TGH: Welcome back, finally, to the second part of this Guy Gardner: Warrior story! It seems like it’s been forever, but hopefully we’ll be able to remember the intricate twists and turns that brought us to this point.
QP: Punching is intricate?
TGH: All I remember is that it took place in CRIME TUNNEL, which was actually not important to the story at all.
BW: Can I comment on the cover? Because hand to my heart, I was wondering why Superman was punching Metallo on a Guy Gardner book.
QP: Guy’s appendage guns are pretty insufficiently flesh-colored.
DN: The cover shows Superman having rockets being shot at his ass by a horribly disfigured Guy.
TGH: The cover is pretty special. I’m not even sure what Superman is punching, unless that’s just how he dodges to the right.
QP: Maybe he’s trying to punch the bullets?
BW: “The World’s Greatest Superhero.”
DN: Superman is also trying to amputate Guy’s left arm with his heat vision. Multitasking!
TGH: I guess he can’t see very well with the heat vision, so maybe that explains the punch.
QP: He’s also got a cannon tumor on his right shoulder.
DN: I kind of want a cannon tumor.
TGH: Our issue opens not in CRIME TUNNEL, but in a lab, where a piece of salmon holds a giant marble containing Guy Gardner.
BW: I have to admit, I was surprised we didn’t get a bacta tank.
QP: Technology in the ’90s involved giant pencil erasers, I guess.
BW: Awww, classic S.T.A.R. Labs. I miss them being the super science solution in the DCU.
QP: Apparently Guy’s body and mind are in conflict. It seems generous to think that Guy’s mind is in conflict with anything.
TGH: Superman tries to trick us into reading Action Comics #709 to find out how Guy ended up here. Nice try, but all you had to do is add one line about Guy going nuts and having to take him down. So if anyone is starting here, don’t read Action #709! Don’t give the person running the booth at whatever con you’re visiting your 50 cents!
BW: Two George Washingtons agree: SCREW THAT NOISE.
DN: Really regretting that purchase? To think, you could have bought a Homie with that money.
QP: The Homie would’ve been a more fulfilling purchase.
BW: Collect them all! Wait, wrong site. Sorry!
QP: Science confirms that Guy is reacting to Superman’s DNA…somehow? Not really sure how she comes to that conclusion.
DN: Guy slowly starts to wake up, and the science lady gets the most terrifying x-ray I’ve ever seen in my life.
TGH: Guy’s body continues to be a horrifying mess inside and out.
QP: I don’t know if those are supposed to be his shoulders or the cannon tumor.
DN: “Nah, he doesn’t need a ring. we’ll just give him Lynchian body horror powers.”
QP: He is kinda Elephant Mannish now that you mention it.
BW: Apparently Guy’s body is now just generating an insane amount of hallucinogens because holy crap that’s some body horror he’s seeing for Superman.
TGH: Guy’s cocoon begins to crack, but I only know this because Superman told me. They may as well just make this a regular book if they’re just going to say everything that’s happening anyway.
QP: I’m calling shenanigans on the page of him escaping. It’d take just as long to draw all those perfect parallel lines as it would to draw some fucking science.
BW: Marbles! That’s science, right?
TGH: This is why they’re always running behind schedule.
BW: Meanwhile in our B-plot…
QP: Some unseen malevolent force has issues about the globalization of American military might.
DN: It’s like an angsty-narration, low-rent Pacific Rim going on.
TGH: Two pages are taken up by these alien guys blowing shit up, promising that this will be the first of many multiple-page segues that lower the page count of the A-plot.
QP: Robocrocs seem highly complex for the artists of this book to be expected to draw.
TGH: I’m not sure how this will draw Guy out, considering how his body has no control over itself and is currently trying to murder everyone, too.
QP: Maybe his body should pause its conflict with his brain and let him know that the Tormocks are in the neighborhood and that’s why it’s freaking out. Communication is key.
TGH: Also, it’s convenient when bad guys blow shit up to send a message to one hero, and Aquaman or Booster Gold or anyone else doesn’t just show up.
QP: Aquaman should be all up ins, man. It’s happening in the ocean.
DN: Piranhas are too busy noming his hand.
BW: NOM NOM NOM. I’m thinking that the artist put all his attention to detail in these pretty fantastic looking aliens because by the next page Guy appears to have begun his transformation from Man to Vuldarian to baboon.
