Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Global Guardians #5 - Getting The Band Back Together

For the next few weeks, I'm going to be running through the DCU appearances of the Global Guardians post-Crisis and pre-Flashpoint (or at least all the appearances I have) and try to find out where they are now. Or were, pre-Flashpoint.

With the fall of the Queen Bee of Bialya and the rise of Sumaan Harjavti, the Global Guardians faced a question: should they remain in Bialya in the employ of its new leader or not?

Before answering that question, as any good team should do, they took stock of themselves, beginning in the pages of Justice League Quarterly #5, published soon after the events of Breakdowns as seen last week.

And what better way of making a new start than by ripping off . . . sorry . . . paying homage to a previous new start?

You may want to click the picture on the left there but it should be obvious that what writer Kevin Dooley's going for is a call back to the first issue of Justice League, substituting Tuatara for Guy Gardner. The Guardians are getting back together and while that panel may be an affectionate call back to happier days, the next is a dreadful exercise in forced dialogue that names the seven members who walk into the room. Seriously, I was going to scan and print it but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Reading it once was more than enough.

Still, with that out of the way there's a quick re-cap of where the team is at the moment:

Note the mention there of Rising Sun and his attraction to Dr Light.

Next we get an appearance from Sumaan Harjavti who obviously wants the Guardians to remain in Bialya, principally to deal with the threat of "The Hero Group", a bunch of meta from the hitherto unheard of (and never heard of again) country called Lower Pluxa:

Cue the team heading over to the Bialyan/Lower Pluxan border to fight against the group of characters that almost define throwaway. In moments the teams realise they have more in common with each other than first thought, particularly when they realist they've been lied to. They return to their respective nation's leaders and have them sort out there dispute on their own.

It's a dreadful story and one not worth dwelling on.

In Justice League Quarterly #6 we find out what's happened to Owlwoman since the encounter with the Justice League that allowed Harjavti to claim power.

She's basically been living in the sewers since then, hunted by the Bialyan military, hiding from everyone until she's healed enough. It's also revealed that Harjavti tried to have her killed after taking power, perhaps because she was the only one (other than the second Jack O'Lantern) who retained her free will.

The good general is by this time desperate to find Owlwoman without using the Guardians to do so, despite their obvious enthusiasm for the task:

There's mention there that Harjavti has had Olympian "incarcerated" die to his schizophrenia, as well as him allowing Rising Sun to leave "to woo Dr Light" but the Guardians reluctantly fall in to line.

Back down in the sewers, Owlwoman finds the original Jack O'Lantern still alive, freeing him from his cell and escaping. She runs into a large band of soldiers, however, but just as things seem at their worst, the soldiers take fright at the arrival of the genuine Dr Mist who promises to help Owlwoman and Jack escape Bialya before pledging to reform the Global Guardians.

Justice League Quarterly #7 has little in the way of the Guardians, concentrating as it does on Rising Sun's attempt to get Dr Light to date him. After successfully getting her agreement for a date, he's co-opted by Dr Mist and the others.

In #8 we find the Guardians training against simulations of their comrades, planning how best to take them down while causing the minimum of damage. They're working to Dr Mist's plan, expecting resistance from the Guardians whom they assume to be working for Harjavti against their will, just as they had done for the Queen Bee.

Things don't go according to plan, though, as the Guardians in Bialya greet them with open arms thanks to Tuatara's premonition.

And, also goign against their preconceptions, Harjavti is willing to let the Guardians leave Bialya completely; he maintains that they were never prisoners (putting Jack O'Lantern's imprisonment down to his late brother) and wishing them all the best.

Back at the new headquarters, however, the returned heroes each attempt to assassinate one of their team-mates as they sleep, working on the subliminally implanted orders of Harjavti. Thanks to Tuatara seeing into the future and acting early, Dr Mist was able to prepare everyone and stop anyone getting hurt.

Finally, after some time, the Guardians were back together.

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