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When the alien Green Lantern Abin Sur crashlanded on Earth after being mortally wounded by the villain Legion, he commanded his power ring to find a man honest and fearless enough to pass his power on to. The ring found two suitable candidates: Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan. Because Jordan was closer at the time, he was chosen over Gardner as the one to receive the ring.

Jordan later met Gardner and the two became friends, with Gardner sometimes assisting Jordan during his adventures. However during an earthquake, Gardner was seriously injured in the disaster and the Guardians of the Universe recruited John Stewart to be Jordan's new backup Lantern. Later during a clash with Hector Hammond, Gardner suffered brain damage and was rendered comatose for a time.

Several years later, during the battle with the Anti-Monitor, the Guardians of the Universe split into two factions over how to confront the crisis. A minority faction of six Guardians decided to emulate their former brethren, the Controllers, and recruit their own Green Lanterns to directly attack and destroy the forces of the anti-matter universe. They subsequently revived and recruited Gardner into the Green Lantern Corps. However, Gardner's brain damage now manifested itself in the form of an arrogant, violent new personality. Five of the six renegade Guardians were slain by a wave of anti-matter and the sixth eventually was reconciled with the rest of the Guardians, leading Gardner to believe from then on that he was "the last true Green Lantern" and the superior of all other GLs, particularly Jordan. Following the crisis and the Guardians' departure from Oa, he went on to serve the Corps for a number of years, eventually taking Jordan's place as the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 when Jordan was on a mission to recruit new members into the Corps.

During his tenure as Earth's Green Lantern, Gardner became a founding member of the Justice League International after the original JLA was disbanded. At one point, Gardner challenged Batman's position as League chairman; he went so far as to say he didn't need his power ring to deal with Batman and took it off. Annoyed by Gardner's taunts, Batman knocked out the Green Lantern with one punch.

Gardner tried on several occasions to assume the leadership of the Justice League only to be passed over in favor of another hero. He also had a longtime hatred of Hal Jordan.

During his JL years, Gardner once again suffered a personality change as a result of a bump on the head, and for a while became a polar opposite of his normal self: kind, loving, generous, boyishly innocent, and politically correct to a fault. At one point, he hit his head on the underside of a table, regained his old persona, and then whacked his head a second time as he stood up and reverted again. He also started an on-again, off-again relationship with the superheroine Ice, which ended with her death at the hands of the Overmaster.
Guy Gardner Reborn

Eventually, forced to forfeit his Green Lantern ring after a grudge fight with Jordan, Gardner set out on a quest to regain his power and identity. With the help of Lobo, Gardner acquired the yellow power ring of Sinestro from Oa's Crypt of the Green Lantern Corps, and he began to use that ring. The yellow ring did not use a battery to recharge, but actually needed to be used against Green Lanterns to restore power. Gardner found this out by accident when a member of the GLC fought him while he had absolutely no power.

As the yellow ring of Sinestro spoke Sinestro's native language, Gardner was entirely unable to communicate with the ring, although it seemed to understand him to a degree.

Gardner only wore the yellow ring for a short while.

It was while he had the yellow power ring that Doomsday first appeared. Gardner was with the Justice League at the time. and when Doomsday caused Blue Beetle's craft to crash, Gardner did not wait for the rest of the team. He charged straight in, and was quickly overwhelmed by Doomsday, who pummeled him badly before tearing through the rest of the team. Guy, his face beaten so badly he could barely see, continued in the fight, but was put down again. Guy was forced to sit the rest of the battle out, taken off in an ambulance, but insisting that Superman put Doomsday down.

Guy, although never close friends with the Man of Steel, mourned his death along with the rest of the League. He gathered for Superman's funeral in Metropolis and walked in the honor guard along with the League. Shortly thereafter, while in Chicago, Guy became aware of four super powered beings all claiming to be Superman returned from the dead. Infuriated at what he regarded as pretenders disrespecting the memory of Superman, Guy decided to take action. He went to Metropolis and encountered "The Last Son of Krytpon," (later revealed to be the Eradicator) and challenged him to a fight. Impressed with the shaded Superman's prowess and with the brutality he exhibited in defeating some common thugs, Guy was willing to endorse him as the real Man of Steel. When the Cyborg Superman framed the Eradicator for the destruction of Coast City, Guy was the one member of the League who refused to believe the charge. Nevertheless, he went along with the League when they were lured away from Earth in a ruse by the Cyborg.