QP: Superman sends Dr. Faulkner out of the room when Guy hulks out. Dr. Faulkner immediately hulks out into Rampage, some super strong character I’ve never heard of. So, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to send her away, now does it Supes?
BW: My knowledge of Rampage was limited to her appearances in Justice League Unlimited. Thanks Bruce Timm.
DN: She’s an Amazon or something. Also, her transformation looks an awful lot like someone trying not to poop.
TGH: Rampage needs to learn to duck into a room and change or something, and not just squat on the ground and destroy your outfit.
QP: Shitting herself is how she gets her powers.
DN: Wouldn’t her Rampage onesie be all loose pre-transformation? That seems like it’d be super uncomfortable to wear under her science clothes.
QP: It’s stretchy like purple pants Hulk magic.
BW: To her credit – Rampage’s costume isn’t sexualized. But yeah that’s some REALLY stretchy spandex.
BW: Actually, having gone to the next few panels? I retract my statement.
TGH: Rampage needs some Rampants.
QP: That’s a fuck of a wax job. Also, does Guy Bane her over a pipe?
TGH: Guy chokes her out almost immediately, then Superman is really puzzled about what happened, like this is the first time he’s seen it. Does Superman even have to breathe? Is this a weird concept to him?
BW: Having lost all his facial features between panels, I think Superman may legitimately not know.
QP: He’s just a glowy face head.
TGH: Superman’s heat vision actually melts part of Guy’s face off, just in case we weren’t disgusted by what he is in this issue yet.
QP: Then the colorist forgets what color Superman’s suit is. For three damned panels.
BW: That’s okay, the artist forgot what Superman looks like. Hi, Michael Landon!
TGH: They were in a hurry! Kids were waiting for the next exciting Guy Gardner issue!
QP: When you have to spend that much time drawing all the Tormocks in detail, you don’t have time for continuity.
TGH: The main artist was still drawing those damn lines at the beginning of the comic.
TGH: Guy starts tripping balls and sees Superman as a Kraggz, which is what those guys are? Bestiary updated.
DN: The hallucination does not reach Superman’s feet, so I’m really curious as to what the Kraggz lower half looks like.
QP: They’re just floating torsos.
QP: And then Guy turns into the T-1000 again and kicks Superman into the ceiling that was a lot higher a second ago. This seems like a great trait to have as Vuldar’s last hope.
DN: He kicks Superman while doing the full splits, which I guess mean’s Guy’s yoga classes are really paying off.
TGH: Guy just starts seeing all aliens as monsters you have to kill. Seems like maybe the Vuldarians were the ones who wanted to wipe out all other life.
QP: Very helpful skill in a world overpopulated by aliens and alien hybrids.
TGH: Not that I think this plot point will ever come up. I’m pretty sure nobody on this book is that self-aware.
BW: DC didn’t necessarily need a crisis then, just an alien scourge?
QP: Guy is pretty much turning into a crisis all on his own.
DN: Just kill all the Thanagarians, the rest can stay.
BW: It’ll take more than that to kill the Hawks. Believe me. We’ve tried.
QP: He just starts wailing on Superman screaming about Vuldarian justice, which, I’m really feeling it here. “Let me punch you to death! For reasons! It’s justice!”
BW: Vuldarian justice – like Judge Judy, but with malformed limbs.
QP: I just noticed Superman’s face gets molded into Guy’s fist.
TGH: The indent of Superman’s face in Guy’s fist has actual teeth. This is one brain synapse away from true horror.
QP: It’s like when Faceswap thinks a tire rim is someone’s face.
DN: Superman thinks Guy punches as hard as Doomsday. Superman, you clearly do not remember that fight very well. How many fingers am I holding up?
TGH: He’s a better fighter too! Okay, guys.
QP: He’s probably still concussed or something. Or maybe he’s trying to make Guy feel better about himself. Maybe this is all one big hug session to build Guy’s self esteem.
DN: He’s a better fighter than something that was GROWN TO MURDER YOU.
BW: RIPPED OFF ARMS, PUT PEOPLE IN COMAS.
BW: In desperation, Superman gives up on “reasoning” with Guy and is now going for a Vulcan leg pinch.
QP: Superman is on all the super steroids.
DN: Kryptonians have more abs than any other species.
BW: His hands are bigger than his head. Truly this man is NOT from this planet.
QP: You know what they say about Kryptonians with big hands, right? They punch hard or something, I guess, I don’t think they actually say anything about it.
TGH: Art is not the strong point of this issue. Or the writing, frankly.
