GUARDIANS OF THE UNIVERSE

Class: Extraterrestrials

Known Representatives: Appa Ali Apsa (Old Timer), Dawlakispokpok, Dennap, Ganthet, Hando Hu, Krona, Pazu Pinder Pol, Scar

Aliases: Oans

Base of Operations: Oa, formerly Malthus

First Appearance: Green Lantern II #1 (July, 1960)

Powers: The Guardians needed neither sleep nor rest, could control great energy with their minds, and were virtually immortal. Their greatest assets were their superhuman intelligence and billions of years of life-experience.

History: About ten billion years ago, a humanoid species came into being on the planet Malthus. After five billion years they evolved to the point where they possessed great power and were virtually immortal. 

The Malthusians were preoccupied with an eternal study of the universe’s nature, and they expanded their study in every area but one; an ancient warning forbid them from investigating their own origins. Scientist Krona defied this warning, building a machine to see through time to the beginning of all things. The terrible consequences of his actions were the creation of the Anti-Matter Universe, as well as unleashing vast and unstoppable evil. Krona was punished, and the immortals dedicated themselves to creating a force of good to combat the evil Krona had unleashed. They relocated to the planet Oa at the center of the universe.

(Green Lantern IV #19 (fb)) - The Oans called a meeting, and Ganthet presented the Book of Oa which he hoped would protect them from the emotional spectrum born out of life’s sentience. A tribe of women thought it was blasphemy to cleanse themselves of emotion, and left, searching for a home for billions of years before settling on Zamaron and becoming the Zamarons.

The Oans created the Manhunters as their agents. The Manhunters proved to be a failure, rebelling and becoming power hungry. In response the Oans stripped away most of their powers and exiled them.

(Martian Manhunter II #21 (fb)) - The Guardians approached the Martians and asked them to participate in the Green Lantern Corps. The Guardians told them they’d based the Manhunters on Mars’ Manhunters, but found them to be a failure, and that the power they bestowed needed to be guide by sentient intellect. The Martians questioned the wisdom of an intergalactic police force and refused the Guardians’ offer. The Guardians agreed to let the Martians police their own solar system. 

(Green Lantern: Rebirth #3) - <billions of years ago> The Guardians confronted Parallax, who was responsible for destroying a multitude of worlds using the power of fear. The Guardians couldn’t destroy him, but trapped him in the newly built Central Power Battery. As a result no Green Lantern power ring would work against the color yellow, and over the years the Guardians referred to Parallax as simply the yellow impurity in the Battery. They reasoned that if no one knew about Parallax’s existence no  one would e tempted to free or awaken him.

About three billion years ago, the Oans created the Green Lantern Corps as their new peace-keepers, agents from across the universe empowered by a central power battery on Oa. A small group of Oans felt these methods too weak to be effective, and left Oa to follow their own path. This splinter group would one day evolve into the race of Controllers. About two and a half billion years ago, all women left the planet of Oa. These women became Zamarons, dedicated to preserving their physical forms through combat, even as the male Oans allowed their forms to gradually atrophy into the dwarfish ones of the present time. Both sexes, though reduced in number, felt no need to produce new offspring, since they were themselves immortal. As the Green Lantern Corps grew in influence and universe-wide power, the 36 remaining Oans devoted themselves to providing them with the power and wisdom needed in battling evil. 

(JLA #84, 86, 97 (fb)) - <20,000 years ago> The Guardians observed the Burning, the dominant lifeform on Mars that was extremely savage and chaotic. To control them they placed mental blocks on the Burning, giving them an innate fear of fire, and transforming them into the more peaceful race of Martians. One transport ship bringing Burning to Oa for genetic reprogramming crash landed on Earth, killing the Guardians aboard. Only one injured Burning survived, but he was killed by Vandal Savage.

(Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #4 (fb)) - The Guardians recognized the Tchk-Tchkll, a warfaring race, as a threat to the cosmos, so they sent the Green Lantern Corps to drive the Tchk-Tchkll back to their home planet, then had the Corps erect an energy shield around their planet, derailing any future plans of conquest. The Tchk-Tchkll hated the Guardians for this and created the gestalt entity Legion to destroy them.

(Martian Manhunter II #21) - The Guardians sentenced Tybalt Bak’sar, who'd been captured by Abin Sur,  to a lifetime of confinement in the prison planet for his destruction of the planet Zapher. Tybalt pleaded that he’d destroyed the planet because they’d imprisoned his people, and vowed to destroy the Guardians’ Green Lantern Corps.

(Adventures of Superman #436(fb)) - <30 years ago> The Guardians sent the Corps to prevent the Manhunters from intercepting a Kryptonian birthing matrix containing Kal-El that was heading towards Earth. The acquisition of the last Kryptonian would tip the balance between the Manhunters conflict with the Guardians, and the Corps fought valiantly. They were taken down by the Manhunters, but prevented them from getting the matrix.

(Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #5, 6) - Oa; The Guardians put themselves into suspended animation for their yearly meditations, but were interrupted by Legion, who invaded their inner sanctum. The Green Lantern Corps faltered against Legion, and the Guardians, fearing that their demise would compromise order in the universe, planned to abandon Oa. Rookie Green Lantern Hal Jordan told them to belay their plans, and single-handedly defeated Legion. Jordan questioned the Guardian's past decisions, implying that the way they handled the Tchk-Tchkll only created Legion, a new cosmic threat. The Guardians were taken aback, but respected Hal for both his courage to question them, and the potential he displayed in defeating Legion.

(Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn 2 #1) - The Guardians determined that Lantern Hal Jordan was still not fully trained and somewhat unpredictable, so they assigned Sinestro, a model of an orderly Lantern, to be Hal's mentor on Earth.

(Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn 2 #4, 6) - The Guardians learned that Sinestro was running his home planet as a tyrant. He was the first Lantern to become corrupted, and the Guardians determined that duty to the Corps itself could corrupt. They sent the Fists of the Guardians to Earth to capture Sinestro and bring him to Oa for a trial. The Guardians found Sinestro guilty of abusing his power and banished him to Qward. At Tomar-Re's suggestion they appointed Katma-Tui, who led a revolt against Sinestro's rule, the new Green Lantern of Korugar.

(Green Lantern III #100) - The Guardians were held hostage by Sinestro, but freed by Green Lantern Hal Jordan and time-traveling Green Lantern Kyle Rayner. The Guardians were displeased with the idea of a future Lantern in their own time, and demanded Kyle allow them to send him to his own time. Hal and Kyle convinced them to let them defeat Sinestro first, and after Sinestro was captured the Guardians tapped the central power battery to send Kyle 10 years into the future. Unfortunately Sinestro, though defeated, managed to force Hal along for the ride.

(Green Lantern II #126, 127) - The Weaponers of Qward invaded Oa, incapacitated the Guardians and yoked them to the Central Power Battery, intending to use the Battery's power and the Guardian's immortality to create the ultimate weapon. Hal arrived on Oa, but was trapped in the Battery himself. The Guardians managed to call in the Corps with Hal's help, but the Weaponers erected a yellow vortex that trapped most of the Lanterns. One dying Lantern made his way to Oa and freed Hal Jordan. Hal to deactivate the vortex and free the Corps. The Corps utterly defeated the Qwardians, but a number of Lanterns perished in the battle. The Guardians acknowledged that there could never be true victory in war.

During the Crisis, caused as a direct result of Krona’s never forgotten experiment, they split into factions, battling even each other, and making mistakes in which countless lives were lost and 14 Oans destroyed. The remaining Oans gave up their guardianship, leaving the Green Lantern Corps with all former powers, but without direct control.

