Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: The Beginning of it All

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Beginning of it All

And it's back to the well again, as I once again plumb the depths of Green Lantern Showcase #3. They are all fabulous stories of course...completely INSANE, but fabulous. However, the one that holds the tightest grip on my heart, is the very last one, Green Lantern #59, which features the very first appearance of Guy Gardner.

It also has one of the Best Damn Covers Ever.

Guy Pictures

This of course was drawn years before Guy went bonkers, this is back when he was just a sweet young Gym Teacher, but I swear to God, that Englehart LOOKED at this cover when he resurrected Guy during the first Crises, and decided that the attitude displayed was going to become one of Guy's main characteristics.

The actual issue doesn't have nearly as much attitude as the cover, and yet it has its own peculiar charms. For one thing, Hal is on Oa, attending a two-day Seminar in the Higher Techniques of the Guardians. The idea of Green Lanterns attending Seminars just fills me with delight. Do they still have these? Hal and Guy could teach Sexual Harassment, Kilowog could have physical training, and Salakk could have a mind-numbing dissertation on how to fill out all the paperwork. Then all the participants would drink coffee and munch donuts and danish and network in the hallways.

Er...I seem to be losing my thread here. Anyway, the Guardians have this big honkin' machine thingie that is sort of a telescope and a memory bank...it stores data taken from the brains of dead GL's! How this occures is not actually explained. I'm going to ignore the logistics of it, and, like Hal, just get down to basics. Being Hal of course, the first thing that he does is look up poor old Abin Sur's final moments...just so that he can see himself being chosen all over again. In case I haven't mentioned it before, Hal Jordan has a...HUGE ego.

So, we get to watch poor Abin Sur's death throes all over again, not to mention Hal's origin (a subject that seems to be quite popular right now) only this time, the ring finds not only Hal, but another candidate who is JUST as qualified as Hal! Hal of course smirks and snickers and wonders aloud to the Guardians what would have happened if this other dude, Guy something or other, had been picked instead of him? The Guardians push a different button and lo and behold, the Way-Back Machine can not only record and play events from dead people's brains, but show Alternate Realities! (I wonder if they used this thing during the Sinestro Corps War?)

Hal watches in amazement, as Guy Gardner is "plucked from his post at school...the physical education instructor Guy Gardner was whisked across the country..." Like Hal, Guy was a bit perplexed, but jumped at the chance to wear the ring, figures out the whole Willpower thing, and learns to fly lickety split. Then goes back to Baltimore and resumes teaching, but reads the newspaper a LOT. So he goes out and beats up Saboteurs! In "tip-top condition as a physical education teacher should be!"

Then he beats up Sonar, the Shark, Dr. Polaris, Blackhand and even Sinestro! After he took out Sinestro, then the Guardians end up (finally) summoning him to Oa, to fill him in on the whole Green Lantern Schtick. The Guardians don't like to jump the gun apparently, or bother to train their rookies, they just throw them into the water and it's sink or swim!

Hal is amazed of course. He then notices that on his way back to earth, Guy takes a different route and ends up being ambushed. He investigates, and discovers two roboty-looking guys blasting each other, who then turn their weapons on Him. He even yells "Great Guardians!" He discovers that he's on the planet Ghera, which is inhabited only by children who Never Grow Old, while their parents were all wiped out by a Yellow Plague. I guess the kids got bored, and decided to do their own version of War World or D & D, and have blue and orange teams and try to beat the crap out of each other.

Guy realizes that he has to try and stop all the mayhem. "...without parents to guide them, the children here have run wild! They don't realize that war and destruction are EVIL!" Oh, you mean like YOUR parents Guy? I figure that at this stage of the game, Guy is pretty much in denial about his own upbringing. Unfortunately, he ends up being Mind-Controlled by one side. Just like Hal would have! There is a whole lot of fighting and blowing-things-up, not to mention some amazing ass shots. Finally of course, Guy is able to convince the little buggers that trying to kill each other is not the healthiest thing in the world for them to be doing, and all ends well, and he flies back to earth.

Except that somehow he's caught the Yellow Plagued! Too bad his ring can't protect or cure him! Or that maybe the Guardians could step in and help! No, he's dying and he's GOT to find another successor, so once again the ring searches, and finds...Hal Jordan! Woohoo! Of course Hal is thrilled. Guy dies before he can tell Hal his lame-ass oath, so Hal makes up a New one. A really Cool one.

Hal smirks at the end, and thanks the Guardians for the show. He's just pleased as punch that he was always destined to become a Green Lantern. He even decides that maybe he ought to go and visit this...OTHER guy. Just in case. So he tracks Guy down, and even joins his Athletic Club. He even admits to being in Insurance! Most people would hear that and run, but not Guy Gardner! He fears No Man! Not even an Insurance Man! Hal flies off, vowing to keep in touch.

And right from this moment, poor Guy's life goes into the crapper!


At 7:03 AM, Blogger Sea_of_Green said...

The thing that gets me about that story is that Guy always uses the "I was first pick" argument against Hal -- and Hal never counters with, "Yeah, well, then you DIE and I end up replacing you anyway!"

And it really is amazing how stupid and forgetful the Guardians can be. For supposedly omnipotent beings, they can be profoundly dense.

At 7:54 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

The Guardians ARE very annoying. I'm not sure if they are just so bloody fabulous and omnipotent that they don't bother to sweat the small stuff...or if they really are idiots.

Considering the way that most of their projects turn out, I'm voting for being idiots.

I do like the idea that Guy was considered at the same time as Hal was though. The thought that there is someone ELSE who is just as worthy helps keep Hal's ego in check.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

that cover is bad ass

At 11:32 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Isn't it though?


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