Jan 11, 2023
We kick off Season 10 and Lantern Month with the
prickliest Earth Lantern, GUY GARDNER! How does Doc survive a
session with someone like this? Tune in to find out!
- Welcome back for Season 10
- January is Lantern Month
- Patrons will get an exclusive episode, plus a watch party of
the Ryan Reynolds movie
- Background (4:00)
- Guy Gardner created by John Broome and Gil Kane in Green
Lantern #59 (March 1968)
- Guy is the child of an abusive alcoholic who regularly beat
him, giving him an aggressive nature and a defiance to
- In college, however, he shifts and becomes engaged in social
work, and later a teacher for disabled children
- When Abin Sur’s ring sought out a successor, Guy Gardner would
have been chosen had he been closer, but since Hal Jordan was in
the vicinity of the crash, he was selected
- He later becomes a reserve Lantern, backing up John
- Hal’s power battery explodes in his face, trapping him in the
Phantom Zone - when he is freed, he is comatose and suffering from
brain damage for many years
- The Guardians revive him and give him a new ring & outfit, and
charge him with assembling a team to battle the Anti-Monitor - the
brain damage during his coma altered his personality, leaving him
immature, arrogant, and violent
- He is a founding member of the Justice League International,
although he chafes against Batman’s leadership - Batman knocks him
out with one punch, and when he awakens, he is empathetic and
caring - until he hits his head again, and he reverts to his
- Loses a fight with Hal and surrenders his ring, but later finds
a yellow ring of Sinestro’s
- After losing an eye in another fight with Hal/Parallax, he
drinks from the Warrior chalice and unlocks dormant powers hidden
in his DNA - he then becomes a shapeshifter that can create weapons
from his limbs
- He is returned to full human in GL Rebirth when the Parallax
entity is stripped from the main power battery, and he becomes one
of the trainers for the new Corps, later becoming a member of the
- During Blackest Night & War of the Lanterns, he wears a Red
ring and then a Sapphire ring, fueling himself with rage over the
death of Kyle Rayner and his love of the Corps
- New 52 - He gets dismissed from the Corps after the Guardians
create the Third Army to replace all Green Lanterns, but regains
his ring, and along with Simon Baz & other Lanterns, they defeat
the Guardians and restore the Corps
- Then he joins the Red Lanterns, working as an undercover agent
on behalf of the Green Lanterns - he takes over from Atrocitus as
leader, and uses his rage against what he felt as disrespect from
Hal, John, Kyle, the Guardians, and the Corps
- Issues - Gotta love ‘em, because otherwise you’ll hate ‘em
- All right, so...Guy Gardner. The friend in the group no one
really likes that much. The really difficult coworker who's
indispensable and you have to try and get along with because you
know he's not going anywhere. The guy who never really grew out of
his high school jock phase. We've all known a few Guy Gardners in
our lives. Some of us may have even been a Guy Gardner at one time
and not know it. Guy's really not that much of a mystery. His
issues are right there out in the open in big blinking neon
- Cockiness and abrasive personality. If you aren't aware of how
great a Green Lantern, superhero, or a man Guy is, just ask him.
He'll be happy to tell you all about it. If you have a disagreement
about Guy's assessment of himself, he'll also be happy to correct
your misconceptions. Loudly, at first. Violently, if loudly doesn't
get the job done. Guy's got an incredibly big mouth and certainly
doesn't mind telling you exactly what he thinks of you. This tends
to make him more than a little difficult to get along with as a
person, and much more difficult as a teammate. It's become a
running gag over Guy's time in DC that his fellow Corps members and
Justice League teammates are not shy about expressing enjoyment
when bad things befall him. Even people like Superman, who'd
normally be above such things.
- No sense of self-preservation. You know that phrase, "your
mouth's writing checks your ass can't cash"? Guy's ass has not only
stopped payment on the many checks his mouth has written over the
years, it's sent his mouth several overdraft notices. It's the
primary requirement of a Green Lantern's job description to be able
to overcome great fear. One of the reasons Guy is such a great
Lantern is that he seems too thick-headed to even understand the
concept of fear at all. His default mode is, "you want a piece of
me?" and he frequently charges head-first into a fight without any
plan other than letting his willpower, gumption, and titanium balls
carry the day. And he will often get slapped around for his
trouble, not only by more powerful opponents like Doomsday, but
baseline humans he picks fistfights with like Hal Jordan and
Batman. It really seems like a little bit of healthy rational fear
would serve him well. (25:48)
- Identity wrapped up in being a Green Lantern. Of all the
Lanterns we meet and get to know well, Guy loves being part of the
Corps and being a superhero maybe more than any of them. Beneath
his rough exterior, the times he's been on the outs with the rest
of the Corps and stripped of his position absolutely kills him
inside. During the War of the Lanterns arc, where he had to learn
how to power a violet ring off of love, the only thing that got it
working was him proclaiming his love for the Corps, and how he had
absolutely nothing without them. Guy is a person who loves his job
more than anything else in his life, and doesn't really know how to
function when it doesn't love him back. (31:16)
- Break (40:41)
- Plugs for Ignorance Was Bliss, Play Comics, and Howard
- Treatment (41:53)
- In-universe - Make Guy think Doc is the best of the best, and
then deflate that
- Out of universe - Real-world equivalents? Come on, the world is
full of these people. Men, women, rich, poor, they come from all
backgrounds, all walks of life. Pig-headed people who think highly
of themselves, think they're always right, and have a hard time
making anything more than the most superficial connections with
others. People who never really matured as they got older, who love
to rag on others way past the point where it stops being funny, who
carry jokes way too far, and can't let things go. But for whatever
reason, it's easier to keep them around than the alternative.
- Hello Guy, I’m Dr. Issues. - What’s up Doc?
- Not much - I bet you hear that ALL THE TIME.
- Eh, you get used to it. - Must be tough, dealing with all these
whackjobs and nasty bastards all day.
- It’s not easy, but - I mean it’s not like patrolling the whole
galaxy or nuthin’, but it’s a good gig I ‘spose.
- I do like - Must take a lotta willpower to face all the stuff
you see every day. Bet you think you could even wield a power ring,
- To be honest, I hadn’t considered - Well lemme disabuse you of
that idea right off the bat. THIS ring is only for the strongest of
will. There are a lotta wannabe ring-slingers out there, but the
Corps only takes the best o’ the best. I should know, they picked
- I can see - An’ I’m so good they let me weed out the softies
who can’t hack it. Me an’ Kilowog, we train all the rookies an’
turn ‘em into solid, functioning Lanterns. Not just anyone can do
that, ya know.
- I’m sure - ‘Course if I had full control, there’d be a few
folks I’d never have let in the first place. I mean Sinestro,
c’mon, you can see from a mile away he’s one guy who shoulda never
got a ring. His name is friggin’ Sinestro, I mean, what’s next, a
lantern called Evil McMurder? The Smurfs make a lotta mistakes, but
that’s gotta be up there, top 5 at least.
- Smurfs? - The Guardians, lil’ blue dudes, they created the
Corps. They say they don’t use emotion, but if you ask me,
sometimes they throw logic out the window too. Then again, they put
me in charge of stuff, so what’s that saying? A blind squirrel
finds a nut?
- I have heard that - I mean, I should be the full-time Lantern
for Earth, we don’t even need anyone else. The other guys are OK,
but if you can have filet mignon, why settle for a sloppy joe?
- Different folks have - John’s alright. Bit too stick in the mud
for me sometimes, but he’s definitely thorough when it comes to
dealing with stuff. A Marine cop architect ain’t exactly the kinda
guy who’s gonna miss details. An’ a black guy has seen enough
hateful stuff to give him perspective on conflict, I mean i’m sure
you get crap all the time.