(Green Lantern III #7, 8) - When the Old Timer stole towns from across the universe to create a Mosaic World on Oa, Hal Jordan used Oa's central power battery to call the Guardians out of their self-imposed exile to stop the Old Timer. The Guardians were losing their battle against the Old Timer until Hal intervened. He gave them advice on fighting, then had John Stewart weaken Old Timer's resolve using their mental link. The fight ended with the Guardians taking Old Timer's life. The Guardians told Hal their time away gave them time to reflect on their past mistakes and they intended to resume their duty protecting the universe with a newfound humility. The Zamarons would return to Oa after they gave birth to the Guardian's children. The Guardians also announced they would reform the Green Lantern Corps, and told Hal they would call him back after they decided how to best use Hal, John Stewart and Guy Gardner to restart the Corps.

(Green Lantern III #14, 16, 18) - John Stewart approached the Guardians and informed them about the Horde, a hostile alien race attacking the human communities on Mosaic World. He asked the Guardians to remove the aliens from the Mosaic. The Guardians refused, they wanted to see how John would deal with the situation. More communities started fighting, so John erected giant barriers separating all the communities on the Mosaic. The Guardians remembered the mistake they made dealing with the expansionist Tchk-Tchkll. Separating them from other races led to their suffering and plans of revenge, and the Guardians couldn't help but wonder if the Mosaic communities wouldn't follow the same path. The communities tore down John's barriers and started warring against each other, but John, Hal Jordan, Brik and Chaselon temporarily put down the revolt. John confronted the Guardians with his suspicions that the Guardians had recharged the central power battery and could send the Mosaic communities back to their homeworlds at anytime. The Guardians admitted he was right, and told him the Mosaic served a purpose as an experiment in inter-species relations. They would continue the experiment with or without John, so they recommended he stay around as the Mosaic's protector.

(Green Lantern III #33-35) - Hal Jordan used his power ring to contact the Guardians, and told him that Entropy had abducted the New Guardians and swore to destroy the GLC because the Guardians of the Universe had "broken the third law." The Guardians told Hal they saw no need to interfere, and refused to discuss Entropy's cryptic statement. Hal went to Oa and demanded answers. He also chastised the Guardians for cutting off contact with the New Guardians and forgetting about them. The Guardians told Hal their plan for order in the cosmos was eons in the making and not subject to scrutiny by him. They also revealed they lied when they told him they'd learned humility during their self-imposed exile, but said the lie was necessary to get Hal to help reform the Corps. Entrophy and his army attacked the Guardians. The "third law" they'd referred to was the third law of thermodynamics, that everything descends into chaos, and Entropy saw the Guardians as going against nature by trying to preserve order. The Guardians foresaw Entropy's attack, and had the GLC on hand to fight him. Entropy made the GLC question their loyalty to the Guardians, so Ganthet decided to explain the end-result of the Guardians' work. Krona's terrible experiment ages ago used up a billion years of the universe's usable energy. Because of this, when the current universe collapsed it would not be able to create a new singularity, and from there a new universe. By creating a universe of order the Guardians hoped to preserve enough usable energy to one day ensure that a new universe would emerge from the old. They had to abandon the shattered GLC, then return to guide them to start a new age of order, the "Epoch of Dynamic Guidance." The GLC regained their motivation and defeated Entropy, and the Guardians gave the GLC their new task, each member must go out and recruit twelve new members.

(Green Lantern: Mosaic #10) - John Stewart petitioned the Guardians to send the cities of the Mosaic World back to their home planets. The Guardians told John they needed to observe the progress of Mosaic, because as worlds gained the means of space travel more alien cultures across the universe would start interacting, and they hoped the Mosaic would give them an idea of how different species would get along. John showed them all the progress Mosaic had made, including examples of interspecies cooperation and the planning of a fair that promoted cultural exchange. The Guardians were so pleased with John’s work they denied his petition and demanded he keep working to bring the cities of the Mosaic closer together.

