Guardians of the Universe
Art by Jamal Igle.
|First appearance||Green Lantern vol. 2 #1 (July 1960)|
|Created by||John Broome (writer)
Gil Kane (artist)
|Place of origin||Oa|
|Notable members||Appa Ali Apsa
|Inherent abilities||Superhuman intelligence
The Guardians of the Universe, alternatively known as the Guardians or Oans are an extraterrestrial race in the DC Comics universe. They first appeared in Green Lantern Vol. 2 #1 (July 1960), and were created by John Broome and Gil Kane. Here they do not reveal their existence to Hal, bringing his 'energy duplicate' to them so they can hear of his origin. Before that their 'voice' was used in Showcase #23, when they told Hal via the Power Battery of an emergency on Venus.
Within the Green Lantern stories, the Guardians of the Universe are the immortal founders and leaders of the Green Lantern Corps, which they administer from their homeworld Oa at the center of the universe. The appearance of the male Guardians, modeled after then-Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion, is elderly, short, and blue-skinned with large heads and white hair.
- 1 History
- 2 Powers and abilities
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Guardians known by name
- 5 Other versions
- 6 In other media
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Guardians evolved on the planet Maltus, and were among the first intelligent life forms in the universe. At this time they were tall greyish blue humanoids with black hair, who roughly resembled humans except for their skin color. They became scientists and thinkers, experimenting on the worlds around them. One experiment led to the creation of a new species, the Psions. In a pivotal moment, billions of years ago, a Maltusian named Krona used time-bending technology to observe the beginning of the Universe. However, this experiment, and later attempts to stop it, unleashed disaster upon all existence. Originally, the experiment splintered the Universe into the Multiverse and created the evil Anti-Matter Universe of Qward. Following the retroactive destruction of the Multiverse, it was revealed that Krona flooded the beginning of the Universe with entropy causing it "to be born old".
Feeling responsible for this, the evolved Maltusians relocated to the planet Oa (at "the center of the Universe") and became the Guardians. Their goal was simple: combat evil and create an orderly universe. They acted quickly on that goal. During this period they slowly evolved into their current appearance, losing about half of their height and having their skulls grow larger. They now act as the leaders of the Green Lantern Corps, an interstellar police force which patrols the universe.
Desiring to bring order, peace and harmony to all the universe, they [The guardians] created a mechanized police force, composed of powerful, self-aware androids known as Manhunters. These Manhunters, resembling uniformed, blue-skinned humanoids, operated as cosmic police officers, much like the later Green Lanterns. They protected civilization and peace in the Universe for millions of years, patrolling 3600 sectors the cosmos had been divided into. However, one disastrous day, the Manhunters collectively changed their directives and set out on a campaign to eradicate all organic life. Starting with Sector 666, they killed the people they had been created to protect, eradicating almost all life in the entire sector before the Guardians managed to stop them. Most Manhunters were decommissioned after the Massacre of Sector 666, but the ones that escaped became the sworn enemies of their former masters and remained so until modern times. The Manhunter rebellion[clarification needed] led to schisms. One group (the Controllers) thought that the only way to protect the Universe was to control it. The female Oans (Zamarons) felt no need to involve themselves in the Universe's problems. Over the years, both groups evolved to look most unlike the Guardians. Other groups have also left the Guardians; one such group settled on Earth, becoming the origin for leprechaun legends. The Manhunters became avowed enemies of the Guardians. The Apokolips campaign ended with a truce with the Guardians forced to abandon a soldier (Raker Qarrigat) to Darkseid. Fearing dissension, they ordered all records of the Campaign expunged. Survivors of the Massacre of Sector 666 - beings others would label demons - banded together to form a nation which opposed all the Guardians stood for, the Empire of Tears, which used dark magics to create a galaxy-spanning realm of chaos and evil. The Guardians eventually defeated it and imprisoned its leaders, the Five Inversions, on the bleak world of Ysmault. Thereafter, the Guardians decided magic in general was chaotic and as such a threat to the balance they desired to achieve, and thus labored to destroy, suppress or imprison sources of magic throughout the Universe. They succeeded in compacting and encasing much of the chaotic magic energy of the Cosmos and imprisoning it inside a star; part of it, however, eventually broke out, travelling through space for a long time as the Starheart.
