TGH: Hello again, and welcome back to this week’s incredible Guy Gardner experience. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Gee, Mr. TGH, this is the greatest comic ever, but isn’t a little too short?” Well, it looks like your prayers have been answered this week, because we’ve got a Double Issue!
QP: Yes, I pray to the dark lord Azathoth, why do you ask?
TGH: Maybe ask for money next time, readers.
QP: That was next on my list.
TGH: This week’s issue re-introduces us to Dementor, that creepy thing in Guy’s dreams, who was also the freak baby that the Vuldarians so heroically unleashed on our planet.
QP: He seems a pleasant enough chap.
TGH: For some reason he’s powerful enough to rip Guy’s tattoos off of his skin if the cover is any indication, so I kind of like him already.
QP: He also turns Guy’s pelvic region into a general flesh stump, which is probably good for both us and the Comic Code. I have to wonder if Beau Smith tried to sue J.K. Rowling later on.
TGH: Probably so. They’re pretty much the same character.
QP: I mean, you never saw the Harry Potter Dementors under their robes, so maybe.
TGH: Maybe that’s how Warner Brothers leveraged the distribution rights.
QP: I think you’re on to something here.
TGH: Our issue begins with Guy punching a bunch of Vikings, like you do.
QP: It’s as good a way to start an issue as any, I suppose. Guy is usually punching someone, so why not Vikings for a change of pace?
TGH: Ice died at some point in an entirely different book, and Guy found out on his own, so the only thing to do is storm her ancestral home and beat everyone up. That’s one of the stages of grief I’m sure.
QP: Irrational violence towards the deceased’s family? Sure.
TGH: He just keeps at it for several pages. No wonder this is a double issue.
QP: Guy finds a 50-foot-tall statue of Ice inside and gets all weepy and emotional. And, frankly, I don’t buy it one bit.
TGH: This is literally the only time he ever mentioned loving her at all I’m pretty sure. I mean, characters can grow, but I think the writers just took a massive shortcut from point A to point B.
QP: Usually he’s just complaining about how she does/doesn’t want to be with him.
TGH: Ice’s mom shows up and is super impressed with him, since he beat the shit out of all of her nephews or whatever and then cried a little. The true mark of a :Warrior. She even calls him son. God damn it.
QP: He’s earned it, really.
TGH: Also he learned her language perfectly. When did that even happen? I guess all of this character development got Zero-Houred in but they forgot to tell us.
QP: Yeah, we didn’t need to see it, it happened earlier in this alternate universe we didn’t get to experience. Maybe in this alternate universe we’ve just jumped into, he really did love Tora. Maybe the timing was just never right and he always tried to do the best he could by her. Buuuuuuuuut I doubt it.
TGH: Guy leaves and gets on his helicopter, even though I’m fairly certain he can fly.
QP: I don’t think that’s been established since Zero Hour. So probably. Whenever it’s convenient, I’m sure.
TGH: He doesn’t wear a seatbelt though. That Guy Gardner, such a maverick.
QP: He’s not wearing a shirt in the arctic tundra. Do you think a little old helicopter crash is gonna hurt him?
TGH: Meanwhile (I guess? I don’t know how time works in that place), Dementor is talking to a skull in Comaville, about the company that is coming. I wonder if that might be Guy???
QP: That skull has a spine that’s 10 feet long.
TGH: Also, thank God for that out-of-control patch of pubic hair.
QP: Yeah, thank God the breeze isn’t blowing any harder. Dude needs to get himself to a groomer, ASAP.
TGH: Dude needs some pants. Even the Vuldarians had pants. Where did he learn that pants were optional?
QP: He’s sitting on a throne made of legs. You don’t tell a man sitting on a throne made of legs to cover his junk.
TGH: We walks his throne over to Mace, who is apparently stuck there and makes fun of the fact that he’s paralyzed. That’s pretty harsh.
QP: Seriously, dick move. “Look at me, I’ve still got working legs and I’m choosing not to use them.”
TGH: “Yeah, I could walk to you, but I’ll just use my entire throne of legs to walk to you instead. Oh, sorry, yours don’t work.”
