When I first started collecting comics in 8th grade, I was all Marvel. Didn‚Äôt care much for DC‚Ä¶ In 10th grade, I bought a friend‚Äôs comic collection filled with Marvel and DC comics. I was introduced to Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans, and Legion of Superheroes‚Ä¶ I started coming around to enjoy the DC universe. But I wouldn‚Äôt discover my favorite DC comic until years later.
It was 1992 and I was attending the Art Institute of Dallas. Every month, the local comic convention promoter would do a small one-day show.
It cost $2 to get in, but if you brought the flyer you could take 10 free comics from specifically marked long boxes. That‚Äôs where I discovered Justice League International. I‚Äôd seen the book before. Even read an arc on Justice League Europe. But I just hadn‚Äôt paid that much attention to the series until I was grabbing 10 free copies of the comic (along with Ambush Bug‚Ä¶ which was awesome!) and started building a new run.
What I really liked about JLI was that it had a great blend of seriousness and ‚Äúnot-taking-itself-so-seriously‚Äù. The characters were so distinct: Batman‚Äôs determined leadership and disdain for the crazies he‚Äôs teamed up with, Martian Manhunter‚Äôs nurture and guidance, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold‚Äôs scams and shenanigans, Black Canary‚Äôs frustration with just about everyone on the team‚Ä¶ And Green Lantern, Guy Gardner: the self-absorbed jerk.
I loved the tension and comedy Guy brought to the book. He touted that he could lead the team better than Batman. He was all talk for the most part. He was the hero you ‚Äúloved-to-hate‚Äù. Guy had so many classic moments: Being taken out by Batman in one punch. His feud with Lobo. And his affections for the new teammate, Ice.
And I not only enjoyed how he was written, but I thought (and still think) he has one of the most unique and original costumes in comics. A turtle neck, with a big collared vest, and enormous moon boots‚Ä¶ And the only hero that can pull off a bowl haircut.
Here‚Äôs to you, Guy Gardner‚Ä¶ the biggest jerk in the Justice League!
See the black and white version HERE.