Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Global Guardians #8 - The Last Days

Over the last few weeks, I've trawled through my comics, looking at the Global Guardians and how they fared in the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths and pre-Flashpoint DCU.

For most of their appearances, they were closely linked with one branch or another of the Justice League, appearing mostly in their titles and on more than one occasion acting as foils against them.

Following the events of the last post, much of the team had been lost, though the League had handily supplied them with potential new members to help them get over things.

It didn't work.

As far as I know, the Guardians - at least the old, classic team - pretty much finished in the pages of Justice League Quarterly as seen in the link above. After that, they were reduced to cameos in titles such as JLA: Year One. Several years later (real time) some of the team joined the Ultramarine Corps

In the line-up are Tasmanian Devil, Olympian, the new Jack O'Lantern, Kid Impala (a new hero) and - surprise, surprise - the dead, not dead, dead again, not dead again Little Mermaid. It's possible that her appearance was an error as by the second issue (this is in JLA: Classified) Little Mermaid appears to have been swapped for Fleur de Lys:

The Ultramarine Corps are being mind-controlled by the Nebula Man in a pre-Seven Soldiers of Victory story by Grant Morrison but end up being freed from the control.

Sometime later (after Infinite Crisis and post 52) another team turn up, this time in the pages of Green Lantern and contain only one original member, Tasmanian Devil:

They appear to be a United Nations sanctioned team once more and rather ruthlessly recruit other heroes, including a new Crimson Fox:

Would it surprise anyone to hear that the Guardians were actually under the mind-control of another bad guy, the Faceless Hunters? And once the Justice League had intervened, they were freed and allowed to head off in peace? With the Harjavti brothers and the Queen Bee from Bialya, Nebula Man and now the Faceless Hunters all being able to control the team, is it any wonder they've never gained any real autonomy?

Some time later ins JSA: Classified, poor old Godiva is discovered to have had her hair removed:

while Icemaiden has suffered even more by having her skin flayed:

And then, in one of the most ignominious throwaway endings, it's revealed the Prometheus has killed most, if not all, of the new Guardians in the pages of Justice League: Cry for Justice:

Sure, Taz gets to come back in a clumsily handled ret-con but since then, nothing's been heard of the Guardians at all.

At the end of all this, being in the Global Guardians could be seen to be damaging to your health:

  • Dr Mist - missing, presumed dead, then killed, then missing again
  • Bushmaster - killed
  • Godiva - lost her hair (though reappeared post-Flashpoint in the new JLI)
  • Green Fury - became Fire and joined the JLA
  • Icemaiden - skinned alive
  • Impala - left powerless
  • Jack O'Lantern - killed
  • Little Mermaid - killed, not killed, killed again, not killed again, possibly killed
  • Olympian - schizophrenic
  • Owlwoman - alive
  • Rising Sun - became a failed, alcoholic, shameful excuse of a hero in Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance before it was discovered he was a victim of (guess what?) mind control!
  • Seraph - who knows? Appears to have vanished
  • Tasmanian Devil - joined the JLA, returned to the Guardians, got killed, got ret-conned back to being alive
  • Thunderlord - killed
  • Tuatara - left comatose
  • Wild Huntsman - lost in time
Who'd be a Guardian with a survival rate like that?

Constant pawns of greater minds and a rag-tag collection of heroes linked in some way with a nationalistic gimmick, the Guardians never really had much chance of becoming something other than supporting characters. This is a shame as, despite their clunky, cheesey origins, I kinda liked these guys.

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