Monday, December 5, 2016

The Great Lakes Avengers #2 Review and **SPOILERS**

Contains Less Than 1% Squirrel Girl by Volume

Writer: Zac Gorman 
Artist: Wil Robson 
Color Artist: Tamra Bonvillain 
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna 
Cover: Will Robson & Tamra Bonvillain 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: November 30, 2016


Last month, when I reviewed the first issue of the Great Lakes Avengers, I confessed to being a GLA neophyte. Well, in the time that’s elapsed, I have become a practical Great Lakes Avengers expert, thanks to consuming the recently-released trade collection Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes Avengers. It was…okay. Had its funny moments. I especially liked aspects of Dan Slott’s time on the title. But I did gain a deeper understanding of this team, as well as some context for things that happened in the last issue. So now, I am eminently prepared to bring to you my review of Great Lakes Avengers #2, right now!

Explain It!

“It’s So Cold in the D” said rapper T-Baby, referring to Detroit in the title and chorus. Looks pretty warm in the current issue of the Great Lakes Avengers, however, with hipsters lining up outside of the noisy Club Baphomet at 2:45 in the morning, while Big Bertha and Flatman are trying to sleep. Actually, only Big Bertha is trying to sleep, Flatman is succeeding nicely. That doesn’t stop Bertha from waking up Doorman and taking the two of them across the street to Club Baphomet, to confront the club owner, a guy in an impish devil’s mask named Nain Rouge, French for “Red Dwarf.” He’s very gregarious and claims to be a superhero himself, but went into the clubbing business because, well, he’s a guy in a demon’s mask. What is he going to be, Super Satan? Nain Rouge points to a drink list based on debasing members of the Great Lakes Avengers, and Big Bertha gets rough with him.
Meanwhile, at a hospital, Good is holding vigil over her injured brother Lucky by sleeping in a chair next to his bed, when he starts wolfing out. Just then, the nurse is about to enter so Good attempts to conceal Lucky’s pink arm, but the nurse shoos her away and says it’s not the first werewolf she’s had to deal with. Really? Like, how many more have you seen? I think this is something that should be part of the public record. Just then, the TV snaps on to Detroit News Line, showing city councilman Dick “I hate superheroes” Snerd at a press conference denouncing super powers. This makes Good good and mad, so she storms out the room, headed…downtown. That’ll do for a cut to the cemetery, I suppose, where Mr. Immortal is hanging out in his coffin, breathing through an air tube. His buddy Mike comes buy and pours water down the tube, then Mr. Immortal sticks a cork in it. Is any of this going to become relevant later on, or are they just weird gags that keep falling flat? Because the problem with this book, folks, is that it is just not funny. No laugher ensues. It’s like a string of stupid scenes that are a chore to read. And remember, I am now a Great Lakes Avengers expert. So I know that it wasn’t very funny in its previous iterations, either. But now I can see the lame jokes from the other iterations being rehashed, and that just makes things worse. Why does this book exist? Who asked for this?
Sigh. The rest of the GLA are in jail for assaulting Nain Rouge, then some cops bring Good in and she almost kills one of them by blue wolfing out. The GLA breaks out to help, the cops all draw their guns, and then the Avengers’ lawyer storms in and informs the Detroit police that they can’t mess with the GLA because they’re licensing the Avengers’ name or whatever. Like, is this really a comic book? A lawyer storms in and saves the day on some goofy shit? This ain’t John Byrne’s She-Hulk, for cripes sakes. Doorman whisks Mr. Immortal out of his coffin, which will be important later I’m sure, and councilman Dick Snerd leaves the police station, furious at being rebuffed by a lawyer. He enters his limousine and—surprise—he puts on a devil mask to prove that he’s really Nain Rouge, but by now I’m about ten pages past caring.
This book is unfunny junk. The story is not compelling, the characters are more suited for 1980s Saturday morning cartoons than a 21st century comic book, and the premise is annoying. I don’t like the artwork either, but it is well-executed, and I suppose the plotting is fine enough. But I can’t imagine why anyone would want to read this thing. And it’s not just because it doesn’t have any Squirrel Girl (which it doesn’t), but because it lacks focus and isn’t worthwhile reading.

Bits and Pieces:

Why does this book exist? Was this a real pitch? "The GLA uses the Avengers' resources to legally use the name." This is like something out of a law school textbook. Utter nonsense. The art, you can take it or leave it, and I'd personally leave it. In fact, leave this whole comic book in the trash.


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