Guy Gardner has long been the bad boy of the Green Lantern Corps. While other Lanterns are always going on about duty and justice and how awesome their matching corps outfits are, Gardner prefers to stand apart, often mocking his fellow heroes and even teaming up with villains every once in a while.
But as much of a pain as Gardner often is, he has proven himself to be a true hero and a deserving member of the Green Lantern Corps. Here are 10 reasons why Gardner stands tall among the pantheon of Green Lanterns.
10 The Ring Deemed Him Worthy
Gardner has frequently found himself to be standing in the shadow of his more typically heroic fellow Lantern, Hal Jordan. However, people often forget that Hal being chosen as the Lantern of Earth over Gardner was more a result of geography than anything else.
When Abin Sur died on Earth, the Green Lantern Ring searched for a new master and found two equally likely candidates in Hal and Guy. Both were deemed to have the strongest will powers and most honest natures. But since Hal was closer, the ring gravitated towards him.
9 The Only One To Stand Up To Hal
In the Green Lanter Corps, Hal Jordan's name has acquired legendary status. That is why his turn to the dark side and taking on the mantle of the villain Parallax caused so much surprise and pain to the Corps. Even after turning evil, many Green Lanterns were unable to fight Hal either because they respected his past too much or were afraid of his power.
Gardner, on the other hand, went toe-to-toe against his former teammate. Despite being brutally beaten, he never stopped trying to contain Hal and turn him back into the hero he had once been.
8 The One Without Fear
A big part of the Green Lantern shtick is that you need to be able to overcome your fears in order to wield the ring. Hal Jordan is known particularly for his ability to overcome his darkest fears.
Yet Gardner has proven himself to be even more fearless than Hal. He is always the first one to enter a fight, no matter how fearsome his opponent. Even after getting severely beaten and tortured, Garnder gets right back up and comes back for a second round.
7 He Adapts To Every Situation
Being a Green Lantern is one of the highest honors in the universe. And if you are ever removed from the Corps, you spend the rest of your life in disgrace. Unless you are Guy Gardner. Guy has repeatedly been removed from the Corps, has had his ring taken away, and generally been erased from the superhero roster.
Yet Guy has always fought back to regain his former status, either by acquiring a Sinestro ring, awakening his latent abilities to become the hero Warrior, or generally finding some way to keep on fighting the good fight.
6 Too Much Power
We've talked about Gardner having the strongest will power on Earth, alongside Hal Jordan; however, Gardner is one of those rare ring wielders who might have too much will power. Gardner's will power is shown to be so strong that it overloads the ring.
That is why his ring is constantly shown to be releasing small amounts of energy at all times simply by being in contact with Guy. The energy constructs that he creates also sparkle more brightly because of the excess energy that Garnder's will imbues them with.
5 He Fought Batman Mano-a-mano
What does it take to fight Batman one on one? A bunch of superpowers that give you an edge? A magical weapon? Some special serum that kicks your natural abilities into overdrive? If you are Guy Gardner, you need none of those things. Once, tired of having Batman in charge of Justice League International, he took off his ring and challenged the Dark Knight to a fight.
Naturally, Guy was knocked out cold in about two seconds. But imagine the stupid amount of bravery you require to take on Batman using only your fists and a can-do attitude.
4 He Mastered The Red Ring
Just like the Green Power Ring works via will power, the Red Ring works by channeling the user's anger. The Red Ring is known for overcoming its wearer's willpower until they are only capable of blind, all-consuming rage.
Naturally, the Red Ring thought it had found the perfect host in Guy Gardner, and for a time it was able to control Guy thanks to his anger issues. But eventually, Guy proved he was made of sterner stuff when he was able to master his own anger and gain mastery over the Red Ring.
3 The Most-Well Rounded Lantern Character
Guy is rude. Guy is crude. Guy is fun and dumb. Over the years, we have seen Guy go from being the modest teacher/cop to an annoying douche whom everybody dislikes, a villain, comic relief, and even the sole hope of a demolished Lantern Corps.
Through all this, we have gotten to see more sides to Guy than any other Green Lantern. That makes him the most well-rounded character that the Corps has to offer.
2 He Has The Most Experience
While most Lanterns spend their whole lives devoted to the Green Lantern Corps, Guy has been around the block and seen what the rest of the universe has to offer. He has wielded a yellow ring, a red ring, and used alien tech to gain powers. He's traveled and fought almost every kind of villain across the universe.
The adventures of Guy as a superhero have taken him far beyond the realm of what it means to simply be a Green Lantern, and that has earned him the respect, sometimes begrudging, of other heroes.
1 He Keeps Things Interesting
You never know what you're going to get with Guy. He can be an unbelievable tool, like the time he groped Mary Marvel or considered forcing himself onto an unconscious Power Girl. Or when he mooned Batman. Also, that haircut.
But Gardner can also show a caring side to his nature. He always has his friends back and has repeatedly proven his commitment to protecting innocents. Furthermore, Guy really doesn't like it when you litter. Because of his unpredictable nature, it's always fun to see Gardner on one of his adventures, not knowing when he will be risking his life to save humanity or getting into a drunken fistfight with Lobo over a game of cards.