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After accidentally discovering his power to never die, Craig Hollis donned the superhero persona of Mr. Immortal and began fighting crime. He soon realized his heroic endeavors would be easier with a team and took out an ad calling for men and women of action. Meeting at a local YMCA, Mr. Immortal was joined by Big Bertha, Dinah Soar, Doorman, Flatman, and Leather Boy.[1] Together they formed the Great Lakes Avengers as a sister team to the West Coast Avengers and (East Coast) Avengers.[15][1]

Great Lakes Avengers[]

The team began fighting crime and quickly caught the attention of Hawkeye and Mockingbird. The pair traveled to Wisconsin to check to these "impostor" Avengers. After determining they were just a group of (if somewhat oddball) heroes, Hawkeye and Mockingbird took it upon themselves to train the team. Originally the team heavily depended on Ashley Crawford's modelling income to provide funding for their headquarters and the team also used her private jet.[15][19]

Not long after beginning training with Hawkeye and Mockingbird, the Great Lakes Avengers were called to Texas to help the Avengers, Captain America, and She-Hulk to rescue the Scarlet Witch and the Vision. After the team successfully aided in the rescue, Captain America gave them permission to use the Avengers title.[19] The Great Lakes Avengers continued to train with Hawkeye and Mockingbird.[29][30] When Terminus began attacking St. Louis, Missouri, Captain America called on The Great Lakes Avengers to battle him until the other Avengers could arrive as reinforcements.[28] The Great Lakes Avengers were again called into action by Captain America to help him and the Human Torch respond to a mysterious distress call in the rescue of "Rick Jones".[31]

Lightning Rods[]

Great Lakes Avengers (Earth-616) from Deadpool Vol 3 10 01

The Lightning Rods

After the Avengers were seemingly killed during Onslaught, the Thunderbolts took over heroic responsibilities in New York. Attempting to "cash-in" on the popularity of the Thunderbolts, Mr. Immortal re-branded the team as the Lightning Rods.[25] They also briefly teamed-up with Deadpool and Weasel when they crossed paths.[32] When it was later revealed that the Thunderbolts were secretly the Masters of Evil, the team approached S.H.I.E.L.D. with the request to bring the Thunderbolts in themselves. Unfortunately, the Lightning Rods were no match for the Thunderbolts.[10]


Returning to their former name, Great Lakes Avenger and though they mostly just hung out and played cards,[1] they still engaged in superheroics such as rescuing victims from a tornado in Ohio.[33] When news came in that the Avengers had disassembled, a disheartened Mr. Immortal was reinvigorated and took the team out patrolling. The team came upon Maelstrom stealing a Chronal Accelerator. Unfortunately, Dinah Soar was killed during the battle. After Dinah's death, Mr. Immortal fell into a psychotic depression. Meanwhile, Doorman and Flatman traveled to New York City to recruit more new members. Although most heroes turned them down immediately, Squirrel Girl and Monkey Joe, her squirrel partner, agreed to join. Grasshopper also joined, but died almost immediately upon accepting his membership. The GLA continued to investigate Maelstrom's theft, and with help from Deathurge, the team narrowly defeated him and prevented his plans to end time.[22]

Great Lakes X-Men? Defenders? Champions?[]

Great Lakes X-Men (Earth-616) from G.L.A

The Great Lakes X-Men

With a cease and desist order and threatened lawsuit from the Maria Stark Foundation, the GLA again had to rebrand. When the surviving member of the GLA all realized they were mutants, they decided to become the Great Lakes X-Men (or GLX).[7] Although the team continued to operate under the X-Men title, they soon abandoned their leather X-Men-style costumes because the outfits were designed by their former teammate/arch nemesis, Leather Boy.[8]

The GLX dealt with a steady increase in supervillain activity around Wisconsin during the holiday season including an attack by Dr. Tannenbaum's evil pine trees, a scheme by Thanos using the Pyramatrix, and an insurgency of M.O.D.O.K. and A.I.M.[8]

The team attended the Thing's superhero poker tournament under Squirrel Girl's invitation. Upon hearing they were using the X-Men's name, Marvel Girl used her telepathy on Mr. Immortal, who ventured the Great Lakes Defenders, before being similarly rebuffed by Doctor Strange. When they all reached the final table, with Flatman beating the Thing, they plumped for Great Lakes Champions (or GLC), despite Hercules' protests.[2]

Great Lakes Initiative[]

Great Lakes Avengers (Earth-616) and Wade Wilson (Earth-616) vs Advanced Idea Mechanics (Earth-616) from Deadpool GLI - Summer Fun Spectacular Vol 1 1 001

Great Lakes Initiative with Deadpool against A.I.M.

