The Guardian

aka The Golden Guardian + The Newsboy Legion

Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

NAME + ALIASES:
Jim Harper, and clones thereof

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Mary (sister, deceased), Roberta "Bobby" Harper (niece)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
The Newsboy Legion, All-Star Squadron

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Original:
Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942)
Guardian II (clone):

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen
#135 (Jan. 1971)

+ History

The original Newsboy Legion and their sons. From Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #135 (1970); art by Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta.
The Project clones a new Guardian ("Golden" in his first appearance). From Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #135 (1970); art by Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta.

During the War, Jim Harper served on America's shores, aided by a group of plucky boys called the Newsboy Legion (Tommy Tompkins, Big Words, Gabby and Scrapper).

The DNA Project

After the war, the Newsboys went on to become noted scientists who founded the DNA Project (later called Project Cadmus) which would come to be known primarily for its development of cloning technology.

The Newsboy's had lost track of Jim Harper, who eventually became a detective. When he was fatally wounded, they took his tissue sample (Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #136) and cloned him back to life. They immediately set the Guradian after an invading monster from a rival project. (#133, 135) Note: The cloned Guardian was called Golden Guardian but in successive stories, the "Golden" was mostly dropped, but it was used again by Morgan Edge in Jimmy Olsen #141.

At first his memories were hazy. His first time outside the Project, he accompanied Jimmy Olsen and met Clark Kent. They were kidnapped Inter-Gang thugs led by Ugly Mannheim who implanted them with a "pyro-granulate" which would cause them to burst into flames in 24 hours. (#139) The Guardian managed to pry the antidote from Mannheim saved them. (#141) The Newsboys eventually discovered that Inter-Gang had been responsible for Jim Harper's death. (#142) They tailed the killer and witnessed him speaking to his boss via videophone. The boss canceled the thug's contract and killed him with a bomb. (#143)

Post-Crisis

They discovered that Jim Harper's DNA was special, that he was uniquely suited for cloning. Harper didn't know the whole truth, and eventually discovered his clones. At that moment, Cadmus' security chief, Jonathan Drew, killed him. Drew was subsequently fired, but one of Harper's clones had witnessed the murder. This clone took up his predecessor's role, and became the Project's new head of security as the Golden Guardian. Superman Annual #2 [1988]; Jimmy Olsen Special [2008])

The clone Harper ultimately discovered even more clones. He was able to save only one from the Assassin Drew, a girl he named Gwendolyn, whom he is raising as his daughter. (Jimmy Olsen Special, 2008)

There have been two other non-related Guardians, Mal Duncan (II) (Teen Titans #44) and Jake Jordan (III). (7 Soldiers: Guardian #1)

Harper also has a great grandneice, Officer Jamie Harper, who first served with the Gotham City P.D., (Detective #817) then moved to Metropolis to serve under Harper's clone, who had become head of the city's Science Police. (Superman #686) Jamie's existence means that the original Harper had at least one other sibling, too.

Newsboys

The Newsboy Legion. From Who's Who in the DC Universe #2 (1990); art by Karl Kesel.

given full names as well (Guardians #2):

  • Big Words: Anthony Rodrigues
  • Flip: Walter Johnson, Co-Director of Cadmus
  • Gabby: John Gabrielli, Co-Director of Cadmus
  • Scrapper: Pat MacGuire
  • Tommy: Thomas Thompkins, genetecist

Notes

Tales of the Newsboy Legion from Star Spangled Comics #7–14 (1942) were reprinted in Jimmy Olsen #141–148 (1971–72).

+ Powers

....

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

Guardian:

  • A. Bizarro #2
  • Adventures of Superman #449-450, 480, 485, 488, 497, 501, 506, 500, 501, 506, 510, 511, 513, 522, 539, 550, 553, 556
  • Action Comics #648-649, 659, 670, 675, 684, 685, 686, 698, 699
  • Armageddon 2001 #2
  • Final Night #3
  • Green Lantern v.3 #81
  • Invasion! #2
  • Martian Manhunter v.2 #3
  • Showcase '96 #4 (April 1996)
  • Superboy v.3 #3, 6, 39, 40, #52-58, 66-68, 71-75, Annual #2
  • Superboy and the Ravers #10
  • Superman v.2 #26, 27, 36, 37, 41, 43, 50, 54-56, 58, 62, 65-66, 78, 90,133, Annual #2
  • Superman Family #192-
  • Superman Forever #1
  • Superman: The Man of Steel #9, 10, 19, 20, 31, 32, 33, 34, 77

The Newsboy Legion:

  • Adventures of Superman #449
  • Superman v.2 #37, 54–56, Annual #2
  • Superman Family #189–194
  • Superman: The Man of Steel #21

» SERIES:

  • Star-Spangled Comics #7-64 (1942–47)
  • Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133–148, 150 (1970–72)
  • Guardians of Metropolis, 4-issue limited series (1994–95)