Greetings Super-Blog Team Up fans..the band is back with another tale to weave into the fabric of the blogosphere. This round we tackle “Versus”. If you are reading this years from now some context is needed. In this year of 2016 Super Hero films are still big bucks at the box office and both Marvel and DC are hanging their hats on two films where their main “Good Guy”characters square off one on one. Dc’s Batman V Superman debuted to mixed reviews but a very large draw and is still making big money as we speak. On may 6th Marvel takes their shot in the war with Captain America: Civil War which trumpets the big battle between Marvels head honcho Captain America and Iron Man! Both films promise a full-scale battle of Hero vs Hero.
Fortunately comic book history is filled to the brim with tale after tale of Earths mightiest heroes battling each other, even villains vs villains, not to mention Super Team vs Super Team! So many examples of epic battles with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Some battles have loved ones in danger and others where heroes secret identities hang in the balance. It brings us great pleasure here at The Superhero Satellite to bring you none of that! In fact this may be the shortest battle of Hero vs Hero in the history of comics. Without further adieu I present to you the moment when the Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, The Bat, Batman took on the galaxies greatest protector, The GREEN LANTERN!! Okay…its Guy Gardner but he is a Lantern darn it! Anyways..on with the show..strap in and let’s get going to 1986..
Begin Transmission : May 4th 2016
DC had finished their massive crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths as detailed gloriously in past Super-Blog Team Ups and was looking to clean up many loose ends that resulted in its conclusion! Believe us there were a ton of them! The company decided after successful reboots of their core characters that they would pull all loose ends together into a bright red bow and make sense of all the individual titles by reforming their Super Team….The Justice League Of America! John Ostrander and Len Wein were the scribes in charge of reuniting DC’s heavy hitters under one banner. The story would be called Legends and it would take place over the course of 6 issues and multiple crossovers . It would be a jump on point for new readers and launched several new titles such as Flash, Suicide Squad and the brand new Justice League. In the story Darkseid wages a bet with Phantom Stranger that he will turn the world against earths Superheroes and uses a human political pawn as his catalyst. The end result sees DC’s finest come together to seemingly reform the Justice League and thwart Darkseid’s somewhat silly plot. Legends #6 boasts an all-star line up for the Justice League boasting Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Shazam, Black Canary, Guy Gardner, Dr. Fate , Changeling, Martian Manhunter and Blue Beetle! The band was back together and DC fans were excited for this league to continue on and protect this new DC Universe, Post Crisis. All was right with the world again…or was it?
Sadly this League would dissolve quicker than it came together. Superman declined the invite, Wonder Woman walked away quietly, Changeling went back to his gig with the Titans and Flash sped away disinterested in being bound to a team. It seemed the rug had been pulled out from fans who had suffered through some bad times in Justice League history with the ill-fated Justice League Detroit (which actually kicks some major ass and is a very fun read!) and With many JLA heavy hitters seemingly out of the mix for the next round of this new league, The new groups prospects of commercial success seemed significantly less. How can we have a JLA without the Trinity? (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) Well Writer/ Artist Keith Giffen along with J.M. Dematteis and Kevin Maguire would roll out the LEAST likely band of misfits the Justice League banner had ever seen.
So was born the Justice League International or the Bwah Ha Ha League as it is fondly recalled by the comics faithful. Giffen and DeMatteis would bring a very lighthearted comedic tone to proceedings.
The famous Justice League #1 from May 1987 sported one of the most copied covers in comics history with a family picture sort of cover sporting this new team with some very suspect looking participants. While the team boasted classic JLA heavyweights such as Batman, Martian Manhunter, and Black Canary it also assembled a far more unique crew than the JLA had ever seen. Many of which were imports from DC’s recent acquisitions from Charlton Comics, Fawcett, and the Kirby verse. The Blue Beetle, Mister Miracle, Oberon , Shazam and a brand new Version of Dr. Light rounded out this roster. One member however stole the cover with the now famous “Wanna make somethin of it??” Guy Gardner, a relatively lesser known member of the illustrious and complicated Green Lantern Corp filled out the roster. It was apparent that Gardner was bringing the “Attitude” to its ranks. One look at Batman’s face knows this team is already in trouble.
For those not familiar with the Justice Leagues newest Green Lantern would quickly grow to love the renegade Lantern. He originally debut in Green Lantern Vol. 2 Issue 59 and from the get go we know that this Green Lantern didn’t play by the rules. In this issue The Guardians give Green Lantern Hal Jordan a lesson in humility by showing him what would have been if Guy Gardner had been selected by Abin Sur to wear the famous Green Power Ring rather than him. We can all be thankful it turned out the way it did. During his travels Gardner would be passed over many times to lead the Lanterns in favor of Hal Jordan and John Stewart but always held to his guns that HE was the one destined to lead the team…alas at the time this did not come to pass however it would be a core reason why he was tormented by being subservient to another leader.
Guy went headlong into battles with DCs greatest rogues gallery would find himself in a bad situation in DC’s fabled Phantom Zone where he would be beaten into oblivion and permanently injured. A victim of brain damage, Guy as a result was a moody , self indulged prick who commanded the leadership of the JLI. Gardner however was not taken seriously by his new team mates. This certainly wasnt the Green Lantern Corp. anymore!! Joining a new group would be a little “problematic” for Guy as we will see..
