Character Close-Up: Guy Gardner
Guy Gardner is a character, a comic book superhero published by DC Comics. He is a core member of the Green Lantern family of characters, and for a time (late 1980s through mid 1990s) was also a significant member of the Justice League family of characters.
He was created by John Broome and Gil Kane (who patterned him after actor Martin Milner) in Green Lantern #59 (March 1968), although the character was changed significantly in the 1980s by Steve Englehart and Joe Staton who turned him into a jingoistic parody of an ultra-macho "red-blooded American male." This latter remains the character's archetype to this date.
The character was not named after the NASA astronaut Guy Gardner, but after fan Guy H. Lillian III and writer Gardner Fox.
Fictional character biography
Guy was raised in Baltimore by his parents, Roland and Peggy Gardner. His father, Roland was an abusive alcoholic who beat Guy every day. Some of Guy's injuries were visible such as bruises, cuts and bumps but others were invisible and were emotionally effected. Guy worked hard in school to try to win his father's approval, but Roland instead lavished attention and compliments upon Guy's older brother, Mace. Guy's only escape at this time was General Glory comic books, going so far as to model his bowl haircut on Glory's sidekick, Ernie.
During his mid-teens, Guy became a juvenile delinquent. He constantly defied authority. Later, He was straightened out by his older brother, Mace, now a police officer, and he eventually went to college, supporting himself, and earning bachelor's degrees in education and psychology from the University of Michigan, where he also played football until a career-ending injury. The injury deeply impacted Guy.
After college, Guy worked as a social welfare caseworker, dealing with prison inmates and their rehabilitation. He abandoned this line of work, however, fearing it brought out his aggressive nature. Moving on, he became a teacher for children with disabilities. This job brought out the loving and caring side of himself.
In DC's rebooted continuity, The New 52, Guy is now an ex-police officer and middle child of a family with a long tradition of membership in the Baltimore Police Department going back to 1860. He is the second human to earn a Green Lantern ring after coming to the rescue of his older brother Gerard who had become pinned down during a police shootout with a street gang.
In this version Guy has a strained relationship with his father Ebenezer Gardner, a decorated cop forced into disability after taking a bullet in the line of duty, for issues related to the unexplained incident which kicked Guy off the police force.
Green Lantern Corps
The appointed Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814, an alien named Abin Sur from the planet Ungara, crash-landed on Earth after being mortally wounded. As Sur died, his power ring sought and found two potential successors: Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan. Jordan was nearer to the crash, so he was chosen over Gardner. In the same story, the Guardian supercomputers predicted Guy would have perished early in his career if he had been chosen first. In the later Booster Gold series it was shown that a time traveling Booster convinced Gardner to visit his dying father, thus ensuring that Jordan would be the candidate in closest proximity. Gardner was relegated to backup status should anything happen to Jordan.
When Jordan became aware of Gardner's status as his backup, he went out of his way to set up a chance meeting, and the two became friends. Though Gardner was originally naive to Jordan's secret identity, he eventually assisted Jordan during his adventures.[volume & issue needed] He is later partnered with Jordan after completing his training under Kilowog.
During an earthquake, Gardner was hit by a bus while attempting to rescue one of his students. During his recovery, the Guardians recruited John Stewart to be Jordan's new "backup".
Some time later, during a period where Gardner was performing his duties as a backup Green Lantern, Hal Jordan's power battery, the source of the ring's energy, exploded in his face due to damage done to it by the Crumbler and trapped him in the Phantom Zone. Jordan and Kari Limbo, Gardner's girlfriend at the time, both believed him to be dead, and the two developed a romantic relationship, and ultimately culminated in a marriage proposal. Gardner was able to interrupt the wedding by contacting Limbo telepathically. By then, however, Gardner's bus accident, the power battery explosion, his assimilation into the zone, and the subsequent torture at the hands of General Zod and other residents of the Phantom Zone had affected his mind. When Gardner was released from the Phantom Zone, he was diagnosed with brain damage and was comatose for a number of years.
During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Guardians of the Universe split into two factions over how to confront the Crisis. A minority faction of six Guardians emulated their former brethren, the Controllers, by recruiting a Green Lantern to directly attack and destroy the forces of the antimatter universe. For reasons unknown, Gardner was revived by the renegade Guardians, given a power ring not tied to the Central Power Battery on Oa and sporting a uniform similar to that worn by the Fists of the Guardians, and given a mission. He was to recruit and command the deadliest and most powerful criminals in the universe, including the Shark, Hector Hammond (left behind after trying to attack Gardner), Sonar, Throttle, Blindside, and Goldface, to launch a strike against the home base of the Anti-Monitor.
Gardner's brain damage manifested itself in the form of an arrogant, violent, unstable, and often childish new personality. Gardner believed himself to be the last "true" Green Lantern, superior to all the others, particularly Jordan. Five of the renegade Guardians were slain by a wave of antimatter, and the sixth eventually reconciled with the rest of the Guardians. In the meantime, Gardner succeeded in his task of recruiting powerful villains. Both Hal Jordan and John Stewart prevented Gardner from completing his mission, which would have ultimately destroyed the universe.
Following the Crisis, the Guardians along with the Zamarons left the universe to create the next generation of Guardians. Gardner was placed under the care of the remaining Guardian-turned-mortal Appa Ali Apsa (who later went on to become the "Mad Guardian") on the planet Maltus in order to teach Gardner the ways of the Corps, a situation which Gardner resented. Gardner eventually escaped and returned to Earth, but was recaptured by Appa Ali Apsa (with the assistance of two Corps honor guards) intending to reclaim Gardner's power ring. At the request of Kari Limbo, Hal Jordan pleaded on Gardner's behalf for his freedom, which was granted with no return of gratitude from Gardner.
As a consequence of the Corps executing Sinestro the majority of the Corps lost their power rings; Gardner was one of the few remaining active Green Lanterns. After the defeat and death of the "Mad Guardian" the Guardians returned and assigned Gardner to be the official Green Lantern of Sector 2814 while Jordan was assigned to recruit new Corps members.
Justice League International
Soon after obtaining his freedom from Maltus, Gardner became a founding member of the Justice League International after the original JLA disbanded during the DC Universe-wide crossover, Legends.
In his time with the JLI, Gardner resented Batman's leadership of the group, going so far as to challenge the Dark Knight to a fist fight; Batman immediately downed Guy with one punch. Guy's run in JLI was full of constant personality shifts and endless arguing between team members.
This led to a fight with Lobo, the sucker-punching of Blue Beetle during a boxing match, and finally him quitting the team after being "belittled" by Superman.
Gardner was romantically involved with his fellow Leaguer Ice, even learning some rudimentary Norwegian. Their relationship ended with her death at the hands of the Overmaster, but recent events have led to her resurrection.
Guy Gardner: Reborn
After completing his assignment of recruiting new Corps members, Jordan returned to Earth to reclaim his title as Green Lantern of Sector 2814. Gardner's response was to challenge Jordan to a fight where the loser would quit the Corps. Gardner lost and surrendered his ring. After some failed run-ins with Goldface and Black Hand as a non-powered vigilante, he set out on a quest to regain his power and identity. Tricking Lobo into assisting him, he invaded Qward to find the yellow power ring of Sinestro, but was told by the Qwardians that the ring was unique & never returned to Qward. He then travelled to Oa where he found it on Sinestro's hand in Oa's "Crypt of the Green Lantern Corps".
Gardner's own comic series began with him using the yellow ring and a modified costume similar to his Green Lantern costume but from street clothes. The yellow ring didn't use a battery to recharge, instead needing to be used against the power rings of Green Lanterns so it could absorb their residual energy to restore its power, which Gardner discovered by accident when Kilowog fought him while his ring was powerless.