QP: The lighting makes Mace look like an evil clown. I can’t help but wonder if that was intentional.
TGH: I like that this is technically the first real issue of Guy Gardner: Warrior in months, since it actually picks up where the story left off before two crossovers, another damn search for powers and a reboot.
QP: They’ve basically ignored everything that happened for the last 6(?) issues, aside from Guy getting yet another fucking costume.
TGH: I thought they had forgotten where the story was even going before Emerald Fallout, but here we finally are.
QP: Props to Beau Smith for smiling and nodding along with DC editorial and yet still doing whatever he wanted. I mean, it’s still not good, but hey, ‘grats on telling the man where to stick it.
TGH: Seriously, he could’ve just started over if he really wanted, but instead we’re back to Mace, and that mysterious girl from high school that Guy had sex with that one time.
QP: Who is suddenly blonde even though she was definitely a brunette a few issues ago. But hey, no bigs.
TGH: Dementor dresses the two up and pretends to be a cop, while someone who has never heard the Cops theme tries to write the lyrics to the Cops theme. Poor chest face has to shove a Top Cop badge in his mouth.
QP: Dementor then adopts a culturally sensitive accent to talk shit to Mace with.
TGH: Dementor’s a pretty annoying character, but at least he has a personality that isn’t “asshole with a gun,” I guess.
QP: He’s doing a skosh better than most of Guy’s previous villains in that regard.
TGH: He then flies away to deal with Gardner, even though this is a dream world and I’m not 100% sure where he’s going exactly, but at least he’s happy.
QP: We cut back to Guy visiting with Hot Doctor from a few issues ago. Guy’s had both his brother and Heather (who, we find out, is also in a coma) to this hospital for…reasons.
TGH: I guess since Ice died Guy was forced to take his brother back. Weird how it turns out that Guy woke up in Buck Wargo’s hospital after Hal threw him back to Earth. Pretty coincidental.
QP: Convenient, that. Apparently Mace and Heather are both registering some funky readings, which no one seemed to be aware of until just now so it really wouldn’t make much sense to have them close by each other. Guess Guy’s just a control freak!
TGH: We get a flashback where Guy and Heather got into a car crash while drinking and driving in high school, which I think implies that she’s been in a coma ever since? But I guess Guy has been secretly keeping an eye on her this entire time but it never came up until now?
QP: Maybe, and somehow he never saw jail time for DUIing his girlfriend into a coma. In any case, when he stops by Mace’s room, Dementor decides to make like the Thing and ooze out of Mace’s chest cavity.
TGH: He tells Guy to meet him in Comaville or whatever, but then also leaves it to Guy to put himself into a coma to face him. Cold. “I’m holding your loved ones hostage. Better jump in front of a car or something. Bye!”
QP: The confrontation sets off Guy’s Warrior powers. Thankfully, he didn’t just grow a gatling gun out of his face uncontrollably.
TGH: He just turns into a giant grenade launcher and blows up Mace. Problem kind of solved!
QP: Heather would still be fucked.
TGH: Well he’d probably have set the hospital on fire accidentally by that point.
QP: Fair point.
TGH: Luckily, before it comes to that, the Phantom Stranger appears out of nowhere and offers to just let Guy into the dream world.
QP: Well thank God for that. Can’t expect our hero to do his heroing all on his own, can we?
TGH: I guess it kind of fits his MO of just kind of showing up and doing shit like this. At least he didn’t interrupt Guy to join him in the Phantom Showdown crossover event or something equally horrible.
QP: Side note: if DC ever did a crossover that was just the magic side of the universe wrecking shit for a month, I would buy the hell out of that so hard. Shadowpact was, like, alllllllmost there.
TGH: So Guy takes the Phantom Stranger’s offer to get into the dream world coma-free and is immediately jumped by Dementor. Who sings “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” which will now be stuck in my head forever, so thanks.
QP: I’m not sure he really knows the lyrics that well.
TGH: I don’t know how good the radio signal in Comaville is. You’d think he’d have some pop culture references from way before our time since he’s super old, but no.