We all know the story of the Batman. Avenging his parents death, Bruce Wayne goes on a mission to rid the world of evil doers. Along the way he gains multiple sidekicks with Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Superman and many others. For all intents and purposes..Bruce Wayne was never good with relationships and no matter if it was with a partner, a love interest, or a Super Team, Batman’s relationships always turned out badly. Batman would be part of The Batman Family, The Justice League Of America and even The Outsiders…all of which were dysfunctional relationships to say the least.
Batman as well was never one for playing second fiddle to anyone and usually assumed the leadership role as would be the case with the latest incarnation of the Justice league International. After the downfall of Justice League Detroit former Leader, Martian Manhunter was reluctant to put the lives of another team in his hands as he felt squarely responsible for their demise. Batman took the reins while the group was in their bonding period. However…unlike anyone he ever teamed with, Guy Gardner was NOT a team player and it was up to Batman to put him in line. It was the battle of wills..The mysterious Batman VERSUS an ultra powerful ring wielder who has the power of the universe at his hands…only one would prevail in a Game of Thrones.
From the opening page of Justice League #1 Vol. 2 1988, Gardner was already front and center and plotting to do a grand take over of the leadership position of the mighty newly reformed Justice League. Tensions would fly at their first ever meeting as a group..and Gardner and Batman would get their first taste of each other..it was NOT love at first sight!
In fact Gardner’s overtures towards the leadership position would not only be rejected but it would lead to an all out breakdown of the team only in their first organized group meeting. Batman could see right away that despite his reluctance to once again lead a super team…this boat needed a captain..and FAST!
With Gardner upstaged in front of the team, it would not only intensify the fire between Bats and Guy. It was just the start in a series of confrontations..as Batman attempted to instill a sense of protocol to proceedings Guy would be there to challenge his every word..
Guys temper would make for some tense moments in the team’s business. Gardner had no respect for Manhunter’s word despite Jonzz being a longstanding leader of the original Justice League Of America. Guy also would have none of The Big Red Chesse’s (Shazam) words either, but when it came to Batman, Gardner would dare not step any further.
Batman would literally become Guys babysitter. At every outburst or irrational thought, Bats was there to shut Guys outbursts down and amazingly there was zero retaliation..
Despite Guys reluctance to fight Batman, he would antagonize The Dark Knight at every opportunity. Both parties were now in the advanced stage of their passionate dislike for each other. Gardner took every shot he could whether on the battle field or in front of their peers. Serious group debriefings were fertile ground for Guys barbs….as Batman continued to make mental note of his detractors poor attempts to get under his skin.
Batman continued to hold the Lantern at bay, but when the League had their back against the wall, Gardner challenged Batman’s leadership for the last time. The defiance, the outbursts, the smart remarks and the tantrums would come to a head. Gardner would build up the courage to put the money where his mouth was as once and for all, Guy Gardner challenged Batman for the coveted Leadership position of DC’s high-profile flagship super group.
All the pent-up frustration..all the years of being held back by his peers in the Green Lantern Corps and now again in the Justice League. Gardner even removed his power ring and with no more fear in his heart, Guy Gardner BIT!!
Guy Gardner handed his ring to Blue Beetle and rushed furiously towards Batman and FINALLY these two rivals would square off one on one, head to head in a battle to end all battles this war was finally settled…
With ONE Punch…
What? Were you expecting something different? A bigger battle? A drawn out brawl over the course of six issues? Nope not here…sometimes less is more. Masterpieces are not created in one stroke of the brush…this rivalry was the exception. Batman would go on to leave the League a short time afterwards but Guy would still not achieve the top spot. Batman would go on to lead again and even Guy many years later, would finally get his respect as a Leader in the Green Lantern Corps...but that my friends is another story for another day. If you are hungry for a fight the battles continue with our group of Fellow Super Bloggers…read more below!!
1. Between The Pages : “Star Wars Versus…” http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2016/05/star-wars-versus.html
2. Crapbox Son Of Cthulhu: Jack Of Hearts vs ROM!! http://crapboxofcthulhu.blogspot.com/2016/05/super-blog-team-up-versus-edition.html
3. Chris Is On Infinite Earths Guy Gardner vs Blue Beetle! http://chrisisoninfiniteearths.blogspot.com/2016/05/justice-league-america-52-1991.html
4. LongBox Graveyard: Fire and Water: Human Torch vs Submariner https://longboxgraveyard.com/2016/05/04/fire-and-water-the-human-torch-vs-sub-mariner/
5. Coffee and Comics Blog: Spiderman Versus Ghost Rider http://coffeecomicsreading.blogspot.ca/2016/05/marvel-team-up-91-1980.html?m=1
6. In My Not So Humble Opinion: Captain America vs Wolverine https://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/captain-america-vs-wolverine/
7. Bronze Age Babies: Civil War – Silver Age Style! Tales of Suspense 58
8.Superhero Satellite: Super-Blog Team Up 8: Batman vs Green Lantern (Guy Gardner) – http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-M8
9. The Unspoken Decade: War Machine vs Cable
10. The Retroist: The Joker vs Sherlock Holmes http://www.retroist.com/2016/05/04/super-blog-team-8-joker-sherlock-holmes/