DC Should Have Retired Its Worst Green Lantern A Long Time Ago

Considered to be DC’s least popular Green Lantern, Guy Gardner gets a bad rep, but one story created the perfect way to close out his character arc. The Lantern’s complicated relationship with anger led him to become a pariah amongst the Green Lantern Corps. Until eventually he was able to earn their respect through his actions rather than his words.

The most prominent Guy Gardner story was the comic run led by Peter Milligan and Ed Benes’s Red Lanterns. It perfectly captured his internal struggles with his anger and the effects it has on the people around him. Guy was pushed to come to peace with himself and thus created a great way to close out his story and end it with a bang.


Faced with the impossible challenge to take control of the newly formed Red Lantern Corps, Guy was forced to take a stand. After taking the throne and changing the Corps for the better, the Lantern set out to take control of Earth’s sector in an effort to protect it. Turns out he was a perfect Red Lantern, able to use his anger to protect others from being hurt. In fact, he made that law. Anyone could do whatever they please so long as they don’t hurt another. With a long history of fighting, Guy was able to set aside his brashness for the benefit of a victim.

Related: Only One Unlikely Hero Forgave Green Lantern For His Turn to VillainyIt was still a rocky road from there. In Red Lanterns #27 by Charles Soule, Alessandro Vitti, and Jim Calafiore, Guy went and reconciled with his ex Ice, apologizing for his previous behavior and showing her that he could try to get his anger under control. With that chapter finally closed, the two of them were able to have a healthy break and forgive one another for the past so they could move on, at least until issue #34 when Guy lost all his friends to great evil and became the only Red Lantern left. He was forced to face his loneliness and rage, turning it into a weapon for good in order to save Earth.

With the help of Simon Baz, the Lantern was finally able to grow from his past mistakes. Ultimately, he was done with his life as a Red Lantern, his heart had finally healed from all that had happened, and his head was clearing. Guy’s anger was channeled to the extreme when he put on the Red Ring, but it only taught him how he could use it for good, not how to move past it. He was pushed to the extreme, and in the end, learned that he doesn’t need a ring to do good, all he has to do is provide hope.

Guy Gardner’s story has taken many turns throughout the DCU, but Red Lanterns was the pinnacle of his development. It finally helped him realize that all the anger he had built up was slowly destroying him and to let go of it wasn’t a bad thing. He had let in Tora, his sister Gloria, and all his Green Lantern friends again and let them help him find peace within himself. What he really needed was to realize that the world wasn’t just angry, but that it was also full of hope. It would be a perfect way for DC to let the Green Lantern finally retire after all these years, and would resolve his development in a deeply satisfying way.

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