Issue 165 – Guy Gardner

Issue 165 – Guy Gardner post thumbnail image

 We kick off Season 10 and Lantern Month with the prickliest Earth Lantern, GUY GARDNER! How does Doc survive a session with someone like this? Tune in to find out!

  • Intro
    • Welcome back for Season 10
    • January is Lantern Month
    • Patrons will get an exclusive episode, plus a watch party of the Ryan Reynolds movie
  • Background (4:00)
    • Guy Gardner created by John Broome and Gil Kane in Green Lantern #59 (March 1968)
    • Guy is the child of an abusive alcoholic who regularly beat him, giving him an aggressive nature and a defiance to authority
    • In college, however, he shifts and becomes engaged in social work, and later a teacher for disabled children
    • When Abin Sur’s ring sought out a successor, Guy Gardner would have been chosen had he been closer, but since Hal Jordan was in the vicinity of the crash, he was selected
    • He later becomes a reserve Lantern, backing up John Stewart
    • Hal’s power battery explodes in his face, trapping him in the Phantom Zone – when he is freed, he is comatose and suffering from brain damage for many years
    • The Guardians revive him and give him a new ring & outfit, and charge him with assembling a team to battle the Anti-Monitor – the brain damage during his coma altered his personality, leaving him immature, arrogant, and violent
    • He is a founding member of the Justice League International, although he chafes against Batman’s leadership – Batman knocks him out with one punch, and when he awakens, he is empathetic and caring – until he hits his head again, and he reverts to his abrasive self
    • Loses a fight with Hal and surrenders his ring, but later finds a yellow ring of Sinestro’s
    • After losing an eye in another fight with Hal/Parallax, he drinks from the Warrior chalice and unlocks dormant powers hidden in his DNA – he then becomes a shapeshifter that can create weapons from his limbs
    • He is returned to full human in GL Rebirth when the Parallax entity is stripped from the main power battery, and he becomes one of the trainers for the new Corps, later becoming a member of the Honor Guard
    • During Blackest Night & War of the Lanterns, he wears a Red ring and then a Sapphire ring, fueling himself with rage over the death of Kyle Rayner and his love of the Corps
    • New 52 – He gets dismissed from the Corps after the Guardians create the Third Army to replace all Green Lanterns, but regains his ring, and along with Simon Baz & other Lanterns, they defeat the Guardians and restore the Corps
    • Then he joins the Red Lanterns, working as an undercover agent on behalf of the Green Lanterns – he takes over from Atrocitus as leader, and uses his rage against what he felt as disrespect from Hal, John, Kyle, the Guardians, and the Corps
  • Issues – Gotta love ‘em, because otherwise you’ll hate ‘em (9:03)
    • All right, so…Guy Gardner. The friend in the group no one really likes that much. The really difficult coworker who’s indispensable and you have to try and get along with because you know he’s not going anywhere. The guy who never really grew out of his high school jock phase. We’ve all known a few Guy Gardners in our lives. Some of us may have even been a Guy Gardner at one time and not know it. Guy’s really not that much of a mystery. His issues are right there out in the open in big blinking neon letters.
    • Cockiness and abrasive personality. If you aren’t aware of how great a Green Lantern, superhero, or a man Guy is, just ask him. He’ll be happy to tell you all about it. If you have a disagreement about Guy’s assessment of himself, he’ll also be happy to correct your misconceptions. Loudly, at first. Violently, if loudly doesn’t get the job done. Guy’s got an incredibly big mouth and certainly doesn’t mind telling you exactly what he thinks of you. This tends to make him more than a little difficult to get along with as a person, and much more difficult as a teammate. It’s become a running gag over Guy’s time in DC that his fellow Corps members and Justice League teammates are not shy about expressing enjoyment when bad things befall him. Even people like Superman, who’d normally be above such things.
