TGH: Welcome back to the Hump Issue of this damn Guy Gardner crossover! Last time, three completely unrelated events happened as our team moved towards some unknown location in space to fight the Tormocks. What unrelated event will happen this issue I wonder?
QP: Based on the cover, it looks like they’ll probably all turn into stars or something.
BW: Guy: “We are all made of stars.”
J’onn: “No. I am made of Chocos.”
TGH: Props to the cover. If I had a van, I would put this cover right on the side of it.
DN: BRB, buying a van.
TGH: This is the “three wolves howling at the moon” equivalent of a Guy Gardner cover. I’m at the very least getting this on a shirt.
QP: For a second I thought this was a George Perez jam, and then I realized that it’s the same as pretty much every Phil Jimenez event cover he’s done in the last 20 years.
TGH: I also love the classical halo behind Hawkman’s head.
QP: He’s Thanagarian Jesus.
TGH: And the halos behind the fists of Captain Atom and Wonder Woman, the patron saints of punching.
DN: Like, Wonder Woman doesn’t even have hand shooty powers, but she does deliver a mean right cross. Note, we’re talking about the cover this much because we really really don’t want to start this issue.
TGH: This should just be our catchphrase.
QP: It’ll be on the back of our t-shirts. And this cover will be on the front.
BW: WE TALK ABOUT THE COVER BECAUSE WE FEAR THE INTERIORS – The Guy Gardner: Warrior Story.
TGH: This has to happen now.
QP: I will up my screen printing game.
TGH: The issue begins with yet another retelling of Guy’s backstory, again, in case someone jumped into part 4 of a crappy crossover to start reading this title.
QP: Someone was awed by the character with two lines in the last issue of Hawkman and had to know more.
TGH: It’s not like they feel the need to explain who Hawkman is or what the Justice League is when we jump to those issues. Clearly the Guy Gardner team has some confidence issues.
DN: Hey, with that cover, I’m sure a lot of kids picked this one up at the grocery store or something.
TGH: Maybe so. Again, that is a great cover.
BW: Blue Devil looks equally exasperated. Or maybe he’s just grumpy that this crossover is still going on.
QP: Oh, has he been the audience viewpoint character in this whole mess?
DN: I’m fairly certain there are no unclenched teeth in this whole issue. Well, Yaz.
TGH: I don’t know what happened since they left Thanagar, but here we are, in the middle of getting hit by something else. I’m going to blame Hawkman again.
QP: Editorial forgot to let these guys know that Yaz is a pterodactyl, not a half-drowned parrot.
TGH: That’s what happens when you let the one person not in love with The Yaz draw The Yaz.
BW: A weirdly broody-looking J’onn handily provides exposition for us with “We’ve been hit!” Rather handy, I say, because I actually was wondering what the hell kind of title “BBAARUUMM” was.
QP: And then, a two-page spread of art vomit.
DN: “How Not to Lay out a Space Battle”
TGH: They very wisely navigated themselves into an enemy-filled asteroid belt. I’m surprised it’s not all hurtling towards a star or something.
DN: I guess the Tormock fighters are space bats, or something?
BW: “I am vengeance, I am the night! I am TORMOCK SPACE BATMAN.”
QP: Yeah, I don’t know how you miss that kind of thing. Unless maybe The Yaz thought they were other sexy pterodactyls? There’s fireballs and space bats and some kinda Deep Dream planetoid. You don’t just stumble upon that stuff.
TGH: It took me several minutes to figure out which ship was even theirs, so we’re off on the right foot already.
BW: Which is sad because I actually kind of like the design of the space ships in general – it’s clearly influenced by the human ships in Alien.
QP: Maybe spaceships are for Marc Campos what dinosaurs were for Mitch Byrd.
TGH: It’s kind of sad how coherent the art is in the other issues, but when you get to the main character’s book it goes back into incomprehensible madness. I mean, it’s still not Guy Gardner Annual #1 by a long shot, but still.
BW: Thank goodness for small miracles. Not sure if the other issues of GG:W had Lee Loughridge on colors, but I think it helps this issue a bit.
QP: This splash is just a taste of the horrible art-related things to come. The art is definitely not helped by the writing, which is part “tell, not show” and part “we’re just assuming you’re on the same page as us already.” They probably would’ve benefited from including a copy of the script.
