Guy Gardner #13: Inside Out/Outside In


TGH: And we’re back with another Guy Gardner adventure. We’ve made it over the hump on this story, with Guy now inside his own head in some sort of Inception-esque madness. I’m assuming this is where Christopher Nolan got the entire idea for his movie.


DN: Sounds about right.

TGH: With infinite control over his past, Guy uses his new-found powers to go beat up on some guys who beat him up one time for harassing someone’s girlfriend. I’m not 100% sure what his plan is, but he might as well waste as much time as possible before getting to it! Was it too dark to have him drive over to his own house and beat his dad up?


QP: He’s teamed up with the younger memory-verse version of himself to start a barroom brawl at a drive in. It’s like a parallel-universe version of Happy Days.

TGH: The cops arrive, which Guy is making up at this point, so he and other Guy run for it.


DN: In a bright pink caddy.

TGH: So after beating up a bunch of minors, older punk Guy explains the situation to little punk Guy.


QP: Young Guy asks him who he is, and seems oddly accepting of the fact that he’s himself from the future. Although he does crack wise about it and get clotheslined for his troubles.


TGH: Little Guy treats big Guy with about the amount of respect you would expect. If Guy accidentally mortally wounded his past self in his mind, I wonder if his brain would just kill him. I feel like the story is not willing to explore such deep issues.

DN: Big Guy hits lil’ Guy in the throat, which is hilarious.

QP:At least he doesn’t one-punch him.


TGH:  So young Guy just keeps being an asshole to old Guy until the Draal notice that he’s fucking around and pull the plug. Guy is such a dick that he can’t even control himself on a subconscious level. That’s…kind of fucked up.

QP: I think Guy forgot to factor himself into the equation when he made this plan.

TGH: Guy was going to plant some sort of message into his clone’s brain that would let someone know he was fake, but ended up doing literally nothing. That’s a pretty shitty resolution to last month’s cliffhanger.

QP: Shitty, but not necessarily unexpected. This book kinda thrives on Guy failing to do anything.

TGH: It’s going to take four issues to do something of value this time, apparently!

DN: Chuck Dixon. Fail forever.


TGH: Does Guy usually get thrown up on when he’s in the chair? Because Guy looks like he got thrown up on this time. Maybe the mindfucker’s natural defense is to projectile-vomit when someone is playing with his own memories.

QP: Head crab spooge I guess?

DN: Pretty sure he vommed on himself. Which is par for the course in a Chuck Dixon opus.

TGH: Well, the Draal do a pretty excellent job of cleaning him up before tossing him back in jail. They’re not complete monsters.

QP: Yeah, nary a drop on him.


TGH: Guy gives us a little of the ol’ exposition, in case we were just tuning in, and then talks to Robolantern’s severed head, promising to put him back together if he helps them break their force field. Then the Draal come back to take Guy away. This is presumably not even five minutes since they dropped him off.


QP: Why did they even take a break? This is not efficient.

TGH: I guess they really needed Guy to talk to the robot head. The writers, not the Draal of course. That would just be stupid for them to let that happen.

DN: They aren’t the best alien expostioners.

QP: Meanwhile, it’s time for another harrowing adventure in Guy’s past.

TGH: They drag Guy back under the vomit faucet on the way back to the chair. I just looked at the last issue. No vomit. Why all the vomit now?

DN: Real talk: Guy has a shitty adolescence.

QP: Oh totally. It’s shocking he didn’t just turn straight to a life of crime.


TGH: I guess Guy got worse at stealing cars as he got older, because he gets caught pretty quickly.

QP: The cops recognize him as Mace’s brother immediately.


TGH: Instead of taking him to jail, they take him to his old football field instead. This is where the story could’ve gotten super fucked up if they wanted.

QP: Fortunately, his brother is there to beat him up to “teach him a lesson.” Like father like son I guess. Except for once it seems to be deserved.


DN: Mace’s fro is pretty epic.

QP: That’s some Little Orphan Annie hair right there.


TGH: Guy doesn’t go to jail, but his brother does kick the shit out of him, then lend him some money to get a job. This is the right kind of dynamic to keep their relationship complicated. I have to give kudos for that. This might be the first shade of grey to ever appear in a Guy Gardner comic.