Guy Gardner returned to Earth to pick a fight with Superman but eventually rejoined the Justice League and helped battle the monster Doomsday, in which he and his teammates were brutally beaten and Superman was killed during the creature's defeat. During the Reign of the Supermen storyline when four different versions of Superman appeared after his death, Guy fought, became allies and later endorsed the Last Son of Krypton Superman who was actually the Eradicator. Later, Guy cleared his name of murder that was committed by his clone and learned that his brother Mace had become the assassin Militia; after a brawl between the two, Guy decided to take the codename Warrior.
In the JLA: Classified-based miniseries I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League, Guy assisted the Super Buddies and was revealed to have kept his yellow ring, although this story may not be canon, as it contradicts events shown in Green Lantern: Rebirth.
Guy Gardner: Warrior
By this time, the power of Guy's ring had begun to fluctuate due to the meddling of the villain Parallax. Deprived of his powers, Guy wore a golden exosuit provided by Blue Beetle which simulated superhuman strength. However, Guy wasn't happy with this initial suit as it didn't feel as natural as using ring power. The exosuit first appeared in issue 18, the second issue to feature the new title of 'Guy Gardner Warrior'.
Although the exosuit was destroyed during combat with Militia in issue 19, Guy's power ring surged and provided him with a new exosuit constructed of ring energy. This was much more to Guy's liking.
When a grief-stricken and power-hungry Hal Jordan destroyed the Green Lantern Corps after the destruction of his hometown, Ganthet first came to Guy Gardner to offer him the last Green Lantern power ring. When Gardner refused, Ganthet decided to entrust it to Kyle Rayner.
After Guy started having visions of Oa's destruction and his power started to mysteriously increase, he led a group of heroes to Oa to find out what happened to the Corps. Guy and his team were ambushed and quickly defeated by Parallax (Hal Jordan). But Guy managed to trick Hal into thinking that he was dead by simulating a ring powered construct of himself that had been impaled by an energy pike. After his entire team was defeated, Guy used the element of surprise and managed to evenly match Hal in a fight for a few minutes due to the fact that his ring siphoned residual Green Lantern plasma-energy. But eventually Hal gained the upper hand, defeated Gardner and destroyed his ring, depriving him of his ring-powered exosuit. Parallax then punched out one of Gardner's eyes and sent him and his team back to Earth. Guy later awoke in hospital after spending three weeks in a coma. Deprived again of his power-ring, he was forced to find an alternate means of acquiring power.
Guy would join up with Buck Wargo (based on Doc Savage) and his globe-trotting Monster Hunters, which featured obscure Silver Age hero Tiger-Man (Desmond Farr) along with Joey Hong and Rita Muldoon. On an expedition to the Amazon, Gardner found a chalice of the Warrior Water. He drank from it, and this activated alien DNA that was implanted in his bloodline a millennium ago by a space-traveling race called the Vuldarians. He discovered new, shapeshifting abilities that writer Beau Smith claims was editorially mandated to capitalize on the success of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and which would allow him to resume his role as a superhero. When Guy first emerged from having drunk the Warrior Water, (in issue 23), his body had assumed the shape of his old exosuit, albeit red instead of gold, and his lost eye had been restored. Guy's body remained that way until the end of the Zero Hour storyline, morphing weapons directly out of his arms as of Zero Hour issue 2.
Gardner opened a superhero theme bar called Warriors, as both a source of income and a base between his adventures. He would be joined by Buck's group, Veronna, mightiest of the Nabba Jungle tribe of women whom guarded the Warrior Water and believed herself to be destined as Guy's mate (sharing limited telepathy with him), and those brought on as bouncers for Warriors but acted as fellow adventurers Lady Blackhawk (displaced in time by Zero Hour), Wildcat, Lead, and Arisia.
