Cover of Marvel Comics title GLA issue # 1
The release date for the new Avengers Movie is scheduled for the summer of 2012, three years away -But, the blog induced hype has already begun. The casual comic book fan, or just the super-hero movie fan, will be flooded with numerous rumors and speculation about the characters and content of this movie. In spite of all the blogs, the one thing, Avengers related, you probably won’t read about is the Wisconsin Avengers team. That’s right, Wisconsinites, you have your own Avengers team.
The Avengers first appearance, in the Marvel universe, was in 1963. Since then there has been dozens (possibly hundreds) of different members and numerous spin-off teams. Currently, In the Avengers story line, the U.S. Government has invoked the “Avengers Initiative,” which, in part, is an attempt to train super-humans to be Avengers with the hopes of assigning each state their own Avengers team. This process can be read about in Marvel Comics on going series, Avengers the Initiative. Wisconsin’s team isn’t the most powerful super-team around, but they do seem to fit Wisconsin somehow.
Five out of the six members of the Wisconsin team were also members of a team that once called themselves the Great Lakes Avengers. The Great Lake Avengers were not affiliated with the real Avengers – they only called themselves Avengers to gain respect. A lack of respect is always a problem with these characters. They changed their name to the Great Lakes X-Men after the real Avengers threatened to sue – they then changed their name again to the Great Lakes Champions after becoming the champions of the Thing’s super-hero poker tournament (Thing #6, 2005).
So, Wisconsinites, here is your Avengers team!
Greg Willis, A.K.A. Gravity, is the newly appointed leader of Wisconsin’s Avengers team and is a Sheboygan native. Gravity is the only member of the team that wasn’t previously a member of the Great Lakes Avengers. He gained his powers from a mysterious black-hole that appeared above his boat while he his family were boating on Lake Michigan. Now he can control gravity’s effect on himself and other solid matter. Gravity was appointed to the Wisconsin team last month in Avengers the Initiative 25. He was previously the leader of the Nevada team, but was forced out of that team and sent to Wisconsin. Although Gravity was born and raised in Wisconsin he considers this a demotion because of Wisconsin’s lack of action.
Craig Hollis, A.K.A. Mister Immortal, as the former leader of the team and one of the founding members of the Great Lakes Avengers. As the original organizer of the Great Lakes Avengers his major motivation is to gain press-clips and prestige for his team. Mister Immortal’s Mother, when she died while giving birth to him, asked Deathurge, Marvel’s version of the grim reaper, to watch over her son. Deathurge took a liking to the child and was most likely the one who gave Hollis his powers. Hollis learned he had super-powers after his girlfriend, a victim of abuse as a child, killed herself. Upon finding his girlfriend’s body he also tried to kill himself, many times, and then realized that he can’t stay dead. Not only can he not stay dead, but when he does die he revives immediately completely rested and healed. So, if he so much as stubs his toe he could kill himself just to rid himself of the pain.
Before the team was funded by the Government, the Great Lakes Avengers were funded by Milwaukee’s only super-model Ashley Crawford, who also moonlights as the super-hero Big Bertha. Crawford has the ability to grow in height and increase her strength, durability, and body fat index. As Ashley Crawford she is an elegant 6’1’’ 120 lbs – as Big Bertha she is a robust 7’4’’ 750 lbs with a physique that would make the most accomplished sumo-wrestler jealous.
Doreen Green is a high-school student with the ability to communicate with squirrels. She also has enhanced speed, agility, and reflexes. Her bushy, squirrel-like, tail and buck-teeth makes her an outcast at school, and her lack of friends in the reason she joined this inept team. She often controls and army of squirrels, but her closest friend, and pet, is the squirrel named Tippy-Toe.
Astrophysicist Val Ventura, A.K.A. Flatman, is the brains behind the team. As Flatman he is often mistaken for Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, which annoys him more than anything. His powers are a lot like Reed Richards. Flatman can stretch, contract, wrap, and contort his body much like Reed Richards. But, Flatman differs from Richards in that he is completely two-dimensional. His body is like a piece of spandex that has been cut in the shape of a man.
DeMarr Davis is a teleporter that uses the “dark dimension” to teleport people and objects through locked doors and walls. This can only be done if Doorman is standing against the wall and the object or person to be teleported passes threw Doorman first. It is like Doorman is a walking door. Doorman died in a battle against Maelstrom, but was recruited in the afterlife to take over Deathurge’s job as the Dark Angel and carry people over to the afterlife. Even with Doorman’s new responsibilities he still has time to be in Wisconsin's Avengers team.
These are the heroes in charge of protecting the Wisconsinites living within the Marvel Universe. Not exactly the most powerful Avengers team, but they definitely make for an interesting read.