TGH: Welcome to a very special issue of Guy Gardner: Warrior! By special, I of course refer to the fact that this is issue #0, set right after the events of the completely batshit Zero Hour saga, an event that essentially rebooted the DC Universe, except for all of the parts that didn’t reboot at all! Unfortunately, Guy Gardner’s name came up in the drawing, and so his powers had to be rewritten. Which is great because Beau Smith JUST finished giving him new powers right before Zero Hour started!
QP: The cover is all super fancy looking.
DN: Yeah the zeroes all have a shiny silver 0.
QP: And the razor sphincter.
TGH: The Comics Code approval is directly below the drawing of an actual sphincter. I love it.
QP: The Comics Code is great…for me to poop on.
TGH: I wonder how pissed Beau Smith was that he had just finished basically rebooting Guy Gardner on his own, only to immediately be told by DC that he had to redo it, only somehow crazier. I mean, look at him. I thought his robosuit was insane.
QP: He gets the full name treatment. He looks like whiteboy Apache Chief cosplay. Also they appear to have stopped crediting him as just “Beau” on the cover of this one.
TGH: “Fine, I’ll redo my entire damn comic, but THEY WILL KNOW MY NAME.”
DN: He has to be shirtless all the time.
QP: Well you don’t get sweet ink like that if you intend to cover it up.
TGH: So the issue starts with Guy back in his apartment, with what I guess was the thing that he picked up at the temple in the last non-crossover issue. The one that they kind of forgot to draw while Guy was talking about it.
QP: I guess it’s a hologram message or recorder. Needs more Princess Leia.
TGH: Guy gets to rewatch the part where he gets powers, which is very convenient for all of us.
QP: I mean, they’re trying to trick new chumps to start reading this, so they pretty much have to.
TGH: I pity the poor bastards who start at Guy Gardner: Warrior #0. I think this is like the tenth time I’ve said this about various Guy Gardner comics.
DN: They miss out on so much!
QP: Mostly Sally.
TGH: Guy drinking the Warrior Water causes a hologram to play a message from some alien named Cardone. This part is all new. They should’ve called this issue Virtual Guy.
QP: I think Cardone popped up previously, but he just said something about Guy being the Warrior and that was it. Which means that maybe they actually planned for this shit.
TGH: Hmm, maybe. Or at least they maybe planned for that thing he stole to give him advice or something. Anyway, the artist hadn’t had enough of drawing sexy lizard people from the previous issue, so a lizard man immediately starts kicking the crap out of Guy. A lizard man with a loincloth to prevent us from seeing his lizard junk.
DN: Comics Code, bro.
QP: Credit where credit is due, this is a pretty nice splash. Less talking, more Guy getting choke-slammed.
TGH: It jumps right into the action at least. And we can even follow it! There are a lot of interesting-looking aliens watching, and also a sheriff and a general. I guess they had powers too, but you think if that were the case someone would be aware of these powers by now.
QP: X-Files is probably on that case.
QP: Lizard Warrior gives a big speech about how Guy is an impurity, which I think is a fair assessment.
TGH: Perhaps the truest thing ever said in this entire series so far. Guy does of course manage to get up and get a hit in, otherwise this would be a really short and sad comic.
TGH: They should do an Elseworlds where Guy actually is an impurity and goes home a complete loser. Then he’s sad for 25 pages. I’d buy ten.
QP: I don’t think he’d get to go home, as he’s currently catching a sawblade to the chest.
TGH: I think if he just stayed on the ground crying, they’d just turn the VR off out of pity. Tiger guy would get him out of there after Buck was murdered. Then Superman would have to go after the cult after the snake lady retrieved the water and made an army. Listen, DC, call me.
QP: Fortunately for Guy, he starts getting all veiny and bulgy and gross, which I guess means he’s not dying.
TGH: Snake guy is clearly just kind of goading him at this point, since he waits for him to transform and everything.
QP: You’d think at this point he’d kinda have an idea what’s going on.
TGH: We get a full page of what happened to him. I think he’s wearing skin pants.
QP: Oooh yeah. Also he’s at least a DDD cup now.