QP: Well yeah, but 13th century tavern songs probably wouldn’t have the same resonance with Guy, you know?
TGH: It might!
QP: Dementor tries to cut Guy’s head off with a hand-axe (and by that, I mean he turns his hand into an axe) but is thwarted when Guy turns his neck into steel plate.
TGH: Dementor can turn his body into weapons too, because even though he’s an evil abomination, he still gets all of the Vuldarians’ powers. Better be fast and loose with the breeding there, guys!
QP: It’s a small price to pay to completely fail to pass on your genetic heritage.
TGH: Guy really took a gamble on the dream world that Dementor seems to control working just like the actual world. His powers could have very well not even worked. Though the comic would be a lot shorter as a result.
QP: Especially since he doesn’t know anything about Dementor. Guy’s lucky it didn’t turn out he had some kind of power nullification or something.
TGH: Guy thinks of the most dangerous weapon in history and makes two small handguns. They work about as well as you’d think.
QP: A shotgun is what you want at this range, Guy. At the very least, I hope Dementor is providing us a nice preview of what Guy’s powers will ultimately be able to do. One day, Guy will be able to turn his blood into freaky little hands to dig bullets out of his arm, too.
TGH: They take shots at each other for a bit and then Guy gets caught in a snot bubble, which I hope he can use later.
QP: I want to see him put Lobo in a snot bubble.
TGH: Dementor introduces Guy to his hostages, and places his tongue on Heather for like the 17th time.
QP: 90% of Dementor’s dialogue is just non-sequiturs and nonsense words. But Guy responds with quite possibly the greatest line ever uttered in the history of English literature: “I’m gonna be your Bob Vila from Hell.” Dementor may also possibly be Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor.
TGH: I’m going to assume that it is now canon that Bob Vila is one of history’s greatest warriors, because Guy is able to fire a saw blade at Dementor.
QP: Headcanon accepted.
TGH: Heather tries to help Mace get up, but he insists that he can do it himself. Ohokay there, buddy.
QP: Man, just leave him.
TGH: He gets all shitty with Guy too. I thought he was at least a little repentant right before the coma.
QP: I don’t think we had time for that. Only time for punching and then flying off to Oa.
TGH: Shockingly, getting hit one time didn’t kill Dementor, so the fight rages on.
QP: He’s now apparently turned into a giant mecha squid or something. Or maybe Doc Ock? Everything is drawn in silhouette, so who even knows?
TGH: The artist doesn’t even know. “Just draw some lines and shit.”
QP: And then I think Guy turns himself into a vacuum and sucks Dementor up? Is that what happens?
TGH: Yes, Guy does in fact use the power of James Murray Spangler, history’s greatest warrior, and turns his arm into a vacuum.
QP: Unfortunately, this is apparently a terrible idea, as Dementor bursts out of Guy’s chest. Beau Smith needs to step away from the John Carpenter movies for a while.
TGH: Dementor taunts Guy about how he is entirely responsible for him being an asshole after his first coma, and for being super nice after Batman one-punched him into his second coma. This is some bullshit retconning. Leave the classics out of this.
QP: I reject this reality. This is the darkest timeline.
TGH: That makes me angrier than anything else in this issue.
QP: Everyone knows Batman punched the Ps and Qs into him. Anyone that says otherwise is lying to themselves.
TGH: Guy’s still an asshole, so explain that, jerks! Back to this comic that has ruined everything for me forever, Dementor sucks Gardner up instead, who then also breaks free. Except I guess Guy bursting out was enough to kill Dementor, so good for him.
QP: Yeah, not sure why this time was the one that did him in, but whatevs. They’ve really only got one idea for this comic, so they’ve just gotta keep going with it. Double issue and all.
TGH: The dream world begins to collapse in on itself, so Guy declares that it’s time to wipe it and flush it, before hopping out of the sphincter portal.
QP: Guy gets back to the hospital and discovers that it is completely fucking wrecked.
TGH: Apparently the Quorum came in, stole Mace and tied sexy nurse up in the seconds it took Guy to return.
QP: Also suddenly her dress doesn’t fit anymore now that she’s in distress.
