The other evening I was watching an episode of SUPERGIRL
In this episode SUPERGIRL discovers that Jimmy Olson is the Guardian who has been fighting crime in the streets of her city, and even catching those that escape her.
<End of SPOILER>
Looking at the design of The Guardian’s shield made me think of the creation of the original character.
Jack Kirby created The Guardian in his Newsboy Legion series. In the 1970s he, and they, were part of the Cadmus Project in Kirby’s Fourth World books, but back in the 1940s he was Jim Harper and basically the guardian of these street kids.
As a police officer he did a good job, but felt it necessary to put on a mask to protect these kids all the more. He also carried a golden shield.
It is that shield that is important. Even though he was forced to put on the mask, Jim Harper saw himself as a police officer first, and even his shield was designed to look like a policeman’s shield, his badge. In later incarnations of The Guardian this part him is lost. Many masked vigilantes are forced not only to fight the bad guys, but also the police. For Jim Harper, The Guardian’s role is something much more. He had to be a hero to the Newsboy Legion and the people on the street, but also to his fellow police officers.
Years before Jim Harper put on the golden helmet of The Guardian, policewoman Peggy Allen saw flaws in the regular justiciable system and so put on a costume and became the WOMAN IN RED.
The idea that these police officers saw a necessity to step out of their uniforms to wear masks in order to fight crime spurs a lot of thought and potential stories.
I’d love to tell a story about that original version of The Guardian.
Post Script – The Golden Guardian which I posted for Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday.
Jack Kirby – The Golden Guardian
Earlier in the year I sketched an image of the Golden Age super hero The Guardian in my blog about the character and his use in the TV series Supergirl.
This Silver Age version of the character called The Golden Guardian Kirby incorporated into his Fourth World New Gods story line in the pages of Jimmy Olsen. As part of the Cadmus project this Guardian is what many later versions would be based on. Whether it was in later comics, in the animated series Young Justice, or in Supergirl.
Continuing to celebrate Jack Kirby’s 100th Birthday.
Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity