Comics : GLA #1
This review was first published on: 2005.
Back during the '80s when Marvel was looking for ways to spin off every title into a second (third, twelfth) book, it was determined to take a number of the under-used Avengers, base them on the West Coast, and establish a second team. The book did well enough, but the down side of the proposition was that John Byrne (then at the top of his game, and able to demand and get) most anything he wanted, to establish a "third" Avengers book (albeit as a quickly disposed of mini series) entitled The Great Lake Avengers.
To be sure, this group wasn't really associated with the Avengers (even though Hawkeye and Mockingbird did serve with them for a brief time), this group of Mystery Men-style second banana Marvel Universe heroes had their Warhol-style 15 minutes and were all but forgotten (they have popped up from time-to-time, most recently as back-up characters in Deadpool's solo outing.
Jun 2005 : SM Reference
Summary: Spider-Man Reference (three guys in Spidey masks)
As this first issue opens up it is being introduced by Squirrel Girl (yea, you read that right Squirrel Girl, shows you the quality you can expect from this title), and a new hero named Grasshopper (wait, there's more! And no, it isn't pretty).
From this less-than-auspicious opening we witness the death (or, more accurately, one of the deaths) of Mr. Immortal, the team's leader (don't worry, he's immortal, so he isn't really dead, but he'll wind up being the only one who can say that, stay tuned). From this death, we head into an extended flashback where we learn how Mr. Immortal (Craig) got his powers and his name. Apparently, from the moment of his birth he is dogged by the shadowy figure of Deathurge, who kept taking his loved ones from him, starting with his mother, his father, everyone. Except he simply wouldn't take Craig. No matter how many times Craig attempted to kill himself, he couldn't die.
Since he couldn't die Craig determined that he was a superhero and gathered a group of other B-level pseudo-heroes around him to form a group. The Great Lake Avengers consist of Big Bertha (a woman who can go from Twiggy-thin to Hindenburg-huge in a heartbeat) Mr. Doorway (his entire body is a tesseract- style portal), Flatman (he is two-dimensional), Dinah Soar (she had leathery wings and could fly), and Leather Boy (who had no real powers or abilities, but just like to wear bondage clothes).
Well, they had been operating mostly in obscurity until the dark days of Avengers Disassembled. With the disaster that struck the NY Avengers, the GLA figured that they should step up into the breach, so they began to patrol Milwaukee again, only to run afoul of Maelstrom who was stealing a large piece of machinery. During the conflict, Dinah Soar dies, and is taken by Deathurge. Filled with remorse, Mr. Imortal (who was seeing her socially) kills himself again (which is where we came in, and concludes this issue.
Well, the story (the entire series for that matter) is an off-speed pitch, and it is okay enough if you go in for this kind of thing.
I'm not really a big fan of this type of story, I mean it is fun for a while and all, but to build an entire series around it? I'm not sure that it was the best idea from the House of Ideas of late.
If you bought this issue looking for Spidey, you got burnt, as he doesn't so much appear here as three bank robbers appear in three panels wearing Spider- Man Halloween masks.