QP: Seriously. This book is very much about its with-me-or-against-me vibe, so it’s a bit refreshing to have a character somewhere in the middle. Especially one who is clearly the reason Guy changed his course. I’m curious if this was editorial or something Dixon created on his own.

DN: I’ll give props to Dixon, he gave character to like 1/2 the 90s characters.


TGH: So Guy straightens his shit out and works his way to college as an electrical engineer/football player. Which is probably impossible with the time requirements for each, but good for him. Guy even wins a big game with a catch that his dad probably wouldn’t believe he could make.


QP: His football coach is basically his dad without the mustache.

TGH: So then Guy comes home all proud of himself, just to be disappointed once again to find out that Mace had been attacked by a wild gutter punk.


QP: The attack was super effective!

TGH: Surely Mace learned in police academy not to patrol the tall grass.


TGH: Guy wakes up and gets dragged back through the puke chambers to find that they’ve wired Robolantern to blow up the field. The Draal, who have presumably been watching the cell this entire time, don’t seem to have any objections to whatever scheme they’re hatching.
“The Lanterns have torn the robot apart and have pulled wires out as if to connect them to something.”
“Probably just a science experiment.”

DN: It’s probably fine.

QP: The Draal love science.


TGH: Robolantern mentions that he might stop working after this. Guy finds this unacceptable, so he decides they should get the Jell-o Lantern involved in this death wish too.

QP: The other Lanterns tell Guy that it’s very likely Jell-o Lantern doesn’t understand anything they’re saying, or know what’s going on. Which to most people would constitute animal/other sentient being abuse. But don’t worry, Guy doesn’t care about all that.


TGH: The little guy can’t talk to anyone, but sure as hell seems to understand “grab this and run towards that energy field.” Poor bastard.


TGH: Now that they’re free, the Lanterns run…somewhere in an attempt to escape. They run into the Draal at some point. “They got stun rods!” Guy yells, surprised at this, despite the fact that they always have stun rods and have never failed to hit him with them. “They got one eye!” was probably left on the cutting room floor.


QP: That’s not even an exclamation. Guy just says it as a statement of fact, in case someone in the audience hasn’t seen them yet. I feel bad for the person that decided to start Guy Gardner with this issue.

TGH: Graf is just like “Yeah, no fucking kidding.” I like to think that Guy is just overexplaining everything because he knows it’s his book, and everyone else is really irritated by it.

QP: He does do a lot of narration. It does kinda imply that he knows he has an audience. Or just a pathological need to hear himself speak.


QP: Poor robothead gets used as a weapon.


TGH: The Lanterns somehow manage to win the fight, vomit shooting and oozing everywhere they turn. As they continue down the hallway, they discover that the Guy Gardner clone is quite operational. Which frankly doesn’t even make sense, because the clone should just be a confused college kid at this point.


QP: That’s the most dangerous Guy Gardner of all!

DN: Finally we get some Gardner on Gardner action.

TGH: Can Guy keep from kissing his clone right on the mouth? I guess we’ll have to wait until next time to find out!


QP: The mail column straight up just acknowledges that everyone is bashing Hal this month.

TGH: This is the “Hal is an asshole” edition. It’s kind of great.


QP: Its kinda nice to know that people have always hated Hal Jordan.


DN: We also get the quintessential Guy list. Thanks, Guy.

TGH: Part one.

QP: Written by a woman in 1993. But don’t forget that women don’t read comics.

DN: Hush, fake geek girl.

QP: I shall weep into my long boxes.


QP: But seriously, the letter column basically just boils down to everyone talking shit about Hal. One gentleman offers to start a Guy Gardner fanclub, if anyone wants to write him. Which, seriously, guys, we should jump on that.

TGH: I wonder if it’s too late. Maybe that guy still lives at that address and his kid loves Guy Gardner now.

QP: There is but one way to find out.

TGH: My resolution for 2015 is to get a restraining order, so this seems like a good first step.

90’s Ad Showcase:


TGH: Is there anything more 90’s than Knightfall pogs?

QP: I love the fact that one shows Batman “revenging Robin’s death.”

TGH: I bet the Joker got two weeks in Arkham for that one, instead of the usual one week.

