Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Global Guardians #2 - Moving On

For the next few weeks, I'm going to be running through the DCU appearances of the Global Guardians post-Crisis, pre-Flashpoint (or at least all the appearances I have) and wonder why they never had a title of their own and where they are now.

Following the events of Legends, the Justice League was revitalised (to say the least) and from its beginnings as simply a new version of the JLA, was transformed into a United Nations sponsored world-wide group of superheroes with embassies in most major countries.

Thing is, there was already a group with the same mandate, one which had a more international membership than the fledgling JLA/I. Sure, the League had a more interplanetary membership (with J'onn J'onzz and Mr Miracle) but the Global Guardians were already in place and as we saw last week, represented more of the globe than the League.

Still, politics being what they are, with the UN sanctioning the League, there was no need for the Guardians.

Justice League International #9 featured the first of several back-up appearances of the Guardians as they dealt with the closure of the Dome and while some, such as Belphegor and Dr Mist were quite philosophical about the affair, the Irish hero Jack O'Lantern was definitely not.

Despite Mist's insistence that the Guardians were still a viable team, Jack was unwilling to be consoled and lashed out at him, before leaving the Dome vowing to continue.

By the next issue's back-up, Jack's found his way to Bialya, the Middle Eastern country that the League has already tangled with. There he meets the country's ruler, the "humble-but-devilishly-clever Colonel Rumaan Harjavti!" who is in the market for a group of super-heroes to fight for his small, beleaguered country against the rest of the world, particularly America and Russia.

The newly established Justice League International is the last straw for Harjavti and he is determined to have his own group.

While Jack owes no loyalty to Bialya, he's tempted by the offer partly as a way of getting back at the League.

While Jack's off on his recruitment drive, two of his ex-team-mates Green Flame and Ice Maiden (as Fire and Ice were known then) have decided that the best thing to do is join the League. In a set of circumstances too bizarre to go into here (two words: Manga Khan) the pair end up as probationary members, acquitting themselves well.

With most of the JLI off in space chasing after Khan, Batman leads an undercover team into Bialya to find our what the "secret weapon" is that Harjavti is due to unveil at a gala international event. Batman poses first as Bruce Wayne (oh, the irony!) and is accompanied by Green Flame, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. Once their cover is blown, however, he adopts Max Lord's identity.

Harjavti unveils his secret weapon: Wandjina the Thunderer, one of the Champions of Angor that the League had met some time before. What he didn't realise, though, was that Wandjina was working for the Queen Bee, head of an organisation that had rescued him from the Russians. Not only had she taken control of the Thunderer but also Jack O'Lantern and, through him, Owlwoman who had joined her old friend.

In front of the gathered officials, Wandjina kills Harjavti, allowing the Queen Bee to take control of Bialya in his place.

The League are trapped in Bialya and Wandjina is eventually sent after them, only stopped by Captain Atom. Confronted by the Queen Bee, Batman and the rest of his team are stunned to find that the Bialyans actually like her:

while Green Flame is more shocked to find her old team-mate working for her, apparently with no regrets.

At the end of this little adventure, Jack O'Lantern and Owlwoman are seen serving the Queen Bee of Bialya, but what's happened to the rest of the Guardians?

Find out next Tuesday . . . you know, unless you already read the comics twenty-odd years ago . . .


  1. Perhaps the most irritating thing about mid-to-late 80s Giffen is that, instead of drawing the exciting. colourful super-people, he'd rather pencil some buckling Outer Space Walls.

    1. Wasn't that part of his appeal when he was on Legion of Super-Heroes? That he created a futuristic yet believable cityscape?

      Either way, I've still got a lot of time for Giffen whether as a writer or artist.

  2. I think it only appeals if you want to read comics about buildings. Mind you, Architecture Comics Weekly might still surface in the New 52.

  3. Well, that space walls reference is over my head, and I was following his work at the time - JL, JLI, Legion, LEGION 89, Invasion ... his creativity shone.

    But the new Queen Bee was mega-dull.

    Mind, the storyline put Ice and Fire in pace as Leaguers, which is fine by me.

    1. I always had a fair bit of time for the Queen Bee myself.

      But yeah, Fire and Ice joined the League which was a big plus.


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