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. Together they formed the Great Lakes Avengers as a sister team to the Avengers West Coast and Avengers.
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 modeling income to provide funding for their headquarters and the team also used her private jet.
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. The Great Lakes Avengers continued to train Hawkeye and Mockingbird. When Ulterminus began attacking St. Louis, Missouri, Captain America called on The Great Lakes Avengers to battle him until the other Avengers could arrive as reinforcement. 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 from in the rescue of "Rick Jones".
After the Avengers were seemingly killed during Onslaught, the Thunderbolts took over heroing responsibilities in New York. Attempting to "cash-in" on the popularity of the Thunderbolts, Mr. Immortal re-branded the team as the Lightning Rods. They also briefly teamed-up with Deadpool and Weasel when they crossed paths. 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 Thunderbolts.
Returning to their former name, Great Lakes Avenger and though they mostly just hung out and played cards, they still engaged in superheroics such as rescuing victims from a tornado in Ohio. 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. I 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 her Monkey Joe squirrel partner agreed to join. Grasshopper also join, 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.
X-Men? Defenders? Champions?
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). 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/archnemesis, Leather Boy.
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.
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.
Great Lakes Initiative
The GLC eagerly signed up under the Superhuman Registration Act, becoming the official government sanctioned protectors of Wisconsin, the Great Lakes Initiative or GLI. 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.
The GLI joined 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 Ray" powered by Dionysius. 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.
During the Skrull invasion, Great Lakes Avengers' newest member Grasshopper was discovered to be a Skrull, and was killed by the team immediately. When Norman Osborn took over S.H.I.E.L.D., he reassigned Gravity to join the GLI.
Feeling that she was holding the team back by single-handly defeating villains like 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.
The GLA in Detroit
Several years later, as a consequence of major shake-ups in Stark Holdings, the ownership of the trademark for the Avengers name was transferred 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.
After an attempt to get the band together, which resulted only in Big Bertha and Doorman joining Flatman, the Great Lakes Avengers moved to Detroit, where the Avengers had set them up a headquarters in a factory owned by Stark Holdings.
- Ashley Crawford's Private Jet (formerly)
- Quin-Jetta (formerly)
- Squirrel-A-Gig (formerly)
- Bumper Buggy
Weapons: None known.
- Members of the Great Lakes Avengers were summoned into battle as Avengers during the Avengers/JLA crossover. Flatman was defeated by Prometheus but was saved by the Beast. Big Bertha aided Wonder Woman in battle and was there for the last battle.
- A reoccurring 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. This name brought on the scrutiny of Hawkeye, but later they were granted official permission from Captain America the title. Although they continue to change ther 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...?"
- Lightning Rods - When they got an official sanction to become the midwest branch of the Thunderbolts, the team was redubbed Lightning Rods.
- 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".
- Great Lakes X-Mem or GLX - When the team members realized they were all mutants, they decided to become the Great Lakes X-Men. When Marvel Girl heard they were calling themselves X-Men, she telepathically influenced Mr. Immortal into changing it.
- Great Lakes Defenders - Mr. Immortal only briefly suggested name the "Great Lakes Defenders" before Doctor Strange magically influenced him into changing it.
- 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.
- 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.
- Great Lakes Power Pack - This title was used humorously with multiple past titles of the team.
- The 2005 GLA mini-series parodied the dark comic events Identity Crisis and Avengers Disassembled. This miniseries was also a parody of comic book deaths, and it had been announced that a team member would die every issue.
- 11 Great Lakes Avengers (Earth-616) Members
- 38 Appearances of Great Lakes Avengers (Earth-616)
- 1 Minor Appearances of Great Lakes Avengers (Earth-616)
- 4 Media Great Lakes Avengers (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 40 Images that include Great Lakes Avengers (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Great Lakes Avengers (Earth-616)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 G.L.A. #1
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Deadpool #10-#11
- ↑ Thunderbolts #16
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 G.L.A. #4
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Thing Vol 2 #8
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Fear Itself: The Home Front #6
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Civil War Battle Damage Report #1
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Avengers: The Initiative #19
- ↑ 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 Deadpool GLI - Summer Fun Spectacular #1
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 West Coast Avengers Vol 2 #46
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 G.L.A. #2
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Avengers: The Initiative #25
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 Avengers: West Coast #48
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 G.L.A. #2-#4
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Age of Heroes #3
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Cable & Deadpool #30
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Thunderbolts #15-#17
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 18.8 Great Lakes Avengers Special #1
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 Deadpool #10
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 Great Lakes Avengers Vol 2 #1
- ↑ G.L.A. #3
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Avengers Annual #19
- ↑ Avengers #309
- ↑ Avengers: West Coast Annual #6
- ↑ Avengers: West Coast #64
- ↑ Deadpool #11
- ↑ Thunderbolts #25
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 Avengers: West Coast #49