Warrior years

When Hal Jordan destroyed the Green Lantern Corps and became Parallax, Guy Gardner led a group of heroes to Oa to find out what had happened. In battling Parallax, Guy Gardner's ring was destroyed and he was forced to find an alternate means to acquire power.

On Earth, Ganthet first came to Guy Gardner to offer him the last Green Lantern power ring. When Gardner refused, Ganthet chose Kyle Rayner.

On an expedition to the Amazon with a rich entrepreneur, Gardner found a chalice in a cave. Having drunk from it, he was to become Warrior. Gardner discovered that his past was not what he thought it was. He was actually the descendant of a space-traveling race called the Vuldarians. This discovery eventually led him to discover new powers within himself. These powers allowed him to resume his role as a superhero. He also established a superhero theme bar called Warrior's, as both a source of income and a base between his adventures.

His early days as Warrior saw him struggling with his newfound powers. He had difficulty changing his body to any kind of weapon, and these transformations sometimes caused him pain. After a breakdown that led to a confrontation with Superman and Supergirl, with some soul-searching help from his ancestor, Gardner finally came into his own, able to use his new powers and was able to form just about any tactical non-energy based weapon from his body, from guns to bombs, as well as absorb some forms of energy and redirect them through his various 'weapons'. Another ability, the knowledge of warriors from across space and time, was rarely used.

It was during this time that Gardner fought against Dementor, a "brother" of sorts, in that he was also a product of Vuldarian breeding. (Dementor's father raped a woman who carried the Vuldarian seed, and Dementor was born.) Dementor was sent to Hell, but eventually revealed that he was the one responsible for Gardner's constant personality shifts. He finally dealt with his "family", as well as revealed another side of his Vuldarian powers, the ability to heal mortal wounds, such as regenerating a heart.

He was seemingly killed during during Imperiex's attack on Earth. However he was later discovered to be trapped in a pocket of Hell in General Zod's country of Pokolistan. After freeing himself from this, his Warrior powers were seemingly boosted. He declared it was his job to do things heroes like Superman couldn't.
Return to the Corps

Gardner's Vuldarian DNA was strangely overwritten by his human DNA when Parallax possessed Gardner and several Green Lanterns. Hal Jordan's ring split in two and Gardner's ring was restored to him. Eventually, Parallax was defeated by the combined effort of all five active Green Lanterns, including Gardner. The Guardians then selected Gardner as one of the senior officers of the new Green Lantern Corps.

The Guardians assigned Gardner to be one of the Corps' three main instructors, along with Kilowog, and Kyle Rayner. The trio was responsible for the training of the new Corps, to which the Guardians intend to name 7,200 members. Gardner was not at all appreciative of his new role, and when he complained to the Guardians, they told him that success in training new recruits could lead to him being given a new position.

Gardner played a significant role in defeating the Spider Guild attack on Oa. Discovering that trainee Soranik Natu had disappeared into the forbidden Vega star system, which the Guardians' pact with the Psions of Vega forbade Green Lanterns from entering, Gardner and Kyle Rayner led a rescue mission in direct violation of Oan policy. Once there, the Lanterns discovered the Spider Guild Nest and determined that its next target would be the Oan sun. Returning just as the attack commenced, Gardner gathered the frightened trainee Green Lanterns and rallied them with a speech that impressed even his long time rival, Hal Jordan. Gardner's performance in repelling the attack resulted in his promotion to Lantern #1 of the Green Lantern Honor Guard, a position of authority over other Lanterns. In this new role, Gardner was expected to "think outside the box" and "do the jobs other Lanterns couldn't", a function well-suited to his irascible personality.

In his new role as Lantern #1, Guy led the Corps in the defense of Oa against Superboy-Prime, creating a wall of energy to slow the rampaging teen and calling a "code 54", authorizing the use of extreme force. Guy supervised the final capture and imprisonment of Superboy-Prime, locking the dangerous alternate Superboy in a red Sun Eater provided by Donna Troy and organizing a constant watch of 50 Lanterns to keep him imprisoned.

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