Netflix’s mixed-mode black comedy superhero extravaganza, ‘The Guardians of Justice,’ is a sensory overload. Adi Shankar, the showrunner of ‘Castlevania,’ created the series inspired by video games and popular superheroes. Moreover, the show is also packed with casual pop culture references, complete with a re-enactment of an iconic scene from Georges Méliès’ ‘A Trip to The Moon.’
In the beginning, the series seems like a standard ‘Justice League‘ spoof set in an alternative universe. But fortunately, it does not take much time for the wicked tale to spiral out of control. You may wonder what went down in the flashy and grim finale since your mind must have exploded following the twist ending. Let us probe deeper. SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Guardians of Justice Season 1 Recap
In an alternative universe, Hitler made it out alive of the Berlin Raid and obtained a mechanical body, becoming Mecha Hitler. Mecha Hitler led the world to a Third World War in 1947, but the descent of alien superhero Marvelous Man saved the day. After the destruction of his planet, Caltron, at the hands of titan Galacron, Marvelous Man became a refugee, and he chose to be a good Samaritan for planet Earth. Marvelous Man gathered a team of superheroes, reigning from above in the orbiting Citadel of Justice.
The present story begins in 1987, and like every year, the global residents are waiting to hear the speech of Marvelous Man on his day — the day he ended the Third World War. News host Van Dawson is excited to hear from him, much like others watching his show. However, shocking the planet’s inhabitants, Marvelous Man takes his life on camera. Hardly anything can kill him, except the “god-killer” bullet that Logan Lockwood and his company designed specifically for the purpose. However, how Marvelous Man got hold of the bullet remains a mystery.
After the tragedy, Knight Hawk summons all the other Guardians — King Tsunami, The Speed, Awesome Man, Blue Scream, Golden Goddess, and Black Bow. Knight Hawk sends them on different missions, but following the death of Marvelous Man, their unity seems to be lacking.
The Commissioner of the Carnegie City runs a covert human trafficking cartel, but with the arrival of Mr. Smiles in town, his time seems to have run out. The word on the street is that Mr. Smiles works for Knight Hawk. Meanwhile, Marvelous Man’s wife, Laura Louis, comes on television claiming that her husband was murdered. Knight Hawk embarks upon an investigation to decode the mystery behind the death of the immortal hero. Knowing that it may lead to neural damage, he takes over the Cortex, a synthetic AI that Marvelous Man wore (something like Iron Man’s JARVIS).
Then, a new truth comes to light. We get to know that Marvelous Man was fighting clinical depression, and he used to visit a psychiatrist named Dr. Ravencroft. In the present, Dr. Ravencroft plans to break doctor-patient privilege by publishing a scandalous memoir about Marvelous Man. However, Knight Hawk and his sidekick, Little Wing, head to Dr. Ravencroft’s house to dissuade him from publishing the memoir. Dr. Ravencroft later gets killed by Mr. Smiles, and the killer makes it look like suicide.
After the surfacing of the terrorist organization Anubis and owing to the eagerness of the Russian president, a nuclear threat looms large on the planet. When Sepia Spider dies, Knight Hawk summons Red Talon, the previous sidekick of Knight Hawk. But he is currently busy fighting against a bunch of Irish insurgents. Well, Red Talon eventually agrees, but not before the Anubis kills Van Dawson on his show. Red Talon also dies, but Little Wing wreaks havoc on the Anubis. The world goes up in flames with Knight Hawk becoming a tyrant, and the final few episodes unpack a bag full of surprises.
The Guardians of Justice Season 1 Ending: Who Killed Marvelous Man? Was Marvelous Man Gay?
The death of Marvelous Man initially looks like a suicide, but Laura Louis, his wife, suspects foul play. After the information comes out in the open, Marvelous Man’s best friend and superhero colleague Knight Hawk embarks upon an investigation. The sixth episode revisits the death from behind the camera. Laura Louis cheated on Marvelous Man with King Tsunami, and Marvelous Man was a closeted gay.
Following a bromance with Knight Hawk, Marvelous Man also partnered with Mind Master. Mind Master loved Marvelous Man more than his life, but Marvelous Man was not ready to break off his public marriage. Therefore, Marvelous Man asked Mind Master to bring the caltronite “god killer” bullet out of Lockwood Industries. Mind Master employed Motion Blur, Speed’s rival who possesses the same Fast Force, to steal the ammunition.
Before Knight Hawk, Mind Master claims that he tried to enter Marvelous Man’s mind to stop him from pulling the trigger, but Marvelous Man’s death drive was a bit too strong. Therefore, it becomes apparent that Marvelous Man killed himself. However, Mind Master’s name is Mind Master, and we cannot trust every word he speaks. Since he is the inventor and the sole proprietor of the drug Mellow Devil, which reportedly ends “free will,” it is possible that Mind Master encouraged Marvelous Man in the end.
Is Speed Dead or Alive?
Speed seems to breathe her last by the end of the season finale. Speed openly opposes the authoritarian ways of Knight Hawk and embarks upon a liaison with Awesome Man. When Knight Hawk gathers his own private army to wage a war against the Anubis, Speed visits the Citadel of Justice for an open confrontation. One of the points of conflict for Speed against Knight Hawk is that he prepares teenagers such as Little Wing for violence.
However, a significant twist in the finale entails that Awesome Man is Little Wing. Awesome Man is mentally weaker in front of the authoritative and manipulative persona of Knight Hawk. Therefore, when Knight Hawk asks Awesome Man to “take her (Speed) off the board,” Awesome Man cannot defy the order. After assailing Speed, Awesome Man asks whether he did good and whether Speed was a morally corrupt person.
It is apparent that Awesome Man is incapable of making his own judgment, but Knight Hawk assures him that Speed was a good person. They bury her in a good place, erecting a statue in front of it. However, the voice of Speed haunts Knight Hawk even after her death. Knight Hawk has a reason to gather an army, but what if it’s his delusion?
Who Created the Anubis? Why Does Knight Hawk Build the Army?
The series often aligns with geopolitical incidents that unfold in the real world, albeit in its parodic way. Anubis is a terrorist organization with close ties to Russia, and they are thought to be behind the death of Marvelous Man. The truth cannot be further, although the Russian President lifts his support from Anubis following their tragic fate at the hands of Little Wing. The Anubis, led by the Anubis Queen, also took hold of Van Dawson’s studio to spread their propaganda.
At the end of the mind-bending finale, we come to know that it is Knight Hawk who created Anubis. He diverted the global populace with a spectacle while gathering an army to fight the real war. Knight Hawk builds a private army with the government’s help, while his open crackdown on the terrorists earns the President four more years in his tenure. However, the real reason behind his venture is a prophecy that Cortex, the AI, divulges.
There is a titan out there in the universe named Galacron, and he intends to devour planets with intelligent lifeforms. According to Marvelous Man’s father, the titan may consider Earth as his next prey, and Knight Hawk gathers an army to counter the extra-terrestrial threat. However, we must consider the possibility of Cortex deluding Knight Hawk to take such drastic steps. The titan may never find Earth – Speed’s voice expresses her doubts in Knight Hawk’s mind.