Guardian (DC Comics)

Guardian (James Jacob "Jim" Harper) is a DC Comics superhero, introduced in April 1942 by writer Joe Simon and artist Jack Kirby.

Guardian resembles an earlier Kirby and Simon character Captain America (first published 13 months earlier by Marvel Comics) where he had no super powers and carried an indestructible shield.

A version of Guardian appears in The CW television series Supergirl. He is the alter-ego of the comic book character Jimmy Olsen played by Mehcad Brooks.

Guardian
Guardian and the Newsboy Legion (Jack Kirby's art)
The Guardian and the Newsboy Legion.
Art by Jack Kirby.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceStar-Spangled Comics #7
(April, 1942)
Created byJoe Simon (writer, artist, inks)
Jack Kirby (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoJames Jacob "Jim" Harper
Jimmy Olsen (CW Supergirl)
Mal Duncan.
SpeciesHuman
Place of originEarth
Team affiliationsScience Police
Project Cadmus
All-Star Squadron
Newsboy Legion
Justice League
Freedom Fighters
Notable aliasesPrivate H.I.V.E.
(Clone):
Golden Guardian
Abilities(Original):
Exceptional hand to hand combatant of boxing and other martial arts, with tactician
Excellent gymnast
Carries golden helmet and shield
Use of customized motorcycle and a set of video-cameras
(Clone):
Enhanced strength and reflexes
Accelerated healing factor
Access to the Whiz Wagon

Publication history

He first appeared in Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942) and was created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.[1][2]

Fictional character biography

Jim Harper

Star-Spangled Comics -7 (April 1942)
Guardian (Jim Harper) and the Newsboy Legion's debut. Cover of Star-Spangled Comics vol. 1, 7 (April 1942 DC Comics)
Art by Jack Kirby, Joe Simon

Jim Harper is a police officer in Metropolis' Suicide Slum who became a vigilante to catch crooks that the law could not prosecute, describing himself as guarding society from criminals. He was trained to fighting condition by ex-boxer Joe Morgan (the same man who trained two other mystery men, Wildcat and the first Atom). He was aided by a group of boys known as the Newsboy Legion, to whom he was, literally, a guardian, having volunteered to take them in rather than allowing them to be sent to prison; he did so on the grounds that they were basically good kids who just needed a chance. The Legion grew up to become the heads of the Cadmus Project, subsequently saving Harper's life by transferring his mind from his old, dying body into a younger clone of himself.[1]

It was later revealed that Jim Harper was the great-uncle of Roy Harper, who became Green Arrow's sidekick under the name of "Speedy".[3]

Other relatives include his niece Roberta "Famous Bobby" Harper, who was briefly a member of the second Newsboy Legion[4] and Jamie Harper, his grandniece working for the Gotham City Police Department. She worked as Robin's personal contact in the GCPD, similar to the role Commissioner James Gordon plays for Batman.[5] After helping Robin and Jason Bard expose two dirty cops in the GCPD, Jamie Harper was promoted to Detective Specialist and has since transferred to the Metropolis Science Police.[6]

Golden Guardian

In Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971), Jack Kirby reintroduced the boys of the now grown-up Newsboy Legion as supporting characters connected with the DNA Project (later Project Cadmus), a genetics research laboratory. One of the Project's experiments was a clone of the late Jim Harper, who took up his predecessor's role, and became the Project's Head of Security as the Golden Guardian. Post-Crisis this character was simply known as the Guardian.

Harper remained Cadmus' Head of Security even after the former Newsboys had left. Eventually, he too was killed, although another clone was created and rapidly aged to adulthood, retaining all his predecessor's memories. This Guardian disappeared along with the rest of Cadmus following an altercation with Amanda Waller and President Luthor, and his whereabouts are unknown.

Post-Infinite Crisis

Following Infinite Crisis, the Guardian clone's backstory was retconned. As Dubbilex explained to Jimmy Olsen, Jim Harper was not killed in the line of duty, but shot by Cadmus' first head of security, Jonathan Drew, upon discovering the clone was already being created.

