TGH: Welcome back to another Guy Gardner adventure! Last time, Evil Guy Gardner inexplicably showed up at Warrior’s and fought a bunch of awful, random villains. It was clear that a piece of the puzzle was missing since there was supposed to be a fight with Real Guy Gardner, but we found out that more of the story took place in Darkstars #37. Well, it turns out that I don’t have that issue! Not to worry, though. I’m sure everything will be easy enough to pick up. Let us go ahead and check out the cover, which shows…Guy trying to murder John Stewart? Son of a bitch.
QP: Hey, this is two nicely drawn covers in a row. Well done.
TGH: I’m a little scared of Guy’s teeth.
DN: They are very…prominent.
QP: He’s mutated some horse teeth.
TGH: I guess that’s Neron or something in the background. I can’t make it out at all.
QP: He’s got some Jack Kirby eyebrows.
TGH: The issue opens up in the middle of an episode of the ’60s Batman series.
DN: That Darkstar guy has a comics lady pose
QP: Greg Land was the secret artist for this issue.
BW: We’re opening with a LOT of exposition. And a dance party.
TGH: Leave it to good ol’ Guy to exposition his way back up to speed. See, it wasn’t so bad! Evil Guy just left Real Guy behind…somehow, and then Ferrin Colos showed up for some reason and now they’re fighting FishStarr, who is my Original He-Man Character, Do Not Steal.
QP: He’s got some Mini-Mes, how nice.
BW: FishStarr is my hero because he never skipped leg day. Ever.
TGH: Are these all Star Spawns, or actual paid goons?
QP: I don’t know, but their brains are exposed, and that seems like a poor choice, tactically.
BW: I’m going with Spawns because one or two are nibbling on Guy in the double page spread. I don’t see anyone willingly doing that.
TGH: They’re like the Saibamen from Dragonball Z, but wearing a shitty costume.
DN: I think that is one of Evil Star’s powers. Maybe. He’s a shit Green Lantern villain. Who knows?
TGH: One of them TORE GUY’S TATTOO OPEN. OH MY GOD HOW IN THE HELL DOES HIS BODY WORK?
QP: His skin is a non-Euclidian nightmare.
QP: Then, a full page of labored dog puns.
TGH: I bet the Pound of Pain has pretty reasonable Labor Day rates.
QP: It does look painful.
DN: If you read this page in the Macho Man voice it gets infinitely better.
BW: POUND of PAin!
QP: Gonna start doing that for all of Guy’s dialog now. I mean, what the fuck kind of name even is Evil Star? Is he a star that got anthropomorphized and is very vengeful about that?
TGH: I’m glad we get to hear all about this recurring Darkstar villain. I’ll definitely be picking up Darkstars #4 real soon to see more of his schemes.
BW: Evil-Star-like schemes?
DN: The Darkstars: AKA the Costco Green Lanterns
QP: Don’t insult Kirkland brand products like that.
TGH: I guess the Star Spawns can just keep regenerating as much as they want, as Guy finds out while striking his sexiest pose.
QP: He wants to show the Starlings his tits and ass at the same time, that’s all. I told you Greg Land drew this.
BW: While also flexing ten jillion muscles that don’t actually exist.
QP: It’s that slightly different Vuldarian anatomy.
TGH: Clearly the best way to kill a million grunts is to grab two swords and go at it. Real efficient, Warrior.
QP: Not a laser cannon, not a rail gun. No. Ren faire swords. And for some reason parts of his back turn into Colossus.
BW: When all else fails, get Wolverine to guest star. Unless it’s a DC book – then turn your lead into Wolverine.
QP: He does make a Mountie joke.
DN: His hair is much more luxurious than Wolverine’s.
TGH: Guy somehow manages to kill millions of those damn things in time to stand there and make fun of Colos as he struggles with FishStarr.
TGH: Evil Star is kind of the MVP of the issue by punching both of these assholes.
QP: Yeah, they’re too busy snarking each other to notice the purple guy with a giant star on his face sneaking up to cold cock them right in the head.
DN: Your weakness disgusts me, you guys.
QP: Evil Star fucks up and gloats a little too hard, and Guy and Darkstar learned a trick or two from him.
TGH: He gets one-punched (well, two-punched) pretty bad.
DN: Darkstar and Guy blast the living shit out of Evil Star, and then have a dick measuring contest over who did it better.
QP: When you name your gun the Spank Ray, you automatically lose the pissing contest. Especially when that gun is your hand.
TGH: Guy makes it super awkward.
TGH: Colos takes all of Guy’s friends from a few issues ago to safety while Guy plays with a bunch of Star Spawn corpses.