The Guardians were almost wiped out in the events of Emerald Twilight, the only survivor being Ganthet. They sacrificed themselves to create one final power ring, a power ring perhaps more powerful than all others before it. Oa was itself destroyed in a battle between Parallax and Kyle Rayner, but rebuilt in the events of "Legacy" as the final wish of Hal Jordan's former power ring. The Guardians have since been restored when Kyle Rayner, as Ion, recharged the Central Power Battery. Rayner lost his power and role as Ion but this sacrifice released all the Guardian's life forces from the dormancy in his ring. The Immortals first appeared as children but aged quickly and many seem to have returned to the identities they had before they created Kyle Rayner's power ring. Unlike before however, the Guardians are male and female, rather than just male. While Kyle had made them children in order for them to grow up and become less cold than their predecessors, this has not worked. Instead the Guardians are as cold and manipulative as they were before the Emerald Twilight, with the exception of Ganthet and Sayd. Also one of them (Lianna) seems to have reverted to the original Maltusian appearance in the process. Many of the Guardians revived by Kyle Rayner seemed to have disappeared as only a handful now appear in the current Green Lantern issues, while dozens were revived by Kyle Rayner. Female Guardians appear in flashbacks to Hal Jordan's rookie days as a Green Lantern; whether this is an oversight or a result of the events of Infinite Crisis has not been explained. With their revival they have begun to rebuild the Green Lantern Corps using veterans to train the new ring-bearers. Alongside this experiment, the Guardians refortified Oa by creating a planetwide armour and defensive system to prevent successful attacks against them. The Sinestro Corps War forces them to rewrite the Book of Oa and to add ten new laws. To date, 4 of the 10 have been revealed. They also expelled Ganthet and Sayd from their rank, because they have experienced emotions along with being discovered to have a romantic relationship with each other and quoting the forbidden chapter of the Book of Oa which has Abin Sur's discovery of the prophecy The Blackest Night, which they consider to be not permitted.
In the aftermath of the War, both Ganthet and Sayd have evolved into two new beings on a paradise-like planet Odym, where they are harnessing the blue energy spectrum of hope and creating blue power rings and batteries, planning to create another intergalactic police force in order to be able to aid the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps against The Blackest Night. The rank of the Guardians has weakened as well; while there were originally twelve of them as Head Guardians, there are now six of them, after Ganthet and Sayd left Oa, and one Guardian died after a battle with Superman-Prime -this Guardian willfully "detonated" himself in an unsuccessful, last-ditch effort to destroy the insane Kryptonian (who wished to destroy the Universe in his own right). A female Guardian has been left scarred by the Anti-Monitor, and the exposure to his antimatter energy reveals to have had dire consequences. Her fellow Guardians were unaware of the changes within her, either physical or behavioral (she is far more militant than is normal for the Guardians). In the Origins and Omens backup stories running through several DC releases in February 2009, she is given the official name of Scar. Scar killed one of her fellow guardians in the beginning of the Blackest Night, and is later revealed that she has since died after the Anti-Monitor's attack, and functions as an undead instead of an immortal. Another guardian was killed by Nekron as a sacrifice to summon the Entity on Earth.
