|Guardians of the Universe|
|Official name:||Guardians of the Universe|
|First Appearance:||Green Lantern (Vol 2) #1 (July 1960)|
|Created by:|| John Broome|
|Leader(s):||The Team Leads Together as a Group|
|Current Members:||List of Current Guardians of the Universe|
|Former Members:||List of Former Guardians of the Universe|
|Base of Operations:||Oa|
|Place of Formation:||Oa|
- "We are immortal. We are the Guardians of the Universe. We can do whatever we like." - The Guardians of the Universe
The Guardians of the Universe evolved on the planet Maltus, and were possibly the first intelligent life forms in the Universe. At this time they were tall grayish blue humanoids with black hair. At some point they came into contact with symbiote beings that existed on Maltus, and became immortal, super intelligent, and gained inherent God like abilities. They became scientists and thinkers, experimenting on the worlds around them. One experiment led to the creation of a new species, the Psions. In a pivotal moment, billions of years ago, a Maltusian named Krona used time-bending technology to observe the beginning of the Universe, despite the legends regarding to this. However, a cosmic lightning bolt hit the machine, causing an explosion. This experiment unleashed evil across the universe and created the Multiverse, and the evil Anti Matter universe. It was later revealed that the same experiment flooded the beginning of the Universe with entropy causing it "to be born old". Feeling responsible for Krona's actions, the Maltusians relocated to the planet Oa (at "the center of the Universe") and became the Guardians of the Universe. Their goal was simple: combat evil and create an orderly universe. And they acted quickly on that goal. During this period they also changed to their current appearance.
- Early on in the history of the Universe, they learned how to manipulate what they called "The Glow", and eventually created a Central Power Battery to store this energy. This "energy" was actually the collective willpower of the inhabitants of the universe. Accessing and manipulating this willpower gave the Guardians an ultimate tool to pursue their goals.
- Hunting down those who preyed on the weak, they captured a fear elemental, Parallax. They imprisoned the creature in the Central Battery, hoping to lock it away forever.
- Millenia ago after a protracted war they achieved an accord with the Reach, an alien race who turned out to be the source of the Blue Beetle Scarab bonded to Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes).
- The magic wielding Empire of Tears was subjugated and imprisoned on the throneworld and tombworld of Ysmault.
- Trying to remove magic from the Universe, they bound as much magical energy as possible into an orb called the Starheart. This would eventually become the ring and lantern of Alan Scott.
- On Mars, the Guardians confronted the destructive race known as "The Burning" and split the race into two new species: the Green Martians and the White Martians. The Guardians changed their reproductive behavior, and gave them an inherent fear of fire in order to stop their species from destroying much of the universe.
- Robotic Manhunters were created to patrol the Universe. The Manhunters rebelled, believing they were superior to the Guardians and should be in control, and were exiled.
- The mad god that was the entire Space Sector 3600 was defeated by the Guardians and was constrained by a matrix of their making. By showing the sector that they were its superiors, the Guardians had imprisoned it for all time.
- The insect race of Tchkk-Tchkki, later known as Legion, was enclosed in an emerald forcefield around their world.
- They reached an accord with the Spider Guild whereby they and their operatives would stay out of Vegan space. Due to this agreement the Omega Men have become the only peacekeepers in their sector.
- After the failed experiment with the Manhunters, the Guardians invented other ways of opposing evil in the universe. The Green Glob was an intelligent teaching machine created from their emerald energy, programmed to educate mortals all over the universe and able to briefly alter reality to do so.
- The Halla's, an intergalactic police corps wielding power guns channeling the emerald energy, was a short-lived successor of the Manhunters and a precursor to the successful Green Lantern Corps.
- Finally, the Green Lantern Corps was established to replace the Manhunters and the Halla's. These troops were given some of the power of the Central Power Battery, accessed through a ring.
- Against Apokolips, they waged a war. They tried several times to infiltrate Darkseid's home, finally deciding on a war against his rule. Their troops were brutally defeated with two-thirds dead. The attack on Apokolips ended with a truce.
- The Guardians guided Kal-El on his journey to earth.
- During the Crisis on Infinite Earths the Guardians were again divided. A small group desired to take a more aggressive role in destroying evil and recruited Guy Gardner to act as their Green Lantern. The failure of the Guardians to act decisively in the Crisis led to their decision to temporarily withdraw from the universe.
- The Guardians, along with the Green Lantern Corps., stopped the Lord of the Unliving, Nekron, from entering the universe the first time he attempted. Though the Central Power Battery was destroyed by Krona and Nekron's undead armies, and many Guardians were killed as they valiantly attempted to halt Nekron's corrosive influence on the universe and close the portal he was attempting to escape through, they managed to contain both Nekron and Krona in the land of the unliving with the help of hundreds of deceased Lanterns rebelling against Nekron.
- Stopped the Berrith from waging genocidal war on H'lven by forbidding them from engaging in space travel, confining them to their homeworld. This ban was later removed when the Berrith's star began to become unstable, and they were allowed to escape extinction into space.
The Manhunter rebellion led to schisms. One group (the Controllers) thought that the only way to protect the Universe was to control it. The female Oans (the Zamarons) felt no need to involve themselves in the Universe's problems. Over the years, both groups evolved to look most unlike the Guardians. During the events of Ganthet's Tale, it is revealed that a group of Maltusians colonists, cousins of the Guardians, traveled to Earth and became what were known as leprechauns. The Manhunters became avowed enemies of the Guardians. The Apokolips campaign ended with a truce with the Guardians forced to abandon a soldier (Raker Qarrigat) to Darkseid. Fearing dissension, they ordered all records of the Campaign expunged.
