TGH: And so it begins…
DN: If I remember right, it started with the noir dialogue where we find out Guy Gardner is now defender of porn shops in Times Square?
TGH: Yeah, after Hal beat him up, he decided to go back to his original turf of Times Square.
DN: Clearly a pre-Giuliani Times Square
QP: Well actually, I wiki’d it. Giuliani had started cleaning up TS already by the time the book published
TGH: Nobody at DC went back to Times Square after they closed the Slut Glut
QP: I mean how can you blame them.
DN: Also, gotta love the pot dealer who is just shouting “WEED” at you. That’s good salesmanship.
QP: New York in the 90s was a different place. I know. I’ve watched the first 5 seasons of Law and Order. When Lenny Briscoe tells you things are rough, you know it must be true
TGH: I guess Guy walked right past “Yo, Weed!” dude and went after the real problems plaguing New York. Like legitimate massage.
QP: Although I feel like there were probably way fewer 40s gangsters roaming Times Square in the 90s than depicted here. Seriously. Black Hand is just worried about your lower back tension, and Guy kicks his ass for it.
TGH: Although, maybe he was confused because the massage parlor was called XXX Porn.
DN: Poor Black Hand. There needs to be an “It gets better” movement for struggling supervillains.
QP: It really doesn’t ever get better for Black Hand though.
DN: “Don’t worry buddy, eventually Geoff Johns is going to turn you into a handless death god.”
QP: “Better” is leading an army of super powered zombies against the Justice League
TGH: He tried to reform already, but Guy and Ice gave him PTSD in one of the JLI issues and he went bad again. Now he tries to go honest again and Guy shows up and kicks the crap out of him for no reason.
QP: Tsk. I would’ve expected better of Ice.
TGH: We all would, but it keeps happening
QP: Who was the artist for this issue? Because I feel like I want to commend him for having such an on-book Mad Magazine style.
TGH: Joe Staton on pencils.
QP: Ah ha ok. So Guy gets his butt kicked by a handful of generic Dick Tracy goons. Which is fitting.
TGH: Black Hand gets beat up for like 4 entire pages until one of the guys realizes that Guy has no ring and this is stupid.
DN: Black Hand hires smart enough goons to y’know, look at Guy’s hand. Good interviewer, that Black Hand
QP: “Qualifications: must be pay attention to men’s fashion jewelry”
TGH: So one of them grabs a greenish-lamp and Swongs him in the back of the head.
QP: Ooh symbolism!
TGH: Because Black Hand is an actual member of society, unlike Guy, he throws him out onto the street instead of cutting his head off. There Guy meets a hooker, because 90’s comics.
QP: She’s a very nice hooker, though. In fairness. Definitely not written by Frank Miller.
DN: Ah yes. With her “boyfriend” Slick.
TGH: She has a heart of gold, because 90’s movies
DN: Hookers are good sounding boards, apparently.
QP: Well I mean, really, she’s a prostitute in DCU Times Square. She’s probably seen it all. “Oh, you’re a space cop who lost his job and you’re depressed about it? Must be Tuesday.”
TGH: Guy senses that this prostitute is on the level, so (from the gutter still) he recollects the events of Green Lantern 25, where he lost his ring after Hal had 50 pages of sad thoughts and punched him once.
QP: Gutter exposition is the best exposition.
DN: So, are we at the JLI base/embassy yet?
TGH: So yeah, Guy goes back to Max Lord and asks for his job back with the JLI. He is offered monitor duty instead.
QP: Gotta say, don’t feel bad for a dude who won’t settle for getting paid to look at a TV all day.
TGH: I’m sure Max has been waiting for years to drop that sick burn on him. Not content with monitor duty, Guy threatens him and runs away.
DN: Ah yes, and then proceeds to knock his girlfriend, Ice, down a couple of flights of stairs and THEN dumps her.
QP: Stand up dude, that Gardner.
DN: Guy Gardner: class act.
TGH: She wasn’t pushed, she just fell on her own and landed on a pile of doorknobs. In fairness, his hero just offered him a job as his sidekick, which is the worst thing imaginable.
QP: Definitely a good way to shorten your lifespan.