QP: At least he realizes hows stupid his hair looks.
DN: So you can make your own body guns and blades but you can’t regulate your hair length? Vuldarian physiology is dumb.
TGH: Guy wants to cut his hair, so he makes a flesh knife, instead of the way better idea of just making a scissors symbol with his hand and making it actual scissors.
QP: Yeah, but that’s way less hardcore.
TGH: This was the only chance anyone in comics ever had to draw that and they blew it.
QP: I bet Plastic Man has done that at some point. Can he make a gun out of hair?
TGH: Probably. Every single strand could be a tiny gun.
QP: Maybe a gun for ants.
TGH: Could Guy make himself into a gun so big that he himself couldn’t fire it?
TGH: Guy then shrinks himself into his normal size, which clearly also shrinks his hair down too. Damn it Guy, you beautiful mystery.
QP: Fucking Vuldarians, how do they work?
DN: At that point, the devil totes shows up.
QP: The devil doesn’t look like David Bowie so I call bullshit.
BW: Looks like the Devil shops at Fashionable Male.
TGH: We’re like halfway through this comic before the main event even starts. I honestly thought that the Darkstar stuff would take less time. I just hope Neron didn’t mention that he had already talked to Earthworm way before he made it to Guy.
QP: He’s had no luck with the actual evil characters so he’s had to settle for chaotic neutral.
TGH: Poor Guy can’t fight Neron, so he really has no idea how to deal with him.
QP: He can’t punch him, so he’ll just go along with whatever he tells him to do.
TGH: Neron suddenly brings Coast City back and takes Guy there! Guy’s ex is there! Not Ice; the one Hal stole from him! This isn’t weird at all!
TGH: As if that’s not enough of a miracle, Guy’s entire (dead) family is there too. They’re super proud of him, and not hating him in a drunken rage and/or being hired by the military to kill him!
QP: And Kilowog is not a skull!
TGH: I bet there’s not even a catch or anything!
TGH: In case this wasn’t too good to be true already, Ice finally shows up! Everything will be great as long as he does this mysterious thing that Neron wants! Just when Guy is wound up the most, everyone disappears so Neron can tell him what trifle of a task he needs to complete in order for all of his wildest dreams to come true.
BW: All he has to do is punch a Green Lantern.
QP: Punch him to DEATH.
DN: He probably doesn’t even care much about anyways.
TGH: It’s just a little, meaningless murder.
QP: Just some slight murder.
BW: A demitasse of murder?
QP: A smattering of murder.
TGH: A murdlet, really.
QP: Guy is pretty mad that he has to kill Jon Stewart, but then Neron says some words and Guy is just like, oh yeah, okay sure. Neron’s argument isn’t even that convincing. “If you don’t kill him, he’ll die anyway.” Yes. We’ll all die anyway if Guy doesn’t kill us first.
TGH: Clearly Neron is grasping at straws here, which is kind of sad, because he’s The Devil, and he’s probably had some time to prepare for this, and Guy’s not even really asking any difficult questions.
DN: This is a weird devil bargain, because he doesn’t want Guy’s soul.
BW: “Fate can be a real Lorena Bobbit,” Neron says. Which isn’t a dated reference at ALL.
QP: John Bobbit doesn’t think so.
QP: No, it was a knife.
DN: Fate can really cut your dick off and throw it out of a moving vehicle. That’s what I always say.
TGH: John Stewart then conveniently shows up right after their conversation. Was he coming to get the other Lanterns? I thought Colos did that already.
TGH: Guy gives John a bit of a fun scare by hurling a ton of knives right at his face. Such a joker.
QP: But he misses, and immediately changes his mind about killing him. He’s pretty fickle.
TGH: Guy is tired from having the devil show up and show him a bunch of dead loved ones and pretending that their staying dead is totally Guy’s fault, which is a perfectly fair thing to be bummed about, honestly, so he just wants to go back to Earth now and stop having space adventures.
QP: This entire issue could’ve just been another panel of exposition. Literally nothing happened. But I guess we did get to find out about the Spank Ray.
TGH: Neron clearly didn’t count on Guy Gardner being a great human being, as shown by his being mostly unwilling to kill someone for no really good reason when asked seconds ahead of time.
QP: Especially not to bring back two dead girlfriends, an old teacher, and some family members he never even liked that much.
TGH: We’ve seen Guy kill people who deserved it, so maybe if you had to kill a bunch of people for your plans to fall into place, maybe you should’ve had him kill someone who did something bad and leave the hero killing to all of those villains you’re courting.