DN: Clearly Guy doesn’t even lift.
QP: What the hell kinda noise is KA-FACK? Is that the sound of a face breaking? Because Guy’s nose looks kinda collapsed there.
BW: What is the sound of one hand KA-FACKING?
TGH: I’d like to think that Superman has been holding back up to this point, and just decided to stop screwing around, but after that Doomsday bullshit, I think they just wrote themselves into a corner and needed to move on so Superman just KA-FACKS Guy out.
QP: I like that they not only wasted a panel on just a KA-FACK, but composed it terribly.
TGH: The next panel suggests that Superman somehow managed to bust his knuckles on Guy’s melty flesh face. Were the writers even handed the Who’s Who book of DC characters for this project?
QP: There’s a completely throwaway reference to a Titans book that would do nothing to advance what is happening in this book, so thanks for that.
TGH: Not even an issue, just all of the current storyline.
DN: Also we find out Supergirl likes to get her drink on at Warrior’s.
BW: With Tawky Tawny. And I don’t care if his name is Tiger Dude, I’m calling him Tawky Tawny.
QP: Tawky Tawny would kick Tiger Guy’s butt and then have a nice cuppa afterwards.
DN: While wearing a track suit.
BW: While flying his jetpack.
QP: DC: Call us.
TGH: Tiger Guy explains the entire issue and a half to Supergirl, and then she leaves immediately. Great scene, gang.
QP: Also he looks like he’s half rabbit in one panel. Oh also there’s a…statue? of Ice with a sign saying she “captured the heart of a WARRIOR.” Barf. That’s the best tribute to Ice you could muster, Guy?
BW: Shenanigans’ interior decorator wouldn’t call Guy back.
TGH: Here’s an idea in case you ever actually have a situation where you’d run out of pages (unlikely): just cut to Supergirl showing up at S.T.A.R. Labs and Superman saying “Thanks for coming on such short notice.”
QP: “I heard with my superhearing that you were KA-FACKING someone, so I thought I’d come help.”
DN: “I’d recognize your KA-FACK anywhere.”
QP: Supergirl knows it’s serious when KA-FACKS are involved.
TGH: At least we’re not at Warrior’s anymore. Oh wait. Fuck.
QP: Arisia is stuck still cleaning up from the opening party all by herself, which, do you not have janitors?
TGH: Arisia is complaining that all she can do to help Guy is replace tiny table lanterns that were damaged during a fight several issue ago. This is the wrong attention to detail, guys. Like, not even just clean the restaurant in general. Specifically put tiny lanterns on tables. How does that not take less time than it took to read her think that?
QP: Cleaning up next to a statue of herself. And then for some reason Hal shows up. Does Guy not have a Hal Alarm built into the place?
BW: The cardboard cutout he had next to the Lantern’s display kept setting it off.
QP: Is there not a sign on the door that says “No Hal Jordans?”
TGH: Arisia drops the tiny lantern when she sees Hal. YOU HAD ONE JOB.
QP: And of course Hal is IMMEDIATELY creepy. Shouldn’t he also be dead?
DN: He gets shot during Zero Hour but he keeps fucking things up as Paralax until Final Night, which is unfortunately not soon enough. So we get to have Hal being a creeper. Lucky us.
QP: He magics Arisia back into her costume just so he can upskirt her. Fucking. Creepy.
BW: And leer.
DN: “Here’s your powers back! Now, what panties are you wearing?”
QP: Hal does his best Geoff Johns impersonation, telling us that some things should just never change, dammit. And that includes Arisia in a miniskirt. Even though she was already in a miniskirt, but whatev.
TGH: Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Superman and Dr. I Mean Rampage are trying to figure out what to do with Guy.
BW: That caption box seems incredibly ill-informed. Some All-Knowing Narrator!
TGH: Rampage suggests a tank that they specifically made for someone who then escaped from it twice, so yeah, that should work just fine.
QP: They could throw him in a tank. It might not hold him maybe? But they could put him there anyway. Or they could just stand around talking until he Michael Myers himself.
DN: “S.T.A.R. Labs! It might work!”
TGH: Luckily (?) Guy wakes up behind them and the fight rages on yet again.
QP: Apparently the sound of a wall collapsing is BRRRUUGGHHH.
QP: Guy’s arms are covered in barnacles.
BW: Guy Gardner: Sailor
QP: Guy Gardner: Humpback Whale
BW: Guy Gardner: Decommissioned Naval Vessel
TGH: Guy Gardner: Dinghy
QP: Supergirl shows up and yells at Guy and I guess does some Professor X shit on him, so he drops Rampage.
