Wednesday, July 13, 2011

25 Days of Supporting Characters: Guy Gardner

#17 Guy Gardner

Guy and Booster have a relationship that I've always found fascinating. When they met Guy was suffering brain damage and trapped in Hal Jordons' shadow. The latter of which is something Booster knows only too well from his experiences with Superman. They really weren't the best of pals back then but they never clashed like Ted and Guy did. I can't recall a time Booster ever got upset with him like Ted did, at most he seemed annoyed. Not even when Guy broke Teds' ribs during their "friendly" boxing match did he get mad. In fact there was even a time after Guy returned from his stint as "Nice Guy" where Booster apparently spent hours trying to calm him down. That really says a lot.

Guy has shown a fondness for Booster when he instantly sides with Ted when Booster goes to the Conglomerate over hurt feelings and even carries the grudge of the "abandonment" when they visit Max in the hospital. After Ted dies he's the one who seeks Booster out to find the murderer and stops him from getting killed in a battle that follows. 

Why he's important to Booster: In a way Guy is a more distorted version of Booster that finally gets to get credit for his heroics and is allowed all the power and respect for his efforts. It's pretty telling that he's able to reach this level among the same people who used to look down on him while Booster seems to be further down on the totem pole than he was in JLI. As a result I think there's a bit of an understanding between them. They get that their both misfits but at the same time neither one truly understands the other completely. Under Johns/Katz Booster expresses shock at witnessing who Guy was before the brain damage while Guy doesn't see Boosters' leadership abilities in the alternate timeline. 

There's a bond there that seems to go pretty deep as Booster felt compelled enough to seek a younger Guy out when he sees how troubled he was. Their conversation in the bar shows that while their issues with their family stem from different problems they do share common ground. Booster seems to see it too and even offers some insight into himself that he never gave to Ted. And although Guy never learns it Boosters' choice to act as a good friend is what saves the day and alters Guys' life forever. Allowing for the Green Lantern to live, as the underdog, before rising on to better things. Very fitting.

Suggested Reading: Omac Project #3 I was considering a particular issue during Breakdowns but this one has a clearer view of what their friendship is like. Despite Guy not getting along with Ted, and never being best buds with Booster is the person who shows the most concern over how Booster is doing. He comes off as more of a jerk around (the usually patient) Wonder Woman. But the bond between the two, the loyalty among misfits is there. More apparent when Guy dismisses WW suggesting they get "their" league together. A sentiment Booster seems to agree with as he tells WW that she was never part of that league. Because no matter how much respect Guy gets nowadays he still remembers his roots.


  1. While they occasionally got along, Ted and Guy's personalities were just made for clashing. But he and Booster always got along fairly well, all things considered. Booster may have hung out with Ted all of the time, but he didn't talk down to Guy or disrespect him or humiliate him like some of the others did. And Guy did save Booster's life a couple of times, and probably vice versa.

    Omac was an interesting series. I wasn't too sure about it at the time, but I've come to like it more and more. And while Wonder Woman was the only one of the BIG names to believe Ted, I can't help but understand why Booster and Guy were still reluctant to let her help. Ted WAS their comrade and team mate, and they bonded in their own special ways. She may have been on the team later, but she wasn't a part of the family.

    I am really looking forward to seeing Booster and Guy interact in the new JLI.

  2. The boxing match showed why they clash so badly. They remind each other of the bullies they knew growing up and both keep picking on the other. True, Booster may not have gotten why Guy was the way he was but I think he saw how badly things got to him. Ted wasn't always so insightful. They did and it was great. The part I mentioned in Breakdowns has Booster and Guy saving each other. Booster is stunned/touched and tells Lobo something like Guy might be a jerk but he's their jerk.

    I honestly got OMAC just for the Booster/JLI plots but I still enjoyed it. Yeah, I liked how Jurgens followed up on this during the funeral where Booster shows anger towards Batman, Superman, and J'onn for how they were treated. But he's positive about Guy knowing that Ted and him really did like each other despite everything. Yeah, I always thought the JLI were a family. They all lost their own and sort of formed their own tight knit group.

    Ditto. The new cover really got me excited. I'm really looking forward to seeing the core JLI bonding. I'd love to see Booster/Guy explored more as friends.