His early days as Warrior saw him struggling with his newfound powers. He had difficulty changing his body into any weapon, and his transformations often caused him pain. After a breakdown that led to a confrontation with Superman and Supergirl, with some soul-searching help from his supposed ancestor Cardone, Gardner was finally able to use his new powers to form most non-energy-based weapons from his body, as well as absorb some forms of energy and redirect them through his various "weapons". Another ability, his capability to use the knowledge of warriors from across space and time, was rarely used and mostly forgotten. Guy had many enemies during the series including Evil Star, Gorilla Grodd, Black Serpent, Sledge, Major Force, Martika the Seductress, Bronkk and the Tormocks (ancient nemeses to the Vuldarians), Mudakka, and Dementor as well as the return of his clone (now going by the name Enforcer), the Quorum, and his brother Militia with girlfriend Honey. He also teamed with many heroes including Steel, with whom he became close friends after discovering Steel attended the University of Michigan and played on the same football team. Gardner also became good friends with Lobo after the defeat of the Tormocks (so far as the bounty hunter giving Gardner one of his space bikes and the skull of Bronkk).
During the time that Gardner fought against Dementor, he learned that his enemy was also a product of Vuldarian breeding. Dementor's father had raped a Vuldarian woman. Dementor was sent to Hell, where he eventually revealed that he was the one responsible for Gardner's constant personality shifts (in a sense, explaining why his personality changed drastically over the years). In the last issues he finally dealt with his "family", as well as revealing another side of his Vuldarian powers, the ability to heal mortal wounds.
Over the course of the series, Gardner made peace with a great deal of his past. On one Christmas, the Spectre, on behalf of the Phantom Stranger, made it possible for Guy to communicate with his deceased father who apologized for the abuse, both physical and mental, he placed upon Guy, his brother Mace, and their mother. He told Guy how proud he is of all the accomplishments Guy achieved as a man and the pair reconciled. Afterward, Guy would give his condolences to Ice's mother over their shared loss of her daughter and she provided him an ice sculpture to remind him of her daughter. A celebration held at Warriors for the holiday saw Guy cross paths with an inebriated Fire and the pair shared a kiss after expressing how much they missed Ice. It was suggested they slept together after this in the following issue.
After the Warrior series was canceled, Gardner continued to appear in the DC Universe; most notably as a recurring character in the Green Lantern series during Kyle Rayner's run and a reserve member of the JLA. It was thought he was killed during the Our Worlds at War crossover. However, he was later discovered to be trapped in a pocket of Hell called the Gorge in General Zod's country of Pokolistan. After freeing himself by switching places with Superman villain Kancer as ruler of the Gorge, his Warrior powers were apparently enhanced. He declared it his job to do less ethical things heroes like Superman couldn't. However, this new direction only lasted for 30 issues of Guy Gardner: Warrior (which crossed over in the Way of the Warrior with Justice League America and Hawkman featuring cameos of Lobo and former-Green Lantern Probert) and his many several appearances over a span of ten years.
Return to the Corps
During the 2005 miniseries Green Lantern: Rebirth, Gardner's Vuldarian DNA is strangely overwritten by his human DNA when Parallax possesses Gardner and several Green Lanterns. Hal Jordan's ring splits in two and Gardner's ring is restored to him. Eventually, Parallax is defeated by the combined effort of all five active Green Lanterns, including Gardner. The Guardians then select Gardner as one of the senior officers of the new Green Lantern Corps.
In the 2005–2006 miniseries Green Lantern Corps: Recharge (written by Dave Gibbons), the Guardians assign Gardner to be one of the Corps' three main instructors, along with Kilowog and Kyle Rayner. The trio is responsible for the training of the new Corps, to which the Guardians intend to name 7,200 members. Gardner is not at all appreciative of his new role, and when he complains to the Guardians, they tell him that success in training new recruits could lead to him being given a new position.
Gardner plays a significant role in defeating the Spider Guild attack on Oa. Discovering that trainee Soranik Natu has disappeared into the forbidden Vega star system, which the Guardians' pact with the Psions of Vega forbids Green Lanterns from entering, Gardner and Kyle Rayner led a rescue mission in direct violation of Oan policy. Once there, the Lanterns discover the Spider Guild nest and determine that its next target is the Oan sun. Returning just as the attack commences, Gardner gathers the frightened trainee Green Lanterns and rallies them with a speech that impresses even his longtime rival, Hal Jordan. Gardner's performance in repelling the attack results in his promotion to Lantern #1 of the Green Lantern Honor Guard, a position of authority over other Lanterns. In this new role, Gardner is expected to "think outside the box" and "do the jobs' other lanterns cannot," a function well-suited to his irascible personality.