The Guardians seem extremely displeased with the appearance of the other corps. While they "tolerate" the existence of the Star Sapphires, they have made it clear that they are going to exterminate the Red Lantern Corps. They also seem to have made a deal with Larfleeze of the Orange Lantern Corps some time ago, which resulted in the Vega System being out of Green Lantern jurisdiction. However, they seem to show particular displeasure with the Blue Lantern Corps, going so far as to attempt to forcibly remove the blue ring acquired by Hal Jordan, and when that didn't work attempting to hold him on Oa until such time as it could be removed. With the ultimatum delivered by Larfleeze, the current wielder of the orange power of avarice, Scar has proposed lifting the ban on the Vega System as well as having the Guardians leave Oa to get involved in the conflict personally.
The Guardians have accepted Scar's proposal and have left Oa with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps to confront Larfleeze in the Vega System. The Guardians also decide to see how Jordan's blue ring would functions with his green one during battles. After the Agent Orange's defeat, the Guardians negotiated with Larfleeze once more in order to continue to keep the orange light of avarice contained. The Agent Orange later launched an attack on Odym, seeking to possess the powers of the Blue Lantern Corps, presumably being swayed by Scar.
During the Blackest Night, the Guardians finally realized that Ganthet and Sayd were correct in their interpretation of the prophecy discovered by Abin Sur. However, Scar killed a Guardian and bound the rest to prevent them from interfering. She later sent a number of black power rings to the Green Lantern Corps' memorial, reviving the deceased members of the Corps as undead Black Lanterns. She also weakened Oa's planetary defenses for an attack from the Black Lantern Corps. When a group of Green Lanterns found their way into the Guardians' chamber, they found it empty, with no sign of Scar or her captives. Scar had taken her captives to the dead planet of Ryut, home of the Black Lantern's Central Power Battery. Scar teleports herself, the Guardians, and the Black Lantern Central Power Battery to Earth, directly on top of Black Hand's home, and Black Hand summons Nekron to Coast City. In the midst of the battle, Nekron kills a Guardian and Black Hand uses his blood and organs to raise "The Trespasser" from the ground, holding a white figure. Ganthet reveals the entity to be the living embodiment of life in the universe. It seems Earth is where life first began, a fact the Guardians did their best to hide to keep the entity safe from harm and exploitation, redirecting that danger towards themselves by informing the majority of the universe that life began on their planet of Oa (despite the fact that the Oans were in fact born on the planet Maltus).
During the War of the Green Lanterns storyline, the Guardians have been discussing the various events occurring ranging from Hal Jordan's allegiance with the New Guardians, the revolt of the Alpha Lanterns etc. The group is then later confronted by Krona who reveals his plan to control emotions. As a result he had the Butcher, Ophidian, Ion, Adara, Proselyte, and the Predator inhabit the six Guardians as hosts and places Parallax back within the Green Central Power Battery to subjugate the Green Lantern Corps under his control. The Guardians are freed from Krona's control emotions by Hal Jordan, who kills Krona using his ultimate power. The rings from the other corps return to their former wielders. However, the Guardians expel them from Oa. The Guardians believe Hal to be the most dangerous of the Green Lantern Corps. Therefore, the Guardians discharge him from the Corps. Afterward, the Guardians of the Universe allow Sinestro to become a Green Lantern once more. However, the Green Lantern Corps learn from empathy Lantern Meadlux that the Guardians are afraid of Hal Jordan, fearing that what happened to Krona would eventually happen to them if Jordan was allowed to continue as a Green Lantern. Later, when the Green Lantern Corps are in disagreement and attempt to kill Sinestro, the Corps break into the sciencells, but the Corps discover that the Guardians have in captivity with Sinestro, who are trying to remove Sinestro's green ring, but the ring will not be removed. Later, the Green Lantern Corps were in a meeting by the Guardians that they choose between discipline continuing the fight and that any intrusion will incite a mutiny. The other Green Lantern Corps are in agreement.
Rise of the Third Army
With Kyle Rayner having rebelled against the Guardians to join the 'New Guardians', a makeshift team consisting of representatives from all seven Corps, Hal Jordan's recent expulsion, and the 'recommendations' of the now-emotionless Ganthet, the Guardians are preparing to create the 'Third Army' to replace the Green Lantern Corps. This would involve them recovering the mysterious 'First Lantern' for an undefined role, prompting Sinestro, who learned about this prophecy after touching the Book of the Black, to enlist Hal's aid in stopping this scheme.
The Guardians began searching for the Book of the Black by tracking Starstorm, who was one of the last people to have had contact with the Book. When he proves useless to them, the Guardians kill Starstorm without mercy. Furthermore, it was revealed that they were the masterminds behind the release of Abysmus, one of Atrocitus' early experiments at creating life by the use of necromancy and shamanic rituals, whom in turn had tried to destroy the Red Lantern Corps by poisoning their Central Power Battery. It is speculated that they were also the masterminds behind the release of Archangel Invictus from Larfleeze's prison and the fall of the Blue Lantern Corps during the Reach invasion in Odym. Secretly, they also were pleased with the outcome of the Alpha War which saw the death of all Alpha Lanterns as it kept their hands clean of any involvement as they intended to destroy their Green Lanterns whilst bringing about the rise of the Third Army.
The Guardians of the Universe arrive to the Chamber of Shadows, where they have sealed the other Oans away for billion of years. The Guardians open the Chamber, where the imprisoned Oans believe that the Guardians are joining them, but the Guardians clarify that they are here for the First Lantern. The other Oans were stunned by the Guardians (who have become unemotional), telling them that the First Lantern would be destroyed was their objective. The Guardians attack the other Oans, and a Guardian kills the elder Oan as they take the First Lantern, Volthoom that is trapped inside, and seal the other Oans in the Chamber of Shadows. The Guardians intervene with the Black Lantern, Black Hand, charging him up with enough power to drain Green Lanterns Hal and Sinestro, which apparently kills them both. The Guardians then use the power of the First Lantern to create the Third Army from their own flesh and will, and so the "Rise of the Third Army" has begun.
The Guardians begin an evil agenda, as they assign John to track down Mogo's dead remains, due to claims that they are moving by trying to reform it. The Guardians then promote Guy as the 'Sentinel Lantern' and entrust him with guarding a group of ambassadors travelling to a planet for a crucial conference, only to subsequently release Xar, Guy's old enemy, from the Science-Cells. They presume Xar will go after Guy's family on Earth, knowing that Guy will abandon his duty and return to Earth while Xar attacks the ambassadors. The Guardians' plans have changed after Guy breaks off the attack from the Third Army and survives; the Guardians then frame Guy for failing his duty to protect the ambassadors, who were killed and expel him from the Green Lantern Corps. Salaak's spying on the Guardians' and knowledge of their plans has spread across the universe, but the Guardians caught him before he can reveal this information, and imprison Salaak in the Citadel. The Guardians watches the Third Army spread over the universe, destroying all life and free will. They have told the First Lantern that once the Third Army completes their control over the whole universe, there will be no need for him. Later, the Guardians realize they cannot completely control the universe and need more members of the Third Army. They use more of the power of the First Lantern, without realizing that the First Lantern's prison is breaking.
The Guardians fool the Green Lanterns into a meeting to paralyse them, so they can reveal the reason behind their plan to replace the Green Lantern Corps with the Third Army. However, they are thwarted by Guy's diversion after he survives his fate at the hands of the Third Army and discovers their involvement with the Third Army. Kilowog then used his oath to cause the Central Power Battery to depower so that he could send distress calls to all the Green Lanterns and warn that the Guardians had turned against their own Corps. The Green Lantern Corps join the New Guardians and Atrocitus' Manhunters that arrive to rebel against the treacherous Guardians. When they are able to destroy the Third Army, Volthoom breaks free by taking the wounded Guardians' energy power and igniting the light, apparently resulting in the destruction of the universe.
The Guardians then wake up imprisoned on the planet Maltus by Volthoom, who restores Ganthet's emotions about his past. It is revealed that the Guardians had removed their own emotions, having fear of emotions after Volthoom nearly destroys the whole universe. Volthoom intends to feed off the other Lanterns' emotions in order to get his emotional powers to return. When Volthoom is slain by Nekron, the Guardians are freed, but are then executed by Sinestro. Sinestro spares Ganthet and reunites him with Sayd, but exiles them from Oa. The Malthusians who guarded Volthoom become the new "Templar Guardians". Because they are so out of touch with the current state of the universe, the Templar Guardians appoint Hal as a temporary leader of the Corps while they set out on a voyage of learning.
Powers and abilities
Functionally immortal, Guardians resemble short (approximately 4 feet [120 cm] tall), large-headed, white-haired pale blue humans wearing red robes with their emblem, the Green Lantern symbol, on the chest. They possess vast knowledge, durability, awareness, flight, and psionic powers manifested through green plasma energy drawn from the most stable color of the emotional spectrum, green (willpower). Although, since it has been said that they chose the most stable color of the spectrum, it is possible that the Guardians may have limited access to all colors. In Green Lantern: Rebirth, Kyle Rayner is recorded saying that Ganthet could crack a planet in half with a thought and have been shown able to stagger Superman-Prime and the Anti-Monitor. The Guardians display the power of time travel as they send a time-lost Kyle Rayner back to his present timeline.
The Guardians usually appear as short, blue-skinned humanoids wearing red robes and white tabards bearing their crest, the Green Lantern symbol. After their rebirth, the females are typically bald and have female characteristics, such as breasts, more noticeable eyelashes and lips, and tend to be less wrinkled and aged looking. Their male counterparts tend to have short, unkempt, white hair, and to be more wrinkled and aged looking. One long going inconsistency between artists has been the relative size of the Guardians' heads to their short bodies, most artists designing them with larger heads to suggest their larger brains and alien anatomy, whereas others have been shown to draw near enough human-like proportional heads. Another difference has been their ears, which have been seen to be human-like, and on other occasions, to be elf-like. Their eye color also frequently changes between artists, usually between blue and green, though several artists choose to use the green eye color as an omen or a visual aid to the reader.
The Guardians' attire originally featured a long red robe with a stylized, Dracula-like collar, and their symbol emblazoned on the chest. Following their rebirth, this changed to them wearing a long red robe with a more scholarly collar, and a white tabard with their emblem on the chest area. They have also been shown by some artists to wear white undershirts, the sleeves of which can be seen sometimes under the robe's sleeves. Though their feet are not usually seen beneath their robes, they have been shown to wear red, pointed shoes.
Guardians known by name
It has been said that "Guardians do not take names", yet when Krona invaded Oa in the War of the Green Lanterns story-arc, he revealed that all Oans have names but have since forgotten them. Nonetheless, a few of their lot have been named in the stories. It is also revealed that the Guardians had removed their own emotions and becoming unemotional for fear of emotions after the villain Volthoom nearly destroyed the universe. Among them:
- Appa Ali Apsa - Appa Ali Apsa (a.k.a. "the Old-Timer" and/or "the Mad Guardian") is one of the immortal Guardians of the Universe, creators of the lawkeeping Green Lantern Corps. After Oliver Queen points out to the Guardians that they are too distanced from the mortals they have sworn to protect, the Guardians choose Appa Ali Apsa as their representative to experience life on Earth.  Travelling across the U.S.A. with Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Green Arrow Oliver Queen, Appa experiences many adventures and learns some valuable lessons about life. He later renounces his Guardian title, powers and immortality and chooses to travel the universe. Later, after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Appa Ali loses his mind and is killed by his former brethren.
- Basilus -
- Broome Bon Baris -
- Dawlakispokpok - A renegade Guardian of the Universe.
- Krona - A renegade Guardian of the Universe.
- Ganthet - Created the Blue Lantern Corps along with Sayd.
- Herupa Hando Hu - His name is revealed by Krona.
