Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: why DO we Hate General Glory?

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

why DO we Hate General Glory?

Originally, I believe, I thought that the concept of General Glory was rather amusing. He was a rather heavy-handed parody of Captain America, and he certainly had his moments. I did enjoy that he would start going on and on about FDR at the drop of a hat, and that he did his best to drive Max Lord crazy. His dialogue was ridiculously overblown, and his decency was cringe-worthy.

He served as an odd Father figure to Guy Gardner, who at the time, probably desperately needed a little validation. Which didn't stop Guy from treating him outrageously at the beginning, when he was first buying that old General Glory comic book, and refused to let an old man look at it. Boy was HE surprised! General Glory, to the astonishment of the rest of the Justice League was actually able to exert a little bit of control and influence on Guy's behavior...making him say "Sir" and "Sorry". Both words had never been known to drop from Guy's lips prior to General Glory's appearance on the scene. He got Guy to calm down a little bit, which was probably a good thing. Guy even put up with his miserable dog, who pooped and peed all over the embassy and even swallowed him whole once.

But then it started to go downhill. I think that having to actually live up to General Glory's expectations started putting more stress on Guy than he could handle. There was that ridiculous boxing match of course, which went so completely, utterly, disastrously wrong. Frankly, considering how out of character everyone was acting in that little scenario, the strain of having to live with General Glory was putting a strain on EVERYONE. J'onn should have stepped in from the beginning and put a stop to it.

Then there was the fact that General Glory was running a soup kitchen out of his and Guy's shared apartment. There is certainly nothing wrong with charity and helping out others who are less fortunate than yourself, but to do something of that nature to GUY's place is just out of line. It almost broke Guy's spirit, but to his credit, he managed to rise above it. But it was just one more straw on the camel's back.

I think that the strain of having to live with General Glory, and to live up to his completely unrealistic values was one of the things that made Guy snap when Hal showed up to retake his place as Earth's Green Lantern. Guy was under a TON of pressure, and unfortunately, he snapped. Hal's bullying was just the final straw.

So...there is Guy, ringless, friendless and jobless, wandering around in his old uniform and trying to find the shreds of his dignity...and General Glory's reaction is to offer him the role of sidekick. SIDEKICK! General Glory really didn't a clue about what made Guy Gardner tick. He was more than willing to accept Guy's hero-worship, and he was carelessly kind to Guy...but he didn't understand a single thing about him.

The final blow of course, was the reaction of General Glory after Guy had returned from his kidnapping by the Draal, only to find that his evil clone had murdered a man in cold blood, and gone on a rampage. His other teammates were understandably confused by his reappearance, but took it more or less in stride. I've always thought that Wonder Woman's reaction was the best. She didn't even need her lasso, she just KNEW who was the real Guy. Guy shows up ringless, but with a really cool gun, and manages to take out the Bad Guy. So everything should be just fine and dandy...right?

Wrong. General Glory not only refuses to believe Guy, he refuses to even TALK to him! It takes Wonder Woman's magic lasso, which she used at Guy's request, to finally convince General Glory, that Guy WASN'T a homicidal maniac. I think that this is what finally broke Guy's heart. In a way, it was even worse than the spat he had with Tora. They were going through a bit of a rough patch, but at least they were talking. But when the hero that you have worshipped and trusted since childhood turns his back on you...man, that hurts.

So, I was glad, GLAD when they got rid of General Glory. They even killed him off eventually, and I was glad about that too. Because, in the end, he was just an old blowhard. And Guy had to learn that his old hero had feet of clay, and that was a tough tough lesson to learn. I wonder if they ever all talked about it later on, when Guy had the Bar, and Alan and John and Kyle used to come over and drink beer and tells lies about Hal.

So yeah. I hate General Glory.

But I love Guy Gardner.


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

I can't help but wonder if the whole experience with General Glory also helped Guy to get a more clear perspective on things. Sure, the old JLI Guy Gardner was treated more or less as a buffoon. But after going what he went through with General Glory, Guy became a much more grounded and admirable character. He truly is the DCU's sh**kicker (as Geoff Johns calls him), and he has a measure of respect -- from readers and from other heroes -- that he didn't have before.

At 7:30 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

I think you have a very valid point. Once General Glory was out of the picture, Guy did seem to settle down a bit...and that was even before Hal went all Parallax and took away the yellow ring.

I think that Diana's acceptance of him also had a soothing influence. He even seemed to be getting along a little better with Blue Beetle.

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous suedenim said...

I thought it was a mistake to have him around for more than a story or two. He's basically a joke character, and such an unabashed ripoff of Captain America that if he's hanging around, it sort of diminishes the "reality" of the setting - even in the comedy-heavy Justice League books of the time.

At 6:24 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Yeah, he did overstay his welcome. What was mildly amusing at first became quite irritating later on.

I have to admit however, that the issue of Justice League Quarerly, where Ice, Guy, Fire and Oberon go to the street fair,and Ice gets turned into the giant demon was my favorite General Glory appearance, because he was actually rather funny in that issue.


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