"Infinite Crisis" and "One Year Later"
In his new role as Lantern #1, Guy leads the Corps in the defense of Oa against Superboy-Prime, creating a wall of energy to slow the rampaging teen and calling a "Code 54", authorizing the use of extreme force. Guy supervises the final capture and imprisonment of Superboy-Prime, locking him in a red Sun-Eater provided by Donna Troy and organizing a constant watch of fifty Lanterns to keep him imprisoned.
Guy spends the entire "missing year" following Infinite Crisis doing missions for the Guardians without shore leave (though he is infrequently seen on Earth in the 52 weekly limited series, it should be assumed he has sneaked away from the Guardian's watch). When he has finally granted some time off one year later, his relaxation is cut short by an attack by a grudge-holding Bolphunga the Relentless. Soon after, Guy assisted Hal Jordan on an unsanctioned mission to the Manhunter homeworld, Biot. Through Hal and Guy's efforts, several long-lost and believed deceased lanterns (including Arisia, Chaselon, Jack T. Chance, Graf Toren, Hannu, Ke'Haan, Laira, and Boodikka) were freed from imprisonment by the Cyborg Superman. Upon returning from the mission, Guy was punished by the Guardians and forced to endure one month as one of the fifty Lanterns on "Prime Duty". Lanterns of the Honor Guard, like Guy, are allowed to break the rules three times before expulsion.
According to Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns in a 2006 Newsarama interview, Prime wouldn't be escaping under Guy's watch. "Not at all. That’s ridiculous. Anyone who’s read Guy Gardner for the last two years in Green Lantern or in [Green Lantern] Corps knows that he’s a much better, stronger character than that. And even in the old Giffen stuff, he would probably break some rules, taunt the other heroes, and drink a beer or two, but he would not be that much of an idiot. He was never that much of an idiot, and certainly not with what I'm doing with him, or with what Dave Gibbons is doing with him in Corps. He has his moments, and he’s a really fun character, but he's definitely not going to be a moron. His role is not DCU Moron. His role is DCU Shitkicker."
Guy was briefly part of the Corps' Black Ops division. Dubbed "The Corpse", members forsake their rings for stealthier powers provided by the Guardians. Guy took part in one mission as part of this secretive unit. He was tasked with locating Von Daggle, a Durlan who was formerly in charge of the Corpse. Gardner relayed a message from the Guardians, informing Daggle that he was reinstated. From there, Daggle took command of Gardner, leading him to the homeworld of the Dominators, a race of superscientists with a grudge against Earth. Together, they defeated a super-evolved Dominator, though the Corpse's use of lethal force did not sit well with Guy. Gardner informed Daggle that he couldn't be a part of his crew and Daggle wiped his memory, musing that "humans never make the cut".
"Sinestro Corps War"
In the storyline Sinestro Corps War, Superboy-Prime and Cyborg Superman escape imprisonment when the Sinestro Corps attacks Oa, killing the guards on Prime Duty. Guy, along with fellow Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart, are captured by Parallax during battle and brought to Qward. Guy and Stewart are then held prisoner by Lyssa Drak, who forces them to relive tragedies in their lives. Hal manages to defeat Lyssa and free Guy and John from their nightmare. In the skirmish following their escape, Parallax nearly breaks Gardner's neck. Upon returning to their universe, they defend Earth from the entire Sinestro Corps. After helping to free Kyle from Parallax's possession, Parallax is split into four pieces by former Guardians Ganthet and Sayd, and placed into the power batteries of Hal, John, Guy, and Kyle. Guy is infected by the Sinestro Corps' deadly alien virus named Despotellis, but cured by the Green Lantern Corps' own sentient smallpox virus, Leezle Pon.
