Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Because Property Damage is Fun:

Okay, I've been promising Sally that I'd write about Kilowog and Guy for ages and she's been really patient with me, so I figured I'd probably, finally, get off my ass and do it.

The thing that I've always found interesting about Guy and Kilowog's friendship is that really, it was a total 180 on their original interaction, but in a way that weirdly enough worked for me.

I mean heck, they nearly killed each other and almost caused a nuclear war with the Russians. (Oops). The next time we see them interact, they're best friends! It's a total about-face. Not only are they casual drinking buddies, which isn't unheard of between ex-adversary characters, but they're actually genuinely close. Guy is one of the few, besides Arisia, who keeps in regular contact. And even tells him stories about the JLI. They're not true stories, by any means, but the nature in which they're false (Ice being the girl he's going to marry, for example) are very revealing.

(It's interesting to examine actually, Guy's time in the JLI as an extended child's fantasy of adulthood. His very erratic, moronic and posturing behavior was such a caricature that the best comparison I can make is seeing a five year old girl playing dressup in her mother's clothes. The little girl pretends to be a grown-up lady with strange affectations and exaggerated mannerisms/gestures. They reflect the child's perception on adulthood.

And if you're a deluded, bratty eight year old with really really BAD male role models, a violent, hyper-aggressive, domineering jerk makes perfect sense. And it makes perfect sense when doubled back on the more openly childish portrayal in the Jones Green Lantern.

-By the way, the Jones-written early Guy Gardner series also makes a lot more sense as a child's surreal perspective of the world. Think that old Howie Mandel cartoon Bobby's World but with more punching.)

It would be easy to write the friendship off as just writers not caring about continuity in favor of a humorous joke set-up, which is not unheard of for the Justice League International, but the notion of friendship between the two characters ended up extended beyond JLI. In Jones's Green Lantern, Kilowog mentions that he'd miss Guy, when the latter got his ring taken away. And it was Guy's ability to manipulate Kilowog's sympathy in his own series that led him to be able to keep the yellow ring.

And in Emerald Fallout, the pivotal moment of the storyarc was Guy finding Kilowog's skull.

I think the sudden friendship between the characters really worked partially because neither Guy nor Kilowog were the main character of the series. This led to a reconciliation being possible off-panel. And for all of Guy's obnoxiousness and their political differences, the two characters are very compatible.

Both characters are rough-and-tumble sorts of characters that became so more out of circumstance than temperament. Kilowog was originally a geneticist (I'd imagine since Emerald Dawn got retconned away again, his original origin returned...maybe), and Guy a teacher. Both characters are inclined toward compassion and forgiveness. Both characters seem to need other people around as some sort of surrogate family. Both had suffered tremendous loss and landed on their feet, fighting. Both tend to take on mentor type roles to characters like Kyle or the nightlights

It's weirdly plausible that of all the Lanterns, Guy would be the one to stay in touch with an Earth-bound Kilowog. (John always had his own thing going on and Hal is a self-absorbed doofus) Guy may not have understood much, if anything, resembling complex emotion or situations, but he'd clearly felt them as his relationship with Ice showed. (Or this scene), and Kilowog, who really is one of the most perceptive of the Lanterns, would have quickly picked up on a few things that would perhaps make it easier to get along with Guy.

And they got to beat up on each other and destroy a house. Hee.

The friendship as expressed in Recharge is pretty interesting. Both characters are in positions of authority. Kilowog seems to have taken a more older brother role, calming Guy down and reining him in as needed. Actually, weirdly, I thought in a few cases that Kilowog seemed a little too gentle/supportive, given the interaction seen in Recharge. But then lots of things happen in a year.

I'm definitely enjoying this current arc in GLC, but I'm hoping Kilowog shows up again in the next one. And that eventually they start fighting and break shit. Because that is how things Should Be.


  • At February 06, 2007 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would buy a series about Guy and Kiliwog. Along with the Ice relationship, I felt those were some of the strongest moments for Guy Gardner.

  • At February 06, 2007 11:00 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Squee! Thank you deserve milk and wait, you deserve PIE!

    I've always liked Kilowog and Guy together. They aren't as crazy as Booster and Beetle, but I think that it is sincere nonetheless.

    There was a nice moment in Rebirth too, when Ganthet has purged Parallax out of Kilowog, Guy and John. The first thing that Guy does after getting his wits together, is run over and see if Kilowog is all right.

    And when Guy is confused about what to do with G'nort, the person that he goes to for advice is Kilowog.

    Hmmmm...wheels are turning in my head.

  • At February 06, 2007 11:15 AM, Blogger ticknart said…

    That JLA page you posted is one of my favorite Guy scenes ever. I like how throughout most of it he could be talking about himself or Ice and then he says, "Kinda like you wanna punch a hole in the wall..." and we all know that he's talking about himself and wants the same sort of comfort everyone does. Scenes like this are what allowed Guy to be the fun jackass he was during his time with the JLI.


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