- Lianna - A second-generation Guardian who was altered by Heartstone and raised by a Zamaron.
- Pazu Pinder Pol -
- Ranakar -
- Sayd - She is now an exiled member of the Guardians of the Universe. Where most of the Guardians are void of emotion and rigid in their compliance to standard policy, Sayd's sensibilities are more in line with those of Ganthet, a Guardian known for his non-traditional mindset. The two are exiled (in part) for their love for one another. In Green Lantern #150 Kyle Rayner (as Ion) relights the Central Power Battery on Oa and creates a new group of Guardians. However these were created as children in a mix of male and female, instead of elderly adult males, as the originals were. Ganthet's hope was that these children could be raised to become better Guardians than their predecessors were. Sayd was one of the members of the second generation of Guardians of the Universe, and one of the six female (out of twelve total) members of the organization. She is now the Guardian of the Orange Light, having traded her service as a Guardian to Larfleeze in exchange for the latter's aid during the Blackest Night event (true to the Orange light of Avarice, he wanted to have his own Guardian). Sayd has since revealed herself to be the one behind the ring thefts, a tactic used to bring the New Guardians together and notes that Kyle is the only being she knows capable of bringing together the powers of all of the branches of the emotional spectrum. She is seemingly killed saving Kyle, Carol, Larfleeze and Arkillo from 'Third Army' attackers. However, Sinestro later reunites and exiles Sayd and Ganthet, both alive and well. and were last seen observing Kyle Rayner.
- Scar - Her true name is unrevealed. Her alias is gained due to a distinctive scar on the right side of her head after fighting the Anti-Monitor. Subsequently, she began to deviate considerably from the traditional personality of a member of the Guardians. She was depicted as dark, militaristic, and fascinated by the power of death. Her eyes, which usually bore the symbol of the Green Lantern Corps in the pupil, contained the symbol of the Corps with whom she was presently associating (e.g., the symbol of the Sinestro Corps appeared in her pupils when she informed them of Sinestro's impending execution). She began encouraging the Green Lantern Corps to take on a more aggressive stance in the pending War of Light.
- Valorex -
- Gurion - A Templar Guardian
- Paalko - A Templar Guardian
- Reegal - A Templar Guardian. He was killed when the Guardians travelled to the Chamber of Shadows where they met Reegal who asked his kin whether they had saved the universe. However, the Guardians claimed that circumstances had changed and that they required the First Lantern. This went against the oath that the Hidden Ones had taken as they were well aware of the danger posed by the First Lantern if he was freed. Thus, they attacked the Guardians as they intended to honor their oath. During the battle, Reegal's throat was slit by one of the Guardians and the Hidden Ones were shocked as a result which allowed the Oans to take the First Lantern from the Chamber. When Black Hand was teleported into the Chamber of Shadows, he discovered Reegal's body in the outer corridor of the chamber. The Black Lantern resurrected Reegal as an undead being so he could interrogated him about the location of the prison.
- Quaros - A Templar Guardian. Instead of assisting Kyle Rayner and his kin after Relic's defeat, he felt compelled to journey through the universe and discover its secrets. Of the Templar Guardians, he is said to have the most insight into the workings of the cosmos. (Deceased)
- Yekop - A Templar Guardian
- Zalla - A Templar Guardian
There were also others that became Guardians of the Universe but aren't actually Oans.
- Master Builder - John Stewart, the only mortal Guardian of the Universe
- Sinestro - Sinestro briefly bonds with the White Entity, becoming the first White Lantern, and claims the title of Guardian of the Universe, before losing the connection in the fight against Nekron in the Blackest Night
- Sodam Yat - The last Guardian of the Universe in the 30th Century.
JLA: The Nail
In the alternate reality of JLA: The Nail (where Superman was discovered by a different family after the Kents had a nail in their car tire on the day they would have recovered him), the Guardians recalled the entire Green Lantern Corps minus Hal Jordan (who was trapped on Earth by a Kryptonian force field) to intervene when the cold war between Apokolips and New Genesis escalated.
