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Meta-Messages – The Great Lakes Avengers Poke Some Fun At Identity Crisis

by  in Comic News Comment

In this feature I explore the context behind (using reader danjack’s term) “meta-messages.” A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator (or sometimes even themselves) in their comic. Each time around, I’ll give you the context behind one such “meta-message.” Here is an archive of the past installments!

Today (based on a request by reader Taimur D.) we take a look Dan Slott poking some fun at DC Comics’ Identity Crisis with the final issue of Great Lakes Avengers.

Identity Crisis (written by Brad Meltzer and drawn by Rags Morales and Michael Bair) finished at the end of 2004. GLA (Great Lakes Avengers) (written by Dan Slott and drawn by Paul Pelletier and Rick Magyar) ran from April through July in 2005.

In Identity Crisis #1, Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man, is murdered and set on fire…






In the penultimate issue of the seven-issue series, Batman and Justice Society members Mr. Terrific and Dr. Mid-Nite independently realize that Sue was not killed by the fire but rather by someone shrinking down and walking on her brain!!




We learn that it was not the person you might guess, Ray Palmer, the Atom, but rather his ex-wife, Jean Loring, who attempted to injure Sue just to get Ray’s attention…




In GLA #4, Squirrel Girl’s squirrel sidekick Monkey Joe is killed and we have a piece in the issue using it to tease the darkness of Identity Crisis a bit…


And the person who killed Monkey Joe?

Former Great Lakes Avenger Leather Boy. Real name? Gene Lorrene…


Get it? Gene Lorrene/Jean Loring?

Funny stuff from Slott. Slott (and co-writer Fabian Nicieza) did another Squirrel Girl bit later on making fun of the darkness of Marvel’s Civil War, as well (you can read THAT Meta-Message here).

Thanks to Taimur D. for the suggestion (thanks to Rob London for reminding me about the Gene Lorrene bit. Taimur mentioned it but I forgot to include it at first)! If YOU can think of a future Meta-Message, be sure to drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!