Guy Gardner

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CHARACTER

Guy Gardner

Hot-headed, unruly, and prone to breaking the rules, Guy Gardner isn't always the most likable hero but he's proven time and again to be a worthy Green Lantern.

Introduction

Aliases: Guy Darrin Gardner, Warrior
First Appearance: GREEN LANTERN vol. 2 #59, 1968

 

 

 

If Guy Gardner had been just a few miles closer to a dying alien named Abin Sur, he—and not test pilot Hal Jordan—would’ve become the first human being to join the Green Lantern Corps, the group of intergalactic heroes guided by the Guardians of the Universe on the planet Oa. Eventually, however, Guy became a Green Lantern himself, quickly earning a reputation as a rebel without a cause who doesn’t know when to shut up. But whenever evil needs to be fought or lives are threatened, Guy Gardner is here to help. Just don’t expect him to be nice about it.

Origin

guygardner-origin1-GreenLantern_#59_cover-v1.jpg Guy Gardner was the youngest son of Roland and Peggy Gardner and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. An alcoholic, Roland lavished his eldest son Mace with praise but was abusive toward the meek young Guy (HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS vol. 1 #16, 2017). Guy’s only escape was superhero comics, particularly his favorite, General Glory

 

In his teens, he constantly defied authority, but his brother Mace (now a police officer) convinced him to start behaving (GUY GARDNER vol. 1 #11, 1993). Guy supported himself at the University of Michigan and hoped to play football professionally, but a field injury ended that possibility. After college he moved to Coast City, California and became a teacher for children with disabilities (GUY GARDNER vol. 1 #14,1993).

 

When the alien Green Lantern named Abin Sur crash-landed on Earth, his power ring looked for a person “honest and without fear” to succeed him as protector of Space Sector 2814. The two nearest candidates were Guy Gardner and test pilot Hal Jordan. Jordan was chosen, since he was closer. The Guardians of the Universe, the aliens who created the GL Corps, considered Gardner a Lantern reservist (GREEN LANTERN vol. 2 #59, 1968).

 

After learning about Guy, Jordan befriended him. When Guy was struck by a bus and temporarily confined to a wheelchair, the Guardians chose John Stewart to be their new reserve GL (GREEN LANTERN vol. 2 #87, 1971). Meanwhile, Guy began dating Kari Limbo. After he recovered, he was given a ring and asked to stand in for Jordan. But when Guy tried recharging his ring with a damaged Green Lantern power battery, it exploded and sent him into the Phantom Zone, a “twilight dimension” used to imprison criminals from the planet Krypton. On Earth, Hal and Kari started dating, believing Guy dead (GREEN LANTERN vol. 2 #116, 1979).

 

After being tortured and brainwashed by the Phantom Zoners into attacking Hal and Superman, Guy was kidnapped by Sinestro, a renegade Green Lantern who fought the Corps with a power ring of yellow energy. Hal rescued Guy, but the traumatized man slipped into a coma (GREEN LANTERN vol. 2 #122-123, 1979). Upon realizing Guy was alive, Kari and Hal broke up.

 

During 1985’s CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, a group of Guardians of the Universe revived Guy and made him their personal Green Lantern. His experiences, combined with brain damage from the battery explosion, resulted in him now being an aggressive, impatient warrior who resented the attitudes of many Green Lanterns (GREEN LANTERN vol. 2 #190-197, 1985-1986). Following the events of the Crisis, Guy Gardner started his own hero career in earnest.

 

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Powers and Abilities

Guy Gardner is a human being in excellent shape with years of fighting experience. For a time, he had Vuldarian powers and could regenerate wounds, create exoskeleton armor and energy-based weaponry and absorb energy into his body. He could also access knowledge of other Vuldarian warriors.

 

Guy Gardner wields a Green Lantern ring made by the Guardians of the Universe. Some consider an Oan power ring to be the most powerful weapon in the universe. The ring bearer’s willpower taps into the “emotional spectrum” and draws energy from the collective willpower of all sentient life, releasing it as green light that can deliver energy, create force fields, scan matter and energy and animate solidified holograms known as “ring constructs.” The force of power is limited only by the user’s imagination and will.

 

Each ring has an artificial intelligence interface that translates languages, provides long-range communication and accesses the Green Lantern Corps’ database. Rings can follow programmed protocols. A standard protocol is that if a ring bearer falls, the ring will find a replacement by seeking an inhabitant of their space sector who is “honest and without fear.”

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A GL can use their ring to alter clothing, enhance physicality and heal wounds. It can also shift the user’s body into an intangible state.

 

If a Lantern is experiencing distress or rage, or if their mind has been weakened, the ring’s power and constructs will be unstable. If a GL can’t properly visualize what they want to achieve, the ring will fail.

 

Enough energy and/or force can overwhelm and destroy a power ring. Only Oan technology and beings such as the Guardians have been able to properly repair a broken power ring.

 

For years Green Lantern rings seemed unable to affect things colored yellow, the color of fear. After GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH in 2005, Lanterns know they need to truly accept their own capacity for fear in order to handle yellow-colored threats.

 

In past years Green Lantern rings would automatically run out of power 24 hours after they were last charged. Now the charge remains or vanishes depending on how often the ring is used and how much energy the ring bearer calls forth. Each Green Lantern has a personal battery for charging that can be hidden in a pocket dimension.

