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G.L.A. #2: Review

May 2005
Dan Slott, Paul Pelletier

Story Name:

Dismembership drive

Review & Comments

4 stars

G.L.A. #2 Review by (November 18, 2023)
I refer to Flatman being sucked into a white hole because that's what it looks like. I don't mean that it is what astro scientists would call a (theoretical) white hole because that would spew out stuff rather than suck stuff in.

Membership drives have been seen before such as in Defenders #61-65 and at least 1 Avengers occasion. But the difference from this case is that in the other cases heroes were flocking to join.

This is the only app of Doug Taggert as Grasshopper. But it starts a trend of short-lived heroes with that name. Neil Shelton will make his single app in the GLX-Mas Special. An unnamed 3rd won't survive the Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular. An unnamed 4th will show up (along with the GLA) in Fantastic Four (2018) #43. He won't die but hasn't been seen since.

Squirrel Girl and Monkey Joe were invented by Steve Ditko in a tale in Marvel Superheroes #8. And they've come straight from there to this mini-series.

Batroc started off in the Captain America part of Tales Of Suspense #75-76 working for THEM, a part of Hydra. He formed his 1st Batroc's Brigade with Swordsman and Living Laser in CA#105. He continued to mix solo apps and various versions of the Brigade. In CA#302-303 he formed a more stable Brigade with Machete and Zaran.
Zaran started out as a frequent opponent of Shang-Chi between Master Of Kung Fu #77 and #89 before joining the Brigade. Machete was a new char in CA#302, but he's not the Machete here. He died and the current 1 is his brother. And there's been another brother taking the role in between.
The most recent app of the Brigade was New Thunderbolts #8, which was the 1st app of Machete brother #3, Mariano Lopez. Since then Batroc soloed in Black Panther v4 #3-6.

Swordsman is also currently appearing in the NTB title. His app here is between #7 and #9. Flatman's Internet info was *all* just speculation. SW really isn't Hawkeye but the villain Andreas Von Strucker (who really is being controlled by another villain, Purple Man). And he isn't even (yet) a member of the Thunderbolts. The Marvel Chronology Project was forced to assume he was just coincidentally in TBolts HQ spying for PM (when the real TBolts aren't home).
Hawkeye is in fact currently dead since Avengers Disassembled and will only be brought back to life by the end of House Of M. So the idea that he was even alive was also part of the Internet speculation that FM believed.

Moon Knight is currently featuring in #7-10 of the 2004 Marvel Team-Up series, before getting involved with the House Of M event and then starting his 6th solo series.

I'm not going to track all the 1-panel cameos.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

G.L.A. #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Squirrel Girl and Monkey Joe do a 1-page contents warning again. As usual it's in front of a stage curtain which she pulls aside to show Mr Immortal moping in front of an Internet screen.

The issue proper opens with another flash of the 'end of everything' coming up in 2 weeks time. This time we just see Flatman (Dr Val Ventura) still being sucked into a white hole. But he provides the (partial) voiceover for this issue.

But the story really begins with the funeral of Dinah Soar, killed by Maelstrom last issue. Mr Immortal disrupts proceedings at the end because he (but no-one else) sees Deathurge who claims to just be here to check how Craig Hollis is holding up. Mr I angrily attacks D'urge, blaming him for taking his lover away but D points out he's just an abstract embodiment of Death. However he does fight back and the other Great Lakes Avengers see Craig flailing around in midair. They just assume that their colleague has gone crazy now Dinah is no longer around to calm him down.

In his lair Maelstrom gloats over the piece of scientific equipment he stole last issue, and says he needs only 1 more component before he can cause the end of all things which he expects to leave him in control of a merged space and time. He muses on his life as a rejected crossbreed of Inhuman and Deviant. And he contacts Batroc The Leaper and his associates Machete and Zaran to get hold of the required object.

GLA member Big Bertha in her slim secret id is model Ashley Crawford whose agent is trying to persuade her to leave Wisconsin for higher paying jobs. She can't tell him that she doesn't want to leave the GLA.

Mr I spends all his time wading in misery to the song 'One is the loneliest number' so deputy leader Flatman takes charge and tells Doorman they need to recruit more members. And he suggests that go to New York because that's where most superheroes are, and there's always new ones springing up.

We see 1 such newbie Grasshopper who as Doug Taggert works for Roxxon. He's in a good mood because they've just given him a raise and transferred him to work with Cindy Shelton whose affections he hopes to win. If he can get her off her crush on his super-id. As he bounds/springs through the city he spots Batroc's Brigade up to no good.

FM and DM arrive in NY. Flatman heads straight for Thunderbolts HQ to try to recruit Swordsman who he believes is really Hawkeye, GLA's old team leader. SM denies being Hawkeye and even admits to being instead a supervillain mind-controlled by someone else, and he'll kill FM if he doesn't go away. Meanwhile Doorman tracks down Moon Knight who initially mistakes him for his old foe Midnight Man. When that's cleared up MK turns down the job offer saying he operates as a loner urban myth.

Spider-Man, Wolverine and Daredevil also use the loner excuse. Energizer, the youngest of Power Pack, is rightly suspicious of Doorman asking her to come with him, even as she's just defeated several AIM troopers. Living Lightning is glad to join the GLA until he learns it's not the Gay/Lesbian Alliance.

In swift succession the duo are also turned down by Wonder Man, Justice & Firestar, Monica Rambeau (currently Pulsar), Falcon, Hercules, Cloak & Dagger, Nightcrawler, Tigra, Shang-Chi, Black Bolt, Paladin, Sleepwalker, Prodigy, Captain Ultra, Ursa Major, Brother Voodoo, El Aguila, Awesome Andy (the android), Arana, Iron Fist and Luke Cage (plus KalAOL from the Marville series).

Dispirited, they're sitting around in Central Park at night when 2 men attempt to mug them. But Squirrel Girl and Monkey Joe save them and hand the perps over to the police. So they ask *her* if she wants to join the Great Lakes Avengers (downplaying the Great Lakes part). She accepts as long as her squirrel sidekick MJ can join too. FM and DM are no longer picky.

They hear an alarm going off and they spring into action with an "Avengers assemble". Grasshopper tripped the alarm deliberately as he fought Batroc & Co. He's doing well, even getting Batroc to admit that he's been outleaped. Then the GLA join the fight and they ask him to join the team even while the battle's still going. GH accepts the offer as Zaran hurls a sai at Doorman's head ... which passes harmlessly through and kills Grasshopper. (5.8 seconds, the shortest team membership ever, according to a Monkey Joe editorial caption.) And the bad guys get away with what they came for.

The team (without Mr Immortal) don't see Deathurge come to take Doug's soul away. Squirrel Girl's beginning to doubt the wisdom of joining this team, but she's not a quitter.

The issue ends with another peek at the End Of Everything in 2 weeks time. We see Flatman letting go of his grip on Big Bertha to save her as he's sucked into the white hole. And Monkey Joe tells us that another GLA member will die next issue, and he hopes it's not Squirrel Girl.

Paul Pelletier
Rick Magyar
Wil Quintana
Paul Pelletier (Cover Penciler)
Rick Magyar (Cover Inker)
Wil Quintana (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Lanphear.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Batroc the Leaper
Batroc the Leaper

(Georges Batroc)

Plus: Big Bertha, Deathurge, Doorman, Flatman, Great Lakes Avengers, Machete, Maelstrom, Mr Immortal, Squirrel Girl, Swordsman (Andreas von Strucker), Zaran (Maximillian Zaran).

> G.L.A.: Book info and issue index

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