Featured Columns

March 30, 2010

Touring the Cosmos: Guy Gardner

Guy Gardner

Created By: John Broome and Gil Kane
First Appearance: Green Lantern (vol. 2) #59

To truly know the man called Guy Gardner, you have to have a little insight into his upbringing. He came from an abusive home, and spent much of his early life in and out of trouble. He really wanted to be good, but after so much abuse he put his energy toward lashing out. When his brother, Mace, got fed up with his attitude, he gave him some money and put him on the right path. Guy was off to school, and did really well for himself. He became a force of good in his community, becoming a social worker and then moving on to work with children with disabilities.

When Abin Sur crash-landed on Earth, Guy was the was top pick for Green Lantern of this sector. Showing his willpower to overcome his adverse childhood and becoming a productive member of society was enough to meet the requirements for GL selection. But, because Abin Sur was not passing his ring on in a more traditional way, the ring chose the nearest recipient, Hal Jordan. Guy was chosen as a backup lantern later on, and always harbored a grudge toward Jordan for taking his appointed position.

Even though during this time Guy could be aggressive, the rough, arrogant, and sometimes ignorant Guy we see today was not the same Guy when he was first introduced. Because of a series of unfortunate incidents – i.e. getting hit by a bus and being tortured in the Phantom Zone – Guy’s mind took a turn for the worse. These and a few other events had shaped and twisted Guy’s mind, creating a much more effective, but abrasive Green Lantern.

Gardner one-punched by Batman

Gardner’s early career had him not only pitted against villains, but against friends as well. He rubbed a lot of his teammates the wrong way, even starting a fist fight with Batman while part of the JLI. Although he briefly had a romance with fellow JLI’er Ice, Gardner never found his true place among a team of heroes. Gardner even managed to lose his Green Lantern power ring when he challenged Hal Jordan to a fight in order to prove who was the superior warrior.

Gardner was not powerless for long though. He had a short stint with a yellow ring that he took from Sinestro and the Qwardians, and even learned that he had his own natural powers. His DNA was fused with Vuldarian DNA, and it allowed him to morph his body into natural weapons. However, Guy was never able to truly master these powers. During his time as Guy Gardner: Warrior, Guy also learned that his constant personality shifts were because another Vuldarian was influencing him from Hell.

During the mini-series Green Lantern: Rebirth, the Green Lantern Corps were being rebuilt. Guy’s human DNA was rejecting his Vuldarian DNA, and he lost those powers of his birthright. But this would not be in vain, because he was soon offered a spot as part of the newly re-formed Green Lantern Corps. He was tasked with recruiting new members to fill the 7,200 spots of the new Corps. He was also appointed to the Corps Honor Guard, a special role only for the strongest willed corpsmen.

Guy is a character that has truly seen many ups and downs in his life. From personality shifts due to traumatic events and demonic control, to most recently becoming a Red Lantern for a short period of time, Guy really gives personification to the term willpower. Sporting his slightly altered mushroom cut and unique Corps jacket, Guy has finally become one of the most trustworthy allies and fearsome opponents.

Mike Parente



  1. Eli

    I really like Guy, though it took some time. I do love how he’s always ready to kick some butt, and he doesn’t really mind facing danger in the process. His attitude always rubbed me the wrong way, but the guy is a real hero.

  2. Billy

    I really feel like the Guy Gardner that was on Batman: Brave and Bold, was exactly how I always pictured him.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Touring the Cosmos: GUY GARDNER spotlight!! https://comicattack.net/2010/03/ttc07/ #comics #greenlantern @DC_Nation […]

  4. Couldn’t tolerate the guy up until right before the Sinestro Corps War. I thought of him as the “wonder man” of the GLC and just as corny. He really needs a new jacket and haircut.


  5. […] the issue. I’ll say that the plot that intrigues me the most is the conversation between Guy, Ganthet, and Atrocitus pictured above as guy makes a pretty profound statement. Bedard’s […]

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