Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Green Lantern Corps #0

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Green Lantern Corps #0

Ok, enough shilly-shallying already.  Along with everyone else this month, DC has seen fit to give Guy Gardner a brand spanking new Origin.  They also changed his hair.  I...I am somewhat bewildered to say the least.

I can understand WHY they felt that they had to throw out his history.  To be perfectly honest, it is a little bit convoluted, especially the whole Vuldarian thing, but I absolutely adore Beau Smith, and therefore I could always live with the whole Vuldarian plot.  They also threw out the three-years-in-a-coma plotline, the Brain-damanged/Thug years, his entire history with the JLI...but they had already thrown that out...and his family problems, not to mention his extremely complicated relationship with Hal Jordan.

The new Origin is considerably simplified.  We begin with a rookie Guy fighting against a standard issue Bad Guy, with some fellow Rookies, all of whom are being decimated with a certain amount of ease.  But naturally, Guy has Willpower coming out his armpits, and prevails.  This leads Kilowog to grant him his Green Lantern stripes, as it were...but I'm getting ahead of myself.


We have a flashback, to a Police Academy Ceremony, where Guy's younger sister Gloria has just graduated.  His older brother Gerard is also there, and their Father, who is a retired cop as well.  According to the NEW Gardner lore, everyone in the Gardner clan has been a Baltimore Policeman, probably going back to the Revolution, to hear his Father tell it.  Except Guy, who washed out.  Oh, the heartache.  Guy has floppy long hair, but it isn't the traditional bowl cut.  Call me shallow, but I actually rather like it.  Anyway, he shows up wearing a black leather jacket and riding his Harley, to show how rebellious he is.  He and his Dad don't get along.  His Dad still drinks, but isn't nearly the magnificent Bastard that Rollie Gardner was.  But they still don't like each other.  Guy tries to make peace, but they start fighting until Guy hears on the police scanner that his older brother Gerard is in trouble...so he zooms off to the rescue.  Gerard has been hurt, and his nice partner Marcus whom we saw earlier has been shot, when Guy shows up and beats up all the of the evil Gang, and rescues his brother, and even blows up his own motorcycle...when a Green Lantern Ring just happens to be zipping by.

They don't ever explain WHY a  random Green Lantern ring should just show up...but it does.  It picks Guy because he has the ability to overcome great fear...blah blah blah.  He immediately asks it what it can do, and uses it to get his brother and his partner to the hospital, which was nice of him.  He also had some time to go back and put 96 felons in jail.

So, we go back to where Kilowog is congratulating him on making it to the Big Boy Leagues.  He's happy to have his symbol, but doesn't really like the uniform that much, so he changes it to his classic suit, with the collar and such, except that now it is supposed to recall his motorcycle jacket, as opposed to the Fist of the Guardians, whom do no exist anymore. 

Then Hal shows up to congratulate him, and they get off on the right foot immediately, with Guy calling him "Harold" and then mocking him because he doesn't get any press in the Justice League.  Hal sneers back about his jacket, and It Is On.


This is much simpler version of course.  Short, easy to digest.  Brave rebellious young man, doesn't get along with his Father, but secretly the best of the bunch, is picked by the Ring, performs acts of bravery, and razzes his new Sector Partner. 

None of the stuff about Hal picking him, getting blown up, having Hal run off with his fiancee, being rescued by Hal, but going into a coma for a few years...being woken by the Guardians, but being a tad on the crazy side...now hating Hal's guts, fighting with everyone, but still proving he's fabulous, getting into the Justice League, falling for Ice, being incredibly obnoxious and annoying, and yet still one of the best around, fighting with Hal some more, losing his ring, getting Sinestro's ring, fighting with Hal some MORE, losing his ring, losing his powers, losing an eye, losing Ice, and going out and finding his own powers,  getting healed of the brain damage, getting his eye back, fighting with Hal,...being killed, coming back, getting his Green Lantern Ring back, being promoted to Honor Guard, not fighting with Hal quite as much, teaming up with Kyle, becoming the MOST popular Lantern of Sector 2814, and getting a Red Ring, and using it, getting a Violet Ring and using it, and saving the Guardian's tiny blue assess for the millionth time, and so on and so forth.

