Earth's Mightiest Annotations
Supplemental:  Lightning Rods
by Sean McQuaid

The LIGHTNING RODS are a group of amateur superheroes who started out as
imitators of the Avengers, calling themselves the Great Lakes Avengers since
they were then based in the American midwest. Later, when the Avengers were
presumed dead in the aftermath of the Onslaught disaster, the Great Lakes
Avengers renamed themselves the Lightning Rods in imitation of the
Thunderbolts, who were the leading super-team at the time. When the
Thunderbolts were exposed as disguised Masters of Evil, the Lightning Rods
were outraged and volunteered to help the intelligence agency SHIELD hunt
down the Thunderbolts. With SHIELD's help, the Lightning Rods tracked down
the Thunderbolts and attacked them, but the Thunderbolts prevailed and
escaped. Shortly afterward, the Lightning Rods confronted the Thunderbolts
again and joined forces with them against the super-criminal Graviton, who
held both teams at bay with ease. After Thunderbolts member Moonstone saved
both groups by persuading Graviton to depart, Lightning Rods leader Mister
Immortal allowed the Thunderbolts to leave without engaging them in further
conflict; however, this decision was due in part to the fact that most of
the Lightning Rods were in no shape for battle after their fight with
     The Lightning Rods' members include Big Bertha (fashion model Ashley
Crawford, who can assume an immensely obese, superhumanly strong and durable
form at will), Dinah Soar (a female lizard-like humanoid with hypersonic
vocal powers and wings that allow her to fly), Doorman (whose body serves as
a portal through which people and objects can pass when he presses himself
against a surface), Flatman (who can flatten his body and stretch it to
great lengths) and their leader, MISTER IMMORTAL (an acrobatic unarmed
fighter, emotionally unstable daredevil and all-around glory-hound whose
name comes from his power: an ability to recover from any injury, even fatal
injuries). For a time, Avengers members Hawkeye and Mockingbird served as
mentors to the Great Lakes Avengers, but they both returned to the real
Avengers before too long. During Hawkeye & Mockingbird's affiliation with
the Great Lakes Avengers, the GLA had limited access to Avengers resources
and sometimes acted as a backup team for the real Avengers. Since Hawkeye
and Mockingbird left them, though, they have been unaffiliated with the real
     The five founding members of the Great Lakes Avengers all first
appeared in West Coast Avengers [v2] # 46. Their subsequent Avengers
appearances include Avengers West Coast # 48-49, Avengers [v1] # 309,
Avengers Annual # 19 & Avengers West Coast # 64. They were last seen in
Thunderbolts # 17.