Blackest Night is fast drawing to a close (Praise the Light!), and now the Guardians greatest secret is out. Life in the universe originated not on Oa (or rather Maltus, but let’s just ignore that slight continuity error), but on Earth. This is the secret the Guardians swore to keep.
On Earth? Come again?!?
Ignoring the cosmological arguments against this, considering that it was ten billion years ago that Krona’s experiment shattered the universe, erm, then didn’t anymore until Alex Luthor’s tower kicked in and then it did again, and the earth itself is only 4.54 billion years old, this still strikes me as ridiculous.
This is a fictional universe, so one could say that the Guardians altered the evidence to make Earth appear that it is a lot younger than it actually is. I suppose this also allows a period of history where the Homo Magi walked the earth and gives a home to all of the old fantasy titles if they don’t already have a realm to be placed in, which almost makes me want Conan to be part of the DCU rather than the Marvel universe.
Conan is currently licensed by Dark Horse, but then Kulan Gath is still part of Marvel and he started life as a Conan character, and it seems that Marvel are happy to use the Micronauts again, so I assume that the Hyborian Era is still part of Marvel History.
Anyway, I digress. What began for me as a spectacular crossover seems to have descended into a number of clichés and unoriginal plot devices. Having the Light Entity resident on Earth could have been explained through any number of reasons, such as due to it now being the centre of the Multiverse after the events of the various Crises, rather than saying that humanity, or at the planet is older than the Guardians themselves. Not only does this turn decades of DC cosmic continuity on its head, but it seems vastly egocentric, and leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.
That is also not to mention the redistribution of rings throughout the Earth-based characters, forming the ‘New Guardians’. I just want to look at these.
Red – Mera. Now this one sort of makes sense, Mera has always had a rough deal and it figures that she would be angry about all that she has suffered. However she has always comported herself with a most noble bearing, and the wearing of the Red Ring seems to be the equivalent of slumming it. Also the Red Ring may well be the way that the writers kill her off considering that it has replaced her heart, and that would be a great waste. Still, if Guy Gardner can survive it, I suppose Mera can.
Orange – Lex Luthor. Cheesy. Very very cheesy. Still, I must shamefully admit it is pretty cool at the same time.
Yellow – Scarecrow. Okay, so fear is his shtick. That’s about as far is it goes, he is neither being used to the best advantage, nor is he necessarily the most appropriate character for this role, where a more minor character could have had a greater spotlight. Wasteful, if you ask me. Plus how much do Sinestro and Scarecrow really have in common? It strikes me they would knock heads nearly as much as Larfleeze and Luthor, as one is order and the other chaos.
Green, well, do I really need to go here?
Blue – Barry Allen. As a symbol of hope, yes, I get it. If the ring is using him to spread hope, that makes sense. If the Ring has chosen him due to his personality, then no, I don’t see that. One thing that has proven to be the foundation of the Flashes is love, as embodied with Joan Garrick, Iris West and Linda Park. Surely the Sapphire Ring would have been a better choice? Plus, I think combining the Flash costume with the Star Sapphire armour would look far more impressive than the current choice. Blue Flash doesn’t do it for me anymore than Wonder-Sapphire.
Indigo – Atom. Indigo represents compassion. So Ray Palmers history of slaughtered loves and betrayal through love and then constantly running away from his problems makes him a suitable candidate for the Indigo light? I rather feel that someone was making up the numbers here without a great deal of thought.
Violet – Princess Diana, the Wonder Woman. Now in concept, this one sort of works for me, and her mini-series was well put together. Still, her Star Sapphire costume mixed with her traditional armour looks abysmal, making this combination cheesy.
These new Guardians seem to be opportunities that have been missed. More minor characters could have been given the opportunity to bear the rings and grab the limelight. Since DC are absorbing the Milestone and Red Circle characters, wouldn’t it have made good business sense to have seen these somewhere in the action? If the Superman titles have managed to include obscure references to them, then I am positive that the major universe-wide crossover could have given them at least a tacit glance, if only to introduce them to new readers.