Guy Gardner: Warrior #22: Road of Terror


TGH: We’re back and ready for another exciting Guy Gardner adventure after our week-long hiatus in Ireland, the Green Lantern of countries. Beau Smith apparently has some plans for this comic, based on just how quickly he shifted gears from last week.

QP: We start off with what looks like a hairy Doomsday mouthing off to Guy.


TGH: Yeah, that is some gross character design. I mean, that’s probably exactly their point, but yikes. Guy and some girl are half-naked and on the run from this thing for some reason.


QP: The torso made of horrifying faces is a nice touch.

TGH: Thankfully this guy has some weird patch of pubic hair that keeps him modest.

QP: Very important. We’ve still got the Comics Code to consider.

TGH: I guess they didn’t spend as much time reviewing the molesty dialogue though.

QP: Seriously. It’s super creepy. And that’s even before there are tentacles involved.


TGH: Guy and whoever are trying to find a portal to get away from whatever this thing is I guess, but then the girl gets grabbed by a tentacle, which I’m sure is going to end well. What the heck is even happening here?

QP: It pretty much just turns into a John Carpenter nightmare after that.


TGH: One of the heads is sucking on her foot. This is for kids.

QP: Yuck.

TGH: It turns out this was all just the weirdest dream ever. This is the kind of opening that makes you wonder if you’ve missed another tie-in issue.


QP: Considering how the last few issues went, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that.

TGH: Apparently the girl in his dream was Heather, who he had sex with in high school.

QP: I guess the implication is that creepy tentacle monster guy is some projection from Guy’s subconscious or…something?

TGH: Also I guess Hal removed Guy’s eye at some point? I don’t remember seeing that happen.

QP: Probably an unimportant off-panel moment.


QP: Guy is in the hospital, three weeks after Hal kicked his ass. The overly chatty doctor informs him that the JLA embassy has been destroyed, but hey, no bigs, no need to let you know how your friends are! Here’s a newspaper!


TGH: I like that the nurse gets all flirty when she leaves. No biggie about losing an eye, being hurled to Earth and losing everyone and everything. Maybe we can get some coffee later!

QP: It’s a really odd, out of place moment, like the writers just wanted to remind you that Guy is a hit with the ladies.

TGH: I mean, he did have sex in high school, as we were just made aware.

QP: Also, is it just me, or is the art on these two pages completely different from the rest of the book?

TGH: It’s entirely possible, but I can’t tell. The pages get busier and busier as our adventure commences. So Guy finally reads the paper to find that the END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR! but also some dude is going to the jungle for some reason.


QP: “The End is Nigh! But first, a water-skiing squirrel!”

TGH: “Warrior Water? B-but I’M Warrior too! What a coincidence!” That article gets more front page space than the UN and the JLA trying to fix the world. This is what happens when Clark Kent is out of the office.

QP: Plot headlines are the best headlines.

TGH: Did we run out of panels because of that dream sequence? Guy couldn’t have spent a second reading about everything that happened while he was in the hospital, and then happen upon that story a few pages in?

QP: Who cares about that shit, here’s some magic water in the jungle.

TGH: Top Story: Hey Guy Gardner, Read This! Maybe Ronald Troupe and the nurse are setting up a trap for Guy. Sorry, that would be way too awesome to actually be happening here. Also, could we maybe have the front page of the paper match in two damn panels?

QP: Yeah, there should be a story about Hazelwood in Hawaii where the Batman story is. Way to drop the ball.


TGH: So I guess Guy just walks out of his hospital in Miami and flies right over to South America. Fantastic map, by the way. Just lovely.

QP: Wow, I didn’t even realize what that was supposed to be a map of until now. That’s just awful.

TGH: What the hell is in the Gulf of Mexico?

QP: The first thing Guy does once he gets to Unspecified South American Country is tell everyone he can find exactly what he’s doing. You know, just in case any ne’er do wells want to listen in.

TGH: I’m glad they got the guy who played his dad to come back, even if it’s just a bit part.

QP: And then a couple of extras from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Egypt and South America are virtually indistinguishable, after all.


TGH: Seriously, they just drew whoever they felt like from pretty much this point on. Buck Wargo and his gang are at a bar called The Danger, because the writer saw it on a sign once. It’s located right next to El Piso Mojado.

