Comic Legends: How Guy Gardner Became a Power Ranger

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Guy Gardner's Vuldarian powers were influenced by the success of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.


Basically true

A few weeks back, I did a list about the worst superhero revamps.

One of the examples I chose was Guy Gardner's time as a Vuldarian. I was a big fan of Beau Smith's run on "Guy Gardner: Warrior," and I thought Smith did a fine job working with the changes to the character, where Guy Gardner learned that he was half-alien and had the ability to morph his body to form weapons.

Some folks took issue with me knocking the revamp, but I want to stress that the issue was not Smith. Smith was great. It was just the entire concept of turning Guy Gardner into a morphing alien.

As it turned out, though, Smith wasn't a fan of the revamp, either.

In his old "Busted Knuckles" column at Comic Bulletin, Smith wrote about how Guy came to have powers...

Well, Mitch Byrd and I started gettin’ Guy into a groove. We were havin’ a really good time. Then one day Eddie tells me that the higher powers didn’t think that Guy should be without powers. He said that heroes without super powers didn’t sell. I argued the point, but in the end DC owned the ball I was playin’ with, so I had to come up with something. My idea was that Guy would be the manly version of Superman. The last of his kind.

Guy would find out that there was a reason why he has always been drawn to being a hero. Why the blue boys of Oa picked him, why he always insisted he was the only true Green Lantern. The reason… like salmon do whatever they have to do to get back up stream to.. Guy had to be a hero. Guy was the last of his kind.

That why I came up with him being part of an alien seed plantin’ process that was put into the work thousands of years before. Guy Gardner was the fruition of the most noble race of galactic warriors ever… The Vuldarians.

They came before the Green Lanterns, before the Dark Stars… before the Space Rangers. They were like a mix of “Braveheart Meets The Texas Rangers.” The Vuldarians were the greatest warriors the universe has ever seen. Bar none. They were the best fighters ever. Mention the word “Vuldarian” to any crummy crook, and they would fill their pants right then. Bad guys would kiss Batman and call him Mommy rather than face a Vuldarian. They were that bad!

Since I’m limited to space and your attention span I won’t go into the whole history of The Vuldarians. Check out my issues of Guy Gardner for that.

Like I said… I made Guy the last of his kind. Part human, part Vuldarian. The greatest warrior of all. Nobody in the DC Universe was a better fighter… not even the sacred cow himself… Batman. I was so sick of Batman being touted as the end all of end alls.

But he then had a funny story of how Guy's powers went from being "the best fighter" to being a morphing alien.

I just wanted to leave Guy at being the greatest warrior in the DCU… but the powers that be wanted more powers. Ugh…

This next part you will really groan at. I did.

At the same time all this power talk was goin’ on, on TV the kid’s show The Mighty Morphing Power Rangers was huge. DC said they wanted Guy to be able to morph weapons. That’s like bein’ a manly blues singer and havin’ your agent say ya gotta sign like Justin Timberlake. Ugh…

Yeah, it's pretty groan-inducing.

But seriously, still go out and try to find Smith's run on "Guy Gardner: Warrior" in the back issue bins. It really is a fun read. Just with a weird, weird superpower.

OK, that's it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week's covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

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