Dinah Soar: Member of an otherwise unknown race of pink flying reptiles. She is able to speak to only one person at a time; she chose Mr. Immortal. She communicated with the other members of the team via a whistle. Killed in GLA #1.
The team appeared sporadically in Avengers titles during the early 90s, and were even briefly joined by more "official" Avengers members Hawkeye and Mockingbird. After a few years absence, the team returned, renaming themselves the "Lightning Rods" after the Thunderbolts, who were popular at the time, and appearing in both the Thunderbolts and Deadpool comics of the time. Eventually, they reverted back to the name Great Lakes Avengers in time for a series of very small cameos in the JLA/Avengers crossover. (It should be noted that this is around the time the team started calling themselves the GLA. Coincidence? And apparently this confirms that they are actually "real" Avengers after all somehow.)The team roster gained their first solo book in June of 2006, thanks to Dan Slott, with the four part GLA miniseries. This was also the first major roster change since their introduction, as Dinah Soar was killed and Flatman and Doorman went on a recruiting spree. New members included:
Gene "Leather Boy" Lorrene: Revealed to be an actual founding member of the team who was kicked out early due in part to not actually having powers and partly because he was a Leatherman and BDSM enthusiast who totally missed the point of Mr. Immortal's first call for "costumed adventurers". Angered at this, he eventually joined the team's Rogues Gallery, along with Dr. Tannenbaum and Deathurge the squirrel.
Doug "Grasshopper" Taggert: The original "Grasshopper" was a Roxxon security guard with a grasshopper themed Powered Armor. Killed within 5.8 seconds of joining the team with a thrown sai to the face. Others have taken up the mantle, but they didn't do much better: one accidentally jumped all the way to space, one was killed by an angry Deadpool, and another turned out to be a Skrull infiltrator.
Wade Deadpool Wilson: Technically still a member of the team, he originally joined out of boredom and to chase after Big Bertha. Caused more conflicts than he helped with. And yes, at one point Deadpool was technically an Avenger.
Since then, the team has appeared sporadically in a wide variety of titles. At the end of the GLA series, they were forced to change their name for in universe legal reasons. They first settled on the Great Lakes X-Men (after they realized that all their members were mutants), then became the Great Lakes Champions after winning a poker game. They registered during the Civil War event and became the official Initiative team for the state of Wisconsin, and changed their name once again to the Great Lakes Initiative, momentarily taking on Deadpool as a reserve member. Some time after the Secret Invasion, Nevada team leader Gravity was transferred as punishment to head up the Avengers in his home state. Squirrel Girl has joined the New Avengers in New York as official nanny for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.Flatman and Squirrel Girl did make a guest appearance on Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes as part of a Terrible Interviewees Montage. Both were rejected. Flatman also appeared in The Super Hero Squad Show, while Squirrel Girl appeared in one of the video games based on the property.
Big Bertha has the same power as X-Men enemy The Blob, the difference being that she can revert back to normal body build (if you consider a swimsuit model's body build "normal").
Dude, Where's My Respect? - Mr. Immortal and the others actually once saved the universe from complete annihilation all on their own. Did they get any recognition for doing so? Nope. In fact, they were forced to drop the Avengers name because of it.
Exploited Immunity: Mr. Immortal talks a supervillain into a Suicide Pact. To show his commitment, Mr. I goes first. The supervillian follows through with his half of the bargain, after which Mr. I comes back to life.
The GLX-Mas special gives us a double mood whiplash when Demarr visits his dad, who lectures him about where his life is going. (After all, being a super-hero isn't a very lucrative career.) Turns out, Papa Davis has been dead for the past few hours, and Demarr is here to bring him to the next world. Dad's reaction to finding out his son is the new angel of death? "Wait'll I tell all our relatives on the other side!"
Red Shirt - Mr. Immortal is essentially a full red shirt army by himself. He even got a red shirt during Glx-Mas.
Resurrective Immortality- Mr. Immortal's only superpower is the ability to resurrect in perfect health immediately after dying, regardless of the method of death. It is implied that he is homo s. supreme, having evolved beyond death, and will survive to see the end of the universe. It's not an attractive prospect given what happened to the guy who survived to see the end of the previous universe. He can take advantage of it by killing himself to heal any persistent injuries, so it's not entirely a bad thing.
Running Gag - Grasshoppers getting killed, each with less screen time.
Shout-Out - Monkey Joe's death is a very intricate shout-out to that of Sue Dibny in Identity Crisis, with details down to the scorching to death, the off-panel killing, the footprints on the brain, and the fact that the murderer being a forgotten friend. Plus, #3 of the 4-issue-special is called "Mistaken Identity Crisis".
Issue #2 of that series had an extended sequence with the GLA reaching out to every superhero they could think of to join their team - and all of them saying no. This was a reference to the first issue of DC's Villains United, where Lex Luthor's villain squad contacted every baddie imaginable to join up, most of them saying yes.
The Slow Path - Squirrel Girl travels to the future and meets Mr. Immortal, only to find he isn't there using a time machine.
Taking You with Me - A very hilarious zig-zag. When the villain Maelstrom created a device that would bring about the end of the universe, Mr. Immortal convinced him that if he destroyed everything, there would be nobody left to study what remained. This started to depress Maelstrom, which Mr. Immortal took advantage of. He convinced Maelstrom that the best course of action was suicide. Just to seal the deal, Mr. Immortal even agreed to a suicide pact and die with him. Mr. Immortal shot himself in the head to show he was serious, after which Maelstrom followed suit. Mr. Immortal woke up a few moments later to shut down the device.