Marvel NOW commenced with a bang last week, and the House of Ideas follow suit with… a chuckle? Week 2 is a weird follow-up to a successful launch of the new publishing initiative, but one of the things we’ve loved about Marvel in recent years is that they’ve been willing to take chances – on creative teams, on concepts and styles, and, most importantly, on weird comic book characters. Created by comics legend John Byrne in the pages of West Coast Avengers in 1989, the Great Lakes Avengers were one of the first groups of heroes to feature more quirky, offbeat super-powers. They’ve bounced around, making various guest appearances in the interim decades, changing their name from the Avengers to the Champions to, even, the Great Lakes X-Men. But in this week’s Great Lakes Avengers #1, Doorman, Flatman, Big Bertha, and even Mr. Immortal, are re-uniting and re-establishing that trademarked name.
Flatman, who has a mutant stretching ability (provided he maintains a near-two-dimensional shape), has just been informed that he, because of some legal loopholes and technicalities, owns the Avengers™ brand. Apparently this has more to do with Tony Stark’s as-yet-to-be-revealed post-Civil War II fate. Hints and innuendo are fun fuel for fanboy speculation, but with Victor von Doom queued up to don the armor in next week’s Infamous Iron Man, I’m ready for some legitimate answers.
Instead of selling back the name, Flatman gets what he really wants, and that’s permission to operate as legitimate Avengers once again. So he rallies the troops, and they set up shop in Detroit. Motor City obviously has its share of problems, super-villains included. And the worst thing about the bad guy with pitchforks for hands might be his persistent attempts at dropping shitty puns into his menacing banter.