Welcome to Vanishing Point, a monthly column about the more outré continuity problems in the DC Universe, and my personal *non-canon* attempts to make sense out of them. This month's column is:
Little Blue Men.
Greetings, sentients. Since this month's theme is Green Lantern, and I really don't feel like explaining why Hal wasn't Parallax (hint: Lord Malvolio), this Vanishing Point is devoted to the guys in charge, those manipulative midgets, the self-proclaimed Guardians of the Universe.
The history of the Guardians can, in one sense, be traced all the way back to the beginning of Time, itself. However, while we will be discussing said event, the real beginning is on the planet Maltus. When the universe was young, bursting with vigor, life evolved on Maltus, beings similar to Terran humanoids.
At first, like many developing cultures, the inhabitants were warlike and barbaric, worshiping the beings known as the Triarch. They developed a symbiosis with sentient microbes, allowing the swift defeat of any enemy until they started fighting each other.
The symbiotes cause a plague, and one tribe of blue-skinned males (for some reason, not all Maltusians are blue) discovered that only by segregating the sexes could the plague remain dormant along with pink-skinned women from the Amazonian region of Zamar, they developed artificial means of reproduction.
In their isolation the best of each gender were given the title of Oan: mediator. These Oans, the wisest of the Maltusian race, gained an affinity for the Source and near-immortality from their symbionts. The Oans studied the universe, thirsty for knowledge one of the most ambitious was named Krona.
In his arrogance, he pierced the barrier of time, traveling to the distant future to see the ultimate past and disaster struck. _Something_ happened. Not only was the tremendous entropy of the end of time released into the young universe, causing a billion years of decay in moments, but the universe itself split in half, a split mirrored on many levels. The Oans, shocked to their core, could only give one name to the event Evil. The Oans moved to a new world, close to the galactic core..and named it Oa.
The green energies of the males, and the purple energies of the females made the desert world inhabitable, despite the radiation which bathed it. This radiation made the Oans sterile, but so focused on curing the ills of the universe were they that it didn't matter. Much magic was contained, and buried in the Starheart. The males created a focus for their minds..a great battery. The genders grew apart.
Since there would be no more Oans, it was decided that agents would need to be used. First, Maltusian lizards wereput through forced evolution, becoming Psions but they proved to be uncontrollable. So working in small groups, the males (always the males) created the android corps known as the Manhunters. With red skin (except for blue faces) these constructs were made in their creator's image, and armed with energy pistols linked to the Central Battery via smaller, hand-held units. The core of their program: "No Evil escapes the Manhunters."
Millenia passed, and the Manhunters fulfilled their function but slowly, in part due to the influence of the being called N'lassa, the program was corrupted. The Manhunters had become unwilling to risk their existence fighting for the Oans. They believed the Oans were part of Krona's evil. They had learned they could avoid the Oan probes, proving their masters were not all-powerful. The rebellion against the Oans was subtle at first, but before long open hostilities broke out.
The war lasted a millennium, as numerous galaxies and races were destroyed. The Oans reluctantly went forth to combat their creations. Casualties mounted on both sides. At the end of the millennium the Manhunters made a breakthrough of the Oans' lines. The war would have lasted longer if the Manhunters did not risk all in a surprise attack on Oa itself.
The Oans let the Manhunters try and use the Central Battery ..and caused a chain reaction which detroyed the Manhunter weapons. The Manhunters were exiled, powerless. A rift formed in the Oans one branch decided that the fight against evil required direct control..they fled Oa, and became the Controllers. The rest gave themselves the tile Guardians of the Universe.
A more subtle rift spread between the sexes on Oa. The women turned to mysticism, while the Guardians, intent on succeeding where the Manhunters failed, created subtle new weapons, with built-in weaknesses (for example, they had a limited charge, and could not affect the color yellow). These weapons, created as rings for better inter-species compatibility, were given to hand-picked agents recruited from the races of the universe and the Green Lantern Corps was formed.