    • No sense of self-preservation. You know that phrase, “your mouth’s writing checks your ass can’t cash”? Guy’s ass has not only stopped payment on the many checks his mouth has written over the years, it’s sent his mouth several overdraft notices. It’s the primary requirement of a Green Lantern’s job description to be able to overcome great fear. One of the reasons Guy is such a great Lantern is that he seems too thick-headed to even understand the concept of fear at all. His default mode is, “you want a piece of me?” and he frequently charges head-first into a fight without any plan other than letting his willpower, gumption, and titanium balls carry the day. And he will often get slapped around for his trouble, not only by more powerful opponents like Doomsday, but baseline humans he picks fistfights with like Hal Jordan and Batman. It really seems like a little bit of healthy rational fear would serve him well. (25:48)
    • Identity wrapped up in being a Green Lantern. Of all the Lanterns we meet and get to know well, Guy loves being part of the Corps and being a superhero maybe more than any of them. Beneath his rough exterior, the times he’s been on the outs with the rest of the Corps and stripped of his position absolutely kills him inside. During the War of the Lanterns arc, where he had to learn how to power a violet ring off of love, the only thing that got it working was him proclaiming his love for the Corps, and how he had absolutely nothing without them. Guy is a person who loves his job more than anything else in his life, and doesn’t really know how to function when it doesn’t love him back. (31:16)
  • Break (40:41)
    • Plugs for Ignorance Was Bliss, Play Comics, and Howard Mackie
  • Treatment (41:53)
    • In-universe – Make Guy think Doc is the best of the best, and then deflate that
    • Out of universe – Real-world equivalents? Come on, the world is full of these people. Men, women, rich, poor, they come from all backgrounds, all walks of life. Pig-headed people who think highly of themselves, think they’re always right, and have a hard time making anything more than the most superficial connections with others. People who never really matured as they got older, who love to rag on others way past the point where it stops being funny, who carry jokes way too far, and can’t let things go. But for whatever reason, it’s easier to keep them around than the alternative. (45:28)
  • Skit
    • Hello Guy, I’m Dr. Issues. – What’s up Doc?
    • Not much – I bet you hear that ALL THE TIME.
    • Eh, you get used to it. – Must be tough, dealing with all these whackjobs and nasty bastards all day. 
    • It’s not easy, but – I mean it’s not like patrolling the whole galaxy or nuthin’, but it’s a good gig I ‘spose.
    • I do like – Must take a lotta willpower to face all the stuff you see every day. Bet you think you could even wield a power ring, eh?
    • To be honest, I hadn’t considered – Well lemme disabuse you of that idea right off the bat. THIS ring is only for the strongest of will. There are a lotta wannabe ring-slingers out there, but the Corps only takes the best o’ the best. I should know, they picked me. 
    • I can see – An’ I’m so good they let me weed out the softies who can’t hack it. Me an’ Kilowog, we train all the rookies an’ turn ‘em into solid, functioning Lanterns. Not just anyone can do that, ya know.
    • I’m sure – ‘Course if I had full control, there’d be a few folks I’d never have let in the first place. I mean Sinestro, c’mon, you can see from a mile away he’s one guy who shoulda never got a ring. His name is friggin’ Sinestro, I mean, what’s next, a lantern called Evil McMurder? The Smurfs make a lotta mistakes, but that’s gotta be up there, top 5 at least.
    • Smurfs? – The Guardians, lil’ blue dudes, they created the Corps. They say they don’t use emotion, but if you ask me, sometimes they throw logic out the window too. Then again, they put me in charge of stuff, so what’s that saying? A blind squirrel finds a nut?
    • I have heard that – I mean, I should be the full-time Lantern for Earth, we don’t even need anyone else. The other guys are OK, but if you can have filet mignon, why settle for a sloppy joe?
    • Different folks have – John’s alright. Bit too stick in the mud for me sometimes, but he’s definitely thorough when it comes to dealing with stuff. A Marine cop architect ain’t exactly the kinda guy who’s gonna miss details. An’ a black guy has seen enough hateful stuff to give him perspective on conflict, I mean i’m sure you get crap all the time.