It was also revealed that the original Guardian clone had left Cadmus early on, and was now living in the town of Warpath on the Mexican border, where he assisted Sheriff Greg Saunders. Subsequent appearances of the Guardian had been new clones, each of which died within a year.[7]

The original Guardian clone has decided to move to Metropolis with Gwen, his adopted daughter (in fact, an adolescent female clone of himself that he rescued), during the New Krypton storyline.[8]

Science Police team leaders DuBarry and Daniels, along with several prison guards, were killed during the events of New Krypton when a team of Kandorians led by Commander Gor assaulted Stryker's Island and demanded custody of Parasite.[9] The Science Police Control 'Rachel' tasked Guardian to act as a liaison between the Metropolis Police Department and a coalition of superheroes in bringing justice for the fallen science police officers and prison guards.[10] After the Kandorians left Earth, Guardian was appointed Field Commander of the Science Police, as replacement for DuBarry and Daniels, due in part to his cloned memories of Jim Harper as a police officer and Guardian as a superhero.[11] He was asked by Superman to help Mon-El, offering him a job with the Science Police and mentoring him on how to be a hero.

The issues of Detective Comics published during the One Year Later event, reveals that Harper has a grandniece, Jamie,[12] formerly a detective of Gotham City Police Department and a former associate of Robin III.

The Guardian later travels to the JLA Watchtower to warn the Justice League after finding a teleportation device in Metropolis. While on the Watchtower, the heroes are attacked by Prometheus, who blinds the Guardian. In the aftermath of the attack, Guardian and Mon-El are recruited by Kimiyo Hoshi to join the Justice League.[13] On his first and only mission with the team, the Guardian helps battle Doctor Impossible's gang of villains. After a mere three issues, the Guardian was written out of the book due to writer James Robinson's desire to work with a smaller cast.[14]

Following the events of War of the Supermen, Harper abandons his role as the Guardian and takes Jamie (now pregnant with Mon-El's child) off to an unknown destination.[15]

Mal Duncan

In Teen Titans #44 (November 1976), the previously uncostumed Titan Mal Duncan took the name of the Guardian, wearing the original's outfit and an exoskeleton with strength augmenting abilities. The two Guardians finally met in Superman Family #s 191-193 (Sept 78-Feb 79), when Mal helped rescue the Harper clone from Adam, an evil clone created using genetic material from both Harper and Dubbilex who had taken control of the DNA Project.

The Crisis on Infinite Earths removed Duncan's career as the Guardian, although he did appear briefly in his Guardian costume during the Crisis itself.

Mal made appearances in the first two seasons ofYoung Justice. Mal was shown to be the boyfriend and later fiancé of Bumblebee. He took the identity of Guardian (after Jim Harper) in order to protect the Hall of Justice from an attack.

Jake Jordan

In 2005, Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers megaseries introduced a new character based on the original Guardian, Jake Jordan the Manhattan Guardian.

Powers and abilities

The Guardian possesses exceptional combat and tactical skills. He was trained in many forms of fighting, and excelled at gymnastics, thinking quickly on his feet, and deduction. His only weapons are his golden helmet and shield. Guardian often used a customized motorcycle equipped with autopilot and a set of video cameras filming from various angles and recorded on videodisc.

The Harper clone possesses enhanced strength and reflexes, and an accelerated healing factor. The Harper clone's exact strength level is unknown but has demonstrated the ability to hurt Superboy (who he trained in hand-to-hand combat) and Kryptonians from Kandor. As an agent of Cadmus, Jim Harper also has access to the wondrous Whiz Wagon. The Hairies (a super-advanced tribe of techno-wizards, originally genetic creations of Donovan, who left Cadmus) built the Whiz Wagon to handle every situation. It can adapt to every terrain, fly, and even go underwater. The Wagon can be remote controlled or pre-programmed and is equipped with a set of powerful weapons and various gadgets.

