Guy Gardner by Mike Valiquette

Character: Guy Gardner
Publisher: DC Comics
Artist: Mike Valiquette
Reviewers: Dean Trippe, Vito Delsante, Chris Arrant, Joel Priddy, Jessica Plummer

Dean: Okay, let’s be clear from the start. Like him or not, Guy Gardner’s fashion sense has always been pretty silly. And yet, for a dude who doesn’t seem to know anything about fashion, his costumes have been elaborate and varied…all of which look pretty seriously dated at this point. He’s also been through the ringer as far as powers and storylines go, but since he’s recently returned to GL prominence, it’s about time his uniform was updated to match. Mike’s made a really successful attempt here to design the costume around the character, maintaining a surprising amount of visual continuity with Guy’s most familiar costume. Mike kept elements that others might have ditched out of hand, like the vest and the leg stripes. He managed to keep them by redefining them as SWAT gear, which makes absolute sense for a tough guy space cop like Guy. Mike also made a good call in giving Guy a much-needed new haircut.

Vito: First off, I love the art. I am a huge fan of cartoony/animated art so right away, this catches my eye and hooks me in. And secondly, I’m an unabashed Guy Gardner fan. (I think I might be the one guy who could care less about the bad haircut!) The SWAT look works. If you’ve been reading the current Green Lantern Corps series, you know that Guy is known as a troubleshooter (he’s also a member of the GLC Honor Guard…I think the only member, actually). So, if the GLC is just an intergalactic police force, then Guy would be a member of a special forces unit, like the SWAT team. So kudos to Mike for seeing that and incorporating it into the design. Now, the design is simple, which I always think is deceptive for artists. But look at it…all the elements are there. The colors of the Corps are represented, and the lantern symbol is right on his chest. It’s easy to lose something integral to the character when doing a redesign, but Mike didn’t. This is a great design, make no mistake, because it isn’t over-designed, but sometimes…sometimes…you do have to add something extra just to make it stand on its own. My suggestion? Use the traditional logo (with the white circle around it) and just for fun, on the back of the flak jacket, write “GLC.” In my opinion, DC should incorporate this look tomorrow.

Chris: This design, for me, really peels away the the pomp & circumstance (and bad haircut) that has plagued Gardner for awhile, and boils him down to his core elements: hard-nosed, red-blooded American male. A bit chauvinistic? Definitely. His cocky smile reminds me of a nuevo-Race Bannon (Jonny Quest), and the costume design is a more rough and tumble, battle-hardened suit. He looks like your dad’s “military” pal, or the world’s worst gym teacher … but in a good way.

Vito: Did you guys know Guy was a gym teacher?

Joel: I didn’t know that, but it sure fits. I’m digging the SWAT look, too. The boots, leggings, vest, and haircut are all nicely updated, and yet still pitch-perfect for this character. I’d like to see a bit more done with the Green Lantern icon. And I have a little issue with pairing such heavy gloves with a short-sleeve T-shirt.

Dean: I agree with Vito and Joel about the GL logo. I have a thing about GL logos having a green lantern. Other than that, this design is too good. I love it when we get submissions like this that could be put into continuity immediately.

Joel: I don’t mind that the icon is white, but looks a little bland, sitting there by itself.

Jessica: In general, it’s a huge improvement over basically everything poor Guy has ever worn (especially the haircut!), and I love those boots. It’s the vest that’s a problem for me – part of it is the way his hand partially blocks the Green Lantern logo, but his chest feels like a very macho but very featureless void. Guy’s always been a fan of fiddly bits and details on his costume, from his old vest to his ridiculous tattoos as Warrior, and though I’m usually a fan of simplicity in costumes, this one’s missing something. Maybe a matching jacket?

Dean: Man, more elements in this direction, like jackets or whatever, would be really cool. Guy could switch into various costume elements depending on whether he’s going into action or chilling out off duty. If you really could alter your uniform with a thought, you’d probably make adjustments far more often.

Vito: I don’t know, Dean. Too much and he becomes an action figure. Guy is a simple character…I think that’s what works here. Keep It Simple, Silly. Guy isn’t the type to be encumbered by tons of accessories. Jack T. Chance, on the other hand…

Joel: Perhaps, instead of adding features, the vest should be defined more. Is it made of plates, like a bullet-proof vest? If so, how does the front connect to the back? Lots of room for interesting construction details along the sides. It probably is a good idea to design the T-shirt underneath it as a secondary uniform for when he’s off duty and doesn’t want to be encumbered.

Vito: Good call, Joel.

Dean: Agreed. A simple off-duty uniform t-shirt would be awesome and in character.

17 comments to “Guy Gardner by Mike Valiquette”
  1. Thanks for all the comments guys. I imagined his t-shirt woulf read GLC-2814 in that stark, SWAT font.

  2. Functional, to-the-point, no-frills design – just like the character. Love the short sleeves plus gloves look… added with the combat vest really makes him look like he’s a sh*tkicker!

  3. I really dig the design. The only change I might make would be to use the original GL logo (like Vito said) but offset on one side like a badge. Otherwise, it’s almost perfect.

  4. Green Lantern is my favorite comic book character and the Corps is a big part of that. I’m not sure why but, though I really like the illustration, the costume design does nothing for me. While dated and even a bit silly, the classic Gardner costume is quite distinct. This design is little different from the standard/traditional uniform of the Green Lanterns mixed with simplied SWAT clothes. A vest/jacket was always a major element of Guy’s get-up, so I think it would’ve been cool to include some kind of update of that as part of the design. Still, a very nice drawing.

  5. One thing I noticed through most of his costume incarnations is that Guy likes big collars. Perhaps once in a while he could wear a good old-fashioned leather motorcycle jacket (off-duty, of course) to reflect that.

  6. I’m curious as to how this would look if it was a more everyday vest instead of bulky armor. Guy’s cocky enough that even in heavy action he wouldn’t feel the need to wear armor, especially since most things superheroes face are likely to get past it and it’d slow him down.

    I wouldn’t bring back the white piping though.

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  8. Love it. Only suggestion would be to have a little cut-out section at the bottom of the vest, kind of mirroring the top part. Not sure why – I’m sure there’s no practical equivelent in a real flak jacket.

  9. I would echo the previous comments about the log (making it green on a white background). Other than that, this is pretty much perfect (esp now that the corp members seem to have free reign to redesign their outfits).

  10. green lantern is my favorite superhero … guy gardner is my favorite green lantern … i LOVE this look for him … the whole special forces / SWAT concept is dead on guy … thanks for doing what dc should have done a looooong time ago … !!! WOW !!!

  11. Ironically enough just last night I was sketching a similar costume change for Guy after watching an episode of flashpoint the tv show. Mine looks very similar to yours with a few extra details. like a little more white on the tactical vest and a new white military style cloth belt. Awesome job, and i guess great minds do think alike!

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