Green Lantern Corps #0
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin, Scott Hanna, Marc Deering, and Gabe Eltaeb
The short of it:
For the first time in my life I’m reading the origin of Guy Gardner, and New 52 be damned, this is my Guy! A white circle Lantern fighting for his life alongside his fellow trainees in a situation that they have no right to be in, seriously, these rooks are way out classed and getting slaughtered for it. Perfect excuse to cue up the flashback and unveil that Guy comes from a cop family. His brother is a cop, his sister just graduated from the academy to become a cop, his father is a retired cop…hell, the city of Baltimore has had a Gardner protecting the streets since 1860. Even his best friend is a cop. So what about Guy? How did one Gardner wind up not being on the force, and why does it make his dad completely ignore his presence?
There’s hostility between Guy and his old man, Guy was actually kicked off the force for something he swears wasn’t his fault, but his father won’t look past it. He’s not a cop, not anymore, and thus he’s a failure. Though Mr. Gardner is a bitter old drunk that was forced into retirement by a bullet, so he’s hardly someone that is going to change their mind after an argument. Thankfully for the old man’s house, Guy hears the old police scanner and knows his brother is in trouble, and cop or no cop, he busts his ass to go help.
Gerard and Marcus, Guy’s brother and buddy respectively, got in way over their heads. We’ve got an officer down, another wounded, and a bunch of thugs with automatic weapons laying absolute waste to them. Guy saves them, puts his own life at risk to try and save his brothers life, and is rewarded for his ability to overcome great fear. His first act of the ring? Get his brother to the hospital. His second? Put nearly a hundred people in jail in one night.
Back in the present, well, past, umm, beginning of the issue! Guy takes down the slaughterer of Lanterns and makes his first big bust as a GL, and is rewarded with his Green. So he rewards himself with the look we all know and love, just in time to meet his sector partner.
And the rest, is history.
What I liked:
- I’m not sure if being a cop was part of Guy’s character before this issue, not unlike how I know for a fact that John Stewart wasn’t a marine before JLU, but in this case? Totally works. Guy as a former cop, from a cop family, with cop friends, and now he’s a space cop. Guy has always been more natural as a Corps member than Hal, who really embraces the super hero aspect, and this really does a lot to explain why.
- Guy instantly antagonizing Hal from the first word he says to him, absolutely priceless.
- Guy gets a bad guy in Xar, the slaughtering asshole that bookends the issue, that is really all his. His entire motivation is going to be “get revenge on Guy Gardner”, and that’s nice, because I can’t remember the last time Guy had a villain that was his own and not just a Corps or Hal or Justice League baddie.
- Guy’s cockiness being a constant need for competition is a nice touch. He wants to be the best, period, and that means outshining whoever shares his spotlight. He really does feel like a middle child.
- Guy isn’t a killer, but he has no problem blowing up the guys that just killed his buddy, hurt his brother, and are trying to kill him. This is the sort of mindset that makes sense for a soldier, someone willing to do what must be done to protect and survive.
What I didn’t like:
- Guy’s classic look was a special Corps uniform that represented status, as opposed to just being a sweet jacket he designed. Now, while him coming up with his own look is a pretty Guy Gardner thing to do, the fact that he was given a special uniform to signify his importance was so much cooler.
- As nice as it was to see Guy get his own bad guy, I wish he’d been last generic bad ass. Like, all he does is slaughter Lantern’s and make fun of Guy for being named Guy. Intimidating? Yes. Did I have to go look up his name again before writing this review? Double yes. He left no real impression, and could easily have been BOLPHUNGA THE UNRELENTING!
- While I fully understand the reality behind parents ignoring their children over whatever random crazy reason, that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Guy’s dad come across as a drunken asshole that isn’t worth the time Guy invests into trying to mend their relationship, which is fine if that’s what you’re going for, but he needs to at least have remorse that the reader sees, but not Guy, for us to buy into there being a chance for things to improve.
I’ve been a Guy Gardner fan since he used his yellow ring to be an asshole when I read the Death of Superman. And then during the Reign when he fought the Eradicator? Awesome. I love Guy, he’s a great character that has finally seen the respect he’s deserved in the past few years. You know what surprised me to realize though? I have no idea what his old origin is. I’ve never read it or really even seen it referenced. I know Hal’s, John’s, Kyle’s, two different versions of Alan’s….but what about Guy? It was nice of DC to finally get around to detailing his history to those of us who that like the character and haven’t hunted down vintage stories from the eighties to really go into it.
Sector partners was a change the Guardians put into the Corps after they came back during Rebirth, with the belief being that one Lantern per sector simply wasn’t enough. Now, however, it is something that predates Guy’s time in the Corps, as his first trip to the majors makes him Hal’s sector partner. It’s a small change, but one I like quite a bit. One space cop for an entire sector of space is just absolutely silly. Space is big!
I totally get dramatic entrances, but Guy attacking a bunch of people with automatic weapons by driving at them on a motorcycle would have gotten someone killed instantly in real life.
Guy’s little sister is lovable to the point where I’m just going to start counting the months until she shows up in the present.
I’m so happy to not hate this book any more, it had such a weak start in the New 52 and seems to have finally found its footing.
Tags: DC Comics, Fernando Pasarin, Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Green Lantern Corps, New 52 (DC Comics), Peter Tomasi, Reviews, Zero Month