The First Rise of Nekron
The Guardians called a meeting of all 3600 Lanterns to Oa, while several of their number took positions in the universe to try and fill in while the meeting took place. The Guardians had sensed that a great and evil presence was stirring in the universe, and wished the Corps to see it before being sent to confront it. Through a viewing screen, the Guardians and the Corps were rendered speechless as Krona and an army of undead in demonic forms tore their way into the living universe. Krona cracked the screen, telling the Oans that he knew they were watching, and that he was coming for them. The Guardians immediately ordered their Lanterns to charge their rings, and set off themselves to confront the problem head on. They found the tear in space, and attempted to seal it, but were stopped by Nekron. The Guardians bravely fought against the Lord of the Unliving, surprised that his powers could actually harm them. One of them flew off to find the rest of the Corps, who were trying to find Krona, but only after being blasted by Nekron's black lightning. As soon as the Guardian found and informed the Corps of the threat, the Guardian began to fade, and died in Hal Jordan's arms.
The Guardians throughout space exerted all of their powers trying to stop the universe from shrinking, as Nekron and Krona planned to revert the universe back to its primal atom, and rebuild it anew. The main body of Guardians remained by the portal to the realm of the unliving, and battled against Nekron's attempts to break out. Only when Nekron summoned Krona did the Guardians begin to lose, one of them being sapped of his life-force while trying to reason with the mad renegade. The other Guardians attempted to push Krona back, when the entire Green lantern Corps warped to the scene, and battled Nekron's hordes of undead. Following Hal Jordan's distracting Nekron, the Guardians took advantage of the undead Lord's predicament, and herded Krona and the undead army back into the dimensional tear before sealing it. After rebuilding the battery, the Guardians hold a great event, mourning those who lost their lives, and toasting the remainder of the Corps for their gallantry and heroism. They also offered Hal Jordan the Crimson Mantel, which would have bestowed Corps leadership upon him, though he refused.
Recent HistoryThe Guardians were almost wiped out when Parallax took control of Hal Jordan, the only survivor being Ganthet. They sacrificed themselves to create one final power ring, a power ring perhaps more powerful than all others before it. Oa was itself destroyed in a battle between Parallax and Kyle Rayner, but rebuilt as the final wish of Hal Jordan's former power ring. The Guardians were restored when Kyle Rayner, as Ion, recharged the central battery. Rayner lost his power and role as Ion but this sacrifice released all the Guardian's life forces from the dormancy in his ring. The immortals first appeared as children but aged quickly and many seemed to return to the identities they had before they created Kyle Rayner's power ring. Unlike before however: the Guardians were male and female, rather than just male. While Kyle had made them children in order for them to grow up and become less cold than their predecessors, this did not work. Instead the Guardians were as cold and manipulative as they were before. Also one of them (Lianna) seemed to revert to the original Malthusian appearance in the process. With their revival they began to rebuild the Green Lantern Corps using veterans to train the new ring-bearers. Kyle Rayner's recent metamorphosis into Ion again seemed to be part of a new Guardian experiment, the evolution of the Corps. Alongside this experiment, the Guardians refortified Oa by creating a planetwide armor and defensive system to prevent successful attacks against them. During this time, Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner defied their authority, and went to Sector 3601, a sector unable to sustain life. There, they rescued several Lost Lanterns, and seemingly destroyed Hank Henshaw. However, one of the Guardians, possibly Sayd, journeyed to the destroyed world of Biot, and salvaged Hank Henshaw's remains to be interrogated by her fellow Guardians. They found that he knew of the secret of 52, and perhaps even parts of the Blackest Night prophecy.
Sinestro Corps War
During the Sinestro Corps War, the Guardians are seen to be in a slight internal dispute, with the majority opposing the ominous warnings from Ganthet and Sayd, who believe that Hank Henshaw and the Sinestro Corps rising are signs of the Prophecy of Cosmic Revelations; the Blackest Night. The Guardians choose to ignore the prophecy in hopes that it is merely folklore intended to instill fear amongst them. They proceed to destroy the prophecy, burning from the Book of Oa, much to the protestations of Ganthet and Sayd. The War also forces them to rewrite the Book of Oa and to add ten new laws. They also expelled Ganthet and Sayd from their Council for acting on emotion, and being romantically involved, which is a betrayal of the ancient pact that all took eons ago. The first law allowed lethal force against the Sinestro Corps. During the Sinestro Corps' invasion of Earth, the Guardians decided to reassign Ion to Sodam Yat, a Daxamite who develops Superman-like abilities under Earth's yellow sun. The main reason for this is likely because Sodam Yat is mentioned in the Prophecy as the greatest Green lantern, and the possible savior of the Corps
When the Anti-Monitor begins absorbing the positive matter of Earth, the Guardians teleport to earth bringing Ion with them, and unleash their might on the so-called "Guardian of Fear", angered at the fact that the Anti-Monitor made sure that they would be trapped during his first attempt to absorb the multiverse. Though the Anti-Monitor manages to injure only one female Guardian snatching her from the air and burning her horrendously, he was slowly but surely waning under the combined assault of the Guardians as they laboriously unleash their power upon him. Fortunately, Green Lanterns John Stewart and Guy Gardner come up with a plan to use Warworld and it's mobile power battery as a weapon against the Anti-Monitor, seriously weakening him by pulling it down and encasing both he, the Warworld, and the Cyborg Superman in a large willpower force bubble as the warworld detonates. Following Superboy-Prime's betrayal of the Anti-Monitor, the Guardians turn their attention to him, and one of the Guardians sacrifices his life to warp Prime out of the New Earth reality by acting as a living bomb. With Hal Jordan's arrest of Sinestro, the re-imprisoning of Parallax, and the supposed deaths of the Anti-Monitor, Hank Henshaw, and Superboy-Prime, the leaderless Sinestro Corps withdraws.
