The Great Lakes Initiative, originally known as The Great Lakes Avengers (GLA), are a fictional superhero team that appear in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The characters were first introduced in West Coast Avengers vol. 2, #46 (July 1989), and were created by John Byrne.
The team first appeared in The West Coast Avengers vol. 2, #46, and then made sporadic appearances throughout the title in issues #48 - 49, #55, #60, #64, and #69. The team also made two appearances in issues #309 and #313 of Avengers and in the 1990 Avengers Annual. This was followed by appearances in issues #15 - 17 and #25 of Thunderbolts and issues #10 - 11 and #61 of Deadpool.
The GLA were then featured in a four-issue mini-series titled GLA: Misassembled (written by Dan Slott) and the Marvel one-shot GLX-Mas Special (2005). This was followed in 2006 by a minor appearance in I Heart Marvel: Masked Intentions, The Thing vol. 2, #8, and Cable and Deadpool #30. In 2007, the team was featured in Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular. The team also makes cameo appearances in issues #19 and #25 of Avengers: The Initiative.
The team has changed its name on several occasions. The Avenger Hawkeye first protests their use of the name "Avengers", and eventually the GLA are sent a cease-and-desist order by the Maria Stark Foundation. The team rename themselves the Lightning Rods after fellow super-team The Thunderbolts. While working for S.H.I.E.L.D., Mr. Immortal suggests a name-change to S.W.O.R.D. , although ultimately the team's name is changed to The Great Lakes X-Men when its members collectively realize that they are all mutants.
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