With the Nain Rouge issue on the back-burner, Big Bertha runs into another of Detroit’s super-villain wannabes…  Your Major Spoilers review of Great Lakes Avengers #5 awaits!

Writer: Zac Gorman
Artist: Will Robson
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Great Lakes Avengers:  “A super villain mob led by the nasty Nain Rouge is terrorizing Detroit. and Councilman Dick Snerd isn’t lifting a finger to stop them.  The Great Lakes Avengers tried to take on Nain Rouge at his bar, but busted up the place and got arrested instead.  Now Flatman, Big Bertha, Doorman and their newest recruit Good Boy are banned from super-heroics — but that didn’t stop them from finding out that Nain Rouge IS Councilman Dick Snerd, and it also didn’t stop Good Boy from kind of accidentally almost killing him a little bit.  Luckily, their intrepid lawyer Connie Ferrari is her to save the day!”


With the strong orders from their lawyer not to get involved with Nain Rouge again, the Great Lakes Avengers have to regroup.  Flatman is crushed that his tenure as leader has fallen off the rails, Mr. Immortal is…  well, Mr. Immortal, and Big Bertha has a job to do.  Seriously, she’s the only team member with a real job as a model, but her latest gig is questionable: Serving as both the “Before” and “After” for a not-entirely-above-board weight loss supplement.  Sadly, it’s all a sham, as the entire thing is the work of a villain named Dr. Nod, who intends to duplicate Bertha’s tremendous strength and durability in his lackeys.  When her friend turns on her and drugs her, Bertha ends up in his clutches, and Dr. Nod gets his Bod Squad!


I’m still finding some wobbly bits of plotting in Gorman’s GLA, as this issue features Good Boy and her brother skipping town for what feels like a maddeningly vague reason, while Big Bertha’s new modeling job is problematic on multiple levels.  That said, the cleverness of the dialogue and the lovely art do a lot to ameliorate those concerns.  Robson balances cartooniness with realism perfectly, and frankly, Big Bertha has never looked better.  Given all the misfortunes that have befallen the team to date (there are more deceased members than living ones, by a wide margin), having to deal with being the bottom run of superheroing isn’t the worst thing that could have happened to them.


While I’m still a little troubled by the plotting and the borderline treatment of Bertha this issue, Great Lakes Avengers #5 is still a better-than-average reading experience, with lovely art, a balance of drama and humor that almost works, and a lot of individual moments that work, even if the overall issue is a little unbalanced, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  At least this creative team is willing to treat Bertha as the powerful hero she is, ridiculous powers and all…



Still a little wobbly in the plot department, but it's good to see Bertha cutting loose...

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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