TGH: Welcome back to the gift that keeps on giving! Last week, Guy had to fight his evil dwarf fetus half-brother in dreamland to save his asshole full-brother and some girl he had sex with before getting drunk and putting her in a coma. Once he saved them, however, the shadowy government group that turned Mace into the ultimate ’90s badass Militia kidnapped him back for some reason (possible Militia-related reasons). With Guy’s brother missing yet again, will Guy find the clues to save him in time? Haha just kidding, Guy decides to hang out in his new bar instead.
QP: He’s definitely got his priorities in order. I mean, there’s some implication that he blew off new-bar-party-time for a little while to go beat up Deathstroke, but that doesn’t really make up for it.
TGH: J.H. Williams III is the artist on this completely unrelated issue about a pirate attack in New York. So they will probably not turn into dinosaur pirates, unfortunately.
QP: This book really needs more dinosaurs.
TGH: Our story begins with Bill Clinton traveling to the World Trade Center to sign some very important “presidential documents.” The excitement is already ramping up. There’s a whole news report about White House Stations being built all around the country for some reason, which is not a particularly interesting way to set this story up, but at least they tried, I suppose.
QP: Why they had to go with that and not just “Bill Clinton visits New York,” I couldn’t tell you, though I guess the explanation fills up a few more panels at least.
TGH: Seriously, the World Trade Center is still a pretty big deal. Presidents can go there for all kinds of interesting, straightforward reasons. Of course all of this handshaking and exposition quickly goes to hell as a force field is thrown up around the towers and cyperpunks with guns come crashing through the windows, shooting the hell out of everyone. We’re starting off with a pretty high death count.
QP: There are at least three of them aiming directly for the president, so it’s pretty impressive he doesn’t get killed immediately.
TGH: He’s got plot armor, as well as “everyone hating DC if they actually murdered the current president in their comic” armor.
QP: Stuff like this is why it annoys me slightly when they use IRL political figures in comic books. Obviously nothing is going to happen to them lest the publishers take a lot of flak.
TGH: I don’t know what the average age of Guy Gardner: Warrior readers was, but maybe they were just naive enough to think something might.
QP: It’s possible I suppose.
TGH: I’m sure a lot of demographic research was put into the decision to throw Bill Clinton into this comic.
QP: I wonder if they’re consistent with this stuff. Like, is Bill Clinton the president in every DC comic that needed to use the president from 1992 to 2000? I bet not.
TGH: Well at least until Lex Luthor took over.
QP: Well of course.
TGH: It would be a ton of work but I’d love a timeline of who was president in each DC comic and when. I bet it’s a glorious mess.
QP: Yeah, as far as I can tell there isn’t one out there online. I can confirm that Lex Luthor was elected in 2000.
TGH: So anyway, while Clinton is off getting kidnapped, Guy shows up the bar he has presumably at least seen once before and cannot believe his eyes.
QP: For whatever reason, Buck bought the entire building to use for a bar/gym/training facility/living area/whatever the hell for Guy, without consulting with him first, which is just a liiiiiiittle weird.
TGH: They’re best friends now that they’ve had exactly one adventure together. He gets an entire wing in the hospital for his friends and family, and a bar themed after his powers, as is customary.
QP: I’d halfway assume that Buck has less than innocent intentions for Guy, but I feel like that’s giving too much credit.
TGH: Well, they also need a place to get drunk after all of their adventures, and it’s not like they could just buy the place for themselves or anything, so it makes perfect sense.
QP: Ehhhh fine I suppose. I will suspend my disbelief.
TGH: Guy also thinks that a person you just met buying you the world is a terrible idea, so Buck makes him play a hand of poker for the right to back out.
QP: I don’t think that’s how it works, but ok.
TGH: Even though, again, Buck could just keep it if Guy doesn’t want it. He could get a marker and change “Warriors” to “Wargos.”
QP: Yeah, but he basically calls Guy a pussy, so he’s honor bound to stay if he loses. You know how that goes.
TGH: He knows how to get right to the center of Guy’s reptile brain.
QP: If Marty McFly can get over being called a chicken, so can Guy. Maybe. I think.
TGH: Guy reveals his hand right around the time the artist apparently had a stroke and drew the worst Guy drawing of all of the terrible Guy drawings to date.
