Guy Gardner is one of the two Green Lanterns created in the Bronze Age of Comic Books. Since that time, he has managed to make a rather memorable impression on a lot of DC Comics readers, though this hasn’t always been for good reasons. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Guy Gardner:
1. Introduced in the Late 1960s
Gardner was introduced in the late 1960s. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that he managed to gain his iconic presentation, which has managed to remain with the character ever since.
2. Changed By Steve Englehart and Joe Staton
In the 1980s, Gardner saw extensive changes to his character by Steven Englehart and Joe Staton. For instance, the character was turned into a jingoistic parody, which has made for a memorable though often obnoxious impression. With that said, other comic book creators have introduced their changes as well, which is why Gardner has since become more complicated than that.
3. Englehart Has Voiced Regret About the Changes
It is interesting to note that Englehart has voiced some regret about the changes that had been made to Gardner. Essentially, what happened is that since he and Joe Staton didn’t actually create the character but instead revamped him, DC Comics used that as a reason to avoid paying them royalties. On top of that, the two got criticized by the people who they were seeking to help by revamping the character.
4. Appearance Based On a Character From The Jewel in the Crown
Appearance-wise, Gardner was based on Ronald Merrick in The Jewel in the Crown, which was a British drama about the last days of the British Raj. Station chose the character to serve as a source of inspiration because of his sense of entitlement as well as his sense of resentment, which were characteristics that he wanted to imbue in the resulting character.
5. Victim of an Abusive Father
Gardner’s background has seen some variation over the course of his existence. However, the most common version is the one in which he was the victim of an abusive father who beat him on a regular basis because of his drinking problems. On top of that, Gardner received emotional wounds as well, seeing as how his father favored his older brother Mace in spite of Gardner’s efforts to please him.
6. Was Both a Caseworker and a Teacher
Career-wise, Gardner has been both a caseworker and a teacher. In the first case, he helped prisoners with their rehabilitation. In the second case, he specialized in teaching kids with disabilities.
7. Backup Option
Initially, Gardner served as a backup option for Hal Jordan. In short, what happened was that the power ring could have gone to either one of two potential successors. However, since Jordan was closer to Gardner, it went to Jordan while Gardner was made the backup. Eventually, Jordan arranged for the two to meet, with the result that they managed to become good friends.
8. Got Brain Damage
In time, comic book shenanigans resulted in Gardner getting brain damage, which in turn, caused his personality to become a rather unpleasant combination of arrogant, unstable, and violent. With that said, he was supposed to be an antagonist at this point in time, meaning that his personality traits made sense.
9. Has Had Other Personality Changes
That wasn’t the sole occasion on which Gardner suffered a personality change because of a brain injury. For example, when he was with the Justice League International, he got knocked out in a fight with Batman, woke up, and promptly banged his head on a console. When Gardner woke up, he had a new personality, which was just as childish but also kind and gentle.
10. Has Had Other Powers
Green Lanterns are empowered by their power rings, with Gardner being no exception to this rule. However, it is interesting to note that he has had other powers as well, which have not be limited to power rings of different colors. After all, Gardner spent some time with shape-shifting abilities derived from alien genes implanted in his bloodline, which were meant to capitalize on the popularity of Power Rangers at the time.