Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Night Fights--GAARD Style!

All right, it's the last round of the current bout of Friday Night Fights, so it's time to break out the big guns:

That's right, we're going GAARD!! on your asses!!

GAARD!! is probably the lamest villain ever. I mean, just look at the dufus, dressed up like a hockey goalie because...well, because somebody thought it was cool, I guess.

The situation? In an incredibly convoluted plan, Arkon is trying to engineer a massive thermonuclear war between Earth-616, Earth-A, and the "Fifth Dimension," because the energies from such a conflagration will pour through the "Eternal Nexus" and power Arkon's homeworld forever!! (Later stories that present Arkon as noble but headstrong leader neglect to mention this potential triple genocide. Go figure)

The only hope our heroes have is to shut down the nexus, permanently shutting down Arkon's scheme. But it's guarded by GAARD!!, and Arkon has fixed it so only one other person at a time may enter this pocket of hyperspace.

So Reed has equipped Benjy with a set of "skate-like devices" that allow him to skim along "the free-flowing protons and tachyons of hyperspace." ( I told you it was a lame story...) All so he can get a disc-shaped magic-sciencey dingus past GAARD!!, into the Nexus, and implode it.

Only problem? GAARD!!

(See, it's not a hockey's a Cosmic Sceptre!!)

Well, that's not going well. Fortunately, Reed has arranged a cheat...let's watch!

So Ben wins!! Yet, the tale is not done without some added pathos...

Yes, GAARD!! was the Johnny Storm of Earth-A. I supposed it's better than his being killed in Vietnam, which is what everyone thought happened to him.

No, being GAARD!! is worse. Unquestionably.

Spacebooger wants to remind you all that GAARD!! should always be spelled in all caps with TWO exclamation points, for such is the awesomeness of GAARD!! that mere normal typography cannot hope to portray his sheer GAARD!!ness.

The most regrettable character ever conceived comes from the minds of Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler and Joe Sinnott in Fantastic Four #163 (1975). Matt Fraction, please bring back GAARD!!

Now is the time for you to go and vote for my fight. Why? Do not question GAARD!! Submit!! Now go and vote!!


Hoosier X said...

This isn't the first time I've seen somebody making fun of GAARD!! on a comic-book blog. He deserves it. And much more.

But what gets me about the whole GAARD!! situation is that it never struck me as dumb until the first time I saw somebody making fun of it on a comic-book blog. I did not buy this issue brand new off the newsstand - I started collecting FF with #165 - but I did get it when it was probably about a year old at a used book store. So I was 12.

I've read it a bunch of times over the years. As an adult, well into my 20s or 30s. And it never struck me as dumb until some bozo on a blog said: "Look! This is really dumb!"

I can only say: "A-yup!"

(Comic books are awesome!)

snell said...

Ah, if everything we loved when we were younger still made sense when we were grown-ups, the world would be a much better place...

For what it's worth, I started with FF #170...

Sina said...

Okay, GAARD!! is officially my new favouritest hero/character of ALL TIME!!! (technically, he's portrayed as a villain here, but he's revealed as Johnny Storm and doesn't actually do anything proactively villainous, so he falls under the same ambiguous cloud that the Silver Surfer and others fell into upon their first appearance).

Seriously, his visual design is straight-up *bitchin'*, with the bold reds and yellows and the cosmic energy cracklin' everywhere and the death's-head face-place! And his costume is certainly no-less sensical than any number of other beings who wear "space-armour" and yet whose skin/flesh are seemingly completely impervious to various types of cosmic energies, thus making the need for armor somewhat, no *completely* redundant.

Plus, that "Cosmic Sceptre" is a weapon worthy of Firelord's firestaff, Terrax's ax, Nova's helmet, the Surfer's board or Captain Marvel's nega-bands (sparkly bracelets and a surfboard are more plausible...really? Oh-kay. And don't even get into the fashionable rings that the Green Lanterns wear, cause "rings" and "lanterns" immediately go hand-in-hand in the list of associative qualities in my book). However, I do prefer the jaggedy, classic Kirby-esque designed staff that's on the cover more than the straight hockey-stick one that they show inside (they didn't even make it the wider goalie stick that it was supposed to be, lol); altogether, it makes this guy seem like an effing-cool unseen member of the New Gods, tbh.

All that needs be done is a name-change to something more manageable like "Star-Guard" and a re-tooling of his origin so that he's actually one of the heroic defending champions of the universe (which is why he was at odds with our Mr. Grimm in this instance, threat that he was to this section of the galaxy at this point in time) and the reveal that his position is a title that can be passed to someone else (to get rid of the confusing and silly, non-effective "alternate Johnny Storm" angle) and you've got a *GREAT* character to throw around in Marvel's cosmosphere!