The GLC eagerly signed up under the Superhuman Registration Act, becoming the official government sanctioned protectors of Wisconsin, the Great Lakes Initiative or GLI.[4][5][6][14] Despite signing up immediately, the GLI team was attacked by Deadpool in a misbegotten plan to win government favor by bringing in unregistered, rogue superhumans.[4]

The GLI enjoyed the legitimacy the Initiative brought, and especially enjoyed the government funding. The GLI reluctantly teamed up with Deadpool to stop A.I.M. from using an "Inebriation Wave" powered by Dionysus. Deadpool was then granted reserve membership on the team, but he was forcibly evicted from their headquarters after proving too much of an annoyance. Before leaving, Deadpool broke the neck of the all-new Grasshopper who was attempting to join the GLI.[14]

During the Skrull invasion of Earth, the GLI's newest member, Grasshopper, was discovered to be a Skrull, and was killed by the team immediately.[6] When Norman Osborn took over S.H.I.E.L.D., he reassigned Gravity to join the GLI.[18]

Feeling that she was holding the team back by single-handedly defeating villains like Thanos, M.O.D.O.K., Mandarin, Doctor Doom, Giganto, Fin Fang Foom, Korvac, Baron Mordo, and Ego the Living Planet, Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe left the GLA and returned to New York City.[8][21][34]

During the attacks of the Serpent, the GLA members were attacked by angry, fearful mobs,[3] and sometime later they disbanded and went their separate ways.[13]

GLA in Detroit[]

They spent time apart until the ownership of the trademark for the "Avengers" name was transferred, as a consequence of major shake-ups in Stark Holdings, to the only other entity who had also applied for the trademark, Flatman. Connie Ferrari, the legal representative of the Avengers, attempted to negotiate with him to buy the name back, and Flatman managed to get her to reinstate the Great Lake Avengers as a permanent and official addition to the Avengers.[13]

He then attempted to get the band back together, but only Big Bertha and Doorman appeared, because Doreen was now too famous and, unknown to them Craig's phone was now in possession of a local girl named Pansy. Unwilling to "assume things," Pansy showed up at the rendezvous point, an abandoned Stark Assembly and Manufacturing plant the Avengers had set up as the GLA new headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, and waited for the Great Lakes Avengers. Once they arrived, Pansy cleared up the confusion caused by her presence and showed the team around the facilities.[13]

Great Lakes Avengers (Earth-616) from Great Lakes Avengers Vol 1 2 001

Meeting Good Boy

The team's problems began when they had the tremendous idea of going to a local bar in the middle of the night and try to convince them to turn the music volume down. The owner Nain Rouge instead refuses and begins to insult them. Upon getting arrested after a fight, Flatman and Bertha are left in jail with a young girl named Goodness Silva, who can turn into a wolf. There are some complications, but everything turns out fine as they're all later released thanks to Connie Ferrari, the legal representative of the Avengers.[16]

Craig Hollis (Earth-616) from Great Lakes Avengers Vol 1 3 001

The Return of Mr. I

Following this misadventure, the team was served with an injunction, forbidding them from performing any superhero activity. Mister Immortal rejoined the team and went on patrol with Flatman while Bertha, Doorman, and Goodness, now going by the name of Good Boy, investigated Nain Rouge's bar, where they found the villain was in fact councilman Dick Snerd.[35] When Flatman and Mister Immortal returned from patrol, they discovered Bertha and Good Boy had taken Snerd hostage. When Connie arrived to help the team with the injunction, she not only found that they had taken Snerd, but also that in a fit of rage, Good Boy severely hurt him. The team dropped him off at a hospital and escaped.[36]

The Great Lakes Avengers' following call to action occurred after Big Bertha was kidnapped by a scientist named Doctor Nod who harvested her DNA to create a pill supplement to alter its user's weight at will. Even though Bertha managed to escape from his grasp on her own, Doctor Nod tried to take her down, consuming an enormous amount of his own pills in the process, becoming a giant mindless blob who started to tear the city apart.[37] Doctor Nod was finally defeated after Doorman teleported Mister Immortal inside his body and had him punch his heart.