Return of Ice
Within the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps War, Guy was finally reunited with Ice, a recently resurrected former girlfriend. Despite Ice's uncertainty as to the wisdom of reviving the old romance, Guy's professions of adoration seemed sufficient to convince her to meet him for a proper date on the same spot exactly one month later. Before leaving Earth to open a bar/restaurant on Oa, Guy leaves Ice a note. Ice declines his proposal to cohabit on Oa, and Guy reads her desire to rebuild a new life on Earth with her best friend Beatriz as an attempt to distance from him, accusing Beatriz of pitting Tora against him. The two agree that their current situations will make a relationship impossible.
In the "Blackest Night" storyline, Guy and Kyle Rayner are opposed to the Guardians' decision to execute all Sinestro Corps members and all other prisoners and attempt unsuccessfully to convince the Alpha Lanterns and the Guardians themselves to stay away from the dark path on which they are headed, and are reassigned to Earth. They later try to return to Oa, and fail to repel an invasion of a swarm of black rings to Oa's Lantern crypt, where the corpses of fallen Lanterns are reanimated as Black Lanterns. In the ensuing conflict, Guy is forced to crush the body of the insectoid Bzzd, but is then impaled through the leg by Ke'Haan.
After Kyle is killed in the explosion of Chaselon's power battery, Guy flies into a rage, and is transformed into a Red Lantern. Now powered by both of his green and red power rings, Guy seeks vengeance against the Black Lanterns and is able to destroy them on sight effortlessly with his combined weapons. Despite Kyle's resurrection at the hands of Star Sapphire Miri Riam, Guy turns his murderous rage on his former friends, before Mogo purges the Red Lantern rage from him, though he is told only a Blue Lantern can cure him completely. He then joins the battle against Nekron on Earth.
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors
After the events of "Blackest Night", Guy Gardner starred in the monthly series Emerald Warriors, written by Peter Tomasi. While searching for a cure for his Red Lantern rage, it is revealed that Guy entered into an alliance with Red Lantern leader Atrocitus, which briefly alienates Guy from Kilowog and Arisia.
In the "War of the Green Lanterns" storyline, the influence of Parallax, now restored to the Central Power Battery, forces Guy and the other Earth Lanterns to use the rings of other Corps. Guy, citing his experience with the Red Lanterns, chooses the red power ring. During their conflict with the Green Lantern Corps, Guy and his allies release Parallax from the Central Power Battery Guy using the Star Sapphire ring in conjunction with the Red Lantern ring, drawing on his love of the Corps and his hatred at his anger to power both rings at once, the two emotional extremes proving sufficient to release Parallax from the battery, and Guy is subsequently cleansed of the Red Lantern energy by Kyle Rayner's blue ring before each reclaims his usual ring.
The New 52
Gardner, John Stewart, and an elite Green Lantern Strike Team star in a relaunched Green Lantern Corps series, which debuted in September 2011 as part of DC's The New 52 relaunch. This series debuted with author Peter J. Tomasi and art by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna. Guy is also shown on the cover for the new Justice League International series that was released that same month, written by Dan Jurgens and with art by Aaron Lopresti. Initially, Guy appeared to be the one Earth Green Lantern that the Guardians still appeared to rely on, what with Hal having been expelled after War of the Green Lanterns, Kyle being expelled due to his alliance with the other ring-wielders, and John being put on trial for killing another Lantern. However, the Guardians were really planning to undermine all four Earth Lanterns by sabotaging Guy's career after building it up, ensuring a precipitous fall.
This plan begins when the Guardians promote Guy to the role of 'Sentinel Lantern' and entrust him with guarding a group of ambassadors travelling to a planet for a crucial conference. They subsequently release Guy's old enemy Xar from the Science cells and create the impression that he is going after Guy's family on Earth. They predicted that Guy would abandon his duty and return to Earth while Xar attacks the ambassadors. With the rest of his team having been absorbed by the Third Army, Guy escapes only through his strength of will, averting the Third Army's attempt to 'recruit' him. With Xar having killed the ambassadors, the Guardians order Guy to resign from the Corps in order to redeem the damage he has done.
