Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: In Honor of Mother's Day

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

In Honor of Mother's Day

There are some rather wonderful Mothers out there in Comic Book Land. Mrs. Reyes for one. Ma Kent and Hippolyta for others. But I'm not in the mood to talk about the wonderful Moms. I want to talk about a BAD Mother.

Yes. You know who I'm talking about.

The one, the ONLY, Peggy Louise Gardner.

Beau Smith did a wonderful job depicting Guy's mother as the Mother-From-Hell. She was loud, obnoxious, over-bearing, rude, over-weight, obnoxious and just plain awful. Did I mention she was obnoxious? In one of the last issues of Guy Gardner: Warrior, she showed up at the Bar, complaining that he'd destroyed her house,moved in, and started ordering them all around. Guy was horrified, but basically put up with it. Peggy was just so completely over the top, that I loved her, she was funny as well as terrible.

And yet...she never really rang true to my ears. As much fun as she was, and as much fun as I am sure that Beau Smith had writing her, the earlier portrayal of Mrs. Gardner as written by Chuck Dixon, always seem a little more based in reality.

Dixon's portrayal of Guy's mother, is from the earlier issues of Guy Gardner, back in the teens, I believe, during the arc where Guy was kidnapped by the Draal, and was cloned. The Draal used these mind-sucker thingies to tap into Guy's memories, to make a better clone, and this is when we all learned about his early life. I'd like to remember the exact issue numbers, but I'm lazy. Anyway, it was darned good stuff. This is where we discoverd that Guy's home life was pretty horrendous, his father was a drunk...not only a drunk, but a MEAN drunk. His mom was no peach herself, she whined and moaned and enabled his father to a disturbing degree. His big brother Mace was the adored member of the family, and rather self-centered, not to mention very hard to live up to.

Dixon's version isn't nearly as funny as Beau's, but she makes more sense being a passive/aggressive personality, to my thinking. If she had been the hell-on-wheels version, there is no way that Guy's father would have been the monster of his childhood. Beau's Peggy Gardner would have beat him up, and terrorized him into sobriety, and then had he and Mace and Guy waiting on her hand and foot.

Instead, she moans and sighs and complains. She makes not effort to try and protect Guy from his father's beatings. She seems to shuffle through life, complaining and whining, but not really doing anything to make things better for herself or anyone. When Guy does show up again, years later, she tries to use guilt to make him feel bad, and then hits him up for a loan. Guy always seems to feel a bit conflicted about his mother. I can't help but think that if she was Beau Smith's version, he would have been PROUD of her, but he's not, he's embarrassed.

In a subtle way, this was alluded to in Geoff John's recent Booster Gold issue #2. This is the one where Sinestro shows up to see Guy,and Booster has to stop their meeting. He meets up with Guy in a bar outside the Rose Bowl, and they get to talking about their families. Guy mentions that he has a mother and a brother that he really doesn't care for, and also brings up the idea that as a child he did his best to protect her from his father during his father's drunken rages, which points more to Chuck Dixon's portrayal of her than Beau's.

Quite frankly, I think that Dixon's version is an even worse Mother than Beau's who at least has the redeeming factor of being magnificently outrageous. Dixon's Peggy Gardner is a self-pitying loser. And that's an awful type of person to have for a Mom.

Not like MY Mom. Who is magnificent of course.


At 4:21 PM, Blogger kalinara said...

I always figured the aggressive mom-from-hell persona developed after Roland died. Kind of overcompensation of some sort. :-)

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was my general assumption as well.

He may have just out-done her on drunken obnoxiousness while he was alive, but her true self revealed itself once he was gone.

At 6:18 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Well, that's an aspect that I never really thought about, but it certainly explains things, doesn't it? I suppose that it would also explain why Guy was so flabberghasted when she showed up at Warriors and started ordering them all around. It wasn't a personality that he was used to.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Sea-of-Green said...

So, how did the Regionals go, and far did you get in John Adams, Sally? Much as I love David McCullough (I wanna have a beer with him and with Robert Osborne one of these days), I've never been able to finish John Adams. It's been gathering dust on my bookshelf for nigh unto four years. :-\

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Moriarty said...

I have the same experience with McCullough, but it's with his other book... 1776.

It's a really good read, but for some reason I haven't gotten all the way through it. Then I end up having to re-read half of it every time I pull it off the shelf and try to remember where I left off.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

The Regionals went quite well, a bronze in the Shot Putt, and Gold in the running Long Jump, 100Meters and the 4x100 Meter Relay. Woohoo!

I finished the John Adams book, but am ashamed to say that it actually took me five days, which is pretty bad for me. It is EXCELLENT! They all die in the end. I read 1776 quite some time ago, and also loved it, but then I'm a rabid History fiend. I shoul dig it out and read it again.

They took quite a few liberties in the HBO series, but overall, they got the nuances right.


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