 

 

Essential Storylines and History

Joining the Justice League

guygardner-essential1-joiningthejusticeleague-JL-Cv1-v1.jpg After 1985’s CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Guy Gardner was designated the official Green Lantern of Sector 2814 while his predecessor Hal Jordan was sent to recruit new members for the Corps. Guy then joined the newly reformed Justice League (JUSTICE LEAGUE vol. 1 #1, 1987). He and Batman clashed several times regarding Guy’s attitude toward authority. Guy finally challenged Batman to a fistfight and was knocked unconscious with one punch. Hours later Guy suffered a concussion that led to his temporarily having a sunny, polite personality (JUSTICE LEAGUE vol. 1 #5, 1987). Guy stayed with the team for years and became romantically involved with teammate Tora Olafsdotter, a.k.a. Ice.

When Hal Jordan returned to become the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 again, Guy challenged him to a fight, saying the loser was obligated to quit the Corps. Using the famed “rope-a-dope” boxing maneuver, Hal tired Guy out and defeated him. Guy then made his way to Oa and took the yellow ring that had been once used by Sinestro. Now armed, he continued to work as a Super Hero, free of the Corps (GUY GARDNER REBORN #1-3, 1992).

 

 

“Emerald Twilight” and “Emerald Fallout”

After helping the Justice League fight the monster Doomsday, Guy started using the code name Warrior. He encountered a clone named Joe Gardner and the assassin Militia, who turned out to be his brother Mace. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan was driven mad with grief by the destruction of Coast City. Hoping to alter history, Hal absorbed the power of the Central Power Battery on Oa and took the name Parallax. One Green Lantern ring survived the Central Battery’s destruction, and the Guardian called Ganthet offered it to Guy. Not wanting to serve the Guardians again, Guy refused, and Ganthet instead gave it to Kyle Rayner (GREEN LANTERN SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS vol. 1 #1, 1998).

 

Guy’s ring’s power began to fluctuate, and he had to rely on suits of armor for combat situations (GUY GARDNER vol. 1 #18-19, 1994). He then led a team of heroes to confront Hal Jordan, but they were defeated and the yellow power ring was destroyed. Guy lost an eye in this battle and fell into a coma for three weeks (GUY GARDNER vol. 1 #20-21, 1994).

 

 

Alien Hybrid Warrior (GUY GARDNER vol. 1 #23-44, 1994-1996)

guygardner-essential3-alienhybridwarrior-GGW_25_C1-v1.jpg Guy soon discovered that the DNA of a race of aliens called the Vuldarians had been implanted in his bloodline thousands of years ago. By drinking from “Warrior Water” in the Amazon rain forest, Guy activated his dormant Vuldarian genes and gained superpowers that regenerated his injuries (including regrowing his eye) and created armor and weapons from his body (GUY GARDNER vol. 1 #22-24, 1994).

 

In 1994’s JUDGMENT DAY event, Guy joined several Justice League teams against the Overmaster. Ice, sadly, was killed (JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE vol. 1 #14, 1994). Around the same time, Guy encountered a creature called Dementor, a half-Vuldarian who claimed he was responsible for Guy’s personality shifts following his experiences in the Phantom Zone (GUY GARDNER vol. 1 #25, 1994).

 

Guy eventually established Warriors, a bar where Super Heroes could relax (GUY GARDNER vol. 1 #29, 1995). He was seemingly killed during 2001’s OUR WORLDS AT WAR event, but was found in an Earthbound pocket of Hell, his powers now enhanced (ACTION COMICS vol. 1 #789, 2002).

 

 

Back to Basics (2005-2011)

In 2005’s GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH, it was discovered that Hal Jordan’s madness following the destruction of Coast City was due to the mental possession of the real Parallax, an avatar of the yellow fear-based energies that Sinestro’s ring tapped into. Parallax attacked Guy and overrode his Vuldarian DNA, expelling it and making him fully human. After defeating the fear entity, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner and John Stewart all gained new power rings and, along with Kyle Rayner, became the first warriors in a new Green Lantern Corps.

 

 

Now a more tempered and experienced hero, Gardner earned a promotion into the Green Lantern Honor Guard, a leadership position that required him to do “what other Lanterns cannot.” Later he was reunited with Ice after she was resurrected (GREEN LANTERN CORPS vol. 2 #19, 2008). He also temporarily joined a black-ops division known as “the Corpse.”

 

 

Guy and the Green Lantern Corps fought evil in 2005’s INFINITE CRISIS, 2007’s SINESTRO CORPS WAR and 2009’s BLACKEST NIGHT. During 2011’s WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS, Guy Gardner temporarily used a Red Lantern ring. The ring bonded to him and would kill him when separated, but Kyle Rayner saved Guy’s life with help from a Blue Lantern ring.

 

 

New 52 (2011-2016)

guygardner-essential5-new52-RL_Cv34_ds-1-v1.jpg Following 2011’s FLASHPOINT, many of Guy’s experiences were erased and he was given a new background. In this continuity, Guy was the middle child of three and became a police officer in Baltimore, like his father, before joining the Corps.

 

 

Guy was promoted to the role of “Sentinel Lantern” and went undercover, joining the rage-fueled Red Lantern Corps. Guy eventually left the Red Lanterns, but arranged for them to operate freely in Sector 2814 (RED LANTERNS vol. 1 #28, 2014).

 

 

Rebirth (2016-Present)

In the Rebirth continuity, it seems that most of the events affecting Guy during the New 52 have remained true, but his origin and childhood have likely been restored to their pre-New 52 versions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Affiliations

  • • Green Lantern Corps
  • • Justice League
  • • Justice League International
  • • Justice League America
  • • Red Lantern Corps

Appearances in Other Media

Television

Guest Appearances/Cameos

 

Animation:

  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • Young Justice
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series
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Film

Guest Appearances/Cameos

 

Animation:

  • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League

 

 

Video Games

  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame
  • DC Universe Online
  • LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham