TGH: Welcome back everyone to issue 40 of Guy Gardner: Warrior! We’re so close to the end I can taste it! Last time we had a Christmas issue where Guy got everything he could ever want while the entire DC Universe stood around and smiled at him. I have a feeling that his party was never mentioned in any of the other ongoing titles, so I’m sure nothing of value really came from it. There’s no telling what kind of trouble Guy will even find himself in this week, though the cover shows him in the most “cornered rat” pose we’ve ever seen him in.
QP: Truly, whatever foe he is about to face must be the most fearsome character to yet grace these pages. I know that’s not saying much, but bear with me.
TGH: The cover boasts that he’s up against the “one foe he cannot defeat,” which isn’t saying a ton, because I think he’s only really defeated like 3 people so far, while most villains just kind of slink away to fight again in later issues, so they’re honestly not narrowing it down much here.
QP: I’m wracking my brain, but I really think Sledge may be the only villain that Guy has actually beat.
TGH: He sent Goldface to jail that one time, he killed the shit out of Major Force, and then his grandpa killed the Tormock guy for him, which I guess he gets half credit for. I think that’s it.
QP: Oh yes, I forgot about the little incident with Major Force. Also, he has a scrotum hand.
TGH: God, that hand is just terrible. I think it’s just supposed to gross out anyone nearby.
QP: If it weren’t attached to an arm-like appendage I don’t know if I would’ve been able to guess what it was.
TGH: Also he has a meat tube running from his ass to his gun. Maybe it’s an umbilical cord. Maybe he gave birth to the gun. From his butt.
QP: It’s just the water line for his flesh Super Soaker.
TGH: Anyway, on to the issue! Our story begins in – OH MY GOD GUY FUCKED FIRE.
QP: I reject this reality.
TGH: This comic is no longer canon in any version of the DC Universe.
QP: Thank Jeebus for that.
TGH: This is why they had to kill it. This was the line that couldn’t be crossed.
QP: Only took them another 16 years to get around to it.
TGH: Guy comes downstairs, and everyone is just sitting there waiting for him so they can talk about his nuts. I hate this issue so much. Two pages in, and I’m already over it. A new record!
QP: Do these people not have homes? Families? Why are they having breakfast in a gross theme bar?
TGH: I think they all live there. The first floor is a shitty bar, then a lab is above it, then a mansion. The basement is just a giant door to the sewers. There’s a constant, horrible smell in there at all times.
QP: I feel like surely this place isn’t up to code, but then again, Buck probably bought the code.
TGH: Joey makes the inevitable “burn marks” joke that Beau Smith has been sitting on for an entire month. I like the one-two punch of Guy just knocking everyone out of their chairs. I guess real bros have relationships where they can just casually punch each other on the ground and not hate each other forever afterwards.
QP: Violence is always the answer. Fire was in such a rush to get out of there than she decided it was better to go barefoot in New York in December than stick around long enough to find her boot. I can’t say I blame her, with these jackasses hanging around.
TGH: I mean, she’s made of fire, so I think she was okay. If only she had just set the place ablaze to burn all the evidence of this whole situation, we’d be spared all of this.
QP: We should be so lucky.
TGH: Then of course Veronna has to let us know what a harlot Fire is, since she had sex with the chosen one, who is of course not himself a harlot.
QP: Man, what an excellent example of the double standard.
TGH: Suddenly someone comes into Warrior’s and screams Guy’s full name. Everyone is shocked, except for Buck, who does not give a shit because some dick just punched him. I guess his feelings were hurt after all.
QP: In fairness, it’s pretty shocking that Guy’s middle name is Joseph. I doubt any of them knew that. Buck is probably offended that he’s been Guy’s best friend for a whole 5 months now and Guy never once confided in him.
TGH: It turns out that the only person who knows his name is his mom, and Jesus, this is still the beginning of the issue.
QP: Guy’s mom is fed up with him destroying her house and getting her cat killed, so she’s decided to move in.
TGH: She’s way different than the last time we met her, though in fairness her house has been ruined twice since then, and I’m pretty sure both times Guy didn’t bother to check in on her.
QP: I doubt it. He probably tried to make it look like the neighbor kids did it and hightailed it out of there.
TGH: He probably could’ve just asked Buck to set her up with a nice new home, but nope, better ignore her until she snaps. This was a completely avoidable problem.
QP: The best part is that they write her intro like she’s somehow being a shrill harpy here. Like Guy does not kind of totally owe her.
TGH: She lays into everyone. It’s pretty great.
QP: Guy’s mom just says what we’re all thinking.
TGH: Buck gets punched, then his mustache is insulted. Black Canary probably slapped him last night too. Worst Christmas ever.
QP: I’m sure he could just buy a politician to make mustache insults illegal and that would make him feel better.
TGH: Instead, Buck leaves to go “check on some shipments.”
QP: Conveniently, there just happen to be some new shipments. I can’t tell if that was intentional or not.
TGH: Definitely not. Buck probably just has some monitors where he can watch Guy get yelled at in peace.
QP: Oh God, he probably has the whole building bugged. He totally watched Guy and Fire.
TGH: I still have no idea what Buck’s actual deal is. I know he goes on stupid adventures for the fun of it, but then he also just has people send him barrels and crates full of artifacts for reasons.
TGH: He gets a barrel with “ZAIRE” written on it, which is typically how archaeologists archive things. Just toss them in a barrel and write the country on it.
QP: No packing logs, no customs declarations. This is very sketchy, Buck.
TGH: Definitely not trafficking anything illegal.
QP: Maybe the world’s governments have just decided that in a universe filled with physics-defying people, there’s no point in wasting time with customs.
TGH: The generic Zaire barrel does finally lead us into the conflict of the month, as it turns out Gorilla Grodd was totally using that barrel, probably to throw at Mario from the top of a construction site.
QP: Dammit Buck, he totally called fives.
TGH: Instead of dirtying his hands to get it back, he sends Ape Team Six.
QP: Cyber Ape Team Six: When a regular chimp just will not do.
TGH: I guess regular apes weren’t enough, because yeah, we’re definitely dealing with cyber apes here. In the ’90s we all just kind of assumed this is where things were going. I guess they were trying to outdo Congo, which had just come out the year before and definitely did not have any cyber apes.
QP: The cyber apes are basically just bad T-1000 knock-offs, and bust into the building and immediately kill some security guards. Good job not actually having alarms on the windows to your super high-tech hero base, Buck.
TGH: I’m not even sure how the whole “cyber ape” thing works other than they just get cyber texture on top of their fur. Apes of that size could probably kill some dudes anyway.
QP: Chimpanzees are murderous bastards on their own. You didn’t need to put circuits on them.
TGH: One of the guards is loyal to the end and decides to help everyone out by using his final breath to hit the alarm and not call his wife to tell her he loves her. Guy apparently went back to bed in these 10 minutes, and I’m not sure if the printing on my copy is bad or if Guy was crying into his pillow, but I’m going with the latter.
QP: Again: security alarms that can only be activated by a big, obvious red button seems like a poor choice, Buck.
TGH: Buck doesn’t care much about “regulations.”
QP: So despite the fact that the alarm was sounded in the building, everyone runs to the roof to immediately get in a helicopter for debriefing.
TGH: Yeah, that makes no sense. How do they even have this information?
QP: Buck puts trackers on all of his shipments, so when everyone breaks into his poorly defended laboratory to steal them, he can waste time going to get them back.
TGH: Why do they care so much about a shipment they didn’t even know the contents of? Is it just a pride thing?
QP: Hey, Maguffins always end up being really important, may as well put trackers on them.
TGH: Also, listen, I know that 90% of this website is me being a pedantic asshole about stupid crap in a ’90s comic, but for God’s sake, it’s December 26. In the last issue, which took place 12 HOURS AGO, it was snowing like crazy, and now it’s a warm spring day and everyone is wearing short sleeves. Does anyone who works on this comic pay attention to anything?
QP: Please don’t make them come up with any more costumes.
TGH: I’ve seen newspaper comic strips with more outfits.
TGH: Guy interrupts their flight to tell everyone that he knows the area of the Empire State Building. What a hipster.
QP: Buck tries to dance around the fact that he totally just graverobbed the shit out of Gorilla City to get these artifacts. “Uh, yes, a lost city, supposedly full of talking apes, if you can believe such a thing exists, my alien/human hybrid friend who turns into a nine-foot-tall Freudian nightmare for fun.”
TGH: Oh, so now “we” found the artifacts. It wasn’t just given to you by someone on your payroll.