TGH: I guess the Phantom Stranger literally just stood there and let it happen since he was there right until after Guy hopped out of the portal.
QP: The Phantom Stranger doesn’t mess with the physical realm. And that includes keeping people from being shot and kidnapped.
TGH: What a hero. No wonder he was drawn to Guy.
QP: Mace is gone, and Heather’s just woken up from her coma for the first time since high school, but first! Buck Wargo has some real important partyin’ business for Guy. Way more important than helping Heather, that’s for damned sure.
TGH: I guess Buck is opening a bar or something. And it’s completely empty except for that goddamn robosuit. How does he still have it?! Why won’t it just go away? Isn’t it Beetle’s?
QP: Who even knows? It’s a big, dumb, awkward shift in tone for absolutely no reason. We couldn’t have found out next issue that Buck bought a bar?
TGH: Seriously, Guy’s brother just got kidnapped.
QP: Maybe spend that last page of your story having Guy deal with the emotional fallout of this fucked up thing that just happened to him? No, just party instead? Ok, sure.
TGH: Just like last time there was Mace drama, let’s just segue into something completely different instead.
QP: The writers really want us to care about this drama without having to do anything to earn us giving a shit about what happens between Guy and Mace.
TGH: They didn’t even have to do anything except end the damn issue.
QP: No. It fucks with the tone of the story and quite frankly leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Like, is Guy really such a shitty hero that he takes a break from saving his brother to go check out a bar? Guess we’ll find out next issue! (But I imagine the answer is probably yes.)
TGH: Well that’s it for this issue, but before we get to the letters, there is a bunch of art celebrating Guy throughout the years.
QP: It’s nice to see Joe Staton back. I miss him and I take back everything I ever said about him.
TGH: For real, we had no idea how good we had it.
QP: And then a little Adam Hughes, still in his formative years.
TGH: I like that the Guy and Ice picture still has time for a Blue Beetle faceplant.
QP: It really says so much about their relationship.
TGH: I don’t know who Howard Porter is, but they should’ve gotten Joe Staton on on the Guy Gardner: Reborn page. Guy looks like a Dragon Ball Z reject.
QP: It is…not good art. Howard Porter worked on a fair chunk of Morrison’s JLA run, and I don’t remember his art looking this bad. He must’ve taken an art class at some point.
TGH: Or he had a day to crank this out.
QP: More likely.
TGH: Either way, not so great.
TGH: Dan Jurgens plays it safe as always. Glenn Whitmore forgot what color Superman’s ‘S’ is.
QP: It’s too bad Jurgens Dashes never took off like Kirby Dots did.
TGH: Guy’s collar makes it look like Fire is wearing pants.
TGH: Mitch Byrd takes a crack at Guy’s epic running-away from Militia. Not shown: dinosaurs. Also, dig those bullets exiting Militia’s gun in a perfect line. Soon he can walk up them to the moon.
QP: That was such a great storyline. I’m glad I get to relive it. It was wrapped up so competently, as well. Just, really a high point in comics history.
QP: Gene Ha makes the epic battle between Guy and Hal look way more like a battle than it actually was.
TGH: Hal looks like he’s checking his phone or something. Doesn’t even care about Guy at all. Not that I blame him.
QP: Guy’s about to fist-trident him in the back and Hal’s just like “yeah, whatever, Guy, let me know when you’re done so I can strip you and shoot you back to Earth.”
TGH: Also a fantastic story for the ages.
TGH: And who can forget the time Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Militia and Arisia teamed up against the evil Were-Cat?
QP: This is actually a really interesting piece of art and I wish it was a subject matter I cared about.
TGH: I don’t really know anything else that the artist has done, so I don’t know if the rest of his work is as good.
QP: He worked on Nightwing forevvvvvver.
TGH: Ah, okay.
TGH: The letter section introduces a brand new masthead and title! Guy forgoes the risk of having two of the same feet and instead punches out an extra from Mad Max!
TGH: It seems like everyone in the letters section is demanding that Ice become a regular, so that’s awkward.
QP: Oooooh yeah. Way to check the pulse of your readership, DC.
TGH: Mike Diamond disapproves of literally everything that’s happened so far.
