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Great Lakes Avengers: Being Big Bertha

In GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #6—due out March 15—Big Bertha steps out on her own to face Dr. Nod and the Bod Squad, a group of villains who want to use her to sell weight loss supplements.

With this issue serving up a rare Big Bertha solo tale, we spoke with writer Zac Gorman about the character and her role on the team.

Marvel.com: Zac, how do you view Big Bertha’s role within the Great Lakes Avengers?

Zac Gorman: I think Big Bertha is probably the actual best choice for the leader of the Great Lakes Avengers. She’s the most capable and confident member of the team.

Marvel.com: Usually when we see Big Bertha, it’s within the context of the bigger team, but it sounds like in issue #6 you get to shine a spotlight on her. What can we expect from her, in terms of this solo outing?

Zac Gorman: Bertha has been a little one-dimensional in the past, but that always seemed like a shame to me. She’s the only member of the team with a real job outside of fighting crime and saving the world; she’s also a model. In our book, she’s a plus-sized model. She’s sort of merged her hero persona with her civilian one. She even changed her name. She’s found a balance that works for her. I think that’s cool.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about Dr. Nod and the Bod Squad? What makes them the perfect enemies for Big Bertha to face?

Zac Gorman: Dr. Nod and the Bod Squad are sort of your modern snake oil salesman turned up to 11. In a sense they’re sort of a funhouse mirror version of Bertha. They’re really meant to illustrate the dark side of this body-obsessed, diet supplement industry that would have you risk your health to conform to a certain body type.

Marvel.com: Finally, like you said, Big Bertha’s always seemed like the GLA member who had the most going for her outside of the team, in terms of her modeling career. What do you think keeps her from leaving to pursue it?

Zac Gorman: The Bertha in our story has taken a path that feels more true to herself in becoming a plus-sized model, but there are challenges associated with that that she didn’t face before. Her decision cost her some of the clients that she had before, but it also gained some new ones. In a way, I think her decision to take her career in a new direction also involved some starting over. Sometimes that’s just the price you pay for doing what you really want.

Join Big Bertha’s adventures next week in GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #5, and then on March 15 with GREAT LAKES AVENGERS #6!

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