The Guardians of the Universe are a DC Comics outfit; they’re the high-handed blue-skinned hobbits who run the Green Lantern Corps from their home base on Oa (whenever it’s not being destroyed). The more modestly-titled Guardians of the Galaxy are a Marvel Comics outfit; they’re a bunch of superheroes from their future, their powers the result of adaptation to different planetary environments.
Yet I’m pretty sure I remember a DC story from the 70s (I have the vague feeling that it might have been this Superman novel, though if so, Maggin really ought to have known better) in which the blue Oan dudes were called, and in which the plot in fact turned on their being, the Guardians of the Galaxy; the villains somehow separated a chunk of the Milky Way from the rest of the galaxy (pretty powerful villains, I guess; who they were I forget), resulting in the legalistic silliness that it was no longer part of the galaxy and so no longer under the Oans’ jurisdiction.
That’s a mistake, of course; but on the other hand, the Corps doesn’t seem to concern itself much with affairs outside this galaxy. Well, how do you guard the whole universe with only a few thousand employees?
In unrelated news, did those watching Bionic Woman last night notice that the show playing on the television when Jaime enters the room was Galactica?
The Green Lantern Corps was the coolest idea ever in comics, IMO. When they bring it back, I’ll start reading Green Lantern again.
Bring it back? It’s been back for quite a while! There’s even a Green Lantern Corps comic book, in addition to the regular Green Lantern comic.
I must say, I find the statistics of the Green Lantern Corps as published baffling. Wikipedia claims there are more than 100,000,000,000 galaxies in the observable universe; with 3,600 Green Lanterns, that works out to about one Green Lantern per 30,000,000 galaxies, which isn’t going to let Hal Jordan sleep at home many nights.
Back when a friend and I were running a role-playing campaign set in an alternative DC universe (one where every hero’s career began when they were first published and involved real-time aging), we decided that the Guardians were actually based in the Milky Way and were protecting it (and maybe the Magellanic Clouds); the “of the Universe” part was rhetoric. That still gave us only one Green Lantern per 30,000,000 stars, but that’s within the normal range of comic book hyperbole, not way beyond it. A lot of those stars are probably Population II stars and unlikely to have inhabited planets, which improves the odds a bit.
Despite that, I always like the Green Lantern Corps as an idea. I was on a panel on “Alien Superheroes” at Conjecture (a local San Diego science fiction convention) a few days ago; we discussed the almost entirely humanoid makeup of the Legion of Super-Heroes and the way its readers freaked out when one of the reboots turned Princess Projectra into a sapient snake, and one of the panelists pointed out that the Green Lantern Corps had always had alien-looking members and some of them were quite popular (not least Mogo, the Green Lantern who’s a sapient planet).
“did those watching Bionic Woman last night notice that the show playing on the television when Jaime enters the room was Galactica? ”
No, but I did notice that the sound made by the machine the ear guy was using to fix Jamie’s ear was the 70s “bionic stuff happening” noise. LOL