Even though the city applauded the heroes, the GLA's rejoicing was abruptly cut short when Deadpool appeared on their doorstep and, as a member of the Avengers Unity Division, told them they were fired, informing them that their legal claim of the name didn't hold up in court. He stated that people simply didn't like them, but then comforted them, proclaiming that in a few years they could try to be in the spotlight again.[38]

Reckoning War[]

At some point, Good Boy left the GLA. Afterwards, the team traveled to Milwaukee, where they were attacked by a being known as the Cormorant, who was looking to retrieve the Grasshopper legs, now in the possession of a new user. They tried to defend him, alongside their former teammate Squirrel Girl, but were unsuccessful, and the Cormorant severely injured the new Grasshopper in order to get what he wanted.[23]





  • A recurring theme of this team is their difficulty with naming:
    • Great Lakes Avengers or GLA - Observing that there were already East Coast and West Coast Avengers, Mr. Immortal dubbed his new team the Great Lakes Avengers.[1][15] This name brought on the scrutiny of Hawkeye,[15] but later they were granted official permission from Captain America the title.[19] Although they continue to change their name, this is the most common title used.
      • Midwest Avengers - Upon first hearing their name, Vision asked ""Great Lakes?" Would not "Midwest" be a more appropriate nomenclature...?"[39]
    • Lightning Rods - When they got an official sanction to become the Midwest branch of the Thunderbolts, the team was redubbed Lightning Rods.[25][10]
    • Superhuman Warriors Operation Redistribution Division or S.W.O.R.D. - When it was revealed that the Thunderbolts were secretly the Masters of Evil, Mr. Immortal ventured becoming an official branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. named S.W.O.R.D. "the Superhuman Warriors Operation...Redistribution Division".[10]
    • Great Lakes X-Men or GLX - When the team members realized they were all mutants, they decided to become the Great Lakes X-Men.[7][8] When Marvel Girl heard they were calling themselves X-Men, she telepathically influenced Mr. Immortal into changing it.[2]
    • Great Lakes Defenders or GLD - Mr. Immortal only briefly suggested name the Great Lakes Defenders before Doctor Strange magically influenced him into changing it.[2]
    • Great Lakes Champions or GLC - After winning the Thing's superhero poker tournament and breaking out into a chorus of Queen's "We Are The Champions", Mr. Immortal decide to call the team Great Lakes Champions over the objections of Hercules.[2][4]
    • Great Lakes Initiative or GLI - After eagerly signing up under the Superhuman Registration Act, the team became the official government-sanctioned protectors of Wisconsin, the Great Lakes Initiative.[4][6][18]
    • Great Lakes Power Pack - This title was used humorously with multiple past titles of the team.[3]
    • America's Alpha Flight - According to Flatman, an anonymous person online dubbed the team "America's Alpha Flight".[12]


Chronological Reading List[]

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 G.L.A. #1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Thing (Vol. 2) #8
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Fear Itself: The Home Front #6
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Cable & Deadpool #30
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Civil War: Battle Damage Report #1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Avengers: The Initiative #19
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 G.L.A. #4
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 GLX-Mas Special #1
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Deadpool (Vol. 3) #1011
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 Thunderbolts #1517
  11. Thunderbolts #16
  12. 12.0 12.1 Great Lakes Avengers #5
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 13.9 Great Lakes Avengers #1
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 Deadpool GLI - Summer Fun Spectacular #1
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 West Coast Avengers (Vol. 2) #46
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Great Lakes Avengers #2
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 G.L.A. #2
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Avengers: The Initiative #25
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 Avengers West Coast #48
  20. G.L.A. #24
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 21.7 Age of Heroes #3
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 G.L.A. #14
  23. 23.0 23.1 Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #43
  24. Great Lakes Avengers #67
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Deadpool (Vol. 3) #10
  26. Great Lakes Avengers #57
  27. G.L.A. #3
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Avengers Annual #19
  29. Avengers #309
  30. Avengers: West Coast Annual #6
  31. Avengers: West Coast #64
  32. Deadpool (Vol. 3) #11
  33. Thunderbolts #25
  34. Heroic Age: Heroes #1
  35. Great Lakes Avengers #3
  36. Great Lakes Avengers #4
  37. Great Lakes Avengers #56
  38. Great Lakes Avengers #7
  39. 39.0 39.1 Avengers West Coast #49
  40. Thunderbolts #17
  41. JLA/Avengers #4