TGH: I’m glad Veronna dressed up for the occasion. “We’re going into battle. Hold on, let me strip.”
QP: This is more clothing than she had on for the last battle.
TGH: Speaking of which, where the hell is Arisia again? Is she seeing other superheroes?
QP: Good for her. Make them miss you, honey.
TGH: Guy puts two and two together and figures out that if the artifact was taken from a talking ape city, and a talking ape villain is trying to steal it, then it must be DC’s only talking ape who lives in the talking ape city, Gorilla Grodd! He didn’t even need the Bat Computer for that.
QP: You do actually have to qualify the “lives in a talking ape city” part, in case we’re talking about some other one of DC’s shit ton of gorilla villains.
TGH: Guy loses the small amount of cred he earned by immediately making a masturbation joke. Buck is not impressed with his shit today. Also, maybe don’t draw the dead tourist to look exactly like Veronna, confusing the hell out of me.
QP: How did they land a helicopter on the observation deck of the Empire State Building?
TGH: Very carefully.
TGH: For some reason Desmond decided to not be Tiger-Man from the get-go, and only changed once he was being shot at by armed apes. He was a tiger when he was making coffee.
QP: They had a panel they needed to fill, okay?
TGH: Maybe his tiger form exceeds the recommended weight limit for the helicopter. I’m pretty certain they’ve put a lot of thought into this.
QP: You can have a tigerman or a 9-foot-tall alien on board, but not both.
QP: This all leads to the single most static double page action spread I have ever seen. It’s like Zack Morris just yelled time out.
TGH: The helicopter is flying around nearby, so I guess everyone just jumped out instead of it landing. Yeah, they did not do a great job of simulating any actual movement in this spread.
QP: Pretty sure Rita’s gun fires individual grains of rice instead of bullets.
TGH: Poor, half-naked, ineffective Veronna is the only one getting her ass kicked.
QP: The fight continues with some inconsequential punching for a few pages. One of the Cyber Apes tells Desmond he recognizes him as a tiger-man of Burma.
TGH: Cyber Ape does some reading in his downtime.
QP: Funny, you’d think if he was from a race of Asian were-tigers, he’d be a little less pasty. I guess they already filled their Asian teammate quota, though.
TGH: He just assimilated their culture. Then they all died, so now he owns it.
QP: Buck bought it for him.
TGH: Guy punches some more apes and then runs into Grodd, who immediately shoots him. This is after Guy tries to be his usual smartass self, which Grodd does not tolerate. Good for him.
QP: Then Grodd uses his fancy monkey mind control on Guy, which gives Veronna a migraine elsewhere.
TGH: It turns out that the only plot reason that Veronna came is because she can now block Guy from being mind-controlled! How sudden and convenient!
QP: It’s almost like someone knew this was gonna happen! Guy socks Grodd in the nostril, then drags him out to the rooftop to taunt the Cyber Apes.
TGH: This gives Guy the opportunity to put Grodd into a fancy wrestling hold and make him call off his ape army. I can’t even remember why they were standing their ground there. I thought they just wanted to steal a thing, but whatever they stole isn’t really helping them right now.
QP: Then one of the Cyber Apes turns into a Slenderape.
TGH: I guess one of the apes was actually Secret Bomb Ape.
QP: I guess this is why they had to be Cyber Apes? Maybe? I mean, I wouldn’t put it past Grodd to go all Joker and plant a bomb in a regular ape to get out of a jam, so I still don’t see why it has to be a Cyber Ape.
TGH: The apes use this as a way to escape, promising they’ll give them the detonator when they leave. Like Grodd would let the bomb go off while he was still there.
QP: There is certainly no way this is a trick, so Guy lets him go.
TGH: Shockingly (shockingly!) the detonator doesn’t work!
QP: I certainly could not have seen that coming from space. Rita points out that it’s gonna blow, winning the Captain Obvious award for this issue.
TGH: DC once again uses a tired comic book trope and resolves the conflict by having the hero throw a bomb monkey.
QP: At least it wasn’t a dwarf.
TGH: If only Guy had done that while Grodd was there, then Grodd would’ve had no leverage. Though, it does bear repeating that Buck Wargo stole Grodd’s shit, and Grodd was only taking it back, only to have his plane get blown up.
