Guy Gardner: Warrior #29 (March, 1995)
“It’s My Party and I’ll Fight if I Want To”
Writer – Beau Smith
Penciller – Phil Jimenez
Inkers – John Stokes & Dan Davis
Colorist – Gene D’Angelo
Letterer – Albert DeGuzman
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Warrior’s Designed by – Brad Gorby
Cover Price: $2.95 (gatefold) $1.50 (standard)
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I was planning on doing a “Green” book today (Arrow or Lantern, natch). While flipping through my books, this one just jumped out at me.
Visiting Warrior’s Bar should be a nice way to hold me/us over until the weekend. At least at my house corned beef, cabbage, soda bread, and family will be in abundance come Saturday.
We open on Darkseid and Desaad curiously observing a large conglomeration of superheroes. They appear to be gathering for reasons other than battle. What event could be so significant as to pull nearly the entirety of DC’s metahuman community together? Well, today is the opening of Guy Gardner’s WARRIOR’S. Part bar, part Planet Hollywood, Warrior’s features tons of superhero ephemera to peruse and enjoy while you dine and drink.
We watch as Guy interacts with just about all of the movers and shakers of the DC Universe at the time. No pun intended, this issue really is a “Who’s Who?” of the DC Universe circa-1995. One interaction of note concerns Aquaman. This is shortly after Aquaman loses his hand… Gardner approaches, and Arthur fully expects a snide comment about his new hook-hand. Instead Gardner gives a snarky comment about the length of Aquaman’s hair. Too funny.
A (very convincing…) impostor in a Superman outfit gets evicted by the real steel deal.
This opening is receiving television news coverage, so we become privy to the thoughts of those watching from afar, including a collection of super villains currently locked up in Blackgate Prison (a handy note informs us that at this time Arkham Asylum was destroyed).
In a tiny panel, we observe that Zatanna and the then-Vertigo imprint only John Constantine are present.
The Blood Pack introduce themselves. They appear to be a team consisting of the new characters introduced in the Bloodlines crossover… and Jade?
|Look out, Dylan McKay!|
Current (at at the time, final) Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner meets up with former-GL Arisia (who may at this time be part of Guy’s side-cast). They discuss the recent happenings regarding Hal Jordan. Kyle apologizes thinking he may have killed Hal.
Captain Atom shows up… don’t dig Nate with the longer hair. Doesn’t feel right to me. As he is settling in, Guy… in full Vuldarian Warrior form, lands a blow that sends Atom flying. Guy blames the Captain for what has happened to his former squeeze, Ice. She had apparently died at the hands of the Overmaster in a recent Justice League story line.
Donna Troy (now a Darkstar) has a brief confrontation with Artemis, who is the current Wonder Woman. Just as the discussion gets heated, the entire party gets interrupted by…
The main man, Lobo.
Guy and Lobo begin brawling, inciting the entire establishment into a riot. As the brouhaha continues, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis arrive on the scene, perhaps to scope out the competition to their own Planet Hollywood venture. They decide discretion is most definitely the better part of valor, and vamoose.
Later on, we find that Lobo has passed out. He had apparently finished off every drop of beer in the bar. Gardner himself is conspicuous by his absence. Arisia and Veronna head up to Guy’s office to check on him. The blast open the door, and find a potentially un-well Warrior… and we are [to be continued…]
This issue proved to be one of the more difficult to synopsize/spoil. So many guest stars… and just so much going on. If I’m honest, DC Comics really weren’t my thing in the mid-nineties… so many of these characters (and/or their current circumstances) are somewhat unfamiliar to me. I also don’t have a large Guy Gardner(: Warrior) collection, so the main cast is rather foreign to me as well.
This was an extremely fun romp through mid-nineties DC Comics. It’s incredible that they were able to pull such an issue off. I highly doubt anything like this could be done today. For the near ubiquity of cross overs and guest shots in contemporary comics, a story such as this is still a wonderful novelty.
The first Beau Smith I’d read was actually not in comics, but in a column he kept in one of the Two-Morrows Publishing’s “How-To” magazines… either Sketch, or Write Now! His real-man persona is quite engaging, and he is one of the writers whose work I actively seek out if I come across it in the bins. This issue was very well written, all that appeared felt very much in character… and they all seemed as though they were having fun. Fun was a precious commodity during this vintage, I am glad that a book like this existed back then (wish we had more like it now).
Phil Jimenez is at his George Perez-esque best here. I would have sworn some of these pages/characters were actually drawn by Perez in this issue… Donna Troy, especially.
Highly recommended. This issue has not yet to my knowledge been collected, and is unfortunately absent on DC’s Digital Comics site. So, this will be a single-issue only experience. I have come across it several times in the wild. Should not be terribly difficult to procure, if you are so inclined… and it won’t set you back much. Read this one as you down your next green beer. Now, what say you, Guy?
Umm… Happy St. Patrick’s Day, y’all!
The version I own features the gatefold cover. When we open the fold we are treated to a view of the inside from over Superman’s (or his swarthy mustachioed doppelganger’s) shoulder.
The standard edition features perhaps an even better image. It is an homage to Edward Hopper’s painting Nighthawks.
|I have absolutely no recollection of this…|
|$15 for a year’s worth… yes, please!|
|In an era where I’m surprised when books make it to issue #25…|
|… seeing those about to hit #100 is somewhat bittersweet.|
UPDATE 5/7/23 – “Remastered” for WordPress!