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The Bizarre Friendship Between Guy Gardner and Steel

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
The Bizarre Friendship Between Guy Gardner and Steel

This is “Foundationed Deep,” a feature where we look at particular odd/strange/interesting instances of retroactively connecting different comic book characters (for instance, Uncanny X-Men #268 retroactively established that Wolverine knew both Captain America and the Black Widow from World War II).

Today, we look at one of the strangest retroactive friendships – Guy Gardner and Steel?!

Now, I have absolutely no beef with Guy Gardner or Steel. I think they’re both fine comic book characters. Beau Smith’s Guy Gardner: Warrior was great and Christopher Priest and Denys Cowan’s Steel was amazing. However, like them or not, let’s face it, in the grand scheme of the DC Universe, they’re more background guys than anything else, so it is hilarious that they somehow managed to get a shared backstory.

It all began during Zero Hour, when the oddest team since Doom Patrol was formed, as Guy Gardner (then just getting used to his new alien-based morphing powers), Steel, Supergirl and Batgirl from another universe all teamed up to travel through history fighting the villainous Extant in Guy Gardner: Warrior #24. In the issue, Guy and Steel bonded over college football…

A few issues later, Guy and Steel have a full-fledged team-up in Guy Gardner: Warrior #27…

However, it is pretty clear here that they don’t know each other’s secret identities. Sorry, I mean, Guy doesn’t know Steel’s. Obviously Steel knows Guy’s, since his name was never hidden.

Then Steel Annual #2 came out, which was part of DC’s “Year One” annuals in 1995, where the annuals would show the past of the characters. Louise Simonson revealed that the two heroes went to college together and played football together…

Then, finally, the two launched Showcase ’96, an anthology series starring different Superman supporting cast members in each issue. So their team-up was the basis for the first two issues…

Guy is being honored by Baltimore and he runs into his old college buddies, including John Henry Irons…

Then Steel shows up to lend a hand to Guy…

Now, do note that even here, it is not EXPLICIT that Guy knows that Steel is his old buddy, John, buy it is heavily implied that he does, and soon after this, it is just treated as a given.

I don’t know where the two heroes stand Post New 52, but I hope that they are still buddies.

Okay, that’s it for this installment! If you can think of a good example of two comic book characters being retroactively connected to each other, drop me a line at and I might feature it here!

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