DN: Yup. And he gets skin knee pads.
TGH: Then his arm just straight-up turns into a gun, which we saw in Zero Hour, but it’s even grosser here.
QP: And then he quotes Spider-Man. For reasons. Gun arm transformation is straight-up body horror.
TGH: Some other aliens show up to pad a few panels, but they are way dumber than the first one, so they just let Guy beat them up without any kind of fight.
QP: Cardone calls them all off, and drops some exposition on Guy.
DN: A lot of exposition. SO much exposition.
QP: Even Guy gets tired of hearing it.
TGH: So there was a race of :Warriors years ago called Vuldarians, who were the best aliens ever, according to the Vuldarians. Their goal was to fight the Tormocks, the worst aliens ever, according to the Vuldarians.
QP: Then, of course, the Tormocks captured the Vuldarians’ planet, killed their men and imprisoned their women. Like you do when you’re the evilest species of alien ever.
DN: Of course.
TGH: So a few of them ran away and went from planet to planet, giving their technology to aliens in exchange for taking blood to add to their bloodline? Is that how that works?
QP: It sounds like it.
TGH: They even stopped by the Super Mario World planet. They added the platform dolphins to their bloodline.
QP: And I guess they also trained them in how to be warriors to protect themselves from the Tormocks.
TGH: This seems like a lot for a few people to do.
QP: They just worked a lot of overtime.
TGH: I guess they really had nothing better to do at this point. Guy stops the story to ask Cardone what the fuck the point of all this fucking exposition is even fucking for.
QP: Guy hasn’t been paying much attention to his own stories, has he? The Vuldarians end up on Earth, realize they are somehow biologically compatible with humans, and offer to mate with some human women (note that the humans think they’re gods, so this is kind of abusing your power here, guys).
TGH: Yeah, this is really gross. The humans think they’re gods, then they use this knowledge to impregnate their women, instead of, you know, explaining why they’re on Earth like they did for every other planet.
QP: And instead of interbreeding or assimilating to the humans’ way of life, they just picked out one woman to mate with. Uh, guys, this is not how you carry on with your species.
TGH: He also makes no mention of how the woman feels about this, only that the natives as a whole were pleased. Which I guess is all that matters, even though they’re being deceived.
QP: I mean, she was probably down with it since he’s a god, but yeah, that’s some Barney Stinson shit there.
TGH: Meanwhile, there was one person in the tribe who thought his power base was being violated, so he’s the bad guy here. Even though everyone was in fact being violated.
QP: Yeah, he’s not wrong.
TGH: I mean, he was still a dick, but I love this one-sided narrative. The Vuldarians really are the Guy Gardner of aliens.
DN: How does he figure out the chemicals necessary to make as Hulk baby?
TGH: I don’t know, but that guy is kind of an accidental genius.
QP: As a result of the shaman’s meddling, the baby ends up coming out looking suspiciously like that weird monster from Guy’s dream a few issues back.
TGH: You know, maybe he saw that these aliens were lying to impregnate all of their women, effectively wiping out the tribe proper. Maybe, being scared of what the hell an alien baby would even be like, decided to abort it using some chemicals for the good of the tribe. Maybe alien DNA is weird, so it turned into that fucked-up thing instead of dying.
QP: Maybe this should be a lesson to the Vuldarians not to fuck with genetics.
DN: Nope, Vuldarians are the smartest and the best, remember?
TGH: So creepy baby ends up disappearing, presumably into the shaman’s brain, or dream land or something. Fucking Vuldarians.
QP: The shaman goes into a coma and dies shortly afterwards. The Vuldarians learn nothing from the experience and continue trying to make exactly one (1) human/Vuldarian hybrid.
TGH: At least they’re stupid. They could have just impregnated the entire planet by force if they really wanted to.
QP: They build a pyramid in the jungle, presumably where Guy finds the Warrior Water, and settle down. Somehow they figure out that the hybridization only works out if you let generations pass, which I don’t know how they figured that out, and it doesn’t really make any sense, since any Vuldarian DNA would be effectively diluted over the centuries. But hey, they don’t pay me the big bucks to write coherent comic book stories, so whatever.