The Rise of The Lantern Corps
Following the Sinestro Corps, the Guardians, at the lead of the increasingly militant Scarred Guardian, decided to take steps to prevent the War of Light from coming to pass. They created a new division called the Alpha Lanterns, which serves as a sort of "internal affairs" group. The selected Lanterns were subjected to invasive surgery that allows them to store Power Batteries in them and directly links them to the Book of Oa. However, it also appeared to strip the Lanterns of all emotion, a sort of Lantern-Manhunter hybrid. Also, the Alpha Lanterns have a rigid, literal following of the Book of Oa, not allowing circumstances to be included in their decisions. Additionally, the Guardians authorized the use of lethal force against all enemies of the Green Lantern Corps after they detected a surge of red energy of hate on the emotional spectrum.
During the DC event known as Final Crisis, the Guardians are alerted by John Stewart of a Code 1011; Deicide, the murder of a God (The New God Orion, being the victim). The Guardians order the Earth Lanterns to seal off the area, and order several Alpha Lanterns to investigate the scene personally. The Guardians are informed by the Alpha Lantern, Kraken, that Hal Jordan is responsible, and provides false evidence in favor of it. The Guardians, believing the Alphas to be infallible, accept Kraken's story, until John Stewart and Guy Gardner unveil that Kraken is in fact being controlled by the deceased New God, Granny Goodness. Upon being discovered, Kraken/Goodness starts toward the Central Power Battery, as the Guardians leap into action to stop her. While the Guardians initiate the Krona Protocol, Kraken attacks, injuring a distracted male Guardian. Upon Hal Jordan's defeat of Kraken, the other Alphas attempt to wrest him off of her, until the Guardians order them to lower their rings.
The Sinestro Corps, though leaderless and fighting off a hostile takeover by Mongul II, embarked upon a campaign to terrorize the Green Lantern Corps by targeting their families. Additionally, the Zamarons, having long harnessed the violet energy of love, form their own Star Sapphire Corps to spread love throughout the Universe. The Guardians decided to try a diplomatic mission to dissuade the Zamarons from continuing, where they discover that the Zamarons have captured multiple Sinestros and crystallized them in an effort to fill their hearts with love. The Guardians request that the Zamarons stop their experiments, but they refused. Recognizing the threat from the Sinestro Corps and the Star Sapphires, the Guardians add a third law forbidding romance or physical relationships between Green Lanterns.
The Guardians are next seen when Hal Jordan returns to Oa, bearing a Blue Lantern Ring. Looking upon him darkly, they attack him with blasts of willpower in an effort to force him to give them the ring, which he cannot do. They stop when John Stuart intervenes. Because of the Controller's interference into the Vega system, Agent Orange sends the Guardians a message in holographic form via a damaged Lantern Stel, who had been close to the Vega System chasing a Sinestro Corpsman. He demands that they give in to his demands, or he would descend his Lantern Corps. upon them. Scar blasts the hologram, remarking that the Guardians do not deal with terrorists. The Guardians then decide that Agent Orange has had free reign for long enough, they relieve the ban on the Vega system, and along with a battalion of Lanterns, all go to Okaara to apprehend him, with the notable exception of Scar, who is "sick".
Upon reaching Okaara, they meet the Lantern of the sector, Gretti, who is standing on the edge of the forest of weeds. The Guardians blast the forest aside, only to be ambushed by Larfleeze's Orange Lantern avatars. Hal Jordan is kidnapped by Agent Orange himself, for during the battle the Green energy constructs continuously fail, even those of the Guardians, though Hal's Blue Lantern ring seemingly can't be drained. Gretti is killed in the battle, and his identity stolen by Larfleeze.
The Guardians burst in on Larfleeze's battle with Hal Jordan, who is using the infinite amounts of charge in his green ring (courtesy of his blue one), to create a host of green avatars to counter Larfleeze's orange ones. Agent Orange is defeated, however before the Guardians can kill him, he points out that even if they do so, the Orange light will move to someone else; they can never destroy avarice. Considering this, the Guardians agree to strike a deal with him. When they exit the temple, they inform the Lanterns of what they've done, but do not tell them what they promised Larfleeze in return. What they did however, is seen in the next panels, as Larfleeze's entire Orange Lantern Corps. descends upon Odym.
The Blackest Night
The Guardians are at this point beginning to realise that they cannot stop the War of Light. Despite this, they order the Alpha Lanterns to eradicate the Red Lanterns on Ysmault. The Alphas manage to capture the Red Lantern, Vice, who they lock in a Sciencell with a muzzle on to keep him from spewing corrosive blood everywhere. However, when the other Guardians go off to the Vega system, Scar releases Vice's muzzle, which allows him to burn down his sciencell. The surrounding criminals, including many Sinestros cheer, until Vice begins killing everyone in sight. The situation turns into an outright jailbreak, as Vice wounds the jailer, Vozz.
Upon returning to Oa, the Guardians find the entire planet in uproar, and order the Alpha Lanterns to contain the breach. The Alphas do so, and with the exceptions of Kamjar Ro and Bolphunga the Unrelenting, who helped the Lanterns on Oa to contain the other prisoners, the Guardians order all of the escaped convicts to be executed. Meanwhile below Oa, the Sinestro, Lyssa Drak, used the cover of the riot to try and find her Book of Parallax, instead finding the Book of the Black. About to take possession of it, she is ambushed by Scar, who seals her within the book. Scar then decides that it's time for the Black to rise, and she uses the Book to crack open Oa's protective shell.
The Guardians, along with Scar, look on the Universe in dismay. The War of Light is raging across the Universe, and they realise they could not have stopped it, and decide instead to prepare for it. No sooner do they decide this, then Ryut, the Black Lantern Homeworld, begins spewing Black Lantern Rings from its Central Power Battery, which spread throughout the Universe. The Guardians notice the swarm heading towards them from Sector 666, and begin to initiate a code black, which would return all Green Lanterns to Oa. Before they could do so however, Scar seizes a nearby male Guardian, and tears out his heart. During the rise of the Black Lanterns, Scar imprisons the Guardians with the black ooze before teleporting them to Ryut. As the various Corps. are attacked, and the Bastion of Love, Zamaron, is decimated, Scar speaks with her master, Nekron, before teleporting herself, the Black Lantern Central Power Battery, and the captive Guardians with her to Earth atop the home of Black Hand.
On Earth, the Guardians are bound to the Black Central Battery until Nekron uses his influence over the resurrected heroes to turn some of the strongest living heroes into Black Lanterns, Scar claiming the Guardians' energy and power was theirs to use before she is destroyed by the 7 Corps. leaders present. Several Black Lanterns dragged the weakened, near invalid Guardians, into a circular position around Nekron, where the death lord contentedly taunted and questioned them. After Nekron questions them as to why they gave up the joys of life in order to protect others, one of them weakly answers that he cannot remember. After picking up the Guardian, and asking him if he has any last words, he slits his throat after the Guardian answers "Long live the Corps". Ripping the Guardian's front open and allowing him to slowly bleed to death, Nekron allows Black Hand to gather up his organs and use them to summon the Entity of Life, which had apparently been buried beneath the Earth eons ago by the Guardians in order to preserve it from being exploited. All of the Guardians feel the collective pain inflicted by Nekron on the White Entity, though are powerless to stop it, or to prevent Sinestro from bonding with the Entity soon afterwards. When Nekron is defeated by the White Lantern Corps., the Guardians are released from the effects of the Black ooze that had previously been incapacitating them, and are present to witness the resurrections the white rings bring about, and are seen watching Larfleeze claiming Sayd as his own.
The Brightest Day
Following the Blackest Night, the remaining 6 Guardians returned to Oa to oversee the reconstruction efforts on the Citadel. They allow an audience between themselves, Salaak, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, and Arisia, the latter of whom immediately punches a male Guardian in the face. The Guardians explain that they were in the vega system when Yat and Arisia were fighting Mongul, and that Scar was the one who stopped Yat tapping into the Ion power, which Arisia had formerly been assuming the entire Guardian Council had done. Kyle Rayner also makes some pointed remarks on their recent behavior during the Blackest Night, and flat out demands several changes, which the Guardians consider after they leave. The Guardians begin to order Salaak to maintain the distinction between them and the Lanterns, when he displays an unexpected show of opposition. The Guardians agree unanimously to remove the law forbidding romantic relationships between Lanterns, the most controversial of the new laws passed, which Scar had previously had masterfully installed to weaken the Corps in preparation for the Blackest Night. Even Guy Gardner comments "Heh, looks like the blue meanies do have some heart left after all".
The Guardians are confronted by Ganthet, who resigns from his position as a Guardian of the Universe. At first, the Guardians do not understand, pointing out that he was a Blue Lantern Guardian. He clarifies, saying that he will take up a Green Ring and become the Green Lantern of Sector 0. The Guardians are dismayed by this decision, citing their alarmingly depleted number as a reason for him to remain with them. One of them even says, apparently trying to argue him back into the fold, that it has always been an ill omen when a Guardian takes a name, pointing out Appa Ali Apsa, Scar, and even Sayd. Ganthet is not persuaded, and counters that the Guardians have become too detached from those they are protecting, and that he'd rather help those close to him, than preside over billions he would never know or understand. Ganthet apologises if he has confused any of them by his decision, and begs that they do something it is nearly impossible for immortals to do; have faith in him. The Guardians, a little sadly, respect his decision, and wish him well, asking him in return to tell them what he discovers, and that he should not underestimate their ability to understand. A male Guardian remarks that they will need a ring for their newest Lantern, though Ganthet replies that there is no need, and creates one for himself, with a battery, from the Forge. Ganthet would later remark to Guy Gardner about how accepting of Ganthet's decision the Guardians seemed to be.
The Guardians next summon John Stewart to them. Stewart, believing himself to be in trouble since he was brought to their presence by the wishes of Alpha Lantern Boodika, is apprehensive, and asks if he's in trouble for something. A female Guardian asks him why he should think that, and a male informs him that, quite the reverse, Boodika requires him for advice, given John's military expertise. It later turns out that the Alpha Lanterns had been controlled by the Cyborg Superman. Upon his defeat, the Guardians appoint Ganthet and Alpha Lantern Boodika to Honor Guard for their unparalleled devotion to the ideals of the Green Lantern Corps. Guy Gardner, after chasing a number of weapons dealers heading for unknown space, has an audience with the Guardians, and expresses his opinion that the Guardians should authorise a Lantern exploration of these unknown sectors, and bring them under Green Lantern protection. The Guardians seem to consider for a moment, as Gardner begins making warnings that he's ready to sit there all day and argue his point, when unexpectedly, the Guardians agree to his proposal, and ask when he can be ready to lead the exploration. The Guardians also show confusion when Gardner asks them if they're punking him. Again, Gardner and Ganthet remark later on this odd acquiescence the Guardians seem to have developed.
During Hal Jordan's time on Earth, Salaak notices that his ring is not transmitting his activities. He relays this information to the Guardians, who initially wish for the Alpha Lanterns to be sent to investigate. Salaak however, suggests that the Alphas are not yet recovered from their domination by Hank Henshaw, and instead asks that they send someone from Earth, someone outside the Corps, to investigate. Ultimately, they determined that he was in the company of the New Guardians which consisted of enemies of the Green Lanterns. Commenting on the various renegades that sprung amongst their ranks, they commanded Salaak to dispatch a team to apprehend Hal Jordan. Afterwards, their sanctum was invaded by Krona who had the Entities of the Emotional Spectrum at his command. Whilst the Oans were ready to battle the fallen Maltusian, he demonstrated his complete control over the Entities and had six of them take over the remaining Guardians of the Universe thus subverting them. Following that, he had Parallax take residence within the Green Lantern Central Power Battery which reintroduced the Yellow Impurity within it that affected the entirety of the Green Lantern Corps. Now the Corps were controlled by Krona as its members were mind controlled or succumbed to the Parallax Fear Anomaly thus leading to a split within the organization.
War of The Green Lanterns
The Guardians participate in the capture of Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan when Krona plans to evolve them into Guardians and thus take their place as the leaders of the Green Lantern Corps. along with himself. At that point however, Kyle Rayner and John Stewart finished their mission on Mogo, when John destroyed the planet GL with Black Lantern energy stored in his core. The Guardians, along with Krona, Ganthet, and most of the Corps, were momentarily disabled by Mogo's last psychic scream. Once they had recovered, the Corps had been released from their control by Krona, and were ready to face off against the rogue and the still possessed Guardians. The Guardians are freed from Krona's control emotions by Hal Jordan, who kills Krona using his ultimate power. The rings from the other corps return to their former wielders. However, the Guardians expel them from Oa. The Guardians believe Hal to be the most dangerous of the Green Lantern Corps. Therefore, the Guardians discharge him from the Corps. Afterwards, the Guardians of the Universe allow Sinestro to become a Green Lantern once more. However, the Green Lantern Corps learn from empathy Lantern Meadlux that the Guardians are afraid of Hal Jordan, fearing that what happened to Krona would eventually happen to them if Jordan was allowed to continue as a Green Lantern. Later, when the Green Lantern Corps are in disagreement and attempt to kill Sinestro, the Corps break into the sciencells, but the Corps discover that the Guardians have in captivity with Sinestro, who are trying to remove Sinestro's green ring, but the ring will not be removed. Later, the Green Lantern Corps were in a meeting by the Guardians that they choose between discipline continuing the fight and that any intrusion will incite a mutiny. The other Green Lantern Corps are in agreement.
Rise of The Third Army
After the War of the Green Lanterns, the Guardians concluded that the Green Lanterns are similarly flawed like the Manhunters before them. As a result, after banishing Hal Jordan from the Corps and 'initially' replacing him with Sinestro (under the impression that they were unable to remove his green power ring from him), they brainwashed Ganthet who reported that their suspicions were correct and that they needed to move towards the next step of their plans. To accomplish this goal, they required The First Lantern in order to use his power to bring about the rise of The Third Army, who would be the successors of the Green Lantern Corps. However, the Guardians knew of the opposition they would face from the various Corps and thus required to take measures to eliminate that threat.
Using Sinestro, they had him forcibly disband his own Sinestro Corps who were taken prisoner in the Sciencells. Unknown to them, Sinestro discovered their scheme by touching the Book of the Black, thus prompting him to enlist Hal Jordan's aid into stopping them. The Guardians currently began searching for the Book of the Black by tracking Starstorm, who was one of the last persons to had contact with the book, however when he proves useless to them, the Guardians kill Starstorm, without mercy. In addition, they had attempted to apprehend Kyle Rayner who had been selected by various Power Rings from the various Corps and gone rogue where he formed an incarnation of the New Guardians. Furthermore, they used events to turn the Alpha Lantern Corps against the rest of their comrades, thus forcing John Stewart and Guy Gardner to destroy the cyborgs. Whilst this was happening, they plotted events to ensure that the two Earth Lanterns would be separated and eliminated. Finally, they helped bring about the resurrection of Abysmus and tasked him with destroying his "creator" Atrocitus and the Red Lantern Corps. It's also speculated that the Guardians are responsible for the release of Archangel Invictus from Larfleeze's prison and the fall of the Blue Lantern Corps during the Reach invasion of Odym.