DN: Yeah, at this point I think she can shape-change, and do brain stuff, but is not yet an actual Angel. ’90s Supergirl is fucking weird.
TGH: Rampage takes this opportunity to pound Guy underground into the tank, probably destroying everything down there.
BW: FWAM and THWOOM THWOOM!
TGH: She of course didn’t stop him, but hit him hard enough that he assumes the identity of a witch hunter.
BW: “It ends now demons!” “No more tricks witch!”
QP: Looks like all the barnacles turned into gun barnacles. Or maybe arm sea cucumbers, ready to vomit their guts out onto any aliens that stand in his way! Looks like he’s also got a couple of Pokeballs growing on his left shoulder, just in case he runs into a wild Eevee.
DN: He’s supposed to be made of guns! How did it get this gross??
TGH: The art is why it’s gross. Script: Guy has gun arms. “Artist”: Arm tubes!”
QP: No one in the ’90s had ever seen a gun. See also: Cable.
BW: Guy Gardner: If You Don’t Have Body Horror Issues Before This You Will Now.
DN: At least Guy doesn’t have pouches.
BW: And we DO know he has feet!
TGH: Supergirl uses her ’90s powers to turn into Ice, which of course is the only person that Guy listens to starting now.
QP: Then she immediately turns back into Supergirl, and yet somehow Guy doesn’t snap back into being a murderbot. Somehow he just figures out how to calm himself down because he saw Ice. I’m calling shenanigans on it.
TGH: Yeah, Guy’s totally cool now that he thought he saw Ice for a second there. No need to run any more tests or anything. You’re free to go!
QP: But also he is nine feet tall, which they mention repeatedly, even though he’s drawn the same height as Superman AND Supergirl.
BW: I find it fascinating in the panel where he claims to be 9 feet tall that it appears a hobbit could kick his ass.
QP: I guess the silhouetted panel he does look taller, but unless Superman is 8 foot, I doubt he’s 9 feet tall.
TGH: What a terrible conclusion to a story about Guy going nuts. He gets over it. The end! Superman actually apologizes to Guy for not helping him even a little for two issues, and Guy and Supergirl go to Warrior’s so his weird explorer friend can solve his science problems instead.
QP: Meanwhile some poor unsuspecting woman walks by an alley and is nabbed by a tentacled dude. Oh, I do wonder who it could be?
TGH: How are there so many pages left in this damn issue?!
QP: I don’t know, it just keeps happening.
TGH: Dementor makes a bunch of Barbie jokes, and by jokes I mean he keeps saying Barbie things. Straight-up references weren’t even funny in the ’90s either!
QP: Maybe Beau Smith went on to work for Family Guy?
BW: In my inner monologue he sounds like the Continental. Which, while it doesn’t make him an effective villain, does make him entertaining.
TGH: So the two-parter about Guy controlling his powers ends with Dementor kidnapping a woman and driving a car. Comics!
QP: Logic is overrated.
BW: And people complain about Bendis being decompressed.
TGH: Will Dementor show up at Warrior’s with a bunch of stupid jokes that we’ll be forced to tolerate? Will a completely different plot begin, with no thought whatsoever as to what came before? Can it be both? Tune in next time!
QP: It can be two things.
QP: Norman Barth starts the letter’s section of confirming what we always knew: that this book proves Guy Gardner is destined for greatness.
TGH: Guy responding by mentioning that he can’t hold onto his humanity is super encouraging.
QP: Humanity isn’t hardcore enough.
TGH: Then Guy threatens to murder Eric Fisbein.
QP: That seems a rational reaction to a fairly benign letter.
BW: “Graaaa fans!”
TGH: THE ENEMY!
QP: Libby Singleton is back congratulating Guy on some equal opportunity eye candy. I mean, I guess if roided out Vuldarian is your thing.
TGH: Everything is someone’s thing.
QP: True. Rule 34 is a thing.
DN: I don’t want that in my search history.
’90s Ad Showcase:
TGH: Well, every single ad in this issue was also in the Action Comics issue last time, so there’s nothing to talk about here. Thanks again for nothing, Superman!
TGH: Next time, Guy wakes up in the middle of the night to find that the Superman face on his fist has come to life and now begs for death, its screams unending.
QP: Unable to silence it, he forms his other fist into a gun and shoots himself in the hand.