiliated team with support from The Wardens, and are presumably working with the larger hero organization to deal with a long term problem.
They have an overarching design aesthetic, tending toward bold contrasting colors with angular armor and designs accompanied by full face masks. Each costume is, as previously stated, individualized for the member.
Victoria Dallon encountered one of their members, Shortcut, when he was responding to a car crash that had damaged a memorial. The crowd were hostile toward him; Victoria tried to ease the situation and complimented him on his response time. Shortcut took that interaction the wrong way.
Victoria later applied to join the team, but was rejected without a reason being given. She speculated it was because she had a two year "gap" in her records. According to Shortcut, however, it happened because he personally nixed her joining.
A team of Advance Guard members led by ReSound arrived to interfere in Cedar Point, despite not having communicated with the team whose jurisdiction the area fell under. After Victoria and Sveta confronted their member Spright, they agreed to call off their attack and retreat.Mayday attributed their presence in the area to tip-offs from local civilians, but Victoria remained suspicious about who had called them in.
During the Mathers Compound Assault, the Wardens delegated the team to containment efforts. They mainly dealt with the Crowleys' combatants and were beaten by them. At the end of the fight it is revealed that two members of Advance Guard were undercover Fallen – Scapegoat, who was captured, and another who died during the fighting. Victoria later attributed Advance Guard's unplanned interference in Cedar Point mostly to Scapegoat's interference.
The team reeled from the damage they suffered, and vacated their position in the leading trio of The City teams. Later, the team came under political pressure, as Mayday's leadership qualities started being questioned by the general public. These losses and hits to morale had a severe impact on the team, cutting its numbers by half.
Nevertheless, Advance Guard continued its activities; on one occasion, Mayday and ReSound traveled to Earth Bet to fight toxic waste-eating mutants, while a team comprised of Shortcut, Spright, and Flapper pursuing the villains Trial and Error.Breakthrough began to communicate with Advance Guard about the possibility of cooperation, and Mayday invited them to help address the latter pursuit; as Trial and Error proved to be more difficult to fight than expected, more teams were called in to deal with them. Mayday later reached out to Breakthrough and confirmed his team's cooperation, following Breakthrough's appearance on Hard Boil (which Mayday had previously appeared on).
Some members of Advance Guard were busy with important mission and missed the first assault of The Wardens on Teacher's Compound. Later they were sent out to attack from the north-west, the opposite direction of the first wave Advance Guard.
↑ 1.01.11.2 Some capes were taking on roles as icons and iconoclasts for the various movements in the civilian sectors. Four hero teams led the ‘icon’ groups. Advance Guard, Foresight, the Shepherds and the Attendant.
The first two were aimed at pushing forward. New approaches, doing things right this time. The opinions on what that way forward looked like it differed, feeding into the division between the two groups. - excerpt from Daybreak 1.8
↑ 2.02.1I caught a glimpse of the emblem on his sleeve. A badge, not a personal symbol or icon, but part of the team he belonged to. Advance Guard. They were a team with an agenda to push. The world had ended, and they were pushing hard for a better and different tomorrow.
I could respect that.
I could also cringe inwardly at the fact that our superhero here was implicitly sporting a ‘move forward’ ideology when that was the last thing this old man probably wanted to hear with a freshly reopened emotional wound. Time and place. Unfortunately, because of the team emblem the cape had on his breast- a stylized figure holding a shield shaped like a greater-than symbol, the guy represented that ideology every time, in every place. - excerpt from Daybreak 1.1
↑I watched him glance over the small crowd, looking for the person who had spoken. He kept looking out for the speaker as he told us, “There’s some police on their way. With all the reconstruction and the lower priority, they’re trying to get through the traffic right now.” - excerpt from Daybreak 1.1
↑“They’re money hungry, with fancy costumes and nice facilities. I’ve had pretty mixed reactions dealing with them, too.”
Tristan frowned. “Okay. I’m bothered they’re just marching in here. Assuming it’s not a trap, what’s even their plan? [...] They’re good,” Tristan said. “And there’s a lot of them.”
“But they’re aggressive. Their usual M.O. is to blitz a target,” I pointed out.
↑Therealtahu: Advance Guard emblem. I'm having a hard time imagining the "shield" thing. Wildbow: I could draw it [...] Wildbow: [Image deleted at WB's request.] [...] Wildbow: Picture the chevron/greater than symbol being worked into the border of the sleeve/breast/whatever - Discord conversation with Wildbow, Archived on Spacebattles
↑The costume he wore was in the usual Advance Guard style, all angles, geometric shapes and future-tech in style - Excerpt from Dying 15.6
↑“ReSound,” I addressed Advance Guard’s leader. She had a costume in yellow and orange gradient, with dark concentric circles and the jagged, dark lines of a typical Advance Guard costume. - Excerpt from Radiation 18.7
↑The costumes were distinct enough for me to recognize them before any icon came into view. Bold contrasts of light and dark, angles, armor panels, and bright colors. Masks tended to be full-face. All of it looked like they had one very tired designer working on their costumes. Cohesion to the max.