Other versions

  • In the Frank Miller graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, the Guardian is one of the superheroes killed by Dick Grayson. It is implied that he had a daughter with Lois Lane named Lana Harper-Lane, a television reporter.
  • The Guardian's golden shield survives to the alternative future of the 853rd century; it is kept by that timeline's Batman.[16]
  • A bearded version of Guardian exists on the post-Flashpoint Earth-23 as a member of a predominantly African American Justice League.

In other media

Television

Live action

Guardian (Mehcad Brooks)
James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) as Guardian in The CW's Supergirl
  • James Harper appears in the Supergirl episode "Manhunter", portrayed by Eddie McClintock. In this episode, Harper is a colonel in the United States Marine Corps, and arrives with Lucy Lane to investigate the disappearance of Hank Henshaw and his subsequent replacement by the Martian Manhunter. Harper tries to take both the Martian Manhunter and Alex Danvers (DEO agent and foster sister of Supergirl) to be experimented on at Project Cadmus only to be thwarted by Supergirl and Lucy Lane. At the end of the episode, Martian Manhunter erases Harper's memories of the event and learns that Alex's father is also at Project Cadmus.[17]
    • It was announced by executive producer Andrew Kreisberg that James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) would become Guardian in Season 2.[18] In the Supergirl episode "Changing", after Olsen helps battle Parasite while wearing a specially designed suit and wielding the shield created for him so he could be a hero, reveals Guardian as his chosen code name. A vigilante later uses Guardian as a scapegoat to kill murderers let go on technicalities; however, James manages to get the impostor arrested.
    • A second, alternate version of James Olsen's Guardian appears in "Crisis on Earth-X, Part 1";[19] the Guardian of Earth-X is a member of the Freedom Fighters and wears a costume patterned after the American flag. He is tasked with protecting a temporal gateway from the New Reichsmen, but is killed by the Earth-X Nazi Führer Oliver Queen.

Animation

  • A teenaged version of Guardian appears as a supervillain under the name of Private H.I.V.E. in the Teen Titans animated series voiced by Greg Cipes. As his name implies, he is a student of the H.I.V.E. Academy (as opposed to Cadmus) and is a member of the show's version of the Fearsome Five. Private H.I.V.E. possesses an identical costume and shield to Guardian's albeit with a H.I.V.E. crest located on his chest, belt and the center of the shield. Like Guardian, Private H.I.V.E is extremely disciplined and militaristic, often ending sentences with the word "Sir".
GuardianYJ
Guardian and a G-Gnome as seen in the Young Justice episode "Independence Day" Pt. 1.
  • Guardian appears in Young Justice voiced by Crispin Freeman.[20] In the two-part episode "Independence Day", he is shown as a member of Project Cadmus but Aqualad mentions that he is a known superhero as well. Guardian ends up fighting Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash in the sub-levels of the Cadmus Building and appears to be controlled by Dubbilex' Gene-gnomes on Mark Desmond's orders. He was with Desmond and Dubbilex when they corner Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash in the room where Superboy was being held. When Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash and Superboy end up near the main floor of the Cadmus building, Dubbilex has the Gene-gnome remove its control on Guardian. To help with Dubbilex' freedom, Guardian vows to deal with Desmond only for Mark to arrive and drink a formula that turns him into Blockbuster. Guardian is knocked down by Blockbuster. After Blockbuster is defeated by Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash and Superboy and then taken away by some of the Justice League members, Guardian takes over the Cadmus Building to make it a gentler version of Cadmus along with Dubbilex and Doctor Amanda Spence. In the episode "Agendas", he is questioned as to his resemblance to Red Arrow (Roy Harper) to which Guardian states that he was Red Arrow's uncle. After it is revealed that Red Arrow is a clone and the original Roy Harper was captured years ago as seen in "Auld Acquaintances", Guardian is mentioned by Batman to be tracking down the original. Unfortunately for the Justice League, the Light compromised Guardian and the other Project Cadmus members to steal their store of clones, including the original Roy Harper—cryogenically frozen and minus one arm. Between seasons one and two, Red Arrow learns that Jim is also a clone of Roy Harper. In the episode "Salvage", Guardian accompanies Green Arrow, Black Canary, Nightwing, and Kid Flash into holding an intervention for Red Arrow (who is still looking for the original Speedy). Jim (clone) tells Roy (clone) that Cadmus policy was to destroy source material and that he has to honor the original Roy. Roy's clone refuses and continues to look for Speedy (original Roy Harper). Guardian even admits that he is not sure who his identity of Jim Harper was. In the episode "Cornered", Mal Duncan officially takes over as the new Guardian after finding Jim Harper's costume and shield in the Hall of Justice during an attack. In Young Justice: Outsiders, Nightwing calls on Jim, the original Roy, and Red Arrow who now goes by Will for help in freeing meta-humans. Each Harper is shown to have a unique personality but fight well together, they even seem to regard each other as family.