QP: They haven’t really made it very far since there was a front page article written about their expedition. I hope they didn’t get any grants for this trip.

TGH: Guy walks into the bar to find the team bar-fighting an assortment of different weird stereotypes.


QP: The splash page of the bar fight is just a freaking nightmare of perspectives.

TGH: Yeah, I’d be curious to see what this room would look like if all of the people were removed. It would probably give Escher a headache. I can’t even figure out how the floor reaches where Guy is standing.

QP: I’m of the impression that it’s slanting down at an angle?

TGH: Maybe, but half of the are standing straight and the other half aren’t.

QP: In any case, Guy jumps right in, because why the hell not.


TGH: Buck’s team could’ve started the fight for all we know, so Guy coming in and kicking everyone’s ass to get on his good side is a real heroic act.

QP: Seriously. They could’ve come in and held up the place for all he knows.

TGH: They’re all so quick with a quip though, so how could they be the bad guys?

QP: Wit belongs to the heroic.

TGH: I mean, all these other people are silent punching bags.


QP: Fortunately, Buck Wargo recognizes Guy from his time at Michigan. And also from superheroing, I guess, so he has no qualms with him joining up in their fight.

TGH: Kind of weird for a person to show up in the middle of a bar fight in another country asking to join your expedition, but sure, what the hell?

QP: Like, if it’s such a big important discovery you’d think the guy would be a bit suspicious. But no. Once the dust-up is over with, Guy has a chat with his new teammates. I’m sure they will all end up being very important to the story later.


TGH: The fight apparently started when one rando wanted to fuck their tour guide. Since all randos act as one, a huge fight resulted.

QP: Indeed. Or when you’ve got a team of gringos itching to punch some people.

TGH: We’ve got Asian guy who is of course good with computers and martial arts, some lady who looks just like the nurse from before but can make guns, and some other rich guy. They’ve all got like 12 degrees and are experts at everything. There’s no problem they can’t be written out of.

QP: I mean, I guess that’s not super weird for an expedition team but the Tiger Animorph powers are a little much.


TGH: Oh yeah, the rich guy turns into a tiger man. He had a twin who died, but because they had a bond, he can now be a tiger?

QP: Also…martial artist…weapons expert…weretiger…what the hell were they expecting to find on the way to the Warrior Water? I mean, yeah, you need some protection, but that’s a bit much.

TGH: They really just wanted to get into and win as many bar fights as they could along the way.

QP: I suppose that must be it.


TGH: Guy goes on some rant about how most superheroes are crazy assholes (except him!), and he’s a blue collar hero, blah blah, football. It’s the speech a serial killer gives to let you know he’s on the level. Just words rolling out of his mouth as he stares at you with his dead eye.

QP: This convinces Buck to let him join the party. Also because Buck was pretty impressed with his superheroing skills back in the day.


TGH: Of course they’re all probably crazy too, so it works out for everyone. They start to plan their next move and-FUCK IT NAZIS ON DINOSAURS.


QP: Why not? They’re just fucking with us now. It feels like Beau Smith ran into Grant Morrison in the hallway one day and was like, “Hey Grant, my story needs something. What do you suggest?”

TGH: Did the dinosaur just step on and crush the head of an unconscious rando in the background? What in the fuck?

QP: Oh jeezus I didn’t even notice that the first read-through.

TGH: There was nobody left in the story to kill so they just add a body on the floor and made his head explode. That really adds a lot to the story.

QP: It was the bar owner coming in to see what the fuck happened to his bar.

TGH: I was going to make a comment on how Guy just makes a shitty one-liner while someone literally dies right in front of him, but I guess maybe he can’t see it. Even though his patch sense is clearly tingling.

QP: Maybe he’s storing the fragments of his ring in his hollowed out eye socket, and the ring is trying to tell him something. Maybe something like, “HOLY FUCK NAZI DINOSAURS.” But it’s still in Korugarian, so Guy has no idea what’s going on. Otherwise, I have no idea why his eye patch is glowing.


TGH: Everyone seems all too excited to get into a dinosaur bar fight, even after just finishing a normal bar fight, and they all seem to not really care that dinosaurs are a thing that exist now. I’m almost positive that Buck Wargo uses “slut dog” for the first and hopefully last time in comics history.

