As Green Lantern Corps Leader John Stewart works to hammer out an alliance between his crew and Soranik Natu’s Sinestro Corps, one of Stewart’s top lieutenants has gone AWOL on a personal mission — potentially heralding big changes for one of Earth’s longest-serving Green Lanterns. In “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” #15 by Robert Venditti and Ethan Van Sciver, Guy Gardner leaves behind his ring and dons a costume that will be familiar to longtime fans: the working-class clothes of Guy Gardner: Warrior.
While this issue frames Guy’s solo mission as a quick in-and-out excursion, current developments in the series and solicitation text for upcoming stories suggests that more permanent changes are in store. In “HJ&GLC” #14-15, John Stewart lays out a plan that will see each space sector policed by a team of one Green Lantern and member of the Sinestro Corps. Now, there are a glut of Earth-born GLs, but notably two of the newest are also currently partners, serving their home Sector 2814 — and there’s already a suggestion this partnership could be in peril:
GREEN LANTERNS #23
Written by SAM HUMPHRIES • Art by EDUARDO PANSICA and JULIO FERREIRA • Cover by MIKE McKONE • Variant cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
“LOST IN SPACE” part two! The Green Lantern Corps make a pact to work with the reformed, and searching for redemption, Sinestro Corps to protect the universe, one Green and one Yellow per sector. So what does this mean for Sector 2814—and Simon and Jessica’s partnership?
If Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are indeed split up in the interest of the alliance with the Sinestro Corps, the question becomes, which wielder of the yellow ring will take over?
The signs strongly point toward Guy Gardner.
Guy Gardner and Sinestro’s Might
Back in 1968’s “Green Lantern” #59, readers first learned of “Earth’s Other Green Lantern,” a school teacher named Guy Gardner who, like Hal Jordan was also without fear — but when Abin Sur’s spaceship crashed, Hal was closer. Ever since Guy finally got a ring of his own during “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” he’s had a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Finally, in 1992’s “Green Lantern” #25, he was forced to quit the Corps after losing a winner-take-all grudge match with his nemesis, Hal Jordan.
So he does what any self-respecting Guy would do: he wrestles Sinestro’s ghost for control of the yellow power ring.
Note 1 for modern readers: Sinestro was dead at the time, hence the ghost.
Note 2: there was only one yellow ring, and no Corps other than the GLs.
With his new yellow ring (and awesome leather jacket), Guy is able to rejoin the Justice League and even gets his own series, written first by Gerard Jones, then Chuck Dixon, and illustrated by Joe Staton and others.
After sixteen issues, though, things changed. Then they changed again.
Guy Gardner: Warrior
Guy’s ongoing series changed its name to “Guy Gardner: Warrior” with issue #17, debuting a rather suspect new costume for the brash hero. Guy has a new, more mature outlook on life after confronting his past in the “Yesterday’s Sins” arc and an evil clone in “Collateral Damage,” so he tells his assembled friends, “From now on it’s Warrior!”
(For the record, folks generally still called him Guy.)
But that’s not all! His yellow ring is acting up as a result of Hal Jordan destroying Oa’s Central Power Battery on his way to becoming the cosmic villain Parallax, and when Guy brings the fight to Hal, he loses badly, and his own ring is destroyed.
Luckily, aliens happen.
More specifically, it is revealed that Guy is in fact the last descendant of race of shapeshifters called the Vuldarians. An Indiana Jones-style quest unlocks Guy’s own latent powers, and his series runs to 44 issues (plus a zero issue), mostly written by “Wynona Earp” creator Beau Smith and illustrated by Mitch Byrd. Despite the questionable concept and very ’90s shirtless look with tribal tattoos, these issues were a ton of fun.
Along the way, Guy opened a pub for superheroes called Warriors. It was, predictably, always getting trashed.
In 2004, “Green Lantern: Rebirth” restored both Hal and Guy to the Green Lantern Corps, and in the process purged Guy of his alien powers. This period of his life has barely been mentioned since.
The Return of Warrior
So what do we know from this week’s issue? Guy is once again without a ring, as he has been when he’s found himself between superhero identities on more than one occasion. He wears the jacket from his yellow ring days, and a t-shirt from the Warrior era. He’s also challenging Arkillo, whom he views as his direct and equal opposite in the Sinestro Corps, to a hand-to-hand fight.
As John Stewart struggles to maintain the authority of his command (in addition to Guy going MIA, Hal and Kyle are also on an away mission against John’s wishes, though in their case not without his consent), one can easily imagine Guy being expelled from the Green Lantern Corps. Assuming Guy wins the fight with Arkillo (and he’d damn well better), he may have a Sinestro Corps ring as a prize. Soranik could also simply choose to deputize him — the Green Lanterns’ loss is the Sinestro Corps’ gain. From there, it’s a short jump to imagine him taking over from either Simon or Jessica and becoming the yellow ring-bearer of Sector 2814.
Alternately, Guy is relieved of duty in the Green Lantern Corps but does not get a new ring. In this scenario, he could either fight injustice as a street-level brawler a la Wildcat, or get back in touch with his Vuldarian heritage.
Of these three potential scenarios, Guy once gain wielding a yellow ring seems the most likely. Here’s hoping the he maintains the badass monogrammed jacket, and opts against once again wearing the riding chaps.
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