TGH: Ice seems more worried about Guy’s self-worth than being actually attacked and dumped for trying to make him feel better, which sends a good message I think.
QP: Well she’s just being supportive. That’s what ex-girlfriends are good for.
TGH: Guy is still talking to this prostitute, while they drink a traditional Times Square drink: some sort of poorly drawn coconut daiquiri thing?
QP: Seems about right.
QP: Guy strikes me as an umbrella drink kind of guy.
DN: Inverse toughness to sweet tooth ratio.
TGH: At this point, the writers became worried that their commitment to doing a 3-part story was going to require a more robust page count, so Guy decides that he should become leader of the New Guardians. You know, those guys.
DN: Oh man I had forgotten this part.
QP: As someone who doesn’t really know anything about the New Guardians, it is definitely helpful that Guy doesn’t tell us their names.
DN: I think one of them was the Floronic Man.
QP: That is about the worst name for a superhero ever.
DN: Well he started out as a villain.
QP: Does not make it better.
TGH: His entire tactic is to threaten them (having no powers) and then tries to have sex with Gloss (took me like 20 minutes of Googling to verify that this was her name because seriously, the New Guardians). He gets punched off of the island and five pages were taken up. This is the end of this thread.
QP: Oh good, now some plot can happen.
TGH: Indeed! Guy Gardner punches a table (it does not break)!
QP: And diners get unnecessarily upset about that!
TGH: The manager calls the cops over and Guy gets yelled at, and one of them threatens him with a gun. The prostitute tells Guy that he should use guns now, but he thinks they’re for wimps. She uses The Punisher as an example of a hero who uses guns and is awesome. I bet you could pick up some Punisher comics right now, Guy!
DN: Thus giving Guy the epiphany, “Oh right! Guns!”
QP: In case you didn’t see the cover of the issue and wondered if Guy would change his mind about guns.
TGH: The prostitute hands Guy the number of a totally legit arms dealer. And Guy thinks, “Guns? Never! But maybe….guns!”
DN: One would think that on the idea spectrum guns would come before taking over a team that has the Floronic Man on it, but here we are.
TGH: And for at least a few pages he starts referring to himself as The Gardner.
QP: A man of convictions.
TGH: “Somebody’s gotta cut the weeds”
DN: And looks like Punisher dressed himself in the dark
QP: Which is hilarious but probably not in the way the writer intended.
TGH: I’m imagining an actual gardener superhero using the same line but with a rake
QP: Very large hedge clippers.
DN: Where do men buy crop tops? I’m asking for a friend.
TGH: I wish the artist had committed to the no-GL sign on the shirt like the cover had
They could have spent like 2 pages showing him very carefully ironing it on while being angry at stuff.
QP: Me too, I would probably wear that IRL.
DN: Why you gotta hate on Green Lanterns? They’re just doing their job, man.
QP: You deny that it’s an awesome shirt?
DN: No, I’d probably want one, too.
QP: Also, I like to imagine Guy at home cutting the bottom half off of all his wife-beaters.
TGH: If anyone thinks this is a lot of stuff to have happened in one comic book, bear in mind that we are pretty much at the halfway point of part 1 of 3. With great power comes great responsibility, so Guy immediately goes back to Black Hand’s place of business and shoots the everliving fuck out of it. Guns, kids!
QP: Very responsible superheroing.
TGH: Oddly enough, there are no bullet holes shown anywhere, and there are only like 3 shell casings.
QP: Either Guy studied at the stormtrooper school of shooting, or he’s just brought the guns in to scare people, because clearly he hasn’t hit anything.
TGH: They didn’t want to go too overboard and show any consequences or anything. Black Hand’s goons look like if you attack an important NPC in Skyrim, and they’ll stand back up in a minute.
DN: There’s a Guy shooting blanks joke in there, somewhere.
QP: Nothing bad happens if you go into a busy massage parlor and start shooting, naturally.
TGH: “What you sow, that’s what you reap.” -Guy “The Gardner” Garder
With Black Hand thoroughly shot near, Guy decides to go after a bigger villain: Goldface, which I swear I did not just make up.
DN: Oh no, Goldface is AMAZING. “How can I possibly stop the Green Lantern???” So he sprays gold paint at them.