QP: I’m pretty sure that’s the only time that phrase has ever been used, ever.

TGH: Comics aren’t for kids anymore. Used to be you couldn’t even say slut dog. Couldn’t even have a random person’s head explode. Couldn’t show demon pubes.

QP: Definitely couldn’t vivisect a Nazi tyrannosaur with a Bowie knife and a grenade pistol.


TGH: Buck’s stupid joke doesn’t even make sense. “Hey Rita, the dinosaur has a sore throat, his mouth is wide open. Got anything for him?”
“Why yes, I could fire my gun right into his mou-”
Firing into his stomach hole is not swallowing, Rita!

QP: And really, do we need to explode the T-Rex that’s just been slit from sternum to shitter? Pretty sure that fucker is gonna die either way, and without blowing him up, you cut down on potential losses and injury by your team.


TGH: But it’s just so action-packed and sassy!

QP: I mean, I guess, if you’re dumb.

TGH: I think Beau Smith made a list of what he wanted in this issue and he doesn’t give a shit how, but it’s all getting in here.

QP: He knew these were the only two issues he was getting any say in writing.


TGH: Guy holding a table between him and a raptor: check
Guy having guns tossed to him to help: check
Raptor not killing Guy while his hands were in the air: ?

QP: Guy suddenly knowing how to shoot guns: check

TGH: He’s an expert at using guns, if you’ll recall.


QP: The resident paleontologist takes a look at the raptor and confirms that Beau Smith watched Jurassic Park.

TGH: Seriously, it’s almost word-for-word.

QP: Why they have a paleontologist on what is essentially an archaeological/anthropological mission, I could not say. It’s almost like some omnipotent creator knew there would be a dinosaur at some point.

TGH: Esperanza calls the guy a second-rate psycho Nazi. Look, I know you’re mad, but any Nazi who rides in on A FUCKING DINOSAUR is pretty first-rate in my book.

QP: Not just a dinosaur riding Nazi, but a dinosaur riding suicide bomber Nazi. You know, for some reason.


TGH: Yeah, so suddenly Dinonazi hits a button and blows the entire place up. THE END!


TGH: He should’ve done that at the beginning.

QP: That would’ve been too smart. Like, if you want to kill everyone in a room with a suicide bomb, don’t just walk into the room and blow them up. Attack them with extinct reptiles, fail, and then, only then, blow them up.

TGH: At the very least, all of those dinosaurs should’ve been rigged to blow.

QP: See, not planning ahead is why the Nazis lost the war in the first place.

TGH: I like the “To Be Continued?” as if it won’t. Though wouldn’t it have been kind of hilarious if it were cancelled?

QP: I mean, the next issue could be a series of splash pages of everyone dead and exploded bodies. That would be very gritty.

TGH: Will Guy and his team (or at least Guy) survive this Nazi death trap? Will each issue become grosser and grosser as Guy’s corpse decays before our very eyes? Tune in next time!


TGH: The letter section is 50% people HATING the name/costume change.

QP: I’m glad to see we are in tune with the minds of readers.

TGH: Since this is the official Nazi issue of Guy Gardner: Warrior, Guy just goes ahead and Godwins Geoff Duran for telling people not to buy the book.


QP: He seriously tells the guy if he doesn’t like his stupid new code name and stupid new costume that clearly he was never a true Scotsman to begin with. Um, defensive much?

TGH: Seriously. You didn’t HAVE to publish/respond to that letter.

QP: Someone had to be made an example of, though.

TGH: Maybe these are all the letters they got this month. Someone continues the tradition of writing terrible Guy Gardner Christmas songs.


QP: Whyyyyyy?

TGH: This issue came out in around July, so seems weird to publish that one too.

QP: I guess it was written after issue 16 which was six months prior to this. Still…odd timing.


TGH: Someone asks Guy to bring back Firestorm, since that’s his jurisdiction. Might as well publish that one too! Any junk mail you can get in here?

QP: I think you’re right, this must’ve been the only mail they got that month.


TGH: The letters end with the signature “GUY GARDNER: WARRIOR Live with it!” Okay, guys. Calm down.

QP: They can’t calm down, man, they’re just too edgy. Maybe if they get a few issues worth of letters telling them how much the new look sucks, they’ll listen to the readers? Probably not, but dare to dream.