QP: Shit gets meta when Guy’s response references something someone said about him in the Youngblood letters column. Ultimately, this leads to the great letters column war of 1995. There were no survivors.
TGH: There’s a whole other army of regulars over there. Who knows what they’re saying about these guys?
QP: “Lobo, you’re my favorite character. Why are you slumming with guest appearances in Guy Gardner: Warrior?”
TGH: There’s finally an official unofficial Guy Gardner fan club! I wonder if we can track down the newsletters, or if AOL ate all of them.
QP: Oh dear God I hope so. I know we keep saying this but we really have to write a letter to this one. Hopefully this guy or his mom still lives at that address.
TGH: Seriously. I want to be the final member.
TGH: The next issue promises Guy fighting pirates who have kidnapped Bill Clinton at the World Trade Center. I…I might actually be excited.
QP: The picture looks like he’s doing the saddest pole dance ever. Also: J.H. Williams III on pencils. I’m not familiar with his art pre-Batwoman, so this could be really great or kinda horrifying.
TGH: I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the latter.
’90s Ad Showcase:
QP: There’s a new-more-different ad for the Death of Superman video game. This one is at least marginally interesting looking.
TGH: They’re finally showing some tiny screenshots. At least we know that part of a game is in there somewhere.
QP: There are game-like elements, yes.
TGH: Oh boy, an ad for Double Dragon, maybe one of the worst video game movies, which is saying something.
QP: I cannot say that I saw it. Though I did find the ads appealing.
TGH: Those two are supposed to be brothers, if that’s any indication of the care taken in production.
QP: Wait, that dude is the Chairman on Iron Chef America now. Pre-teen me would be disappointed in this turn of events.
TGH: Really? Oh man.
QP: He didn’t even keep the flippy 90s hair. The other guy is still just being Scott Wolf. Don’t worry, Scott Wolf, I’m sure everyone will start screaming for a sequel series to Party of Five any day now.
TGH: I think he’s probably banking on Netflix funding the Double Dragon sequel. Nobody ever returns his calls.
QP: Poor Scott Wolf.
TGH: He still wears that outfit, but mostly because the rest of his laundry is dirty.
QP: One almost feels bad for him.
TGH: Superman: Dead Again. Well that was quick. I’m sure this will draw the exact same sales as the last time.
QP: God you guys, make up your minds.
TGH: I don’t think DC had much of a plan from week to week.
QP: They just flipped a coin every month as to whether he was alive or dead.
QP: DC Universe is FASCINATING this month. It’s like that old bit on Electric Company or Reading Rainbow or what have you about how they print stamps, except way more involved. I wish they’d do more inside baseball stuff like this.
TGH: Yeah, it’s one of those things you never think about, but once you see what’s behind it you realize how much work it must take. It’s probably more computer-based now, but still.
QP: Yeah. There’s probably still a fair bit of behind the scenes stuff now, but this is just so involved. I never thought about them having to plot exactly where gradients would be, or coding the exact shades to print.
QP: Once upon a time, Weird Science was a show that had to come on at 10 pm, which is weird because no more than a year after this ad ran, I could watch it syndicated after school every day.
TGH: We all grew up too fast. USA couldn’t keep up.
QP: I don’t really remember it being that scandalous. Maybe it was edited for daytime TV.
TGH: I remember watching it at 10, and I don’t think it was really that bad. Maybe that was the only time they could fit it in between Wings reruns.
QP: But before La Femme Nikita.
TGH: Then hours of awful USA Up All Night movies.
QP: Should’ve stuck with the trashy cable programming our mothers always warned us about.
TGH: Next time involves Guy Gardner at the World Trade Center, so clearly we’re going to find tons of warnings about 9/11 that went unheeded because they were in a Guy Gardner comic.
QP: Mace Gardner did 9/11. I saw it on YouTube.
TGH: His jetpack also emits chemtrails.
QP: And we just saw the lizardmen that live in the center of the earth last issue. Beau Smith has been trying to warn us all along.
TGH: Damn it, we were all fools. Fools!
QP: Oh well, back to being sheeple.