TGH: His power is that he has a gold face, and since colorists can only show gold as yellow, green lanterns cannot hope to stop him.
QP: That’s actually pretty brilliant.
DN: Silver Age genius.
TGH: Guy starts crashing a bunch of gang hideouts (not using his guns at all), and finds out Goldface is in Vegas, running a brothel, like you do.
DN: This issue needed more hookers.
QP: Gold face shoots molten gold at Guy. Guy says “Liquid gold won’t help you now!”
GOLD MELTS AT 1948 DEGREES GUY YOU ARE DEAD NOW. And that’s not even taking about the logistics of making a gun that can withstand the heat long enough to shoot.
TGH: It just hit his one gun and also heat doesn’t transfer through the air. Though he does just lay in it one panel later so yeah.
QP: Also can we talk about the fact that Guy has a holster that is just seen onto his pants? That seems…impractical at best.
TGH: The best part of the Guy/Goldface fight is that it drives home the fact that Guy has no idea how any of his guns actually work, which actually screws him up. He uses a machine gun, but doesn’t anticipate kickback and almost kills everyone when it flies out of control (but doesn’t hit anyone actually). Then he uses automatics and they jam up. The goons actually just sit back and wait for it to happen because goons know about guns.
QP: Goons: 1 Gardner: 0
DN: Goons: 2, they kicked the shit out him earlier.
TGH: THEN his stupid ammo belt sits right on top of his gun and he can’t pull it out.
QP: He’s a walking ad for gun control. “Idiots like this can have guns, too!”
TGH: This whole scene is a surprising subversion of comic book gun rules. If only it were in a better comic. He even asks why this never happens to people in comic books. This is of course as two people are firing at him and missing at near point blank range.
QP: All these people need to go to a firing range.
DN: You don’t become a goon if you’re proficient at anything.
QP: Well that’s no attitude to have if you ever plan to get a goon promotion.
DN: Isn’t goon promotion just becoming a super villain?
TGH: Guy gets slapped by Goldface and then runs away. All-in-all, this mission was a success.
QP: Everyone now knows to fear The Gardner.
TGH: The Gardner knows when to mow and when to go.
QP: Spoiler: it’s always time to go. And now, the greatest Green Lantern of all time!
DN: The little brother who you wish would leave you the fuck alone, G’nort!
TGH: Yeah, so after Guy’s car breaks down (because he probably spend all of his money on guns), he gets the idea to steal Sinestro’s ring, but has no idea how to get into space. G’nort is then written in at that moment.
QP: Deus ex dog cop.
DN: So he dupes the poor dumb dog bastard into making him a rocket.
QP: Which looks like a fire hydrant, because G’nort is the best.
TGH: I think this is the last time we ever seen G’nort too. If only they hadn’t used so many pages on the New Guardians.
DN: I dunno, I really think Gloss had spin-off potential.
QP: If only they’d have just written the rest of the miniseries about G’nort’s adventures at PetSmart, we could’ve avoided this whole thing.
TGH: That would have been a much easier job for everyone.
QP: “32 pages of G’nort being adorable. The end.”
DN: Instead we get the true hero of the 90’s: Lobo!
QP: And not even written by Grant Morrison. Alas.
TGH: Only once Guy is hurled into space does he realize that he has no actual plan for getting Sinestro’s ring.
QP: Who needs a plan when you have a crop top, though?
TGH: There’s some Qwardians trapped on a planet somewhere that can lead him to it maybe but he’s just some asshole with no guns.
QP: So may as well join forces with an asshole who has lots of guns.
TGH: So he goes to Lobo because he’ll probably want to help him.
QP: He’s a helpful guy.
DN: Lobo is known for his kindness and understanding.
TGH: In the final twist of the issue, Lobo does not want to help him at all!
QP: I am so surprised!
QP: Like, really, I did not see that coming.
DN: But seriously, I love Lobo and am looking forward to talking about the bastitch next time.
TGH: Will Lobo actually rip off guy’s fraggin’ head? Will the next 2 issues just be still-frames of Guy’s corpse? The only way to find out is to tune in next time!
DN: I would buy that comic. Four printings with variant corpse covers.
QP: One in holo foil.
DN: Now that’s the 90’s I remember.