DN: Beau Smith was in a hurry, I’ll cut him a little slack.
TGH: Finally, after years of breeding in South America, Irish Guy Gardner is the fruit of their labor.
QP: Also please note that even as a literally hours-old infant, Guy’s dad seems pretty displeased with his existence.
TGH: Guy, like the rest of us, finds this explanation to be too much to handle. So he turns his arms and face(!) into guns and loses his shit. I’m all for these new powers if Guy is going to be firing bullets out of his face.
QP: So Cardone wipes his memory, and we pick up with Guy taking the relic or whatever from the temple and leaving.
TGH: It’s cool, Guy can accidentally kill someone later and figure it out then.
QP: Present-day Guy takes it pretty well, though.
DN: And of course, this is all Guy watching a foot tall pink version of all of these things happening to him.
TGH: The Vuldarians left Guy a recording of the whole thing to watch a few days later, so erasing his memory didn’t work out so well. Really, I’m not sure what changed that made this completely okay to him now.
QP: Who knows? The writer doesn’t even know.
TGH: Well now that Guy has his…fifth? set of new powers, maybe we’ll get an actual story where he gets to use them. Pending any more crossovers or reboots, I guess we’ll find out what’s in store for Guy next time!
DN: Hopefully something coherent.
TGH: The letter section is back, with attitude!
QP: The intro confirms what we all probably guessed: Mitch Byrd used to draw a comic about dinosaurs.
TGH: Beau Smith and Mitch Byrd have quite the horrible intros. I’m surprised the Vuldarians weren’t dinosaur people. Instead of guns, Guy could’ve turned into different dinosaurs.
QP: That would’ve been cool. But, no. Guns.
TGH: Every issue was just Guy being a T-Rex and eating everyone
DN: But he’d have trouble with the tiny arms.
QP: Sometimes he had to turn into those little poison dinosaurs that ate Newman so he could sneak through an air vent. Sometimes he needs to fly somewhere so the turns into a pterosaur. Sometimes he wants to be awesome so he turns into a triceratops.
TGH: Guy Gardner: Dinosaur. I want to commission someone to draw this.
DN: Solid premise.
QP: Hey five people that read our blog: send us your best Guy Gardner: Dinosaur fanart! You could win an exciting No Prize!
TGH: You would earn our eternal respect (no cash value).
QP: And/or “exposure!” I don’t know if it’s a sadder statement for me or the letter writers that I’m starting to recognize some of these names as regulars. Clearly Libby Singleton is making a habit of this and I feel for her.
DN: She was also sad to see Chuck Dixon go so I worry about her taste.
TGH: I bet they were all pen pals for a year or two. Maybe something good came of this.
QP: Friends were made, relationships blossomed. Perhaps somewhere out there is a 20-year-old kid named Guy whose parents won’t shut up about how they met in the letters column of a third string DC comic book. He goes by his middle name, Lobo, because it’s less embarrassing.
TGH: Guy Lobo Brown.
TGH: Beau Smith officiated the wedding.
QP: Brings tears to the eyes.
TGH: Next issue is an extra-sized one! Yaaaaay!
DN: Oh boy!
QP: Extra sized like one of Guy’s arm cannons?
TGH: Also Militia does in fact return! And I guess Ice died! I’m glad we got to read about it in the tiny next-issue box in the letters section.
QP: Oh is this when she dies? I thought it was later.
DN: How long does that last?
QP: I thought she was dead until sometime after Blackest Night, but I could be wrong. When that awful Judd Winick JLI book came out she’d only recently come back to life, or something like that.
DN: Birds of Prey, apparently.
QP: Oh, that’s right, she was in Final Crisis.
TGH: There’s a pinup section next month too! That should be…something.
QP: Well at least Joe Staton is back for it. Even if it’s just one page.
TGH: Well I for one look forward to plastering my walls with sexy Guy pictures. Or gouging my eyes out, I forget.
90’s Ad Showcase:
TGH: Hey, Dustin Diamond before he was the least bearable human being on Earth.