    • I don’t quite see how that’s – Kyle’s a good kid. He’s gotta stop beatin’ himself up over every lil’ thing, though. He needs better coping skills, ya can’t just draw your problems away. I mean he’s a great partner, but the crying and whining get old after a while. “Oh i’m a sensitive artist, all my girlfriends die, boo hoo.” If he starts pissin’ me off I ask him to get me somethin’ outta the fridge from Alex. That shuts him up for a while hahahaha
    • Wow, I don’t even know where – An’ then there’s Jordan. The hotshot. The ace pilot. The pretty boy. If I hadda nickel every time someone fawned over him, I’d be able to afford a nice little place in Pago Pago. He’s gotten us inta more scrapes and fights than I can count. Seems like just about every problem the Corps has can be traced back to him, somethin’ he did, someone he ticked off, it’s almost always Hal. An’ he knows it too. What I wouldn’t give ta wipe that smug smile offa his mug.
    • Sounds like you’ve got – Oh an’ don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried. More than once, actually. Sonuvabitch always ends up getting me with a lucky shot. 
    • If it’s happened more than once – But as much as it pains me ta say it, for every time he’s put us in danger, he’s saved our ass. Mine, yours, the universe’s. He and I have gone toe-to-toe so many times, and no matter what, he’s always gonna be the first one ta back me up when it hits the fan. So yeah, I don’t like him half the time, but that don’t mean I don’t respect him. Fact is, he needs me to push him. 
    • How do you – He knows I’m right awn his ass, ready to take his spot if he so much as sneezes the wrong way. John, Kyle, the other kids, hell even the other Lanterns, we’re all waiting for him to mess up. And the beauty of it is, ya don’t even hafta wait that long, because it’s Hal. 
    • That kind of pressure – Makes diamonds? Yeah, that’s what it’s like in the Corps. We don’t have the luxury of second-guessing ourselves. Ya can’t be afraid of things, that’s kinda the whole point. No fear, willpower, all o’ that. When ya been through everything I’ve been through, fear is a waste o’ time. 
    • But fear can – An’ all those other colors, the Froot Loops Troops, they can suck an egg. 
    • Other emotions are just as – Yeah, I’m sure you’re gonna give me some spiel about the power of emotions, and I’ll be honest, I’ve felt the power of all of ‘em at some point, ‘specially when they’re punching you in the face.
    • *whispers* I’d like to punch you in the face -*oblivious* Yeah, I’m used to people being too intimidated to say what they really mean. That ain’t me. You know what the world needs more of? People like me to take a stand.
    • Are you sure -I knew you’d agree so I figured I’d give you a shot at bouncing some ideas, I dunno. We don’t have someone looking at the big picture. Dare I say, I feel like a grunt even when I’m the main event.
    • Ya don’t say -The nerve, right? Some alien overlords treat me like I’m liability when I’m the biggest asset they got
    • *Whispers again* just biggest ass* -Oh man, I must be going deaf, you say somethin? You know doc, you’re alright. You know how to listen. You’re not like all the others that want to talk down to me or beat me to a pulp. I heard about people like you. You got…whadja call it…
    • Common sense? -No…you actually think about people. Nobody is really brave or stupid enough to do that unless they have a ginormous heart or they’re a genius or they’re trying to get their head ripped off or something. You just take it all in, waiting for the right time, then BAM you say just the right thing. You told me everything I’ll ever need to know in one session. It’s awesome. I could do this all day!
    • But I didn’t -Oh don’t go with the false modesty. This is worth ten times what you charge. I’m tellin all the guys about you. I’ll have you on speed dial. All day e’ery day!
    • I don’t -Just wait till the guardians learn I really am as badass as I said all along, and I got a doctor to back me up.
    • I wouldn’t -Right, need to play that card close to the vest. Damn, you’re smart. Well, that’s about all I can stand of this. Gonna go catch the O’s game, gotta case of Natty Bo’s waitin’ for me. See ya ‘round Doc! *leaves*
    • *sigh* Why do I even care about jerks like him so much? It’s like I’m a magnet for these hard luck cases..
  • Ending
    • Recommended reading: Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors
    • Next episodes: Atrocitus, Jessica Cruz, Ted Anderson interview
    • Plugs for social


  • “Anti-Hero” – Anthony (50:28)

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