Last we knew, the Great Lakes Avengers were in trouble. Big Bertha was squaring off against the villainous Doctor Nod, Doorman was called away from the team to resume working for Oblivion, and Good Boy was dragged away from the team by her brother. What does issue #6 do with those plot threads? And more importantly, does it handle them well?
Great Lakes Avengers #6 (Marvel Comics)
In the case of Doorman, the issue handles things well. The opening page, in which Doorman nervously reads off a script to a man he has to welcome to the afterlife, is funny and starts the issue off on a good note. The rest of Doorman’s plotline, though not laugh-out-loud funny by any means, is the best thing about this issue.
The rest of it, however, just doesn’t measure up. This issue is not terrible by any means–the writing is not bad or offensive, it just feels boring. Big Bertha’s battles with new villain Doctor Nod and his Bod Squad take up over a third of the issue, and the overall quality suffers greatly because of it. I applaud writer Zac Gorman for giving Big Bertha attention and page time, as she’s often felt like one of the team’s lesser developed members in past iterations of the GLA, but the story arc with her new enemies isn’t accomplishing anything interesting for her character. It feels like the new villains just don’t have as much potential as the series’ first antagonist, Council Member Dick Snerd.
Then there’s the team’s newest member, Good Boy, who predictably ditches her brother to go back and help out the GLA. The fact that the series is six issues in and has yet to do much of note with its new protagonist is disappointing. It’s worth noting that Mr. Immortal and Flatman, the two characters besides Doorman who Gorman and artist Will Robson have done the most interesting work with, barely appear in this issue. Their absence makes the issue feel like it’s largely lacking in the series’ best qualities, with more attention being paid to characters the creative team has yet to flesh out convincingly.
On the plus side, Robson’s art continues to be charming, as its cartoonish feel is a perfect fit for the tone of premise of the book. Writing-wise, Gorman gets some funny lines in here and there as well, they’re just not frequent enough to make up for the issue’s overall lacking plot. It’s not a bad issue, but it’s far from a great one. Hopefully the series’ pacing will improve as it moves into its second arc.