QP: They let him out for good behavior after a few hours.

TGH: “Whatever it takes,” as long as it takes some sort of hitting.


QP: The ad for American Comics is only notable for adding a tasteful word bubble over the same picture of Bane snapping Batman like a pencil.

TGH: Bane goes door to door, breaking Batman over his knee and pushing that same line.

QP: Are color catalogs really a selling point?

TGH: “Check out our back issues!”
“No need to break the bank!”

QP: *Ba dum tish*

TGH: I kind of wish Batman had a word bubble too.

QP: “Hellllllp.”

TGH: “I’m dying…for these deals.”


TGH: Was Jurgens Metal Men any good?

QP: No idea, but I kinda cringe at the thought of a team that’s usually played for comedy being handled by the people that killed Superman. There are some things that Jurgens is good at. Slapstick is not one of them. Then again, maybe 90’s Metal Men was hella serious. I don’t even know.

TGH: It’s a miniseries, so he’ll just have enough time to talk about their origins.

QP: I’m tempted to track that down now. Surely it’ll be in the quarter bins at HeroesCon.

TGH: No doubt.


TGH: I thought there was no DC Universe this month, but it’s just a full-page ad for Zero Hour. Though I appreciate the disclaimer on the side.

QP: Somehow the only Zero Hour stuff I’ve ever read is the one tie-in trade of Sandman.

TGH: I’m pretty sure Guy gets wrapped up in it at some point.

QP: Oh no doubt.


QP: There’s an ad for what appears to be a Hitman/Etrigan team-up, which is surely the best thing DC produced that year.

TGH: Probably a fair bet.


TGH: An ad for Seaquest, starring former non-ghosts Roy Scheider and Jonathan Brandis.

QP: Ahhh, Seaquest. 90% of the audience for that show were 12 year old girls who wanted to watch Jonathan Brandis talk to a dolphin. If they’d found a way to make it a Lisa Frank dolphin they’d’ve had the 90’s pre-teen girl demographic locked down.

TGH: It took place in 2018, so they had better get on that.

QP: I will be sadder if we haven’t colonized the seafloor by 2018 than I will be if we don’t have hoverboards next year. Not really. But maybe a little. Oh man, Ted Raimi didn’t make the ad. I think.

TGH: Are you sure he’s not back there? I can’t tell if it’s my scan or if they really blacked out half of the cast in the back.

QP: Maybe? He might be that one in the corner. I don’t remember him having that much hair.

TGH: Co-starring a cast of mystery characters! Unlock them all on AOL!


QP: I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that those wireless SNES controllers didn’t work worth a damn.

TGH: I think that’s a pretty good guess. I can’t imagine anything good coming from that.

QP: I would imagine if they’d worked well, wireless controllers would’ve taken less than 10 years to really become a thing. Or at the very least, that rich kid in your class would’ve become a complete asshole about being able to sit on the couch while playing Street Fighter.

TGH: It’s an infrared signal, which means you probably need to aim the controllers at the receiver for a good connection, like a TV remote. Which does not lend itself to moving at all while playing.

QP: So all my dancing and weaving around while trying to keep Mario on the Rainbow Road instead of plunging to his freezing death in the vacuum of space would probably not work well for it.

TGH: It would cause you to do worse, making you flail more, causing you to do worse forever.

QP: Up yours, Acclaim.

Next Time:

TGH: Next issue, Guy is zapped in the neck once again. The evil clone takes over for Guy forever. Nobody ever notices, even when he eventually enacts whatever plan the Draal have.

QP: “Evil” Guy is not noticeably different from “Good” Guy, and it turns out the Draal’s plan is just to make Guy be nicer to everyone. Guy is enraged at this and takes his fury out on Jell-o Lantern.

TGH: Guy clone, having only the brain of a college student, tries to go back to his dorm and gets arrested for trespassing.

QP: Guy audits a Korugarian language class and finally finds out what the hell the ring has been saying.

TGH: It turns out the ring loves him. Guy realizes that everything he ever wanted had been right in front of him this whole time.

QP: After several years of searching, he finds a planet with less restrictive laws regarding sentience, where they finally unite, and live a long happy life together.

TGH: The End.

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