Superman & Batman: Generations
In the reality of Superman & Batman: Generations, the Guardians revealed that Alan Scott's power ring was actually a Green Lantern ring despite its apparent weakness to wood after Hal Jordan successfully harnessed it against Sinestro, realising that the ring actually had no weaknesses except what the user believed it possessed; the Green Lantern Corps were vulnerable to yellow only because they believed the Guardians when they were told about this weakness, and Alan's ring's weakness to wood was caused when he was taken by surprise and struck on the back of the head with a wooden block during his first time using the ring.
In the Flashpoint reality, the Guardians of the Universe assigned Abin Sur to head to Earth and find the White Lantern Entity. The Guardians contact him once again to retrieve the Entity which Abin Sur refuses stating that he will retrieve the Entity after he helps the Earth population against the Atlantis/Amazon war. The Guardians grow impatient with Abin Sur, discharging from the Corps. However, the White Lantern Entity chose Abin Sur to be its champion.
In other media
- The Guardians of the Universe appear in the The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure episode "Evil is as Evil Does" voiced by Paul Frees.
- The Guardians of the Universe appear in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "In Brightest Day..." voiced by Pat Musick and Peter Mark Richman. They approach Superman for him to help Kyle Rayner in defeating Sinestro. There is only one female Oan, who appears to be head of the council (this predates the actual appearance of female Guardians in the mainstream DC Universe).
- The Guardians of the Universe appear in the Justice League episode "In Blackest Night" voiced by René Auberjonois. In this show, they appear in the same red robes as their comic counterparts, as opposed to the black and green uniforms they wore in Superman: The Animated Series. Representatives of the Guardians of the Universe attended John Stewart's trial where they spoke in his defense when John Stewart was supposedly responsible for causing a planet to explode when he fired a beam from his ring during his pursuing of Kanjar Ro. After the trial when the planet was revealed to not be destroyed and was revealed to be cloaked by Kanjar Ro in collaboration with the Manhunters, Superman and the other Justice League members present demanded answers about the Manhunters. The lead Guardian present stated that the Manhunters were their first law enforcement agents before they started the Green Lantern Corps. The Guardians of the Universe later tried to defend Oa from an attack by the Manhunters. The Justice League came to their aid as John Stewart uses the power of his ring combined with the Central Power Ring to destroy the Manhunters.
- The Guardians of the Universe appear briefly in the beginning of the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Return" voiced by Clancy Brown. They deny Stewart's request to leave Earth and take a tour of duty on Oa. They even denied John's request to have Kyle Rayner cover for him.
- Ganthet appears in the Duck Dodgers episode "The Green Loontern". The other Guardians are oddly absent from this episode.
- The Guardians of the Universe briefly appeared without dialogue at the end of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Eyes of Despero". They have been placed in Hal Jordan's ring for safe keeping while he fought Despero. The Guardians of the Universe were later fully featured in the episode "Revenge of the Reach" voiced by J.K. Simmons and Armin Shimerman. They explain the connection between the Blue Beetle's scarab and the Reach.
- The Guardians of the Universe appear in Green Lantern: The Animated Series with Ganthet voiced by Ian Abercrombie, Appa Ali Apsa voiced by Brian George, Sayd voiced by Susan Blakeslee, and Scar voiced by Sarah Douglas.
- The Guardians of the Universe make an appearance in Justice League: The New Frontier voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. They guide Hal Jordan on the use of his Green Lantern ring against Dinosaur Island.