- I don’t quite see how that’s - Kyle’s a good kid. He’s gotta
stop beatin’ himself up over every lil’ thing, though. He needs
better coping skills, ya can’t just draw your problems away. I mean
he’s a great partner, but the crying and whining get old after a
while. “Oh i’m a sensitive artist, all my girlfriends die, boo
hoo.” If he starts pissin’ me off I ask him to get me somethin’
outta the fridge from Alex. That shuts him up for a while
- Wow, I don’t even know where - An’ then there’s Jordan. The
hotshot. The ace pilot. The pretty boy. If I hadda nickel every
time someone fawned over him, I’d be able to afford a nice little
place in Pago Pago. He’s gotten us inta more scrapes and fights
than I can count. Seems like just about every problem the Corps has
can be traced back to him, somethin’ he did, someone he ticked off,
it’s almost always Hal. An’ he knows it too. What I wouldn’t give
ta wipe that smug smile offa his mug.
- Sounds like you’ve got - Oh an’ don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried.
More than once, actually. Sonuvabitch always ends up getting me
with a lucky shot.
- If it’s happened more than once - But as much as it pains me ta
say it, for every time he’s put us in danger, he’s saved our ass.
Mine, yours, the universe’s. He and I have gone toe-to-toe so many
times, and no matter what, he’s always gonna be the first one ta
back me up when it hits the fan. So yeah, I don’t like him half the
time, but that don’t mean I don’t respect him. Fact is, he needs me
to push him.
- How do you - He knows I’m right awn his ass, ready to take his
spot if he so much as sneezes the wrong way. John, Kyle, the other
kids, hell even the other Lanterns, we’re all waiting for him to
mess up. And the beauty of it is, ya don’t even hafta wait that
long, because it’s Hal.
- That kind of pressure - Makes diamonds? Yeah, that’s what it’s
like in the Corps. We don’t have the luxury of second-guessing
ourselves. Ya can’t be afraid of things, that’s kinda the whole
point. No fear, willpower, all o’ that. When ya been through
everything I’ve been through, fear is a waste o’ time.
- But fear can - An' all those other colors, the Froot Loops
Troops, they can suck an egg.
- Other emotions are just as - Yeah, I’m sure you’re gonna give
me some spiel about the power of emotions, and I’ll be honest, I’ve
felt the power of all of ‘em at some point, ‘specially when they’re
punching you in the face.
- *whispers* I’d like to punch you in the face -*oblivious* Yeah,
I’m used to people being too intimidated to say what they really
mean. That ain’t me. You know what the world needs more of? People
like me to take a stand.
- Are you sure -I knew you’d agree so I figured I’d give you a
shot at bouncing some ideas, I dunno. We don’t have someone looking
at the big picture. Dare I say, I feel like a grunt even when I’m
the main event.
- Ya don’t say -The nerve, right? Some alien overlords treat me
like I’m liability when I’m the biggest asset they got
- *Whispers again* just biggest ass* -Oh man, I must be going
deaf, you say somethin? You know doc, you’re alright. You know how
to listen. You're not like all the others that want to talk down to
me or beat me to a pulp. I heard about people like you. You
got…whadja call it…
- Common sense? -No…you actually think about people. Nobody is
really brave or stupid enough to do that unless they have a
ginormous heart or they’re a genius or they’re trying to get their
head ripped off or something. You just take it all in, waiting for
the right time, then BAM you say just the right thing. You told me
everything I’ll ever need to know in one session. It’s awesome. I
could do this all day!
- But I didn’t -Oh don’t go with the false modesty. This is worth
ten times what you charge. I’m tellin all the guys about you. I’ll
have you on speed dial. All day e’ery day!
- I don’t -Just wait till the guardians learn I really am as
badass as I said all along, and I got a doctor to back me up.
- I wouldn’t -Right, need to play that card close to the vest.
Damn, you’re smart. Well, that’s about all I can stand of this.
Gonna go catch the O’s game, gotta case of Natty Bo’s waitin’ for
me. See ya ‘round Doc! *leaves*
- *sigh* Why do I even care about jerks like him so much? It’s
like I’m a magnet for these hard luck cases..
- Recommended reading: Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern:
- Next episodes: Atrocitus, Jessica Cruz, Ted Anderson
- Plugs for social
- “Anti-Hero” - Anthony (50:28)