Guy Gardner #11 (August, 1993)
“Yesterday’s Sins, Part 1 of 4: Back in the Days”
Writer – Chuck Dixon
Pencils – Joe Staton
Inks – Terry Beatty
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Anthony Tollin
Assistant Editor – Eddie Berganza
Editor – Kevin Dooley
Cover Price: $1.25
Wouldja lookit that, Guy Gardner: Year One!
We’re about to find out everything that made Guy… Guy. Let’s just hope they don’t do the cliche thing of having him grow up in an abusive household. Err, I’m sure that dude beating him with a belt isn’t his father or anything… right?
Okay, let’s just get into it.
We open with an introduction to a Lantern called Graf Toren… looks like kind of a bruiser with a fu manchu. He happens across a large craft… and finds himself overwhelmed by a whole lotta yellow inside. The crew of the ship nabs him up quickly, and even snatches his Power Ring… as they are attending to him, we can see what appears to be Graf Toren laying in a mechanical-looking bed in the foreground.
We then shift scenes down to Earth, where Guy Gardner and General Glory are fighting a bunch of Kobras. They make relatively short work of ’em… but that’s really not the important part. Ya see, those same aliens who kidnapped Graf are watching this fight unfold. They are doing some “Lantern collecting”, and headed to Earth in hopes of snagging one Hal Jordan. After seeing the way Guy fights, however, they realize that maybe he’d be of more use to them… no matter what color ring he has on his finger (Remember, Guy’s is yellow).
After the dust settles, Guy and the General begin explaining the situation to the police… when Guy… suddenly vanishes! He reappears on that alien craft several million miles away.
Guy, being Guy, doesn’t waste any time talking… and instead lunges into battle with the red buggers on board. Unfortunately for him, it seems like these geeks were following Bloodlines, because they appear to know exactly how and where to attack a human.
Guy wakes up in a weird holding cell… without walls, but also without escape. He is surrounded by four Green Lantern Corps members (including Graf) who had been taken captive by the creeps. As you might expect, Guy ain’t all that happy.
He’s not exactly worried though… he knows that his “friends in high places” will be scouring the galaxies looking for him before long. Well, uh, Guy… looks like your pals are kinda busy.
What’s worse, is that Guy learns that they’re just going to send a Guy Gardner “double” back to Earth, so no one will know he’s even missing. You remember that Graf-laying-in-a-mechanical-bed from earlier? That’s what that was all about. Guy himself even mentions seeing “Hal Jordan laying on a tanning couch” when he arrived, which, unfortunately didn’t get drawn. If you recall, the aliens were originally planning on nyoinking Hal… so, that explains that.
The Corps members tell Guy that over the next little while, the aliens are going to “probe” him… not that way, ya pervert… we’re talkin’ mental probes here. The aliens return to the “cell” and once again perform the Bloodlines blitz on poor Guy’s nape.
Next thing we know, Guy is strapped into some contraption, with a Facehugger from Aliens sitting on his chest. It begins probing into Guy’s mind… which hurts at first, before becoming enjoyable. Sounds like we’re seeing the start of a pretty horrifying fetish right here. Anyhoo, we’re now transported back to Guy Gardner’s childhood… and he still had that “Ernie” haircut! I’m not sure this can be a proper origin without actually seeing him get that haircut. Ehh, whattayagonnado?
His mother calls him downstairs for breakfast, and informs him to be on his best behavior as his father is in one of his “moods” again. You see where this is headed, right? Guy sits down for breakfast where his dad mocks his terrible haircut, and lambastes him for not being a winner like his brother, Mace. When Guy spills his OJ, all bets are off… Papa Gardner beats the holy hell out of the bowl-headed boy, while his mother turns her back.
We follow young Guy to school, where a teacher yells at him for lingering too long in the hallway. She also compares him to his brother, Mace… who we learn is quite the local legend when it comes to football.
Guy then… wakes up, back on board that alien craft… surrounded by his new “friends”. They explain that the alien take multiple sessions to probe a mind… ya know, like maybe… and I’m spitballin’ here… four (these days, it’d be six).
We wrap up with more’a Guy kickin’ butt. He won’t take this laying down, and offers the “Candybutt” Corps members the chance to join him in taking down the alien bozos!
So… yeah, looks like we took the cliche route here, didn’t we? Guy’s a jerk because his father always liked his brother best. Oh, and also, beat the hell out of him on a regular basis.
I mean, it’s okay if that’s the direction you want to go with it… but, I’m not sure there’s anyone who didn’t see this coming a mile away. Oh well, Occam’s Razor of comics and all that. I will say that they’re delivering the origin in a fun and interesting way!
Gotta mention the art… because, I will admit, it’s what kept me away from (re)visiting these early issues of Guy Gardner. Joe Staton was never my favorite artist, but at this point… and I hate to say it, but it borders on the downright unpleasant. Right now, Staton is doing the daily Dick Tracy syndicated strip… which, I feel his style is more suited for. Having that style in a long-form comic though? Not my cuppa tea.
Overall, if you ever wondered why Guy was such a jerk (and didn’t already assume that he was dealing with some issues from his childhood), you might get something out of this. It was fun seeing Guy as a bowl-headed brat… and I dug his attempts at “rallying the troops” of the loser Corps members. There’s definitely bits and pieces to dig here, even if the complete package is somewhat underwhelming. This issue is available digitally.
Where’s my Cool-O-Meter?!