Feeling depressed after a phone conversation with his family, during which his father dismisses superheroes as overly reliant on their powers, Guy attempts to spend the night fighting crime with only his natural skills. This backfires when he interrupts a police sting operation, culminating in him being arrested by his sister. While in prison, he is attacked by the Third Army, but is rescued by Green Lanterns Simon Baz and B'dg, who send the civilians to safety before crushing the Third Army and retreating to the Sea of Tranquility on the moon. Guy is angered when he discovers that the Guardians have turned against him and the Corps. Simon and B'dg dispatch him to the planet Oa. There, Guy reclaims his ring and joins Kilowog and the others reserve Corps members in their rebellion against the treacherous Guardians.
After the villainous First Lantern is destroyed and the unemotional Guardians are killed off by Sinestro, Guy and Kilowog locate where Salaak was imprisoned by the Guardians and free him. Guy is angered when he discovers Salaak's surveillance footage of Xar being released by the Guardians. Salaak helps him locate Xar’s whereabouts, and discovers that Xar is located on Earth and preparing to kill off Guy's family. Guy manages to speed up with Saint Walker's blue power ring to arrive in time to blast Xar to be incinerated, and reunites with his family.
Following the event, Guy was placed in the cast of the Red Lantern series where he was sent by Hal Jordan to join the Red Lanterns undercover and has defeated Atrocitus and taken command of the group since.
Powers and abilities
Guy Gardner was trained to use a Green Lantern power ring, which is only limited by the user's will power. He later acquired Sinestro's Qwardian power ring, which was later revealed to be based on the bearer's control of fear. This early version of a yellow power ring was powered by absorbing plasma radiation that had been expelled from a Green Lantern ring and seemed to make Guy more invulnerable than a normal Green Lantern power-ring. He used both for basic Lantern abilities including constructs, flight, and energy projection, though it also caused him some difficulty on occasion-for example, if he asked it a question he would get an answer in Qwardian, which he didn't speak. In Green Lantern: Rebirth #6 it is mentioned that Guy Gardner's ring is constantly sparking with energy, as if unable to contain the power of his will. Following Kyle Rayner's apparent death, Guy's rage caused a red power ring to latch onto him, bestowing on him the ability to generate napalm like flames that would burn even in space. Unlike most Red Lanterns, Guy retained his intelligence, and, like Hal Jordan when he was under the thrall of a red ring, Guy was able to shape the red flames into solid constructs. Unlike Hal, Guy's green ring remained active, allowing him to combine the two lights and obliterate the Black Lanterns and their rings. Guy was also the first male character seen to wield a love-powered Star Sapphire ring.
Guy's Vuldarian powers included limited shapeshifting abilities in which he could create weapons out of his body. At first, these transformations caused him pain and he was unable to shrink from his 7-foot height. He maintained super strength, stamina, and durability around Superman's strata, the power of flight, capable of surviving in outer space unassisted, accelerated healing, and had access to the memories of deceased Vuldarians (touted as the most dangerous warriors in the history of the universe). Trained by the Vuldarian Cardone, Gardner become highly trained in using his abilities and practiced extensively in the martial arts. During the return of Parallax, he suffered a metahuman power discharge and his Vuldarian abilities went into recession. Coincidentally, when he awoke he was near Hal Jordan's power ring which has the ability to duplicate itself. Gardner once more had a power ring, and following the return of the Guardians of the Universe, he was once again a Green Lantern.
Green Lantern (Tangent Comics)
Guy became the caretaker of a mystical artifact that survived the effects of the Infinite Crisis after it was discovered on New Earth by Kyle Rayner. It has the power to temporarily awaken the dead and has also served as a dimensional gateway. The Guardians eventually used the artifact for a ritual to merge the willpower entity Ion with Sodam Yat during the Sinestro Corps War.
In other media
Guy Gardner has only been portrayed once in live-action TV. In 1997, Matthew Settle played him in a Keith Giffen-inspired pilot for a proposed TV series Justice League of America. The personification of the character is very much an amalgam of Earth's various Lanterns. His uniform is based on the "sleeveless vest" comics version of Guy Gardner, though he wears a mask and insignia that resemble those of Kyle Rayner's first costume. Further, his appearance and personality more accurately mirror those of Hal Jordan.