QP: Yeah, that panel is bizarrely awful. The art has been fairly decent so far this issue and then it just take a sharp right turn into Whackadoo Town.
TGH: I just have no idea what the hell happened there. It’s crazy. Nobody had a problem with it at the office, I guess. What is the etiquette in telling the artist on an issue that one of their panels is hot garbage? Can you even do that?
QP: That’s the point of an editor. “Fix this.” That is his job.
TGH: Maybe the editor was too busy sniffing glue that day.
QP: Seems likely.
TGH: So of course Buck has the better hand, and Guy immediately accuses him of cheating. Hey, Guy, if you have a problem with shitty poker-based business transactions, maybe try writing a contract or something next time.
QP: Also consider the possibility of just not entering into them.
TGH: With that bit of business out of the way, Veronna, the girl everyone met back in the jungle, is free to offer Guy some free creepy slave sex.
QP: Oh God it’s just so creepy. Supposedly she volunteered to join them to protect Guy. And maybe also sex him up if he needs it.
TGH: Everyone in the bar just laughs at Guy instead of maybe backing him up that she doesn’t have to fuck him on command. Which, by the way, good on Guy.
QP: They’re a bunch of class acts.
TGH: She is clearly embarrassed in the next panel where Guy gets his crazy eye back. Buck promotes her to head of security. And mockable sex.
QP: Fortunately they’re interrupted by a news broadcast about the President being held hostage. And thank God for that.
TGH: Who knows how much more awkward they could’ve made that scene. Luckily, we never have to find out. Sure the president is being held hostage, but by the way, here are two more news events linked to other comics you should buy.
QP: Buck and Guy leap into action immediately, and by that I mean they stand around and bitch about taxes. Fortunately, Arisia shows up wearing her best Bunny Ranch stripper costume to give them shit for it.
TGH: Arisia is just like “people are dying, you assholes.”
QP: She is not wrong.
TGH: Arisia is now the voice of reason in this comic. God help us all.
TGH: Asian computer guy uses his tiny, $5000 laptop to look up information on the pirate gang on CompuServe, using some of the free minutes he had accumulated from his many trial disks.
QP: These guys are the ultimate in modern day super powered piracy. This may be the biggest challenge Guy has ever faced!
TGH: They’re all hopped up on steroids, and the leader used them to make himself smarter! By injecting them right into his brain muscle I guess.
QP: Yet again, another hero for the ages. Which, I’m assuming, is why he doesn’t appear to have an entry on the DC wiki.
TGH: The pirate gang is into all sorts of crimes. Kidnapping, gun running, white slavery. Hey, they may be international terrorists, but they aren’t racists!
QP: They’ve set up an impenetrable barrier around the World Trade Center, so there’s obviously no way Guy can get in. Unless, of course, Buck has some sort of maguffin. Which he does, of course.
TGH: Maybe Buck should share that with local law enforcement. Naaaah.
QP: For some reason, their maguffin appears to make another hole in the barrier at street level, so some guy named Santos can hop through too.
TGH: Luckily he was standing right there, which the cops had a problem with for some reason. This should be an interesting character that makes some real waves.
QP: Meanwhile, Black Serpent starts smacking Clinton around.
TGH: Then he makes out with the reporter from earlier, showing that his villainy is ultimate. Clinton asks what the fuck they even want, and it turns out that they just want some money. Kind of a big investment to cover two high-profile buildings in a force field and make yourself Public Enemy #1 for some cash. I thought this was the guy with the super IQ.
QP: Yeah, like, I hope you’re not pulling a Dr. Evil here. Don’t go to all this trouble for, like, 100 million dollars or something. Meanwhile, Santos does his best John McClane impersonation and bursts out of an air vent, guns blazing.
TGH: Yeah, he straight-up does not care about just shooting the hell out of some fools. He’s actually doing better than Guy, who kicks some people and is then shocked that they didn’t stay down, even though he was just told that they were super soldiers.
QP: Santos shows up just in time to save Guy’s ass, recognizes him, and asks him why the hell he isn’t using his powers, which is a fair question.
TGH: How does he even know that Guy has new powers? Was this on TV at some point? He just went into the dream world. That is the only thing that has happened since time rewrote itself.
