Hales Corners, meet Squirrel Girl: Getting to know Milwaukee’s own Great Lakes Avengers
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The frozen head of Walt Disney must be pleased with the take of The Avengers over the weekend. Most film execs would sell their own mothers to make over the course a full release what The Avengers made in three days (a cool $207 million). Still, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Franchising is an idea already explored in the Avengers comics, leading to an Avengers team in each state, as well as specialized teams like the West Coast Avengers, the Young Avengers, and the Pet Avengers. So why not include those offshoots in the sequel—or, say, the Great Lakes Avengers, who are based right here in scenic Milwaukee?
The Great Lakes Avengers were created by John Byrne in 1989. They first appeared alongside the West Coast Avengers, but proved to be popular enough to show up multiple times throughout the ’90s. The GLA riffs on the clichés of comic-book super-teams: The Avengers get a Quinjet that can zoom around the world to any crisis; the Great Lakes Avengers have a Quinjetta, which they’ve almost paid off. The A.V. Club looks at some of the famous members of the team to suggest casting for the inevitable (?) big-screen cash-in, as well as to speculate on which Milwaukee-area neighborhood they would feel most at home in.
Fights crime by: Dying. Craig Hollis befriended the cosmic entity known as Deathurge as a child. Rather than start an awesome Danzig cover band, he became a superhero when Deathurge gifted him the ability to come back after dying.
Casting call: Mister Immortal has to be a leader of men, as well as someone who doesn’t mind dying on film a lot. Liam Neeson is the gold standard for this sort of thing, though if he’s unavailable, Sean Bean is an acceptable substitute.
Neighborhood: Brookfield. Where else in the area would it be boring enough to want to play with the angel of death as an imaginary friend?
Fights crime by: A Class 10 Teleporter, which is obviously better than a Class 9 but shittier than a Class 11. He’s replaced Deathurge as the angel of death, which makes things awkward whenever the team talks about their childhoods.
Casting call: Doorman is African-American and constantly comparing the Great Lakes Avengers to their more famous counterparts. How about Chris Rock’s brother, Tony Rock?
Neighborhood: Riverwest. He may have to deal with competition from Milwaukee’s Real Life Superheroes. Or the team could strike a crossover deal.
Fights crime by: Being two-dimensional. He can stretch just like Mister Fantastic, and is well versed in fashion.
Casting call: Flatman constantly deals with his teammates questioning his sexuality. With the last Twilight movie in theaters, Taylor Lautner should be free.
Neighborhood: Greenfield, though he would probably be in Walker’s Point when he isn’t busy saving the world.
Fights crime by: Being a super-hot chick who is also a pterodactyl. She hits the comic book demographic, bull’s-eye.
Casting call: Rebecca Romijn stepped out from the shadow of John Stamos by taking the role of Mystique in the original X-Men movie. Can Kate Upton act? Who cares, the role is silent.
Neighborhood: A woman with a model’s body and a dinosaur head would not look out of place on Brady Street.
Fights crime by: Using the powers of a squirrel, like a prehensile tail-claw. Don’t laugh, she’s beat up Doctor Doom and Wolverine.
Casting call: If Zooey Deschanel wants to take her adorkable act to the big screen, she could do it on Marvel’s dime.
Neighborhood: Hales Corners has plenty of woodland for Squirrel Girl to patrol.
Fights crime by: Breaking the fourth wall. Yeah, yeah, he’s a trained assassin and everything, but that’s the superpower equivalent of Starbucks coffee. Deadpool’s fan base loves him because he’s willing to call out all the crap writing in comic books, Daffy Duck style.
Casting call: Deadpool is unique in that he’s already part of the movie universe. Ryan Reynolds played a version of him in X-Men: Origins: Wolverine: Everyone Forget This And The Last Stand So We Can Pretend First Class Came After X-Men 2, Okay? Reynolds is 0-3 in portraying superheroes, but he’s a much better fit for Deadpool’s wisecracks.
Neighborhood: The folks in Bay View love some ironic detachment. A superhero with a power that’s about being meta is a perfect fit.