The year is 1988. Marvel's New Mutants, a team of young multi-ethnic super-heroes, has become quite popular. DC Comics, looking over its mostly-white starring line-up, decides that it was time for an Alternate Company Equivalent, just like the Global Guardians tried to be for the Uncanny X-Men. Thus came the Millennium Crisis Crossover. At the center of the story was a team of twelve special humans from all over the globe, chosen by the Guardians Of The Universe whose offspring would eventually come to replace them. Of course, like usual, the Guardians hadn't done their homework. One of the chosen (Terra), was already dead. Another was senile. Two more were killed by The Manhunters. And one more, Janwillem Kroef, was a racist Afrikaner who wanted nothing to do with having to team up with other ethnicities. So, by the end of the Crossover, the group was down to seven and, surprise, surprise, they ended up with super-powers:
- Betty Clawman, an Australian aborigine granted vast and unspecified powers connected to The Dreamtime.
- Extraño, a homosexual Peruvian magician, with energy powers and every gay stereotype you can think of. Presumably the Guardians had also failed in their research when choosing him for a breeding partner. Was eventually revealed to be HIV positive, possibly as a result of an attack by the AIDS-powered vampire Hemo-Goblin. Go ahead and read that last sentence again.
- The Floronic Man, also known as Jason Woodrue. An American villain of The Atom that had just been given a boost of popularity after appearing in Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, and went through a Heel–Face Turn. Had the power to control plants, and, indeed, was made of plants himself, and y'know, unable to breed with humans. Way to go, Guardians.
- Jet, an Jamaican woman living in England, granted powers over electromagnetism. Became HIV positive, definitely as a result of an attack by the AIDS-powered vampire, Hemo-Goblin, and would later die from the condition. Would later pop up alive, several Cosmic Retcons later.
- Gloss, a Chinese woman able to draw vague energy from the world's "Dragon Lines". Disappeared for a while before showing up in One Year Later to be killed by Prometheus.
- Ram, a Japanese man turned into a not-able-to-breed-with-humans robot and granted the ability to communicate with electronic equipment. Was last seen as a portrait in supervillainess Roulette's underground arena, making him presumably killed off-screen.
- Thomas Kalmaku, also known as Hal Jordan's Inuit friend. Originally resisted the Call, but eventually joined the team after he unlocked the power to "Bring The Best Out In People". After the team disbanded, he would go back to being a Badass Normal cast-mate in Green Lantern, and his supposed power would never be mentioned again.
- Also on the team was Harbinger, an agent of the Monitor from Crisis on Infinite Earths, apparently because she was a semi-popular character that no one was doing anything else with at the time.
Tropes Displayed in The New Guardians include:
- Addiction Powered: The one-shot villain Snowflame was a crazed druglord in South America who literally got superpowers by snorting cocaine. His body would light up with white fire, he'd get stronger and tougher and faster—especially when he buried his face in the stuff.
- The Bronze Age of Comic Books: If any series was the Bronze Age incarnate, this series was its evil twin, embodying all the ways to handle the social issues covered in comics at the time in the worst way possible.
- Captain Ethnic: Nearly the entire team.
- C-List Fodder: The Chosen Ones of the Guardians of the Universe end up being... not that much special.
- Drugs Are Bad: Oh, Snowflame...
- Eight Token Band: The team in a nutshell.
- Light 'em Up: The apty named Snowflame, who can generate light powers from cocaine.
- Mystical White Hair: Snowflame. Presumably, his pure white hair is a sign of his power.
- Only You Can Repopulate My Race: Sort of. The New Guardians were supposed to breed until there were enough to watch over the universe. How some of them could breed (one was gay, others had no organic bodies) was not explained.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Kroef, a South African white supremacist.