TGH: Meanwhile, in parts unknown, Evil Guy Gardner totally sells his soul to Neron in exchange for that stupid helmet. I think he changed his name to The Enforcer too, which has nothing to do with Guy or his clone at all.
QP: He’s Stryfe now and this is now the X-Men. Wait…Oh god this is X-Cutioner’s Song.
TGH: I like that The Enforcer’s smile is just Neron’s smile pasted in a helmet. Why draw two faces when you can draw one face twice?
QP: So many teeth. Everyone knows all of a person’s teeth are perfect squares.
TGH: Will Guy make it back to Earth next time? Will The Enforcer ever see a dentist? Find out next time!
TGH: The letter section is just this awful drawing with the caption “Do I have to say anythin’ else?” Um…maybe?
QP: Yeah, no idea who that is.
TGH: What are her boobs even doing?
BW: She likes action figures. We know that.
QP: There is nothing about that drawing that is not awful.
TGH: They are clearly really proud of this, since they needed to go ahead and show it off full-sized. Well, I guess we have whatever this is to look forward to.
QP: The good cover streak is about to be broken.
DN: “No sociopaths wrote in this month, here’s what we think is a sexy lady.”
BW: Apparently Beau Smith didn’t have time to write the letters page AND the comic.
’90s Ad Showcase:
DN: There’s an actually decent ad for D&D. Like, nicely laid out, decent art, decent copy.
BW: And no boob window armor!
DN: How the hell did it end up in this book?
QP: I like that it’s available at my favorite stores. I like to imagine I could’ve just walked into Claire’s and picked it up.
BW: An ad for Mallrats! That ties in nicely with the previous reference for Fashionable Male.
QP: Oh man, I used to be so good at these things. (It’s the Mallrats logo. Spoilers.)
TGH: I’m not so good at them when they’re bad scans of blurry paper ads. Hopefully our readers can overcome the technology better than I could.
DN: Spawn had a video game. Go Spawn. Not really.
BW: 17 levels of torment and pain. I’m not sure anyone deserves that.
QP: Was Spawn really the #1 comic book?
TGH: I’m pretty sure it was.
QP: Man. I guess that’s not really surprising, but it it is mildly disappointing.
TGH: So, the average age of a mother giving birth in the early ’80s was about 22. So, if you assume the average reader of this book is maybe 15, their moms would be about 37 when that Street Fighter II ad was published. This is what kids thought we look like.
QP: A) I feel like assuming the average reader of this book is 15 and not, say, 9 and/or 45 is optimistic, and B) that makes me sad and old.
BW: I’m ignoring the ad for Street Fighter II because of how glorious that Superman sketch book must be. Excuse me, pin-up book. Mike Allred, Stuart Immonen, Klas Janson, Bruce Timm…
DN: There’s not a lot of bad names on that Superman gallery.
QP: Probably impossible to find that book now. *One 30 second Google search later* Yes, totally impossible.
QP: Remember when we didn’t know not to waste our time watching Mad TV yet?
BW: So much promise!
TGH: I think I was immediately turned off by it. Even as a 15-year-old I found the sketches too obnoxious.
QP: They hadn’t yet given us Stuart.
TGH: I’m pretty sure every single character they came up with just had the trait “yells a lot.”
DN: Yeah, I remember very very little about Mad TV.
QP: Bless you, my child.
DN: I want all of this Nerf. Just back the truck up to my house.
QP: Seriously. I will quit my job and have a Nerf war for the rest of my life.
TGH: I will paint myself and be Guy Gardner: Nerf Warrior. Guy’s colors are almost Nerf colors. Why in the hell was there not a crossover line? Cannons and guns that strap to your arms? Come on!
BW: Someone in marketing failed. Failed for life.
QP: That’s the reason this book didn’t last into the new millennium. Good job, DC.
TGH: I respect the hell out of Tiger Electronics for deciding to use the likeness of Liza Minnelli for the Riddler. They didn’t have to, but they did, and good on them.
QP: What if Jim Carrey was doing a Liza Minelli impression the entire time and we just didn’t get it? Everyone thought he wanted to be the Joker, but no.
TGH: I don’t feel like watching it again to find out, sadly.
DN: Yeah, no thanks.
BW: Isn’t this enough abuse?
DN: Guy Gardner re-changes his mind and murders the fuck out of John Stewart.
TGH: Since Guy almost didn’t do it, he only gets half of his loved ones back. Literally. Half of each of them.
QP: He gets different halves of Ice and Kari and…no. I’m not going there.
TGH: Guy Gardner: Re-Animator