Ever since the finale of Ms. Marvel revealed mutants exist in the MCU, fans have been wondering who the next one to pop up might be. Would it be Magneto? Storm? Maybe Wolverine himself? Well, in episode six of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, “Just Jen,” the next MCU mutant to appear wasn’t an X-Man at all—or even an X-Men villain. No, it was Mr. Immortal, a member of the Great Lakes Avengers. The character, although pretty obscure, goes back more than 30 years. The unkillable hero has appeared sporadically in various Marvel series ever since. Here’s the comics history of this offbeat Avenger.
Mr. Immortal in the MCU
The character of Mr. Immortal, played by actor David Pasquesi, appeared on She-Hulk as a client of her law firm. In the MCU, he doesn’t actually appear to be a superhero, although he is still named Craig Hollis as in the comics. (MCU Craig also appears older than his comic book counterpart too). Apparently, this version of Mr. Immortal was married multiple times to several women (and one man), and used his own “death” to get out of actually divorcing any of his spouses. We even saw him die and get better in the episode, when he jumps out a window and hits a car, only to pick himself right back up again. Eventually, he has to pay up to his former wives and husband. He doesn’t appear very heroic and seems like a huge jerk.
The Unkillable Avenger
In the comics, Mr. Immortal was introduced in West Coast Avengers #46 in 1989, during writer/artist John Byrne’s run on the title. Many stories from this run have become fodder for the MCU, in fact. Much of the plot elements of WandaVision came straight from Byrne’s time on the book. Mr. Immortal and his team, the Great Lakes Avengers, were purposely goofy and leaned into comedy. In fact, the team was meant to be a riff on DC’s Justice League comics, who at the time were also very comedy oriented. Even the team’s abbreviation, “GLA,” was meant to sound like “JLA.”
The unkillable Mr. Immortal wore a red, white and blue costume, and he and his team worked out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They didn’t really have the sanctioning of either of the main Avengers teams in New York or California, but eventually, the main groups tolerated their existence. Although Byrne intended the Great Lakes Avengers to be a jokey take on superheroes that only appeared for a couple of issues, the GLA kept coming back. We eventually learned more of Mr. Immortal’s backstory, and that he was actually born a mutant. When he was a young child, his mother passed away. His grief drew the cosmic entity Deathurge, who was probably aware of his unique mutation.
The Tragic and Bizarre Childhood of Mr. Immortal
Young Craig would pronounce the name Deathurge as “D’urge” and the entity became his closest companion. All of those around Craig thought that “D’urge” was just his imaginary friend. But Deathurge was constantly pushing Craig to put his own life at risk, probably as a way of kick-starting his mutant genes. Because of this, Craig would do things like play in traffic, or climb high precipices. But all those attempts at killing the boy were averted. Eventually, Deathurge convinced Craig to burn down his own house. This didn’t kill him, but did kill his father. Seemingly, no suggestions by Deathurge to end his life would ever work.
Now an orphan, Craig wound up in an abusive foster home. He fell in love with a young woman, but when she died suddenly, he became incredibly depressed. He threw himself out a window to take his own life, and did actually die. But moments later, he got up again and realized he was impervious to death. He found a new calling in life and became a superhero. And thus, “Mr. Immortal” was born. He had no other powers to speak of, he just couldn’t die. So he was a prime candidate for any dangerous mission. He put out an ad for other local heroes to form a team, and the ones who answered became the Great Lakes Avengers.
The Next Stage in Mutant Evolution
Unfortunately, every time he died, Craig Hollis’ return was accompanied by bouts of seething rage, so his mutation came with some drawbacks. Eventually, his teammate Dinah Soar, who was also his lover, found a way to calm him upon return, and would ease him back into a state of calm. This was similar to Black Widow’s lullaby for the Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Even though they were treated as jokes, Mr. Immortal and the GLA did actually save the universe once, from the Deviant called Maelstrom. It was then that the truth about his mutation came out. He wasn’t just “Homo Superior,” as most mutants were classified as. He was “Homo Supreme,” the next stage of mutants. And so far, he’s the only one.
Mr. Immortal struggled with depression after several of his teammates died, including Dinah Soar, who he believed to be his soul mate. He struggled with alcoholism, but got sober by burying himself in a coffin for a full year underground. The Avengers eventually forced the GLA to drop the Avengers name for a time, and they became the GLX, the “Great Lakes X-Men.” But the actual X-Men weren’t too keen on that any more than the Avengers were, so eventually they went back to the old name.
Does Mr. Immortal Have an MCU Future?
The MCU version of Craig Hollis doesn’t seem the least bit interested in superheroing, but that may all change after his divorce settlements force him to make more money. Also, the Great Lakes Avengers characters, with names like Big Bertha, Flatman, Doorman, and Leather Boy, seem like the kind of ridiculous heroes a show like She-Hulk could have fun with. Besides, the MCU is without an Avengers team at the moment. Maybe the GLA will step up and fill the void. We may yet see Craig Hollis in a red, white, and blue costume after all.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios
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