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Wait, Wasn’t John Stewart One of the Guardians of the Universe?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics Comment
Wait, Wasn’t John Stewart One of the Guardians of the Universe?

In every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without actively retconnng away the previous story. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

This time around, based on a suggestion from reader Brian T., we look at John Stewart’s brief tenure as one of the Guardians of the Universe.

“Green Lantern: Mosaic” was an excellent offbeat title put out by DC Comics in the early 1990s by writer Gerard Jones and artist Cully Hamner (Luke McDonnell for the last two issues after Hamner left the book ahead of its impending cancellation) that featured Green Lantern John Stewart being put in charge of the Mosaic World. The Mosaic World was formed when Appa Ali Apsa, the lone Guardian left behind when the other Guardians left this dimension, got super lonely and sort of went crazy. He went out and plucked up a city from every world he had ever visited and brought them to Oa to keep him company. After he was defeated and the other Guardians returned, they decided to keep the experiment going. John Stewart was put in charge of keeping things orderly, which was difficult considering that the spirit of Sinestro was, in effect, haunting John Stewart, which led to some bad stuff.

The title was a very cerebral, well-thought out comic book, with a lot of interesting glimpses into the inner workings of John Stewart’s mind (especially when we learn how much of a role he actually played in the creation of Mosaic and even Sinestro’s spirit haunting him). By the end of the series, John is at peace with Mosaic (he even routinely uses his ring to communicate with his dead wife, Katma Tui) and he has successfully integrated all of the cities into a functioning society. So in the final issue of the series, “Green Lantern: Mosaic” #18, John is rewarded by the Guardians for his fine work…

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Now, you might remember that something else happened RIGHT after “Green Lantern: Mosaic” ended. Why, yes, a little storyline called “Emerald Twilight,” where Hal Jordan, distraught over the loss of his hometown, Coast City, decided that he needed to have enough power to put things right. So he set out to absorb all of the power of the Green Lantern Corps (and if some people died along the way, it wasn’t a big deal since he was going to bring them all back to life when he brought Coast City back). This led to “Green Lantern” #50 (by Ron Marz, Darryl Banks and Romeo Tanghal), where the Guardians make a last ditch effort to sacrifice themselves to create one last Green Lantern ring…

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That Green Lantern ring went to Kyle Rayner.

Now people might be wondering, “Where the heck was John for this?”

Those same people naturally had other things to worry about in “Green Lantern” #0, where Oa is destroyed, seemingly along with Mosaic World!

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However, the answer was in a place very few people though to look, the DC sci-fi adventure title “Darkstars”. Darkstars was about a group of armored heroes who were controlled by a distant cousin of the Guardians known as the, well, Controllers. The Darkstars were basically another police force for outer space, so that the Green Lanterns wouldn’t be the only ones out there.

In “Darkstars” #21 (by Michael Jan Friedman, Mike Collins and Ken Branch), we discovered where John Stewart was when the Guardians were dying and the Green Lantern Power Battery was destroyed. He was, naturally enough, in Mosaic World.

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So that’s why he didn’t die with the rest of the Guardians. John was then asked by the Controllers to be the new head of the Darkstars.

After he accepted, in “Darkstars” #26 we got the very happy news that the people of Mosaic World were evacuated before Oa blew up (that one is for reader Caleb B., who wanted to know whatever happened to the people of Mosaic World)

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Yes, the happy integration of Mosaic World was at an end, but hey, at least they all lived!

It’d be fascinating to see a writer re-visit some of the Mosaic characters, like John’s love interest, Rose Hardin, who was one of the most complicated romantic interest in comics at the time.

Okay, so that’s the story of John Stewart’s SUPER brief Guardian tenure. Thanks for the suggestion, Brian (and Caleb, too!). If anyone else has a suggestion for a future Abandoned Love, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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