The camera caught the icon, and it popped up in a window, blur-corrected. A figure running to the side, drawn out as a collection of triangles and irregular shapes. Their arm was out and holding an arrow-shaped shield. Others had slight variants on the same icon, to play into costume textures and other minor details. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.2
↑“Avant!” ReSound called out, and the sound was magnified, loud, echoing far faster than a normal echo could or should. The camera’s sound died, dissolving into crackles. Several of the Hollow Point villains covered their ears. - Shadow 5.2
↑There weren’t any openings. I was pretty sure Advance Guard had turned me down because of my background, the two year gap prior to Gold Morning. Others had their reasons for rejecting me. As it was, the field was fairly cluttered. - Excerpt from Flare 2.2
↑“Reaching out and talking,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure there’s no hard feelings.”
“About you not getting into Advance Guard.”
I’d emailed, they’d sent a reply a couple of hours later saying no.
“I didn’t devote a lot of thought to it,” I said. “Sucks, but you guys have to do what you have to do. And so does everyone else, apparently. I’ll figure something out.”
“They didn’t tell you it was me?”
“No,” I said. I frowned.
“I told them to tell you no and to tell you it was me, and why.”
“Alright,” I said. “They just told me no.”
“Well fuck that. I thought you needed to know, what you did back there, it was shitty.”
“I realized after your face came up on some of the events about the Norfair community center incident. You went up against Lord of Loss?”
“I don’t see what the issue is,” I said.
“You happen to beat me to the scene, and then you use your secret identity, condescension and anti-parahuman shit to take me down a notch? And then you want a place on Advance Guard?”
“I happened to be there. I’m sorry, it was not my intention to come across that way.” I tried to help you out some. - Excerpt from Flare 2.3
↑Houndstooth was absent, but two of his subordinates were present. I recognized Foxtrot and another member of the Kings of the Hill. Foxtrot’s chatter about the Cedar Point operation had led to Advance Guard jumping in and our involvement being spoiled. Well, I had my suspicions that Scapegoat might have helped matters. The defected healer from Advance Guard was the primary one to blame- but Foxtrot had let some minor things slip. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.6
↑"Advance Guard’s having trouble bouncing back. They got hurt badly by the injuries and loss of infrastructure.” - Excerpt from Torch 7.6
↑In one area, according to a headline on a news ticker, Mayday was getting a hard time. The territories that Advance Guard was managing were seeing civilian pushback, citing Mayday’s lack of leadership in years before Kenzie had even joined his team. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.4
↑Advance Guard was in a bad spot, and they had to be careful. It had been a leading team and its numbers had diminished. A handful of losses and a bit hit to morale had led to a cascading effect. The team was half what it was. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.5
↑Mayday Re: Proposal ReSound and I are away right now. Killing toxic waste eating mutants on Bet. Wish I was joking. Not even the lousiest part of my week. If Looksee hasn’t had any contact with the files or computer in question we will look at what you have. Meet our guys on their patrol and give them a disk or something? Sound and I will review when we can or others can check it out and give us feedback. Sound good? Will call my guys and find out who you’d meet and where.
Antares Re:Re: Proposal Sounds good. Looksee is busy with a project- no issues there. I’ve got a flash drive with info I can leave you guys. Sorry to hear about the mutants. Good luck.
Mayday Re:Re:Re: Proposal They’re racing down Post st. in pursuit of unpowered criminals and should pass through Westport soon coming from the east. Can’t call them but you should be able to help intercept. Notify if intercept fails or is too much trouble. Is Spright Flapper Shortcut. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.5
↑“A response from Mayday through his intermediary, while you were talking,” Byron said. “It’s hard to decipher. A tentative yes? He doesn’t seem sure. It might have been a mix-up in communication.”
I saw Kenzie do a fist-pump.
“Better than nothing,” Rain said. “It’s movement in the direction we want.” - Excerpt from Beacon 8.12
↑“We go after possible suspects, we put the word on the street,” Mayday said. “We round them up and take action to discourage and scare them before the villains meet and decide that they want to protect and encourage the lunatics who did this.” - Excerpt from Polarize 10.11
↑I shook my head. “Advance Guard killed villains who had been hired to ambush that coalition. Our warning got to them too late, that this looked set up. It’s agitated things pretty badly- at least on our end there were some civilian witnesses. There’s a lot of question marks. People are scared.” - Excerpt from Polarize 10.13