Film

In Man of Steel, Colonel Nathan Hardy (portrayed by Christopher Meloni) of the USAF uses the codename "Guardian". He assists Kal-El battle Kryptonian villains Faora-Ul in Smallville earning both sides mutual respect. During the Black Zero's attack on Metropolis, along with Lois Lane and Emil Hamilton, they reverse engineer Kal's rocket into a Phantom-Drive, sending General Zod's forces in the Phantom Zone. Upon collision, the blast sucks Black Zero, Faora, Hardy and Hamilton into the Zone and sends Lois outta the Helicopter.

Web series

Guardian (Mal Duncan) appears in DC Super Hero Girls. He is seen as one of the background students of Super Hero High.

References

  1. ^ a b Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Guardian", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 150, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
  2. ^ Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1940s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby took their talents to a second title with Star-Spangled Comics, tackling both the Guardian and the Newsboy Legion in issue #7.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Superboy #82 (January 2001) DC Comics.
  4. ^ Guardians of Metropolis #1 (November 1994) DC Comics
  5. ^ Detective Comics #817 (May 2006) DC Comics
  6. ^ Superman #687 (June 2009) DC Comics.
  7. ^ Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen one-shot (October 2008)
  8. ^ Adventure Comics Special #1 (January 2009) DC Comics
  9. ^ Superman #682 (January 2009). DC Comics.
  10. ^ Superman #683 (February 2009). DC Comics.
  11. ^ Superman #684 (March 2009). DC Comics.
  12. ^ Detective Comics #819
  13. ^ Justice League of America (vol. 2) #41 (January 2010)
  14. ^ "WC10: Spotlight on James Robinson". 5 April 2010.
  15. ^ War of the Supermen #4
  16. ^ Superman/Batman #79
  17. ^ "Supergirl - Episode 1.17 - Manhunter - Sneak Peeks, Promo, Promotional Photos & Press Release *Updated*". 18 March 2016.
  18. ^ Swift, Andy (October 11, 2016). "Supergirl EP Reveals James' Future as DC Comics' Guardian, Explains Why He and Kara Are 'Best as Friends'". TV Line.
  19. ^ https://www.cbr.com/arrowverse-crisis-on-earth-james-olsen-guardian-dead/
  20. ^ "NYCC 2010: YOUNG JUSTCE Video Presentation & Q&A LIVE!".

External links

← The fifth of the Superman theatrical animated short series would be released. See The Bulleteers for more info and the previous timeline. Timeline of DC Comics (1940s)
April 1942 (See also: Newsboy Legion and Suicide Slum)
The character Robotman was debuted by Jerry Siegel and Leo Nowak. See Robotman (Robert Crane) for more info and next timeline. →
Guardian (comics)

Guardian, in comics, may refer to:

Guardian (DC Comics), the alias of Jim Harper, a costumed hero

Guardian (Marvel Comics), the alias of James Hudson, a superhero

Guardian, the alias of Heather Hudson, wife of James Hudson, better known as Vindicator