QP: I forgot about all of these shows even existing, and I am really quite alright with that.
DN: Never watched Saved by the Bell either.
QP: Me neither. Get that live-action mess off my Saturday morning cartoons.
TGH: You’re missing a pretty good snapshot of the terrible ’90s, but not missing a good show. I assume New Class was neither though. Just Screech and Belding needing some of that sweet, sweet Saturday morning live-action money. At this point, it’s not really worth going out of your way to experience.
QP: I think I’ve seen maybe two episodes, one of which was the “I’m so excited I’m so scared” episode, and the other was the college years. So I feel like I’ve seen all I need to. I know there was a phone, and I know there was a lot of freezing time. And I mean, what else do you really need to know?
TGH: California Dreams was the same damn show but with singing, and I don’t know what the hell the other two are.
QP: Presumably NBA Inside Stuff is a sportsball show for kids.
TGH: Nothing in that image suggests slamming OR jamming.
QP: Well we can’t all be Bugs Bunny.
QP: This Taz on Mars game looks a lot less like Mars than it does Rome and the American Southwest.
TGH: Yeah, I don’t know much about that one.
DN: Yeah that definitely looks like Arizona.
QP: Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote show up and I am pretty sure that shit ain’t canon. Maybe he’s battling in the coliseum for the Tharks’ pleasure. He’s about to become Taz: Warlord of Barsoom.
TGH: It looks like a lot of reused parts from the Bug Bunny SNES game. I’m pretty sure that bull stage is a straight copy. Also there was a Roadrunner game that the Arizona stage probably cribbed from.
QP: It seems like all the Looney Tunes games were just photocopies of photocopies.
TGH: I guess if you’re referencing decades-old cartoons you can just stick to a template.
DN: Then there’s an ad for some sportsball guy’s game.
QP: I have a hard time believing that Troy Aikman’s playbook is actually in that game. Otherwise they Redskins would’ve been forced to play 8 hours a day 7 days a week during the off-season.
TGH: That ad is boring as hell. In fairness, there’s no safer place to hide his playbook.
QP: It’s true. The game doesn’t look particularly exciting.
TGH: I fell asleep reading that ad. I don’t think anyone even got to the end to know it was a game.
QP: I thought it was another pack of football cards at first.
TGH: Me too.
DN: I remember the Death of Superman game being a pretty frustrating Final Fight-ish sort of thing.
TGH: I’ve never played it or heard anything about it. Did you get to play as Guy Gardner and fail to help anyone?
DN: No, just Supes and the four that “replace” him. Maximum Carnage was better.
QP: This ad for M.A.N.T.I.S. looks dumb as hell, but the premise on Wikipedia sounds pretty awesome.
DN: Yeah, it’s a show that should have worked but FOX.
TGH: I think a decade or so later the effects budget may have been there at least.
QP: Sam Raimi! Gina Torres! What’s not to love?
TGH: Gina Torres was removed after the pilot.
QP: Oh, well that’s probably why it failed then.
TGH: The final episode had the main character die while fighting an invisible dinosaur. That takes either balls or complete insanity.
QP: Or just knowing that FOX will never ever ever renew your show.
TGH: “We don’t have the budget for a visible dinosaur, damn it!” Was Mitch Byrd involved?
QP: God I hope so. That was the best conceptualized invisible dinosaur ever.
TGH: He could see it just fine.
QP: I like that M.A.N.T.I.S. is just Blue Beetle with paraplegia. That could’ve been really interesting. Way to fuck it up again, FOX.
TGH: It’s what they do best.
QP: I guess we finally find out that it was Mortal Kombat II we couldn’t possibly be prepared for a couple of issues ago.
TGH: I wasn’t prepared.
QP: No one was prepared.
TGH: The game was a commercial failure due to the world’s lack of preparation. People gave up, frustrated, and returned to their homes before even entering Gamestop.
TGH: Next week, Guy Gardner: Dinosaur. Please, God. Pleeeeease.
QP: If he can turn his arms into guns, surely he can also turn them into dinosaurs.
TGH: Guy needs to think outside the box.