Whatever Happened to the New Guardians?

Wrap it Up is a lot like my Provide Some Answers feature, which is about long-running comic book plots finally being resolved. This, though, is a more specific comic book occurrence where the plotlines of a canceled comic book are wrapped up in the pages of another comic book series. This would happen most frequently in Marvel Comics, but other companies did it, as well.

Today, we look at how the New Guardians had their story wrapped up in the pages of Green Lantern.

The New Guardians were introduced in the 1988 DC crossover called Millennium.

Steve Englehart, Joe Staton and Ian Gibson were the creative team on one of the most ambitious companywide crossovers there have been, in the sense that it was an eight-part series that came out every week from the same creative team! Wow!

Anyhow, the idea is that the Guardians have decided that their time in the universe has come to an end and they want to pick their successors, the new Guardians, as it were. They chose a number of humans and the heroes of the DC Universe went to go find them. However, the Guardians' first creations, the Manhunters, decide that they want to foil the Guardians' plan as they don't think there SHOULD be a new Guardians. So the crossover was mostly about the heroes of Earth racing to collect the New Guardians ahead of the Manhunters.

Okay, so in the final issue, the Guardians then transform the humans that have been found into new beings, like Gloss here...

They do that for the rest of the "Chosen" people until the Guardians seemingly die and that's that, the New Guardians are then set to bring the world into the new millennium....

Green Lantern's old friend, Thomas Kalmaku, went along with these New Guardians even though it did not appear as though he gained new powers himself. He turned down the chance to be forcibly "evolved" like the others.

Englehart planned on this new series being a particularly bold and progressive issues of the day, but, well, it turned out that that was more than what DC was ready to commit to at the time...

Englehart later recalled (on his amazing website), "MILLENNIUM spawned a new series starring the heroes created therein. It was supposed to be an advance in comics comparable to COYOTE™ - the next step in a more realistic approach to superheroes - and to that end I got a promise from the highest powers at DC that I could do sex, drugs, and politics, unhindered. I put all those into the first issue and they were taken out. I went to the man who'd given me the promise and he reneged. So I walked away.

But my insistence on including a gay hero, first in MILLENNIUM and then here, paid off down the line when DC founded a sub-line called Milestone and allowed it to use gay issues with no interference from above."

Okay, so without Englehart, the series was clearly dead man walking out of the gate. Cary Bates and Kevin Dooley did what they could with it (Pat Broderick and Ralph Cabrera finished off the series on art duties) but they had to quickly move away from the bigger themes of Englehart and the series ended with Tom and the New Guardians facing off against a guy who was a rejected member of the group. He had created some beings on an island. The New Guardians then evolved these beings. They then became the NEW Chosen, the true next step in the evolution of the human race!

The series was now over. But what happened next?

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