QP: Yeah but a hospital got wrecked as a result of that so it probably at least made the 6 o’clock news.
TGH: Also his name is now Guy Gardens.
QP: Guy Gardens sounds like the worst theme park.
TGH: That’s probably Buck’s next project. Guy decides to go up the elevator shaft instead of teaming up with Santos, which is just brilliant.
QP: God knows they probably couldn’t both use the backup. Guy climbs an elevator cable to the top floor, while Santos just shoots dudes out of windows for however many floors.
TGH: Guy’s doing good work too. For instance, he immediately finds a guy with an electric hook, who then proceeds to shock the hell out of Guy with said hook.
QP: This does at least trigger his Warrior powers, since Guy didn’t really seem interested in using them on his own.
TGH: I’m sure that was plan all along. I guess Guy kills people now too, because he just throws that dude into the elevator shaft.
QP: Not pictured: The elevator five feet below him.
TGH: Meanwhile, Pirate Man reveals his actual master plan: to get money AND murder the president for street cred!
QP: I guess that makes this whole thing worthwhile somehow. Also they’re just stealing all of the money that happens to be in the two towers? Call me crazy but I don’t feel like that’s probably as much as this heist is worth.
TGH: He should’ve just robbed the Federal Street Credit Union if that’s all he cared about.
QP: I guess you get less pirate cred if you do that though.
TGH: Santos and Guy finally meet up again. Santos is way the hell faster than Guy is if he had to take the stairs and got there minutes later. He had been murdering pirates the whole way up too.
QP: If all you had to do is take the stairs why didn’t Guy just do that instead of climbing an elevator cable? Guy needs to get some of those IQ boosting steroids.
TGH: Santos tells Guy to be careful since there will be civilians on the roof, then kicks down the door and fires bullets 6 inches from the reporter’s skull.
QP: Black Serpent kicks Clinton off the roof while making a pithy joke about his popularity rating dropping. Fortunately, Guy is hanging off the roof just below, for reasons, and catches him.
TGH: The Dread Pirate Tony sneaks up behind Guy and makes a real effort to completely miss him with his energy sword at that range.
QP: This guy is not a very good cyberpirate.
TGH: Guy uses his skin to make some skin swords. I’d have stuck to a rocket launcher.
QP: Yeah. You can make any weapon you want from your body parts? Then maybe try a little escalation.
TGH: They’re not even attached to his body. He just removed flesh from himself. I hope he’s eating more to make up for this.
QP: The laws of conservation of mass are definitely being violated.
TGH: They fight for several pages. Just your typical C-list villain back-and-forth.
QP: Guy jumps from the roof of one tower to another, because apparently that’s a thing he can do now. But then again, so can Black Serpent.
TGH: Yeah, I’m going to have to call bullshit on at least one of those jumps. Guy has magic alien powers, so sure, I guess. But nothing so far indicates that anyone in the Pirate Krew can make that jump.
QP: He doesn’t even seem to have rocket boots like any other cyber pirate worth his salt. Anyway, the stupid sword fight continues, until Guy manages to knock Black Serpent down, and then starts screaming about the justice of the Vuldar or some shit. And then I guess he blows up? Or Krakathooms at the very least.
TGH: Yeah, I’m pretty sure Guy blows the top off of one of the towers, except everything is pretty fine immediately afterwards.
QP: And there’s not a scratch on him or Black Serpent. At least one of them should be dead.
TGH: I’m pretty sure Black Serpent pissed himself at least, which is kind of the worst thing you can do to someone who’s in the middle of a cred-boosting scheme.
QP: Yeah, no cred for you, buddy.
TGH: Santos comes flying in on a helicopter that he probably jumped onto impossibly like everyone else and congratulates Guy on whatever he just did,
QP: Guy seems very concerned about the completely inconsequential thing that just happened.
TGH: “I just made a pretty fire show, but maybe the next time it’ll happen at the gas station!”
QP: Good thing Guy doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to learn how his powers work or how to control them.
TGH: He just vows not to do that thing he’s not in control of ever again.
QP: I’m sure that will happen.
TGH: All in all this was not a terrible issue, if you remove pretty much everything that happened at Warriors.
