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The Guardians of the Universe are a council of ancient immortals who founded and are currently the leaders of the Green Lantern Corps, which they administrate from their homeworld Oa at the center of the universe.


The Guardians of the Universe are an ancient race known as Maltusians who established the Manhunters and later, the Green Lantern Corps as galactic peacekeepers. Eons ago, they had access to vast powers, such as teleportation and telepathy, and thought of themselves as gods. For a time, the Manhunters were their perfect police force. However, their inability to understand and interact with living beings led them to massacre people, planets, and sectors that became known as the Forgotten Zone. The Guardians voted to conceal knowledge of this zone and even kept the Great Manhunter Incident secret from the Green Lantern Corps. After establishing the Corps, the Guardians voluntarily locked away most of their powers and abilities to a point that they were no longer omnipotent. While presiding over matters, they must all be in agreement in order for any decision to be made and passed.

During a second conference with Hal Jordan and Kilowog, who were stranded in Frontier Space, the Guardians tasked them with gathering intelligence and taking reasonable action against the Red Lantern Corps. Appa Ali Apsa later charged Ganthet with breaching the Guardians' vows to not let emotion influence their decisions. For allowing Hal Jordan to steal the Interceptor and secretly planting the Blue Power Battery prototype aboard it, Ganthet was banished from Oa. A short time later, Atrocitus arrived on Oa to kill the Guardians. Hal Jordan arrived and defeated him. Appa Ali Apsa vowed to journey to the Forgotten Zone and to help with the rebuilding effort.

A week after inducting Hal Jordan into the Honor Guard, the Guardians concluded the appearances of Manhunters were only isolated incidents. After taking Jordan and Tomar-Re's testimony into account, they assigned Jordan to gather a small team and map out known Manhunter bunkers. After news of Aya's melding with the Anti-Monitor, the Guardians decided they would come up with a solution rather than allow Hal Jordan's team to proceed.

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