Guardians, a Marvel Comics seriesIt may also refer to:

Guardian angel (comics), the superhero alias of Hop Harrigan

Guardians of the Galaxy, two Marvel Comics teams

Guardians of the Galaxy (1969 team)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008 team)

Guardians of the Universe, DC Comics aliens who are behind the Green Lantern Corps

New Guardians, a DC Comics team picked by the Guardians of the Universe

Global Guardians, a DC Comics superhero team

Guardian (Mal Duncan), also known as Vox, Hornblower, and the Herald, a DC Comics superhero

List of Big Bang Comics characters

This is a list of major characters appearing in the Big Bang Comics metaverse, which encompasses most fictional characters created for the shared Big Bang universe and those characters owned by Big Bang Comics.

Newsboy Legion

The Newsboy Legion are fictional characters, a kid gang in the DC Comics Universe. Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, they appeared in their own self-titled feature which ran from Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942) to Star-Spangled Comics #64 (January 1947).

Robotman (Robert Crane)

Robotman (Robert Crane) is a Golden Age DC Comics superhero. He first appeared in Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942) and was created by Jerry Siegel and Leo Nowak. Despite his name, Robotman is not a robot; he is a cyborg.

Smallville

Smallville is an American television series developed by writer-producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, based on the DC Comics character Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The series, initially broadcast by The WB, premiered on October 16, 2001. After Smallville's fifth season, The WB and UPN merged to form The CW, the series' later United States broadcaster. Smallville, which ended its tenth and final season on May 13, 2011, follows Clark Kent (Tom Welling) in the fictional town of Smallville, Kansas, before he becomes known as Superman. The first four seasons focus on Clark and his friends in high school. After season five Smallville ventures into adult settings, eventually focusing on his career at the Daily Planet and introducing other DC comic-book superheroes and villains.

Before the series' production, Bruce Wayne, chronicling the young protagonist's journey toward Batman, was proposed first. Although that series failed to generate interest, it inspired Smallville. Series developers Gough and Millar pitched their "no tights, no flights" rule to the president of Warner Bros. Television, reducing Superman to the bare essentials and examining what led Clark Kent to become the Man of Steel. After seven seasons with the show, Gough and Millar departed with little explanation. Smallville was primarily filmed in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, with local businesses and buildings substituting for Smallville locations. Most of the music for the first six seasons was composed by Mark Snow, who incorporated elements of John Williams' musical score from the Superman film series. In season seven, Louis Febre (who worked with Snow from the beginning) became the series' primary composer.

Smallville was generally positively received when it began. Former Superman star Christopher Reeve expressed approval for the series, making two guest appearances before his death. The pilot episode set a ratings record for a WB debut, with 8.4 million viewers. Over ten seasons the series averaged about 4.34 million viewers per episode, with season two the highest-rated at 6.3 million. By the end of its run, Smallville passed Stargate SG-1 as the longest-running North American science-fiction series by episode count. Since its first season, the series received accolades ranging from Emmys to Teen Choice Awards. Smallville spawned a series of young-adult novels, a DC Comics bimonthly comic book, soundtrack recordings and series-related merchandise. All ten seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2 and 4. In April 2012, it continued in comic-book form with a storyline resuming shortly after the series finale, which ended in 2011.

Suicide Slum

Suicide Slum (official name Southside) is a notorious fictional slum in publications from DC Comics. The area was first introduced in the "Newsboy Legion" feature as a slum in New York City. It was later placed in Superman's city, Metropolis, when the Newsboy Legion was reintroduced. The Southside is also known as The Simon Project in the Post-Crisis continuity.

The Bulleteers

The Bulleteers (1942) is the fifth of seventeen animated Technicolor short films based upon the DC Comics character of Superman, originally created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. This animated short was created by the Fleischer Studios. The story runs about nine minutes and covers Superman's adventures as he defends the city against a villainous gang called "The Bulleteers", who are equipped with a bullet-shaped rocket car. It was originally released on March 26, 1942.

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