Guy Gardner appears (alongside the Green Lantern Corps) in a non-spoken cameo role in the Duck Dodgers episode, "The Green Loontern".
Guy Gardner appeared in the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold in the opening of "Day of the Dark Knight!" and was voiced by James Arnold Taylor. His antics caused a prisoner to go on a path of destructive rage, but Batman, already at Corps headquarters, recaptures the prisoner. He reappears in "The Eyes of Despero!" to help Batman overthrow dictator Despero. He, Sinestro, and G'nort create Bat-armor for the job when Batman insists on accompanying the Lanterns. When he sees Sinestro attempting to blow up a rogue Mogo; they do battle, and Guy wins. Guy imprisons Sinestro in his ring at the end of the episode. This episode also pays homage to the iconic scene in the comics, when Batman knocks Gardner out with one punch after an argument. In "Revenge of the Reach!", he initially clashes with Jaime Reyes, believing that he is evil because of the Reach-created suit he wears. After Jaime saves Oa from the attack of other Reach agents, Guy's attitude towards him improves; he even sticks up for him when the Guardians attempt to confiscate his armor. Guy appears in "Death Race to Oblivion!" as one of many heroes and villains racing to save the Earth from destruction at the hands of Mongul. In the teaser for "The Siege of Starro! Part One", Guy is shown fighting off heroes who have fallen under Starro's control, though he is soon put in the same position. In "Darkseid Descending!", Guy Gardner joins the Justice League International. He seems to have a crush on team member Ice, as seen in Time out of Vengeance when they travel back in time to the pre-historic cave man era.
Guy Gardner makes a cameo appearance in Young Justice. Unlike the other Green Lanterns shown, his costume is quite different from the one he wears in the comics. In "Revelation", he is shown helping Black Canary, Green Arrow and Red Arrow rescue children from the Injustice League's plant creature. In "Agendas", the Flash mentions that Guy Gardner could be a full-time Justice League member. However, John Stewart and Hal Jordan (both full-time League members) immediately dismiss the idea. In season 2, it was mentioned that he is a member of the League and is on a mission.
Guy Gardner appears in Green Lantern: The Animated Series voiced by Diedrich Bader. He appears as Hal Jordan's replacement while he was away. When Hal returns to his city, Guy helps him save a runaway crane. When Hal is about to talk to the news lady, Guy pushes him out of the way and takes the credit. Guy later finds out Hal was the Lantern before him and invites him to grab a bite. The two eat hot wings on a roof while Hal contacts the Guardians to ask them about Guy. The Guardians inform Hal that Guy is the new Lantern of Earth. When the Guardians see Guy, they invite him to attend a party with them. Guy accepts forcing Hal to hang up. Hal gets furious and the two engage in battle. Their battle starts at Central City and ends in the desert. They stop when they come to a temple full of Manhunters. Hal and Guy fight them off and end up destroying them. Hal contacts Salaak to ask about the Manhunters. Salaak decides to look into it and when he spots Guy, he asks, "Is that Guy Gardner?" But Hal hangs up before he could answer. Then Hal's girlfriend Carol Ferris calls and breaks up with him. Guy comforts him and relates to his situation. The two shake hands and become friends. Then Guy asks if he can ask Carol out which ends up with Hal punching him in the face. Then the Guardians summon Hal to Oa and Guy asks Hal to put in a good word for him. In "Ranx", Guy meets Hal again when he reveals he has been appointed to Honor Guard (his place having been taken by John Stewart) and is led a brigade of Green Lanterns to stop the Manhunters from destroying the planet Ranx, which is containing the still-living head of the Anti-Monitor. In "Dark Matter", he also gets on Kilowog's bad side and helps try to defeat the Aya-Monitor once and for all.
In the early script for the Green Lantern live-action film, Gardner was set to make a cameo as a football player who was about to be chosen by the ring, before it went to Hal Jordan. The scene was written out in the final draft.
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