Great Lakes Avengers ends this week with issue #7. Does the series go out with a whimper, or with a bang?
Writer: Zac Gorman
Artist: Will Robson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
I’ll say it up front: the worst part about this issue is that we’re still dealing with Dr. Nod as the villain. He’s not just in the issue; the team’s battle against him takes up a majority of the total page-time. There are a lot of aspects of this series that showed a lot of promise, and it’s disappointing to know that a lot of interesting plot threads will go undeveloped, while Dr. Nod still gets so much attention. He simply is not interesting. This is Great Lakes Avengers. I want to be laughing, or emotionally touched by the series’ occasional sweet moments. Dr. Nod doesn’t help accomplish either of those things.
The good news is that the rest of the cast gets decent coverage. Zac Gorman delivers some of the series’ most consistently solid writing in this issue. Mr. Immortal, Big Bertha, and Doorman all get plenty of dialogue, including the type of witty retorts that they’re known and loved for. Flatman and Good Boy could have used some more page-time, but even they got a few good jokes in each. Will Robson delivers really charming art in this issue, and his work goes a long way toward making the experience enjoyable, even with so much boring Dr. Nod battling going on. Robson’s artwork just permeates fun. It’s a shame we won’t get to see him drawing these characters anymore.
I mentioned previously that there are plot threads I wish we’d get to see developed further. Good Boy, for instance, was just introduced, but now who knows how long it will be before she gets enough page-time to become more well-developed. Flatman had some legitimately heartfelt scenes regarding his ex-boyfriend earlier in the series, and it sucks that we won’t get to see this creative team do more with the character’s love life and self-esteem. I understand that ending the fight with Dr. Nod quickly might have risked feeling too abrupt or anti-climactic, but I still think shortening the battle would have allowed more page-time for giving the GLA a proper send-off.
With that said, the end of the issue directly addresses the series’ cancellation, and it does so extremely well. Gorman’s final scene manages to take an abrupt ending and make it feel funny and somewhat satisfying. I give him major props for tying things up as well as he did in the short amount of time he had. Sometimes funny, sometimes boring, sometimes touching, this series has been inconsistent in quality. Its main consistent factor has been simply that it was a strange ride, and the ending of this issue helps make the time spent reading this series feel worth it. We get a great final spoof of these characters and their publication status, and so ends this iteration of the GLA.
It’s hard to look at this issue without thinking of what it isn’t, and of what could have been but won’t be. Nevertheless, this is a good issue in its own right. Not amazing, but good. This series goes out with neither a whimper nor a bang, but rather, something in between. Here’s hoping that somehow, this creative team will get to do more stories with this cast in the future.