I might be nuts for nostalgia, or just plain nuts, but when I saw there was a Great Lakes Avengers books on the horizon I got a little too excited. Maybe it was the memory of the Marvel cards from the series, or maybe it was just the idea of split up teams, but dammit I had to read the thing.
Well now that I’ve got issue #1 in my hands I can answer the question: is it good?
Great Lakes Avengers #1 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Check out the summary and preview we posted to find out!
Why does this book matter?
This book is written by the hilarious Zac Gorman who wrote quite a few Rick and Morty comics in the last year. Still hesitant to give this a try? If the nostalgia of this team doesn’t get you, how about the idea of C-list heroes being used in a title at Marvel. They have weird and different powers and are most assuredly going to be good for a creative look at fighting crime.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
And a team is made!
But wait, the book actually opens with a creative way to get this team on the ground running. Gorman opens the issue with a clever enough setup, there’s a legal snafu with the name “Avengers”, and Flatman is now in charge of his very own team. He of course wants to bring the band back together, but given their loser or just plain sick of superheroing status it’s not going to be easy. Gorman gives them plenty of trials to sift through in this issue and most of them deal with getting second rate stuff to work with. On top of that, the villains introduced here are obscure with tantalizing dynamics that should pique anyone’s interest.
One of the reasons the humor works so well in this issue is because how over the top the heroes’ powers and personalities are, yet it’s told in a very straightforward superhero sort of way. The characters look and feel as if they live in the real world, yet have incredible powers… that aren’t exactly the type that seem like they’d help in a fight right away. He’s also made Doorman a wise cracking sort who has a good line or two in the book; he essentially has a Deadpool vibe where he’s super silly, but also on the nose about certain things.
Artist Will Robson makes that humor land when necessary – in part due to his detailed pencils – and the comedic timing is nearly always on point. Flatman has the perfect laissez-faire attitude that most couch potatoes can relate to. Hell, if he can make a pitchfork villain comedic and fun to look at he’s got me sold. He also draws Firebrand’s costume well with good details.
That’s pretty funny.
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain are bright when they need to be and her skin tones are out of this world. They jive well with Robson’s somewhat cartoony look, lifting them up and making the characters feel more realistic.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s easy to gather the characters are friends, or were tight at one point at least — but the dynamics between Big Bertha, Doorman, and Flatman are still a bit too obtuse. The characters join up, but if it’s as simple as helping Flatman out that’s rather… well, flat. The motivations of the characters aren’t clearly defined and I’m not sure I’m 100% on board with this team in general. The issue sets things up, but there’s really no clue as to where it’s going or its purpose beyond hanging jokes on the narrative.
Is It Good?
This is a good first issue that’s good for a few laughs and sets up the team and its villains well. The characters are infectious and you’ll want to keep reading just to hang around and see what they do or say next. I’m still unclear on the character motivations, or the purpose of the team really, and their coming together seemed all too easy.
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