Guy Garnder: Collateral Damage

Written and Drawn by Howard Chaykin

Let me beginning with a warning, I am huge fan of the Green Lanterns. But by far my favorite Lantern is one Guy Gardner. What’s that? You don’t know who that is? Shame on you…but for you heathens who don’t know about the Greatest Green Lantern ever read this–> http://community.livejournal.com/superhero_muses/62798.html… it tells you just about everything you need to know about him And then some more for good measure…

Okay now lets talk Collateral Damage…

Its sucks. Period. The end.

Oh I guess I should at least tell you why it sucks.

First let’s talk about the art. Mr. Chaykin, it seems, can only draw one face. So everyone, whether male or female, looks exactly the same. And that is just the beginning of the mess that is called art…after fruitless trying to find samples online I have come up empty-handed, I guess no one wanted to ruin their websites with these horrors.
Alright lets move on to the story.

The premise is that the world of G’Newt home of this green lantern:

His name is G’NOrt  and his world is devastated by the then current interstellar Rann/Thangar War and G’nort wants to the world to end. To do this he brings a Thangar Major and a Rannian Green Lantern Recruit to broker peace. And who does G’nort choose to be the unbiased arbitrator, our faithful Guy Gardner. But during the meeting a group of Tormocks (a group of bad aliens) attack Guy at his home base, a bar called Warriors, and attempt to kill him. Guy calls the peace talks off to go hunt and destroy the Tormocks. And guess what…he succeeds.

There so much wrong with that paragraph and it’s just best to start with the beginning.

As evidenced by the panel I showed you above G’nort is normally characterized by being funny and stupid. While, G’nort is brave and loyal but he is a few pickles shy of a full barrel. But here in Collateral Damage, G’nort is just mean, nasty and grim; the total opposite of his normal characterization. The story throws this contradiction a bone and says ‘that seeing your planet burned to the ground will do that you’ but I’m sorry grim and gritty is not G’nort, that’s for Batman and Judge Dredd.

Then there is the problem with the Rannian and Thangarian negotiators. One is a Major; the other is a Green Lantern Recruit that is questioning herself about continuing with the Corps. Now lets be honest even if this talks went anywhere they still wouldn’t solve anything. Neither one of them has the power nor in any real position to settle peace for either species.

Then we have that interesting question, who in their right mind would choose G’nort to head up these peace talks? Everyone probably knows only the dumb G’nort not the Grim and Gritty one. So why would you choose him to put all of this together. Makes absolutely no sense.

And then the even bigger question, why would G’nort choose Gardner as the peaceful arbitrator? The Guy Gardner as portrayed by Chaykin is an arrogant douche (which is wrong…just read the article I linked to earlier) who must have some unwritten rule that everything he says has to either be a joke or some sexual advance.

Then the fun continuity question of the Warriors bar. In the mini-series Green Lantern: Rebirth (which does correct Gardner characterization by the way) Warriors was destroyed but here it’s rebuilt. Now really this isn’t really a problem until you realize that in the other Green Lantern monthly titles that Warriors wasn’t rebuilt until recently, and that wasn’t on Earth but on Oa, the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps.

And then there is the Tormocks.

But first some history.

In the mid-90’s DC Comics did a little comic called Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight. In this story Hal Jordan (another, and usually the main, Green Lantern) was possessed by the fear entity Parrallax (long story for another time) and destroyed the Green Lantern Corps leaving only one, a young man named Kyle Rayner. DC’s idea was that Only Rayner would be ring-bearer, no one else. Now stripped of his ring Guy Gardner went on search for power in his monthly comic Guy Gardner but to fully understand what happened next lets go the man who did it…

“one day [the editor] 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 playing 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….

That’s why I came up with him being part of an alien seed planting 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…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 galactic 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!

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

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 Morphin Power Rangers was huge. DC said they wanted Guy to be able to morph weapons. That’s like being a manly blues singer and having your agent say you have to sign like some American Idol winner.”

(to follow read the article these are ripped from go here http://westfieldcomics.com/blog/interviews-and-columns/beauology-101-guy-gardner-behind-the-vuldarian-tattoos-part-1/ and here http://westfieldcomics.com/blog/interviews-and-columns/beauology-101-guy-gardner-behind-the-vuldarian-tattoos-part-2/

Enough about WHY it happened…now WHAT did happen.

The Tormocks were the Vuldarians worst and most hated enemies. Thousands of years ago the Tormocks were actually able to defeat them, leaving only a small remnant.

But during Beau Smith’s run (the man quoted earlier,) the finally battle between Guy, the last Vuldarian, and the Tormocks was held. And let’s just say the Tormocks were all dead and buried.

So why in the Sam Hill is there Tormocks attacking Vuldarians in this comic?!?!!?!?!

And then I just have to question why the Tormocks attack Guy in the first place? Following Green Lantern: Rebirth Guy’s human DNA overwrote the Vuldarian DNA making pure human again. So why would the Tormocks bother him? (Okay enough questions, I think you get the point this series is all kinds of messed up.)

Anywho, after the Tormocks attack Guy, he decides that he must follow and destroy them and (for some reason) drags the Thangarian Major, Rannian Recruit and everyone favorite Grim and Gritty Dog Lantern </sarcasm> with him.

And that’s just the list of atrocities from the first issue. The second and final issue things get weirder.

It starts with Guy forgetting he ever wiped out the Tormocks (you would think you would remember that sort of thing) and the Rannian GL having the event backwards (that the Vuldarians wiped out the Tormocks.) This is followed by watching the last Vuldarian dying…again. But then here comes Guy to crash their party and destroys the Tormocks…again.

But wait, what’s this, an urn that contains the DNA signature of over a hundred Vuldarians. Ummmm why?

It makes no sense that the Tormocks would collect this, mainly because you could clone a whole army of Vuldarians again if it fell into the wrong hands. On the other hand, if it was a Vuldarians construct why would the Tormocks let it survive. Who knows.

Then, then an Antimatter Antibody attacks them.

Wait…where did that come from?

The Short answer, the Tormocks weapons are wrecking havoc on the universe, and it responds with this Antibody. But the real tragedy (amongst the many otheres) is that is serves no real purpose in the story other then to show how much Chaykin doesn’t understand how Guy Gardner (should) worl. Chaykin points out that Guy’s ego feeds his willpower and that is the only reason they are even able to escape this “attack.”

And that’s where its ends…well actually there is still the scene back at warriors where once again Guy is hitting on a girl. Fully unnecessary and serves a final nail in Chaykin’s coffin.

The Last Words: The Series Sucks, if you see it walk away slowly and don’t make eye contact. There is absolutely nothing redeemable contained here within, the art is horrible, the dialogue laughably tries to hard to dark and gritty and pretty much any character featured is totally portrayed wrong.

Grade: F-

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