Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Let's Glorify Guy Week!

Created by the esteemed SallyP over at Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER! I bring you my contribution to Let's Glorify Guy Week.
I was quite pleased when this was announced as I have a lot of Guy Gardner scans to hand, due to having just read the JLA/JLE/JLI runs, and this allows me to separate out the posts, so yay for good timing!

Now, I haven't read a whole lot of Green Lantern stuff, in fact, I don't think I've ever read their solo titles, but I do appreciate them when they pop up in other books. However it has always been clear to me that Guy Gardner is by far and away the best GL. When he's a stroppy violent obnoxious prick he's entertaining, when he's involved with Ice he matures a bit and we see some compassionate depths to him. I like him. he's the most appealing of the Lanterns I've come across, and it's a relief to see a hero who's also a jerk. Henceforth, I present to you the following examples of why he's ace (and also include some Tora-Guy scenes too, because I'm like that):

From the pages of Justice League America number 38, this is a simply gorgeous piece of artwork depicting Guy at his angriest:

From Justice League America number 53. If I remember correctly, in the previous issue Guy had beaten up Blue Beetle pretty bad, in a seemingly unprovoked attack. Unprovoked to the other guys on the team, my reading of it is that when Guy realised he was bleeding (from the legal and planned boxing match he was having with Ted Kord) it triggered a memory from his past and something in him snapped, so he went apeshit on Kord. The other members voted to kick Guy out, but only Max can actually fire him. Guy's status becomes a problem because later on in the issue, we find out Max has been shot, apparently fatally.
Despite the fact Guy has been kicked out by his teammates, despite the fact he feels pretty bad about beating up Beetle, despite his hard guy don't give a shit exterior, Guy still transports his teammates around and still goes to the hospital to see Max. This cover shows him in the foreground, grieving for Max:

Now for comedy relief.
The issue: Justice League annual number 5
The scene: 10 years in the future, Guy has a cult following, complete with fans who copy his (terrible) haircut. He's due to speak at a very important public event, publicising him. Then he gets a bump on the noggin. The crowd goes wild.

From Justice League America number 82. Arggh the legs the legs! It looks like he's been crossed with a frog.

Away from the comedy and back to the tragedy (my favourite sort of story telling).
From Justice League America number 101. Ice is dead. Guy is a new warrior (is that correct?) complete with daft body paint. No one told Guy Ice was dead, no one told him about her funeral. When faced with the League's sympathy and the new Icemaiden this is how he reacts:

Oh Guy. My heart breaks for you.

And finally, also from the Annual number 5, also 10 years in the future, I think this scene supports Kalinara's recent post and comments about Tora being a fixer of people:

This scene takes place after the Daily Planet headlines, above.

It was great to read about Guy's early years on Sally's blog and to find out how he became a GL.
So, I put to you my fellow GL fans, what trades would you recommend to a budding GL fan who wants to find out more about the mythology of the corps and the individual heroes, and would be mightily pleased if said volumes included appearances by Guy at his best?
I already know about Green Lantern: Rebirth. That one is on my list.


kalinara said...

If you haven't seen it yet. I'd definitely recommend Beau Smith's Warrior run, it's something of a digression of the character, taking him briefly away from the Green Lantern franchise, but it's really the vehicle that evolves Guy from the brain-damaged JLI buffoon/GL v2 victim to the awesomeness he is in GLC. (The earlier issues aren't bad either, but Smith's run is pretty much essential.)

Also, Beau Smith rocks at writing kickass women.

Though I should warn, if you've never read Warrior, the art...takes getting used to. But once a visual stockholm syndrome starts kicking in, you can really appreciate the subtle elements of Smith's writing. (I've blogged about Warrior quite a bit, if you're interested. :-))

kalinara said...

Heh, I suppose I should actually try to suggest things that suit your actual interest though, huh?

A lot of Alan Moore stories have some really bizarre and neat concepts that have been showing up/being revisted today. They're neat. Weird, but neat.

I'd personally recommend most of Kyle's run actually. GL v3 50-181 or so. Granted the Corps itself doesn't actually exist for most of this time, but it's somewhat developed in its absence, if that makes sense.

Ganthet, Guy, John, and even Hal occasionally play significant roles in helping Kyle understand what his role actually means. And of course, as the series goes on, we start getting the seeds for the current incarnation.

Saranga said...

Hi Kalinara, thanks for the reccs.
I was wondering what the Warriors books were like, I shall take a gander at your site.
As for Kyle, I've only really come across him in JLA and the Wally West Flash books. I shall investigate my comic shop this Thursday.

kalinara said...

Off the top of my head, some good Kyle TPBs are "Brother's Keeper", "Circle of Fire" and whichever one is the one where he becomes Ion for the first time. Unfortunately, I'm more familiar with the run as issues, and thus am a bit shaky on what else has been TPBed.

I think you'll like Kyle. He's not as awesome as Guy, but he's fun.

And Warrior is...special. But if you can get through the art, and the occasional batshitness, there's some real genius stuff there. (For example, the issue in which Guy Gardner turns into a woman. Or the one that tells the story half in the style of the DC animated universe, and half normal.)

Saranga said...

I'd heard about Guy as a woman and been very intrigued by it.
Due to having a particulalry sucky work week and some vouchers I've just bought Green Lantern Corps - Ring Quest. I've read the first 6 pages, I like!