With all these measures done, the Guardians moved to The Chamber of Shadows that was guarded by their kin known as The Hidden Ones who are lead by Reegal and guarded the First Lantern. However, the Hidden Ones refused to allow the Guardians to retrieve their prisoner due to the dangers posed by him and fought the Guardians, but Reegal was mortally wounded and died by one of them whilst the Guardians left with their prize and sealed the Hidden Ones away in the Chamber of Shadows for good. Once they departed, the Guardians journeyed to Earth, once they discovered Hal Jordan fighting alongside with Sinestro against the now-freed Black Hand and empowered him to destroy Sinestro and Hal Jordan. With the two "renegade" Green Lanterns killed, Black Hand was imprisoned in the Chamber of Shadows by the Guardians who intended to use him as their agent to bring order by the elimination of free will in the universe. After that, they began to siphon part of the First Lantern's energy and their forms bristled with power. This energy was then used in conjunction with their flesh to create an organic construct that served their will with this being serving as the first of the Third Army. This entity was composed of Oan flesh but completely subject to their will and had the ability to replicate by transforming other sentients into copies of itself. The entity demonstrated this by conducting such an act on a nearby human that had come to investigate thus creating a new member of the Third Army. Thus, the Guardians commanded their servants to build their number in space and on Earth in order to wage war against the Green Lantern Corps and the other Corps and bring about the order that they desired for the universe, and so the "Rise of the Third Army" has begun.
The Guardians begin to divide the Earth Lanterns and remove them as obstacles, as they assign John to track down Mogo's dead remains, under the impression that piece of Mogo are attempting to form back together, which Fatality later states to be correct (Mogo transpires to be both male and female, and the power of love is returning the male aspect to the female aspect). The Guardians then promote Guy as the 'Sentinal Lantern' and entrust him with guarding a group of ambassadors travelling to a planet for a crucial conference, only to subsequently release from the sciencells, Xar, Guy's old enemy, under the impression that he is going after Guy's family on Earth, knowing that Guy will abandon his duty and return to Earth while Xar attacks the ambassadors. The Guardians' plans have changed after Guy breaks off the attack from the Third Army and survives; so the Guardians then frame Guy for failing his duty to protect the ambassadors, who were killed and expelled him from the Green Lantern Corps. Salaak, spying on the Guardians' and attaining knowledge of their plans, intended to spread it across the universe, but the Guardians caught him before he can reveal this information, and imprisoned Salaak in the citadel. At this point, Kyle Rayner visits Larfleeze and Sayd, hoping to achieve knowledge of avarice. During the proceedings, the Third Army descends upon Larfleeze's temple, forcing Sayd to fend them off whilst the others escape. The Guardians contemplate taking her prisoner, but rationalise that she is a traitor, and the Third Army seemingly tears her apart. The Guardians watches the Third Army spread over the universe destroying all life and free will, so they told the First Lantern once the Third Army completes their control over the whole universe, there will be no need for him. Later, the Guardians realize that their current ability to regulate the Third Army is not enough to control the universe, and siphon more of the First Lantern's energy. The First Lantern's prison, apparently unseen by the Guardians, begins to weaken.
The Guardians then finally fool the Green Lanterns into a meeting to paralyze them, so they can reveal the reason behind their plan to replace the Green Lantern Corps with the Third Army, but the Guardians' plan is thwarted by Guy's diversion, after he survived his fate at the hands of the Third Army and discovered their involvement thanks to Simon Baz. Kilowog cried his oath and used his ring to cause the Central Power Battery to depower, sending distress calls to all the Green Lanterns and warning them that the Guardians have turned against their own Corps. The Green Lantern Corps join the New Guardians and Atrocitus' Manhunters that arrive to rebel against the Guardians. When they are able to destroy The Third Army, The First Lantern, whose name is revealed to be Volthoom, breaks free by siphoning off the energy of the wounded Guardians, and then ignites the light apparently resulting in the destruction of the universe.
Wrath of The First Lantern
After Volthoom is freed, the Guardians wake up imprisoned on the planet Maltus by Volthoom himself, who restores Ganthet's emotions about his past. He discovers that the Guardians had removed their emotions as a direct result of his first incursion against the universe, having developed a fear of the power that emotions might have upon the development of known space. Volthoom explains that he intends to siphon away the emotional energy of the lanterns across the universe in order to restore his own god-like powers. When Volthoom is later slain by Nekron under the control of Hal Jordan, the Guardians are finally freed, now with burgeoning emotions. Feeling fear and hope, they watch as the first ring, the one Volthoom had possessed, altered into a green one and flew off to claim Hal Jordan. Alone and vulnerable, with their surfaced emotions lashing at them, a Parallax infused Sinestro summarily executes them as they plead for the second chance their newly burning hope had kindled within them. Sinestro spares Ganthet and reunites him with Sayd upon understanding Ganthet's feelings of utter loss, which Sinestro could relate to with the loss of his home planet of Korugar. Paying for Sayd's release from Larfleeze with the secret of their survival, Sinestro banishes the two of them from Oa to live out their lives together far away. Arkillo is seen inviting Atrocitus to murder a last surviving Guardian, whom Sinestro had saved in order to end Atrocitus' feud with them once and for all. Apparently with the help of Hal Jordan, the Guardians who had guarded Volthoom's prison are invited to become the new Guardians of the Corps, called the "Templar Guardians" in the Book of Oa, and are gradually accepted by the Corps as their new leaders, directing the universe with love, hope, and compassion. In the future, the Templar Guardians are a familiar aspect of the Corps, and a newly minted lantern hearing the story of Volthoom's defeat expresses surprise that the Guardians had ever been anything else.
The Guardians of the Universe long ago gave up on emotions in favor of cold, to the point intellect (This later led to the estrangement of the females of their race, who would become known as the Zamarons). This has led to them developing a form of uniform personality (With the exceptions of Ganthet, Sayd, and Scar, though Scar's personality aberration is in fact due to her being infected with evil by the Anti-Monitor), which likely has been abetted by their mental familiarity.