They have also completely wiped out his complex but important family life, and one of the reasons for his resiliency.  Guy has always had the worst luck, and was never handed anything...unlike Hal.  His older brother Mace (not Gerard) was his parent's darling, and Guy was always a pretty poor second best.  His mother was distant and a slob, his father was an alcoholic with a vicious temper, and they had a definite blue-collar existance.  Guy managed to get himself into college, worked as many jobs as he had to, got onto the football team, and graduated with honors in TWO majors, went out and got a job, taught kids, got engaged, and had a pretty good thing going until Hal showed up, and it all went to Hell.  Even when he was brain-damaged, he still manged to hang in there, and get the job done.  He may not have made many friends while doing it, but He Got The Job Done. 

So, I'm a little bit less than thrilled that his entire past has been wiped away and sanitized so completely.  Yes, it was a bit convoluted, but it worked, because we saw it unfolding before our eyes all through his history.    Of course everyone's history has been wiped out, and the new DC Universe is far less interesting than the old one. 

Guy's motivations are now gone, the desperate desire to prove himself, the rivalry with Hal, the very good reasons that he had for HATING Hal, but he never really did, the romance with Ice, and the fact that his mother has been wiped out completely, and damn it all, I LIKED Peggy Gardner!  She was a force to be reckoned with.  His new Dad, is still a jerk and a most unpleasant person, but he just isn't nearly as malevolent as his old Dad. 

On the other hand, I did like his hair. 


At 11:58 AM, Blogger Lantern Kiaori said...

The hair was an improvement, but...without his fear/hate to his dad, He becomes a less complex character. Where's the growing up? the matureness he gains in the Warrior Series? Hell, where's Ice??

I had been expecting for this issue since I knew about it and... it didn't clicked. Some part of me is waiting for Gloria to die in some espectacular way, just to motivate the plot. I can see that coming...

The hair is great, the boul hair cut was a trade mark, because it showed that even heroes with bad hair cuts are also heroes.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

I know, it isn't a terrible origin I guess...but it's just awfully hoo-hum, in comparison. The drama is missing. It isn't very epic anymore.

One of the things that I find so appealing about Guy, is that in spite of an absolutely horrendous childhood and homelife, he picked himself up and made something of himsself, and he did it mostly all on his own. He didn't have money or influence or a pedigree, or any of the benefits that other characters have had. Even Hal had all of his Dad's buddies in the airforce and at Ferris to give him a foot in the door.

Also missing is the fact that Guy has LOST his ring at least three times, and still managed to get powers and keep fighting the good fight. You can knock him down, but you simply can't KEEP him down.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Lantern Kiaori said...

I totally agree with you. He can get kicked out of the corps, but he will never stop being a hero.

At 1:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I love this blog. It's my favourite blog. And I agree so much with this.

I think Guy is one of the few (older) comic book characters whose entire history has shaped him into being the person he is today. And it is this history, all of that resentment and inferiority complexes and that RESILIENT WILLPOWER, that makes him such a great character.

His new origin isn't bad, but it feels like it takes away so much from his character and most of all his amazing development (his highs and lows) through the years.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Well thank you. Guy has had an actually fairly simple origin compared to SOME people...I'm looking at YOU, Hawkman! His parents frankly, were practically psychopaths, at least his Dad. His NEW Dad, is just an old drunk ex-cop with a bad attitude. And while Guy has experienced SOME adversity, it certainly isn't nearly what he went through in his REAL origin.

Have I mentioned that I'm really getting nostalgic for the REAL continuity?

At 7:27 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

They really did strip all the uniqueness from Guy's origin, didn't they? Maybe the problem is they're trying to explain all of him character in one issue, whereas the Guy we had post-relaunch was the product of decades of stories, building him slowly. Not that it was planned, but it worked out very well for the number of writers, goals, and editorial interference and dictates involved.

At 4:01 AM, Blogger Shiraste said...

I think Calvin hit the nail on the head.

I don't know why they feel the need to wrap the whole origin into one 20-odd-page volume. I mean how complex can it be if you do that?

If they had only done a cesura after Guy's initial rescue of his brother. Then jumped to the GL graduation without actually telling how he got his (this?) ring. Especially since it was so.. lukewarm. Wee.. GL ring floating around because that's what they do!
They could have left themselves a lot of avenues for exploration in backflashes which could incorporate at least SOME of the original story of Guy. Oh well.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Lukewarm about describes it.

But I have to admit, that Pasarin really did give him nice hair.

Gosh, I'm so shallow.

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Mike Blake said...

The new hair reminds me of Sean Bean's in the Sharpe tv series, or as Boromir in LOTR.

So they don't have backup GLs any more? Then I wonder how John Stewart got his ring.

At 8:39 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Mike, who the heck knows?


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