TGH: Yeah, I don’t think we’re that lucky. Though maybe it’ll just be really defensive hate mail responses from now on. That’s at least entertaining.

QP: Better than the last few letters columns have been, anyway.

’90s Ad Showcase:


QP: There are a lot of bullshit teaser ads in this issue. Starting with something that you cannot be prepared for, coming soon for every video game platform you can imagine.

TGH: You’ll never guess what it is.

QP: Probably.


QP: I know I saw Little Big League back in the day, but it blends in completely with all the other family friendly baseball movies that came out in the mid nineties.

TGH: There were just so damn many of them.

QP: Angels in the Outfield and that one with the kid from American Pie having the ridiculous pitching arm.

TGH: Like it’s any kid’s dream to hang out with a bunch of 40-year-olds who spit tobacco everywhere.

QP: Its one of those monkey’s paw kinda wishes.


TGH: I wonder if Alec Baldwin will come back as The Shadow now that superhero movies are a big deal.

QP: That is an interesting cast they have. Peter Boyle, Ian McKellen, Jonathan Winters, Tim Curry.

TGH: Wow, they were really banking on it doing well.

QP: They chose poorly.

TGH: Apparently it’s not horrible. It just had to come out between The Lion King and The Mask.

QP: Ooh, bad timing.


QP: Another teaser ad, this time from DC themselves. What could it possibly be, I do wonder.

TGH: Probably DC Editorial about to crap on everything.

QP: No doubt. Get excited!


QP: Someone at DC thought drawing cloaks on the Legionnaires made them look sufficiently medieval enough to be an Elseworlds.

TGH: What If…The Legionnaires had different clothes?

QP: Slightly different. And there’s a sword.

TGH: Maybe they just stole someone’s fanart and they hadn’t actually written anything yet.


TGH: Come to the DC booth at Chicago Comicon 1994! Come see our giant video wall featuring a…slideshow of scanned drawings of your favorite DC characters. Guys, maybe don’t splurge on the video wall for your Windows screensaver.

QP: The idea that a slideshow of comics art was a once a convention draw really says a lot.

TGH: Why spend 6 minutes loading a single image on AOL when you can fly to Chicago and let us do it for you?

QP: I mean, I know computers were still magical back in 1994, but you’d think looking at pictures of art on a wall would be old hat. Even if said wall is a giant TV screen.

TGH: I’m sure the resolution of the images matched the size of that screen.


QP: I love those fold-up images. There was some magazine I used to read back in middle school or high school that had one every issue. Maybe Mad or Cracked?

TGH: It was Mad.

QP: Ah yes. I’m impressed that the image for this issue hasn’t been folded. I’m really tempted to fold this one, even though I know it would ruin the resale value.

TGH: Thanks to the miracle of computers I can just (poorly) do it electronically and maintain the fractions of a dollar that this issue is worth.


QP: I suppose it’s for the best.


TGH: Another hardcover, this time for Knightfall.

QP: DC is copypasting their comic-to-novel/junior-novel/BBC-radio-play format.

TGH: Seriously, they must just do this all the time. How many people buy the novelization to a comic book, I wonder. Comic writing must be pretty bad by book standards.

QP: It’s probably for people who still think comics are for kids, but I’ve got some BIFF BAM POW news for them.

TGH: BIFF BAM POW you’re right, but now you’re that nerd with a comic book novel!

QP: They’re gonna be surprised when they get BIFF BAM POW shoved into a locker anyway.

TGH: They’ll run into the school’s attic to get away, but instead of being transported to a world of imagination They’ll just end up reading a boring Batman story.

QP: And then he says “fuck it” and goes to join the football team, leaving reading behind forever.

Next Time:

QP: Next time, Guy makes it to the Warrior Waters, only to find out that drinking them turns you into a Nazi dinosaur.

TGH: He sheds a single tear, due to only having one Nazi dinosaur eye.

QP: And then shrugs his little Nazi dinosaur shoulders and heads off into the sunset.

TGH: Buck Wargo returns home and makes millions with his new magazine, Slut Dog Fancy.

QP: Weretiger is unable to find meaningful work outside of the adventuring world, and settles for a job advertising sugary breakfast cereal on TV.

TGH: He’s highly popular until he accidentally kills a bunch of kids.

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