The Guardians became commited to the cause letting their bodies and planet atrophy. Helpless to watch the planet they nurtured perish, the entire female gender of Oa left they were now Zamorans.
The known universe was divided into 3600 individual sectors, imaginary pyramids with their points converging on Oa, making the Guardians' world the best protected planet in the universe. With the exception of the decimation caused by the genetic creation Doomsday, the Corps was remarkably successful.
[Curiously, much later on, the Controllers started using humanoid recruits themseves. These tech-based deputies, called Darkstars, were not as successful as their emerald counterparts, although they did have several former GL's in their ranks.]
Krona's return from exile, as the being called Entropy nearly destroyed it, however..and the fruits of his arrogance, the Crisis, almost destroyed the universe. For the first time since the Corps' formation, Guardian fought Guardian, as the Anti-Monitor battled the heroes of Earth (a planet deeply tied tothe GLC, having been the birthworld of several members).
The Anti-Monitor was defeated. Chastened by their filure to even have an impact, the Guardians studied their past..and realizedwhat they'd lost when the Zamorans left Reconcilaition was sought and achieved. The Guardians and Zamorans left to another plane of existence. Two, Heruppa Hando Hu and Nadia Safir, returned briefly to to help humankind reach the next stage of evolution. They selected ten humans as the Chosen. Under the guidance of these "New Guardians", humans could achieve immortality in the next one thousand years. Some of the intended Chosen had died before they could be taught.
But one of their mistakes remained. The Manhunters had, over the millenia, slowly regrouped, gaining new powers andnew programming..now no _man_ escaped the Manhunters. From their secret homeworld of Orinda, they created several agents..Paul Kirk, Mark Shaw, and others. Furthermore, android sleeper agents were placed on Earth. When they learned of the Chosen, the Manhunters acted.
With the aid of several heroes, notably Superman and Doctor Fate, the Manhunters were defeated. With the apparent end of the Manhunter threat, the Chosen were "propelled to the future" by the life forces of Herupa Hando Hu and Nadia Safir. The effort was ultimately fatal to the Guardian and Zamaron. The Chosen would go on to become the New Guardians.
The experiment failed. A short time afterward, during the trial on Oa of the renegade Sinestro, the Central Battery lost all power. The Corps disbanded. One Guardian, the mad Appa Ali Apsa, returned to Oa, snatching cities from dozens of worlds, and turning Oa into a mosaic world.
The other Guardians returned to defeat their insane brother. With the assistance of three Terran Green Lanterns (Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner) he was defeated. The Guardians realized that their presence was necessary, and enlisted Hal Jordan to reform the Corps.
All seemed well. The new Corps defeated Krona once again, and aided in the defense of Maltus from the aliens who had masqueraded as the Triarch. But when Hal Jordan, in a move still debated by cosmic scholars, attacked the Corps, slaying many, and finally destroying the rebuilt Battery himself, all seemed lost.
The Guardians gave up their energy and their lives, leaving only one, Ganthet. He crafted a new battery from the shards of the CPB, and a new ring..one with lesser limitations (It's likely that he did this in order to make his recruit safer..there was less raw power available, since only one Guardian fed the battery.) He fled to Earth, and gave the ring to the artist Kyle Rayner, who now adventures as the "one true Green Lantern".
For a short time, Ganthet existed in spirit form inside of Hal Jordan (who now went by the name Parallax), but since Jordan's sacrifice to defeat the Sun-Eater, he has not been seen (although one report has him appearing in the 30th century.)
From humble beginnings, the Guardians became as gods and died as men.
[Author's note. Special thanks must go to the GLC webpage, at http://www.glcorps.org, source of most of this article. While the graphic novel "Ganthet's Tale" enhanced the history, I've chosen to ignore the more overt retcons, as they added nothing to the history..in short, Ganthet lied.]