TGH: Like this next page, for instance. A bunch of shit is flying at their ship, then there are spikes, which we can assume are from one of those things, then Guy, who is located…somewhere, grabs a thing and shoves it into another thing that we haven’t seen yet, killing an alien we’ve not seen before. I get the gist of what’s happening here, but why should it have to take any amount of thought to process such an easy scene?
QP: If they cut down on the detail work by like, 75%, you could probably actually follow this. But no. Everything is spikes and rubble and lines and clouds, and aliens drawn in negative space.
DN: Also, you can see how much communication is being had between the creative teams, because not a single goddamn artist can remember if Maxima is wearing pants or not. And where did he get that girder???
QP: I believe he ripped it out of the ship.
BW: Yeah. Not the easiest thing to follow.
TGH: A good team could have an army consisting of many species attacking the JLA in a way that we could follow, but it just isn’t happening here.
QP: Wonder Woman tells them to keep punching this thing. We are not given any information as to what this thing is. I guess one of the ships? Or maybe an alien? Or the space bats?
TGH: Then the wall/alien/whatever reverses gravity poles? The fuck?
DN: And Flash runs in space so hard it looks like he dislocated several vertebrae.
BW: I appreciate the hell out of the Flash right now – mostly because everything is so darn murky that he’s one of the few things that pops on that page.
TGH: Seriously, he’s the only character that can be even kind of followed. The Flash tries to vibrate into a ship. but because we can’t have a concrete enemy to draw, the walls turn into goo so we can draw more and more lines.
DN: Unfortunately, the easiest-to-follow character runs in to space diarrhea and gets stuck.
TGH: Remember when Hawkman, of all things, had badass flying skeleton warriors? Guy Gardner: Warrior has Gak walls.
BW: What happens when a Giger Xenomorph and a wad of Big League Chew really REALLY like each other? Page 6 of this week’s issue.
QP: I think the Guy Gardner creative team have proven themselves really capable of creating believable villains thus far. We should trust them on this.
TGH: Nuklon and Obsidian try to do something to help, but then we meet a new enemy: twirly Gak!
QP: I hope Nickelodeon paid handsomely for the product placement.
DN: Nickelodeon wanted NOTHING to do with this comic.
TGH: Weren’t there all kinds of alien races just a few pages ago? Why are we falling back on lazy shit on every page?
BW: Man, Nuklon was the one other character besides the Flash that you could actually see in the darkity dark of space.
DN: “Ugh it’s getting all over me! The more I struggle the more it..” Don’t want to know what Al is going through here but it seems like he’s getting gakked in his butt.
TGH: Then a spaceship cryo-farts on Obsidian. They’ve got a stupid way of capturing everyone!
QP: Well, then the space ship flies into a sphincter, so clearly these are ass aliens. With ass-based powers. Who also look like ass.
TGH: Once the sphincter closes we are left with the vast brownness of space.
QP: Guy turns his hand into a spine, which is one of history’s greatest weapons.
TGH: We have no idea where he even is right now, but what can be done?
QP: He’s in the yellow-swooshy-line sector of space, duh.
BW: And a Warriors reference. I’m shocked it took 33 issues to get there.
TGH: Dementor did it once, which just proves they’re related.
DN: They added a word to keep Walter Hill from coming to their house with a tire iron.
TGH: Guy gets jumped from behind by one person, which is apparently all it was going to take to stop him on this mission.
QP: Guy gets captured by the Gak, while also apparently turning into flesh-colored Gak.
TGH: It’s an alien, which you can tell by the face hidden in there somewhere, but not at all by any indication of anatomy.
QP: Are we sure the aliens and the Gak aren’t the same thing though?
TGH: There is absolutely no one on this planet that could verify this. Things are looking bad for Guy (well, nothing is looking anything for anyone, but the words make it seem like this is bad), when someone saves the day.
DN: Breakout star of 1995, Probert, The Bad One! DC just basically reskinned Cable and threw him into this crossover.
TGH: As seen in passing the one time Hal killed everyone!
BW: Holy crap – his name actually is The Bad One.
TGH: The name given to him by his enemies, and not at all a name that he yells to everyone every chance he can get to make them say it.
BW: “Look Bob – you can’t make a nickname happen. It has to be organic.”
QP: He always introduces himself as The Bad One, but then his mother corrects him.
TGH: Apparently Probert just likes to show up and murder Tormocks whenever he gets the chance, which makes Guy pretty damn redundant, doesn’t it?
QP: Yeah, he also seems to be way better at it. Clearly the Vuldarians should’ve hit up whatever planet he’s from a few million years ago instead of Earth.