The Guardians are collectively very strict, by the book, and are very set in their own ways. This gives them the appearance of being cold, almost stubborn and unreasonable when confronted, which at times they are (As when during the events of "Green Lantern: Agent Orange", they willingly gave up the location of Odym in exchange for Larfleeze not to interfere with the Green Lantern Corps.). However, the Guardians have on several occasions proven that they are capable and willing to adapt to situations, and will take circumstances into account in everything that they do. Their decisions usually follow a logical standpoint, as they take a tactical view in situations that threaten the well being of the Universe, and the Green Lantern Corps.. This often leaves them at odds with Hal Jordan and other characters, who wish to settle personal matters.
Being billions of years old, the Guardians are very wise, though their inexperience in "the front lines" since founding the Corps. occasionally lead them to make faulty decisions on what is for the best.
The Guardians are also fairly confident in their abilities, both in their tactical methods and in their sheer power (being on a level of cosmic manipulation to go one on one with beings like the Anti-Monitor, the Spectre, and Gods described in the comics), and their political standing in the Universe. (This in particular they are sure of, as during the Sinestro Corps. War, two of them are noted to say "You forget our place Ganthet. We are immortal. We are the Guardians of the Universe". "We can do whatever we like").
Though the majority of the time they are emotionless and coldly logical, the Guardians have on the instance been shown to become angry, and have admitted to becoming fearful. They have also been shown to show minor levels of compassion and concern, and have been shown to be sympathetic to the plights or conditions of others. For example, instead of simply handing the power ring of Lysandra, a being who is forbidden from traveling from her world, to someone else who would protect their entire sector, they allowed her to keep the ring, and gave another ring to a second Lantern who would protect the rest of the sector.
Though some have called their professed care for the Universe into question, their actions continuously speak for their sincere devotion to the interests of the universe as a whole. Despite their continuously dwindling numbers, they have put their own lives on the line, and often given up their lives to defeat great evils. Examples include their personal victory over the Empire of Tears, which killed a great number of them, the attempted prevention of Larfleeze attaining the Orange Light, their personally spreading throughout the cosmos to attempt to stem the corrosive influence of Nekron as the undead lord tried to enter the Universe, their battle with the Anti-Monitor during the Sinestro Corps. War, the sacrifice of Guardian 7 to remove Superboy Prime from the Universe, and many others over the eons.
Powers and Abilities
Functionally immortal, they possess vast knowledge, durability, awareness, flight, psionic powers, and the ability to manipulate the green energy of the emotional concept of willpower, making them essentially demigods. Although, since it has been said that they chose the most stable color of the spectrum, it is possible that the Guardians may have limited access to all colors. In Green Lantern: Rebirth, Kyle Rayner is recorded saying that Ganthet could "crack a planet in half with a thought." Indeed, they have been shown able to defeat titanic entities such as Superman-Prime and the Anti-Monitor, and Ganthet has been noted to say in Green lantern: Rebirth, that the Guardian's powers surpass that of the Spectre. In Green Lantern (v.2) #100 the Guardians display the power of time travel as they send a time-lost Kyle Rayner back to his future timeline. The guardians can manipulate time, space, matter, and reality, and even the evolution and biological makeup of sentient life, making them among the most powerful beings in the DC universe.
Green Energy Manipulation: The Guardians are capable of harnessing and effectively wielding the emotional concept of Willpower. This, combined with their natural telepathic and telekinetic abilities give them unimaginable cosmic powers that rival that of the beings such as the Spectre and the Antimonitor.
- Cosmic Awareness: The Guardians are semi-omniscient, able to see all things that occur in the universe apart from those that employ superior cloaking technology, such as the Zamaron experiments.
- Dimensional Manipulation: The Guardians can manipulate the force that divide dimensions, and thus open gateways, seal holes, and a number of other things.
- Energy Absorption: The Guardians are able to absorb energy from others, or from sources of power, such as stars or machines.
- Energy Shield: The Guardians can throw up energy shields of immense strength and durability, able to withstand blasts from titanic foes.
- Force-Field: The Guardians can set force fields over themselves and other beings or objects. Like their energy shields, these are exceptionally potent and durable.
- Light Projection: The Guardians can project photons at will.
- Invulnerability: Given their immortality and near omnipotent powers, they are almost impervious to pain. Their invulnerability stretches as far as when they are at normal power, and is subject to certain weaknesses, such as Anti-Matter, and lights of the emotional spectrum.
- Time Manipulation: The Guardians have been shown to be able to manipulate time with a fair degree of accuracy.
- Matter Absorption: The Guardians are capable of absorbing matter into their own forms without damage to their physical forms.
- Phasing: The Guardians can phase through solid objects.
- Reality Manipulation: With the sheer power of their minds, they can bend reality to their will.
- Healing: The Guardians are able to heal minor to moderate injuries, though as with most, they have little power over fatal wounds.
- Teleportation: The Guardians have the ability to remove themselves and others from one point in space to another instantaneously.
- Willpower-Induced Energy Constructs: Given their connection to the green energy of willpower, the Guardians can form immensely large and complex energy constructs beyond the power of the standard power ring.
- Siphon Abilities: The Guardians can siphon away the energy that contributes to the powers of others, effectively stripping them of their supernatural powers.
- Siphon Lifeforce: The Guardians can siphon the very life force from a living being, and even donate some of their immortal lives to others.
- Size Manipulation: The Guardians are shown to be able to increase or decrease the size of their bodies at will
- Holographic Projection: The Guardians can project images of themselves over great distances with little to no exertion.