QP: No, there were a lot of eye-rolling moments, but at least we got a little forward momentum. I mean, Guy still doesn’t know or seem too concerned about where his brother is. And he still has no control over his powers. But, you know, at least now we know he can kinda blow up if he needs to.
TGH: Learning how to use his powers is clearly something that will come up later, even if we just find Mace dead in a ditch in a year or so.
QP: A small price to pay for keeping a rocket launcher from uncontrollably sprouting out of your face.
TGH: Now that Guy has new “screaming nonsense and then exploding” powers, will be become a better hero? Will he fight ninjas next week to complete the viking/pirate/ninja trifecta? Tune in next week!
QP: Guy Talk starts with someone talking about how awesome all the full page art was in the Guy/Hal fight from #21, and it’s all just downhill from there.
TGH: They should’ve renamed the letter section to TL;DR this month. There are a lot of dissertations.
QP: God, yeah, these letter writers all need an editor.
TGH: Melissa Page compliments the “full art” of the Guy/Hal fight. And while I also have no idea what that means, maybe don’t respond with “IS IT FULL ART BECAUSE ALL OF THE WOMEN MITCH DRAWS HAVE GIANT TITS????”
QP: There are no women in that fight, like at all.
TGH: That is clearly not what she meant, guys. Don’t scare her away.
QP: Some guy sends in the most horrible fan-casting I’ve ever read. The only way Bill Murray would make a good Guy is if you’re making a Guy Gardner parody movie.
TGH: Seriously, I thought we had finished with the awful casting, but it came back worse than ever.
QP: This list is littered with David Lynch regulars and my brain hurts thinking about it. Laura Dern as Arisia? What crack rock are you smoking?
TGH: David Lynch would make the best Guy Gardner movie, but clearly Guy has to be played by Michael J. Anderson.
QP: Well yeah, that goes without saying. Guy suggests David Caruso to play him. Guy is awful at fan-casting, too.
TGH: Earth’s inability to cast a Guy Gardner movie is the only thing saving us from one.
QP: Let’s hope it stays that way.
’90s Ad Showcase:
TGH: I wonder how much business Nabisco lost from people who were scared of accidentally winning a Pagemaster shirt.
QP: Ah, that wonderful period in the ’90s where Hollywood thought all you had to do to make a successful kids’ movie was stick Macaulay Culkin in it.
TGH: The entire purpose of The Pagemaster was to push reading on idiot kids. It was doomed to failure.
QP: Yeah, kids don’t read unless there’s free pizza involved.
TGH: Which is why there are now two acne control ads in this month’s issue.
QP: This Clearasil ad is a complete waste of time. I am not reading all that shit.
TGH: Clearasil saw the sweet path forged by Stridex and decided they wanted a piece.
TGH: I actually played that Raw game a lot, despite not actually caring at all about wrestling.
QP: I didn’t know there was an All-American Juggalo Clown wrestler.
TGH: Yeah, I don’t know what happened to that guy, but he was definitely A Thing.
QP: There’s a two page comic ad spread for some ridiculous Nerf guns. I do not remember the gatling gun. But I want it.
TGH: The gatling gun would be awesome for 15 seconds, then super annoying for 15 minutes while you hunted those damn things down. Those bullets were probably engineered to fit under any and all furniture.
QP: Well you’d have to have supplemental arms. You can’t go into a Nerf battle armed with just a gatling gun. You need at least two dart pistols and perhaps also a rifle as well. Or, if you’re a really cool kid, just use the crossbow.
TGH: Why do they even have suction cups? Do they stick to anything?
QP: Yeah, your face.
TGH: Not a greasy kid face. It’d slide right off.
QP: That’s what the Clearasil is for.
TGH: Next Time, years in the future, the 9/11 Commission Report concludes that since Guy Gardner: Warrior’s explosion during the Clinton Incident did not produce sufficient heat to melt the steel beams of the tower, neither could jet fuel; therefore the September 11 attacks were clearly an inside job.
QP: Clark Kent at the Daily Planet runs with the expose, turning public opinion against President Luthor, who is immediately arrested and tried for the crime. Kent gets a Pulitzer. Black Serpent desperately tries to take credit for the attacks, but everyone just rolls their eyes at him.
TGH: And we don’t even get paid for this. That is the true crime.
QP: DC, hire us. We’ve got ideas!