Saturday, July 18, 2015

CBR Deadpool/Great Lakes Initiative - Summer Fun Spectacular

The summer is here. It's getting super hot out there this year.

Let's have some SUMMER FUN with Deadpool, Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes Avengers X-Men Initiative!

Tippy-Toe says: Read these reviews!

Comic title: Deadpool/GLI: Summer Fun Spectacular
Written by Fabian Nicieza & Dan Slott
Drawn by various

Published by Marvel Comics 
From 2007
Lineup GLA series/Squirrel Girl/Deadpool series
Format: One-shot Summer Special issue.

Milwaukee's first superhero team is back! And love's in the air!

The Great Lakes Avengers, or GLA for short, are a fun parody team of superheroes, originally created by John Byrne.

The GLA are a team of minor C-list superheroes mutants based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The team used to be composed of the appropriately-named Mr. Immortal aka Craig Hollis, a quiet Savage Land refuge Dinah Soar, the impressive Big Bertha aka supermodel Ashley Crawford, not-Mister Fantastic Flatman aka Dr. Val Ventura whom I'm not sure is even a real doctor, and the mysterious Doorman aka DeMarr Davis with the ability to simply make doors.

Soon another underrated Marvel heroine Squirrel Girl, aka Doreen Green, would join up the gang following the death of Dinah Soar. She talks to squirrels. Also, she eats nuts. Her pet squirrel and partner Tippy-Toe taking over narrating duties and breaking the fourth wall from time to time.

Following Dan Slott's 2005 epic mini-series Misassembled that brought them back to much success, the Great Lakes would pop up in all kinds of places the next decade. After fighting for a change of name in a poker tournament in Dan Slott's own The Thing mini-series, they would get to star in a few one-shots the following years with a GLX-Mas Special (in 2005), an I ♥ Marvel tie-in issue (in 2006) and finally a fun summer crossover with the Merc' with a Mouth himself, Wade Wilson in Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular (in 2007).

This last one-shot launched following Dan Slott's revival uses once more the same formula. The comic is intercut by a few interludes starring Squirrel Girl, quickly establishing the last few adventures - which saw the team taking the name of Great Lakes Initiative in The Thing series. Deadpool cuts the exposition to let Doreen know the love of her life, Speedball, currently became the worst example how gritty Marvel was trying to be in the 2000s - by taking the name Penance. Surely SG could put a stop to that and save her beloved??

This "Summer Fun Spectacular" was co-written by my two favorite comedy comics writers: Dan Slott again and Fabian Nicieza.

This Deadpool/GLI: Summer Fun Spectacular is composed of a few short stories. After Squirrel Girl's introduction, we get these "Squirrel Girl Interludes" in between the events of each story, connecting all of them together at the end.

The story opens with "Drunk With Power", illustrated by Nelson. All the superheroes are running around drunk in New York City! What happened? More precisely, who's behind this "attack"? Deadpool has some trouble surviving the Fantastic Four - for some reason he wasn't affected at all. Is it because how crazy he is? But he is soon joined by the GLI - Big Bertha, Doorman, Flatman, Mr. Immortal and Squirrel Girl (and Tippy-Toe!). Our heroes reluctantly joins forces only to find out it was a plan of A.I.M. all along! They were able to capture an Olympian, Dionysus, and were using him to make all superheroes drunk all over the world! But they somehow forgot about both Deadpool and the GLI! After facing the villains Deadpool "offers" his services to become a Great Lakes reserve member... And he starts squatting the place and getting on everyone's nerves. While this is the main feature of this comic and its conclusion drives the plot of this whole "Summer Special", it's probably the weakest tale of the comic. It's a bit generic and forgettable, and easily gets overshadowed by the following stories.

Next up Deadpool has "A Date With Density". In this story drawn by Paul Pelletier, Big Bertha tries going out with DP to get him out of the Great Lakes Headquarters. She uses her "secret identity" form of model Ashley Crawford, which disappoints Deadpool greatly. After a date where Wade tries to make her overeat, the two sort of bond... before Deadpool shows her his awful cancer-ridden face. Yikes. This was a funny lil' tale with lots of great humor.

The light-hearted silly tale "Fight or Fold?" is illustrated by Clio Chiang. Flatman decides to kick Wade out himself.. The two fight in the bathroom. Flatman shows off his impressive Origami-Fu skills. Hilarious!

All the "Squirrel Girl Interludes" are drawn by Kieron Dwyer. They all tie into together in this final tale. Squirrel Girl tries to talk Robbie Baldwin (aka Speedball aka Penance) out of his funk. She misses his older goofy-self. But the weight of being partially responsible for Civil War prevents Penance to ever smile again. He even turned his bouncing cat Niels the Cat into a Penitent Puss! So there's only one thing left to do... Squirrel Girl uses her awesome Squirrel-a-Gig and finds a time machine (thanks to Doctor Doom, apparently still tormented by memories of Marvel Super-Heroes #8) to go back in time to get the original Speedballl.. which she does so in the future! Well, long story short, things are back to normal. But there's just only one task left to do... kick Deadpool out of the GLI headquarters!

This was such a fun enjoyable read! I really liked how all the different tales and Squirrel Girl's various interludes culminate into this ending, connecting all the stories together.

We also get to see yet another Grasshopper (who, granted, doesn't outlast the previous ones).

It's a great smart funny book, making fun how comics usually tie-in annoying crossovers following these big status quo-changing events Marvel just can't stop publishing. Most times to the detriment of the lighter tone stories. And hey, bringing Deadpool and the GLI together works great. I loved how DP kept casually killing Mr Immortal!

Overall, this was yet another hilarious GLA/GLI comic. The characters worked great with Deadpool. The lack of chemistry between those greatly different characters worked in the favor of this funny crossover.

The Great Lakes AND Squirrel Girl seem to come from a far simpler time, with a lighter approach to comedy. Self-aware and meta. With Dan Slott's very own sarcastic tone providing some great humor.

Deadpool on the other hand, back in the hands of his co-creator from Cable & Deadpool at the time works as a great foil for our heroes. Only breaking the fourth wall here and there. Providing some brutal murdering.

The best part of this comic are easily the Squirrel Girl segments in my eyes. While those exposition scenes were used as recurring jokes in other previou GLA comics, here they finally take center-stage. Making fun of the whole Civil War and its aftermath. You can see how these authors didn't like what Marvel did to this fun character (Speedball). And it works great even if you haven't any of those Civil War comics.

Highly Recommended, great hilarious scenes and a funny payoff. It nicely ties it all together in the end and it's one of the best comics to feature Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes.

I give it:
3 / 3 Howards!

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