- The Guardians of the Universe appear in the animated feature Green Lantern: First Flight with Ganthet voiced by Larry Drake, Appa Ali Apsa voiced by William Schallert, and Ranakar voiced by Malachi Throne. Unlike the comic book incarnations, they are fully capable of emotions, often bickering amongst themselves, and also unlike their comic book selves, they are significantly less powerful. Ranakar sees Sinestro as their finest Green Lantern, and doesn't particularly like Hal Jordan. He's the first to defend Sinestro when Hal warns him of his deception, even though Kilowog confirms it, and was willing to let Sinestro explain himself. When Sinestro returns with the "yellow element", Ranakar became infuriated of his betrayal (and for being called a "stupid little troll"), and accepts Hal Jordan upon defeating Sinestro. Ganthet was the only supporter of Hal Jordan before the rest of the Guardians; he would even help Jordan when he tries to find his ring during the battle against Sinestro. Appa Ali Apsa is the more neutral of the three main Guardians, and mostly seems to want to run the organization as smoothly as possible.
- The Guardians of the Universe appear in the live-action Green Lantern film. A rogue Guardian of the Universe accidentally unleashed, and was consumed by, Parallax. In the special features included in the Blu-ray edition of the film, the names of the Guardians appearing in the film are listed in the featurette "The Guardians revealed": Ganthet, who is the male Guardian that mainly speaks, in the same way, Sayd, the female Guardian, along Appa Ali Apsa, Scar, Raugniad, Nguanzo, Pazu, Basil, Baris, Herupa, and Krona.
- The Guardians of the Universe appear in the animated feature Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, with Ganthet voiced by radio personality Michael Jackson, Appa Ali Apsa voiced by Tony Amendola, and Ranakar voiced by Steven Blum.
- The Guardians of the Universe make a brief appearance in the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe video game with Ganthet voiced by Michael McConnohie and two unnamed Guardians voiced by Christopher Corey Smith and Joe J. Thomas. In the story mode on the DC Universe part, they inform Green Lantern, Lex Luthor, and Catwoman about the merging of the universes when the hero and villains arrive on Oa.
- The Guardians of the Universe are featured in Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. Like the comics, the Guardians of the Universe are responsible for creating the Manhunters some time before the creation of the Green Lantern Corps.
- Wallace, Dan (2008), "Guardians of the Universe", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 150, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
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- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #25 (December 2007)
- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #27 (January 2008)
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- Adventure Comics (vol. 2) #0 (April 2009)
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- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #38 (February 2009)
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- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #40 (April 2009)
- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #41 (May 2009)
- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #42 (June 2009)
- Blackest Night #1 (July 2009)
- Green Lantern Corps (vol. 2) #40 (September 2009)
- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #46 (September 2009)
- Blackest Night #4 (December 2009)
- Blackest Night #7 (February 2010)
- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #63 (March 2011)
- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #64 (March 2011)
- Green Lantern (vol. 4) #67 (July 2011)
- War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #1 (July 2011)
- War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #2 (August 2011)
- Green Lantern: New Guardians #4 (December 2011)
- Green Lantern vol. 5, #3 (November 2011)
- Green Lantern vol. 5, #6 (February 2012)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 3 #12 (August 2012)
- Green Lantern Annual #1 (August 2012)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 3 #13 (October 2012)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 3 #14 (November 2012)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 3 #15 (December 2012)
- Green Lantern vol. 5 #14 (November 2012)
- Green Lantern vol. 5 #15 (December 2012)
- Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 (January 2013)
- Green Lantern vol. 5 #17 (February 2013)
- Green Lantern vol. 5 #20 (May 2013)
- Green Lantern vol. 5 #21 (June 2013)
- Green Lantern (v.3) #100
- DC Challenge #9 (July 1986)
- Green Lantern, Sinestro Corps: Secret Files & Origins #1 (January 2008)
- Green Lantern v5 #20
- Green Lantern: New Guardians #20
- Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 (October 2008)
- JLA: Another Nail #1
- Superman & Batman: Generations #3
- Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #1 (June 2011)
- Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #2 (July 2011)
- Flashpoint: Abin Sur – The Green Lantern #3 (August 2011)