QP: Well it belongs in a museum, not in the hands of it’s owner.
TGH: This issue is America in a nutshell.
QP: Despite the fact that Grodd’s helicopter appears to have blown up, everyone is still talking about the artifact as if it’s still out there somewhere.
TGH: ONLY ONCE GRODD IS DEAD does Buck wonder what the heck he even had that was his. He’s dead, right? They keep talking like he got away, but the art on the page before clearly shows the bomb blowing the plane up.
QP: Man, I hope he stole a thing from a dude that was worth killing him over rather than let him take back. And not just, like, his collection of vintage Playboys or something.
QP: Rather than grapple with the weight of the fact that they just murdered several sentient gorillas, Guy starts moping about having to go home to his mom. With a bonus typo!
TGH: The issue ends with Guy talking about how fat and shitty his mom is. Goodnight, everybody!
QP: This is a high quality comic.
TGH: Those Warrior’s servers are all 🙁
QP: Well she does have a lot of stink lines coming off of her head. I like that they set up all the drama of Guy having to deal with his mom, and it was barely more than a couple of pages of actual conflict.
TGH: I like to think that her hair just kind of morphs into curlers as the sun sets.
QP: Like a werewolf. Werecurlers.
TGH: Now that Guy’s mom has moved in, will this affect the comic at all, other than taking up a ton of pages about how terrible moms are? Will we ever find out what completely benign object Buck Wargo murdered Grodd over? Find out next week!
TGH: Guy’s mom wastes no time answering the letters this month.
QP: They are really out of ideas.
TGH: Someone tried to say that Way of the Warrior sucked and “Guy’s mom” laid into him.
QP: Surprisingly, she sounds exactly like Guy when she answers letters.
TGH: We do get confirmation that Guy’s dad’s side “did it with an alien,” so there’s another Guy Fact. Though that still implies that there could be more Warriors if there are more people with Vuldarian DNA. Maybe if this went on for any longer there’s be a spin-off comic.
QP: They also say that Guy is supposed to be channeling great warriors throughout history, which I assume means most great warriors were nothing without fleshy railguns. Someone points out that, at the time of their letter, the comic is nearing the 3 year mark. Nextwave gets cancelled after 12 issues and this shit makes it for more than 3 years. There is no justice in this world.
TGH: Someone asks if Mace would’ve become a Warrior if he drank the water, but then “Guy’s mom” cries until we forgot the question.
QP: Guy’s mom says she’s got her hands full with Martika, who was not in this issue at all, and therefore, she could not possibly know about.
TGH: I think this is actually the last time we even see her, so this was all worth it.
QP: Oh my God, really?
TGH: I’m pretty sure. I have to assume they were given their cancellation notice pretty soon, so she probably got bumped to wrap up this epic tale.
QP: The epic tale of stealing shit from people and then murdering them before they can call the cops.
TGH: Rockstar has made a lot of money off of this idea. DC should’ve made a Buck Wargo game where he just ran around stealing shit from villains and then getting Guy to kill them when they got mad about it.
90’s Ad Showcase:
TGH: Is there anything more ’90s than ordering Batman Forever on Pay Per View?
QP: Scrambled porn on Cinemax? But not by much.
TGH: There’d at least be less U2.
QP: I like the friendly reminder that Six Flags has a Batman ride.
TGH: Wait, never mind, the most ’90s thing in this issue is a 5 minute phone card when you subscribe to comics. Remember when 5 minutes on the phone was a commodity that you could use to entice people?
QP: Yes, God, I do not miss those days.
TGH: I guess for a teen that read Guy Gardner: Warrior you’d be set for the year.
QP: You could call your girlfriend in Canada that you met on AOL.
TGH: She’s a model. You wouldn’t know her.
QP: I mean, you’ve seen her before. In the Victoria’s Secret catalog, maybe.
QP: Guy discovers that Buck has been secretly using him as an enforcer for his archaeological artifact smuggling ring this entire time. Sledge was just a government agent trying to get the crystal Game Boy back to it’s rightful owners in the South American jungle.
TGH: Guy finally realizes how many people died to feed Buck’s greed…and is actually pretty okay with it.
QP: Guy’s Clone just shakes his head, content in the knowledge that he was the good clone all along.
TGH: Beau changes Guy’s name to Guy Gardner: Enforcer, further blurring the line between the two.