TGH: Probert colon The Bad One colon Warrior.
DN: He’s also fantastic at being expository while wildly shooting guns.
QP: Probert and Guy give us a brief lesson in horticulture.
QP: Elsewhere in a vaguely space-colored area, Captain Atom is being surrounded by Space Bats, who laserblast him. It doesn’t turn out very well for them.
TGH: Captain Atom uses one of General Patton’s trademark moves of blasting the shit out of aliens with his nuclear powers.
QP: And that, children, is how we won World War II.
TGH: Sadly, “What worked for General Patton can work for Captain Atom” never quite took off as a catchphrase. Possibly because it makes no damn sense in any context whatsoever.
QP: Probably also because no one wants to quote a guy whose eyes are sliding back towards his ears.
BW: Even Captain Atom can’t tear his eyes away from his gorgeous mullet.
DN: What worked for General Custer can work for Captain Atom!
TGH: …he yells, returning an extra can of peas he bought on accident. Beau Smith was so happy about that line, probably.
QP: I am like 99% sure the creative team was drunk when they wrote this. “Can you name another military guy?”
“Ok, going with that.”
TGH: He was trying to get on the Captain Atom monthly and he just knew that complete batshit quote was gonna clinch it for him. It was going to be on the top of every issue. Artist’s rendition:
DN: What worked for Surgeon General Lushniak can work for Captain Atom!
BW: Especially when the Surgeon General faced the terror of … THE BLACK VORTEXER!
DN: What worked for General Hospital can work for Captain Atom! Ok, I’m done now.
QP: Some purpleish blue thing in space that’s apparently known as a Black Vortexer (despite not being black) eats Maxima, Martian Manhunter, and Captain Atom.
TGH: The Tormocks apparently get tired of Captain Atom’s bullshit and just crap out a sentient black hole to kill them, I mean safely capture them.
QP: It looks more like the squid from the end of Watchmen, but whatever. Guy is pretty mad about this, but the Tormocks send some dudes out to grab him, so he doesn’t have to think about it for too long.
TGH: It’s nice that they could’ve just done this 15 pages ago. Reeeal nice.
QP: This was their Limit Break though.
TGH: Too bad Probert left Guy’s side. The real Tormock killer could’ve probably stopped this.
QP: He had better things to do. Like go find Wonder Woman and check out her awesome new costume.
DN: “Hey there, baby, ya wanna get with—The BAD One?” Diana vomits in her mouth.
QP: And immediately runs back to Earth and changes into the square dance skirt costume.
TGH: I (and the book) completely forgot about the other half of the cast, but they’re still in the ship being crushed to death.
QP: Somehow Guy managed to get captured before The Yaz did.
TGH: Speaking of The Yaz, Blue Devil joins the love hexagon and tries to save him/her in exchange for Love Points.
QP: Well they are the same color. It makes a lot of sense.
TGH: Then, because we’re reading this book, a line stops Blue Devil and then he’s being held by two aliens in the next panel because we can’t even show something as simple as aliens grabbing a person competently.
QP: And the rest of the page is just a clusterfuck of colors and squiggles which is supposed to represent Ice and Fire getting captured.
DN: They’re swarmed by aliens in Japanese gummy candies.
TGH: Seriously, what they hell are those things? Let’s go ahead and introduce some other incomprehensible threat at the last minute, in case we hadn’t confused everyone enough. People got paid for this.
QP: People get paid to do a lot of stupid bullshit.
BW: “Dry them to a state of unconsciousness.” Whatever the page rate was for that, it was too much.
TGH: I do not recall seeing any amount of drying occur on this panel or any adjacent panels. I think Beau Smith just has Tourette’s or something, but for boring words. One of the pink gummy honeycombs starts molesting Fire, which really advances the story.
QP: The thing I don’t get is why the ship stuck around long enough to capture these four, but then leaves without taking Wonder Woman or Hawkman. If Guy was the objective, why didn’t they just leave once they had him?
BW: Pro-Bert has the answer!
QP: Oh thank God.
BW: According to him, “It’s a delaying tactic, something something.”
TGH: It’s because there are three titles in this crossover, and now three groups. That is literally the only reason.
BW: Oh man. That’s. Yeah.
QP: A+ storytelling, guys. Diana is all mad and irrational and woman-like and wants to go after them, until Probert mansplains basic tactics to her.