(Green Lantern: Mosaic #16, 17) - When a number of superheroes from Earth came to Mosaic World to return the Mosaic cities back to their home planets the Guardians appeared. They told the heroes they would not interfere; they were interested in how the situation would play out. In the end most of the residents of Mosaic opted to stay where they were.

(Green Lantern: Mosaic #18) - The Guardians gave a portion of their power to John Stewart and told him he was a prophesized savior of the universe. They revealed that the only reason they made multiple Earthlings Green Lanterns and allowed the Green Lantern Corps to temporarily move to Earth was to maneuver John into the position of savior of Mosaic.

(Green Lantern III #48-50) - When Coast City was destroyed Hal created a power ring replica of the city to ease his grief, and the Guardians were dismayed. A Guardian demanded he go to Oa for disciplinary action for using the ring for personal gain. Hal went renegade, and planned to drain the central power battery so he could permanently recreate Coast City, so the Guardians blocked him with several Corps members, all of whom were seemingly killed by Hal. In desperation they freed Sinestro from the central power battery to defend it. Hal killed Sinestro and prepared to absorb the energy of the central power battery. The Guardians knew they were doomed, so they channeled all their power into Guardian Ganthet. Hal destroyed the power battery and killed all the Guardians except for Ganthet, who survived thanks to the sacrifice of the other Guardians. Ganthet took the last of the Green Lantern power rings and gave it to Earthman Kyle Rayner.

(Green Lantern III #0) - Green Lantern Kyle Rayner and Parallax fought on Oa among the corpses of the Guardians. Kyle defeated Parallax and Oa was destroyed in the process.

(Green Lantern III #150) - Green Lantern Kyle Rayner used his godlike Ion power to reignite the Central Power Battery on Oa and resurrect the Guardians of the Universe. The newly born Guardians were infants of both sexes, and Kyle entrusted them to Ganthet to raise. Kyle hoped that the new Guardians would not have such a strict adherence to logic and order like they did in their previous lives.

(JLA #86) - When Martian Manhunter got over his fear of fire he unlocked the mental blocks the Guardians placed on Martians to keep them from becoming the Burning. Ganthet and Dennap of the Guardians saved GL John Stewart’s life after an encounter with the Burning, filled him in on their history and gave him the knowledge to defeat it.

(Green Lantern: Rebirth #6) - Hal Jordan was resurrected and trapped Parallax in the Central Power Battery. The Guardians approved and decided it was time to resume their work.

(52 / WWIII Part One: A Call to Arms #1) - <Week 50, Day 1> Black Adam declared war on humanity after the death of his family, starting WWIII on Earth. The Guardians saw the situation was dire, and had a meeting to determine what the extent of their involvement should be.

(Green Lantern IV #11) - Hal Jordan learned that the Green Lanterns he thought he’d killed as Parallax had been kept on Biot by the Manhunters. Hal did feel tremendous guilt over his actions, and petitioned the Guardians to go to Biot, hoping to find the other Lanterns he supposedly killed alive. They told him Biot was outside their jurisdiction, and that they’d rather not wake the dormant Manhunters. One of the Guardians expressed his fear about the Blackest Night prophecy, but his fellows silenced him. They also pointed out that Hal was too emotionally involved to go on the mission, so they denied him. Hal went against their orders, taking Guy with him and battling the Manhunters. 

(Green Lantern IV #13) - Guy and Hal returned the Lost Lanterns to Oa, and were called before the Guardians for disobeying a direct order,. Guy took the fall, knowing he wouldn’t be expelled because he was a member of the honor guard. The Guardians assigned him to a month of Prime-Duty, guarding the sciencell of Superboy Prime without rest. Hal told the Guardians he’d destroyed Biot, but was convinced that Cyborg Superman was still alive. The Guardians still refused to enter Space Sector 3601, and warned that they would not rewrite the Book of Oa. In private discussion the Guardians agreed to recover Cyborg’s remains, because he’d melded with the Source Wall and had knowledge of the 52 parallel universes that had emerged. 

(Green Lantern IV #15) - Sayd of the Guardians recovered the remains of Cyborg-Superman from Space Sector 3601, telling him he’d reveal everything he’d learned inside the Sector as well as his knowledge of the 52.

(Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1, Green Lantern IV #21) - The Guardians interrogated Cyborg Superman, and found that he knew Earth was the secret to the stability of the 52 parallel universes, if it was destroyed, the entire multiverse would perish as well. They resolved that no one else learn of this, but Sayd feared that the Cyborg Superman was a sign that the Blackest Night would soon be upon them, and quoted the forbidden chapter of the book of Oa, the chapter written after Abin Sur visited Ysmault. Sayd and Ganthet pleaded with the Guardians to use the other powers of the emotional spectrum such as hope and compassion, but their words fell of deaf ears. The other Guardians also forbade them from telling the GLC about the Blackest Night, seeing as it was foretold by their enemies in the Empire of Tears they chose to see it as lies. Ganthet and Sayd asked why the Guardians even wrote the forbidden chapter if they chose to ignore it, and the Guardians responded that they did the unforgivable, and felt fear. A Guardian burned the forbidden chapter from the book. After the Sinestro Corps attack on Oa Ganthet and Sayd secretly appeared to Hal Jordan, warning him that the Sinestro Corps War signaled the beginning of the end, and asked him to be their beacon and burn brighter than ever. Hal pointed out that the Guardians had only asked that of him and Sinestro, and they both failed. They told him to find Kyle Rayner, who’d been infected by Parallax, and confront the one fear he never faced. 

(Green Lantern IV #22) - The Guardians divided the remaining active Corps members between defending Mogo from the sentient planet Ranx and preparing Oa for another assault.

(Green Lantern Corps II #15, 16, Green Lantern IV #23) - Ganthet and Sayd were disturbed that the Sinestro Corps were assaulting Mogo, the heart of the GLC, with the aid of Ranx and the Children of the White Lobe, further confirming the prophecies of the Blackest Night. The Guardians also feared for the life of Sodam Yat, who was prophesized to be their salvation. They ordered him to flee from Ranx, but he disobeyed them. Their fellow Guardians decided that they must combat the prophecy by not showing emotion and fear, by rewriting the Book of Oa. When Ganthet and Sayd protested against rewriting the Book, the Guardians banished them, citing their forbidden love and giving into emotion as the reason. Thje Guardians announced to the GLC that ten new laws would now be enacted, and that the first was that lethal force against the Sinestro Corps was authorized. The GLC destroyed Ranx and saved Mogo, but the Sinestro Corps turned their attention to Earth.

(Green Lantern Corps II #17, Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime #1) - The Guardians learned that the Sinestro Corps planned on controlling the multiverse by controlling Earth, which was linked to the other 51 worlds. They were not ready to imbue another Lantern with the powers of Ion, but times were desparate. They chose Sodam Yat to be their new Ion and torch-bearer and set him against the Anti-Monitor. And Superman-Prime.

(Green Lantern IV #25) - Sodam Yat survived Superman’s attack, and the Sinestro Corps War continued to rage across Earth. Ganthet and Sayd showed Hal, Kyle, Stewart and Guy a vision of the Blackest Night prophecy, with Lantern Corps arising from the other colors of the emotional spectrum, and waging war against each other. They told the heroes they would be expected to prevent this from coming to pass, and left them to found their own Blue Lantern Corps. Hal and Kyle went to Coast City to protect it from Sinestro, and Hal issued a radio broadcast asking the residents to flee. Not a soul left, everyone had faith Hal would save them from Sinestro. Sinestro and a number of his soldiers engaged Hal and Kyle, and Sinestro told them he’d already won the war. His actions made the Guardians rewrite the Book of Oa, and now that the GLC could use lethal force they would be feared. Sinestro always wanted the GLC to be a more totalitarian police force to bring order to the universe, and he’d succeeded. Sinestro and Hal’s rings were both drained of power, and they squared off in hand-to-hand combat. Hal won, and told Sinestro he was under arrest. In NYC the Anti-Monitor tapped into Earth’s energy and prepared to unleash an anti-matter wave to consume Earth. The Guardians joined the attack on the Anti-Monitor, and a female of their number was burned and infected by anti-matter by the villain. The GLC ruptured the heart of Anti-Monitor’s Warworld, the Sinestro Corps central power battery, and created a shield around Warworld and the Monitor. The ensuing blast nearly destroyed the Anti-Monitor, and he was finished off by Superman-Prime, who betrayed him for having destroyed his home, Earth-Prime. A Guardian sacrificed his life to shunt Prime elsewhere in the multiverse. With the Anti-Monitor destroyed, Sinestro vanquished, and having no way of recharging their rings the Sinestro Corps fled Earth to lick their wounds. The Guardians realized that the threats of Sinestro, his Corps and the Anti-Monitor could return, so they prepared to further rewrite the Book of Oa.