- Genetic Manipulation: The Guardians can manipulate the very building blocks of life of themselves, and of other beings. They are capable of willing themselves to change their own appearance, and evolve as they choose.
- Indomitable Will: The Guardians all have Indomitable wills, allowing them to overcome fear.
Immortality: The Guardians are immortal, and cannot die by natural means.
Telepathy: The Guardians have very potent psychic powers, and are able to penetrate the minds of most individuals fairly easily.
- Astral Projection: The Guardians can project their very essences across space and time.
- Illusion Casting: The Guardians can create light-based illusions of great complexity and substance without great exertion.
- Technopathy: The Guardians can construct immensely complicated and advanced technology beyond anything in the universe merely with their minds.
Telekinesis: The Guardians are some of the most powerful telekinetic wielders in the multiverse, able to move the cosmos itself with the power of their minds.
- Flight: The Guardians are able to fly, and employ it as their standard method of locomotion.
- Levitation: The Guardians can levitate using the power of their minds. They are usually found hovering in their Citadel, and almost never stand, though they are shown fully able to do so.
- Cybernetics : the Guardians advanced knowledge of machinery allowed them to create an entire race of android servants such as the Manhunters who were equipped with numerous in-built weaponry.
- Genetic Re-Engineering : the Oans possessed the ability to re-engineer an individual in order to provide them increased longevity, healing factors, telepathy and other such traits which was a process that they conducted on N'Lasa following the original defeat of the Manhunters.
- Mass Genetic Manipulation : a much larger feat compared to simple re-engineering of an individual, the Oans were quite capable of re-engineering an entire species in order to remove certain traits that they felt were dangerous. They conducted such an experiment on the Burning Martians in order to remove their destructive urges as well as capacity to asexually reproduce through fire in order to better control them so that they could grow into a more positive force in the cosmos.
- Cosmic Surgery : in addition, the Guardians had the capacity to perform a type of surgery on sentient beings and transform them into cybernetic entities with advanced traits such as integrated Power Batteries as well as Power Ring draining abilities which was a process they conducted to create the Alpha Lanterns.
- Coming Soon
As immortal beings, and members of the most singularly powerful race in the DC Universe, the Guardians have few weaknesses, and those forces they are weak to tend to be either rare, extremely hazardous, or held by a being of truly immense or supernatural power.
- Anti-Matter: As beings of the positive matter universe, their bodies, and even their Oan energy, is susceptible to the naturally occurring annihilation that comes about when anti-matter meets matter. As Anti-matter is extremely rare in the positive matter universe, and is equally hard to control, this threat is usually neither practical or common. The only known instance of Anti-matter being successfully used against the Guardians was by the Anti-Monitor, who is made of Anti-Matter, and managed to seize one of them and horrifically burn her.
- Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum: As the majority of the Guardians' Godly power comes from their ability to manipulate the green energy of willpower, their defences are subject to the sensitivity of the EES. Sinestro has been shown to be able to stab Ganthet with his yellow ring, and the Orange light was seen to be strong enough to overcome at least two Guardians during the original containment of the Orange Light billions of years ago. The guardians are shown, however, to be practically immune to assaults by wielders of the green light, as shown during the brief, one sided fight between a possessed Kilawog and Ganthet, the later easily absorbing Kilowog's attacks and effortlessly sweeping him aside. It is noted at the conclusion of the War of the Green Lanterns story arc that Green Lantern rings are supposed to be hardcoded to be incapable of harming a Guardian even with the lethal force authorization, though Hal Jordan overcame this against Krona.
- Supernatural Powers: Beings such as Nekron and Maaldor, whose powers surpass the mortal plain, have been shown to counteract the godly powers of the Guardians.
- Apathy: The Guardians of the Universe, having cast aside emotion, are at times slow to action even in the face of immediate need, such as their refusal to save themselves from Hal Jordan during his initial rampage to become Parallax. This slow approach often makes them vulnerable to attack despite their enormous personal power.
- Coming Soon
- According to an article at Hadassah Magazine, artist Gil Kane based the appearance of the Guardians of the Universe on Prime Minister of Israel; David Ben-Gurion.
- Following the Blackest Night, the six remaining Guardians were seen to be three males and three females. Prior to the Blackest Night, there were nine Guardians in total, with five being female, and four males. Given that two male Guardians and Scar died during the Blackest Night, one being killed by Scar, the other by Nekron, and Scar herself being destroyed by the Corps. leaders, this would mean that in fact there should be four female Guardians and two males. Whether this is an oversight or simply comic adjustments to appease an equal gender status is unknown.
In Other Media
- The Guardians of the Universe made appearances in n the episode "In Brightest Day..." of Superman: The Animated Series, they approach Superman for him to help Kyle Rayner in defeating Sinestro.
- In the Justice League animated series episode "In Blackest Night" they attend John Stewart's trial, and latter tried to defend Oa from an attack by the Manhunters. In Justice League Unlimited they appear briefly in the beginning of "The Return" where they deny Stewart's request to leave Earth and take a tour of duty on Oa.
- The Guardians made an appearance on the Warner Premiere animated feature Justice League: The New Frontier, guiding Hal Jordan on the use of his Green Lantern ring against Earth's ancient evil, The Centre. They are all voiced by Robin Atkin Downes.
- The Guardians make a brief appearance in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. In the Story mode, they inform Green Lantern, Lex Luthor, and Catwoman about the merging of the universes when the hero and villains arrive on Oa.