DN: “Thanks, I am absolutely not from a race of women trained in combat out of the womb. Nope.”
QP: Look, it’s probably just her period talking. Once she calms down, she’ll see he’s right. Then he tells us about his ship, the Deux Ex Machina, that can just go find Guy.
TGH: Meanwhile, on Vuldar, Guy’s home planet that has been raped to give him motivation, the Tormocks talk about their victory in capturing Guy.
QP: Even though he’s still in transit, and clearly they’ve never been waiting on an in-transit package from UPS before. And clearly the package is about to be mishandled.
DN: Guy is hooked up to a bunch of wires and we get our first full view of Empress Karine, who proceeds to go all Gene Simmons on Guy’s face and it is super gross.
TGH: Poor Guy. If only he could turn his body into something, anything, that could get him out of those frankly weak-looking restraints
QP: They’re not even wrapped the whole way about his bicep. He could flex slightly and be free. That said, it does look like they dislocated his right elbow, so that might slow him down.
TGH: I think he’s actually unconscious, which makes the licking worse.
BW: I keep trying to process how exactly the aliens work and it keeps just not working. On the bottom center panel, is the Empress licking her face, or is that armor?
QP: Her contacts were drying out.
TGH: Will Guy Gardner wake up to find himself being licked by some weirdo? Will he enjoy it? Will Probert run out of gas on the way to Vuldar and try to put the moves on Wonder Woman? Tune in next time, in Justice League #102, NOT Hawkman #23, Beau Smith! Damn it, you’re in charge of this! Get your act together!
TGH: Chapin Springer wants Guy to just start beating the shit out of a bunch of superheroes and making them his victims to teach them all what a hero Guy is. When Guy Gardner tells you to cool your shit, maybe you need to reflect on your life choices.
QP: I wonder if there’s an overlap between ’90s fans of Guy Gardner and the FBI’s serial killer watch list.
DN: You just unlocked the code.
BW: Jim Moore of Tom’s River, NJ writes in to remind us of some of Bill Clinton’s nicknames.
QP: “Just because you’re Irish doesn’t mean you’re not American, so why should being alien?” Wise words there, kid. Mark Griffin has some real constructive criticism for the team, which I’m sure was promptly ignored. “Develop my characters’ relationships? What is this, a well-written story? Bah!”
DN: Someone cares about Buck Wargo. Huh.
QP: Somebody had to.
DN: I guess anybody can be a favorite character?
TGH: This person also wants an Emerald Fallout novel, so he is clearly insane.
DN: Somewhere out there is a person who has a really long Yaz pitch?
QP: Yes, it’s Grant Morrison.
TGH: A Yaz fan wouldn’t have to collect much at least.
TGH: Guy ends his letter column with “You get what you deserve!” This pretty much sums up everything this comic stands for.
’90s Ad Showcase:
TGH: There’s only one new ad I think, and it’s a Spree ad starring Monk.
QP: He’s irradiating his hand so that you can see that there’s SweeTarts inside them.
TGH: He died so you didn’t have to bite into one.
BW: Spree. Taste the rainb…I mean taste the radiation!
BW: Have we already seen the ad for The Adventures of Batman and Robin?
TGH: I don’t think?
DN: No, I don’t think so. It’s fascinating that we’re reading something this bad while Batman TAS is like one of DC’s finest accomplishments
TGH: Remember back in the day when you had to pay $10+ for like 3 episodes of a TV series?
DN: A whole season would take up like an entire shelf.
QP: Which is really ridiculous when you remember that you can get about 6 hours of tape on one VHS.
TGH: In the shittiest quality though. These were recorded in glorious Standard Quality. I bet that “limited edition” Batman figure is burning up on eBay.
DN: First person to find it on eBay gets a no-prize
BW: A quick search reveals…Nothing! Absolutely nothing!
<20 minutes that we can never get back later>
TGH: Ok, I think it actually doesn’t exist. Thanks, Obama.
QP: Nobody wanted to cut up their VHS boxes.
TGH: Next time, Empress Karine prepares to end Guy’s life once and for all. Guy tries to bargain for his life, and offers the thing most precious to him: his Limited Edition Batman figure that he mailed away for with the purchase of two or more video tapes of The Adventures of Batman and Robin, the only figure of it’s kind in the entire universe. Karine cannot turn down such a valuable offer and releases Guy, only to be immediately murdered by him. Nobody takes Guy Gardner’s Limited Edition Batman figure. Nobody.