(R.E.B.E.L.S. #16) - Vril Dox teleported Rann to the former location of Tamaran in the Vegan system, determined to rebuild his L.E.G.I.O.N. there and clean up the system. The Guardians appointed rookie Lanterns Altin Ad'ms and Gorius Karkum as the new GLs of the sector. The L.E.G.I.O.N. recovered a stolen Arcturian vessel, but wounded Atlin Ad'ms in the process. Salakk and the GLC warned him, pointing out that Ad'ms was a beloved son of the mighty Warlords of Okaara, but Vril said he had a duty to his shareholders to aggressively pursue peacekeeping unless the GLC wanted to buy out his contracts.

(R.E.B.E.L.S. #21, 22) - Vril and Lyrl drove Brainiac from Colu, but the planet was left in ruins, and they clashed with the GLC, who wanted to arrest them for the damage.. Vril said he intended to rebuild Colu, so unless the GLC was up to the job they could forget about arresting him. He assured them Lobo would be in his safekeeping since he always paid his debts and Vril could help him with the bills he'd accumulated as archbishop of the triple-fish god. Vril was joined by his R.E.B.E.L.S., and said their name was apt because that's how the Guardians of the Universe viewed them. He said the L.E.G.I.O.N. used police by consent utilizing each planet's laws, but the Guardians sought justice using only their own capricious whims. Altin and Gorius reported back to Salakk and the Guardians, who were displeased at the idea of having to wage a war of pulic opinion. The Guardians accused Gorius of interfering with the Psions, who the Guardians avoided since their initial ill-advised attempt to evolve a sentient race from reptiles created them. A curious Stel and Salakk listened in to the proceedings. Gorius revealed that she'd been following R.E.B.E.L. Starfire, who she felt kinship with because she'd suffered at the hands of the Gordanians much like Psion females suffered at the hands of their males. Females were used as breeding stock, and she and Starfire killed a number of Psions before destroying their breeding nexus where females were kept prisoner.. Gorius said what she did was deal justice, and help her fellow Psion females.

Comments: Created by Gil Kane & John Broome

In the pre-Crisis DC Universe Krona's viewing of the universe's birth resulted in the universe splitting into myriad parallel dimensions.

The Guardians of the Universe received profiles in Green Lantern / Sinestro Corps: Secret Files #1, Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #9, Who's Who Update '87 #3, Who's Who in the DC Universe #11 and Green Lantern Secret Files and Origins 2005.

Green Lantern III #55 showed a picture of the Guardians of the Universe when Green Lantern Alan Scott told the history of the Green Lantern Corps.

Green Lantern III #101 had a flashback of the Guardians destruction in Green Lantern III #50.

Green Lantern III #147 showed an image of the Guardians when Green Lantern John Stewart talked to his therapist about his superhero career.

A statue of a Guardian was seen in Warriors in Green Lantern: Rebirth #1.

All characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and DC Comics, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Please visit The Official DC Comics Site at: http://www.batman.com