Unofficial Biography GUARDIAN [Jim Harper]
 Created by Jack Kirby


Personal Data

Real Name: Jim Harper
Occupation: Project Cadmus head of security; formerly Police officer, Metropolis PD.
Marital Status: Presumed single
Known Relatives: Mary Harper (sister; deceased), unnamed brother, Will Harper (nephew; deceased); Roy Harper (nephew; presumed deceased), Roy Harper (great-nephew), Lian Harper (great-grand niece), Roberta "Famous Bobby" Harper (grand-niece)
Base of Operation: Suicide Slum, Metropolis; later Project Cadmus
Group Affiliation: Project Cadmus; formerly All-Star Squadron; formerly Metropolis Police Department
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 203 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
First Appearance: Pre-Crisis: Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942)
Modern: Superman Annual Vol. 2 #2 (1988)

Profile written by Cyril Martin and Jim Doty




  Jim Harper and his family grew up poor in the roughest neighborhood in Metropolis. Nicknamed "Suicide Slum", the ghettos and tenements of the Depression Era gave little hope. Running the streets with his gang and his friend Leo, Jimmy Harper lived of opportunities and petty robberies, until a stranger proposed him to change the course of his life. The stranger who presented himself as Nat Milligan (who was later revealed to be Joe Morgan) persuaded young Harper that physical fitness and education would give him the lift out of the slums he needed. "Milligan" hoped the young boy would become an athlete and as his trainer, his unorthodox holistic training methods would be recognized as better than the ones currently used.

  Under Milligan's guidance and intense training, Jim Harper became a strong gymnast. After several months, Jim was ready to start his professional athletic career but on a return trip to the old neighborhood, he ran into Leo, who had become a hoodlum. On the run from other gangsters, Leo was shot in a drive-by shooting and died in Jim's arms. Deciding that he could do more good trying to help the community Jim decided to become a police officer and applied to the police academy.

  After graduation, Jim Harper requested to be assigned to Suicide Slum. The life of the rookie cop changed the day he was ambushed and roughed up by some gangsters in an alley in front of a costume shop. Making his way to the shop, he chose a blue jump suit, a golden helmet and a golden shield, roughly shaped like a policemen's badge, and decided to pursue his attackers. Stopping the crooks, Jim was ready to get rid of his disguise, when he suddenly ended up in a battle against a possessed and crazed Joe Morgan, along with Wildcat II and Atom I who had also been trained by Joe as well as several members of the All-Star Squadron. After having defeated Joe Morgan, Jim Harper figured he could also do good as a costumed mystery-man and fight crime in areas where the law was powerless and he began his second career as The Guardian.

  Later, police officer Harper stopped a gang of orphaned kids from robbing a local merchant. The kids, who went by the name The Newsboy Legion, were ready to be sentenced by a judge to a reformatory. Seeing how Nat had taken him and molded him into a useful member of society, he offered the court to become their legal guardian and tutor when he testified at their trial. He found them a job as Newsboys and took care of them, keeping them out of trouble as a guardian angel. The Newsboy Legion, as the youngsters liked to call themselves, became an important part of Jim's life and, over the following years, he felt more and more like a father for them and the Newsboys and The Guardian became a force for reform in the Slum, helping the poor and needy, fending off the preying evil of crime and greed that washed over the downtrodden citizens of Suicide Slum.

  Sometime after the war the Guardian retired and Harper became a police detective and the Newsboys became successful adults and leaders in their fields of science and medicine and they were eventually reunited as department heads of the facility known as The Project (or Project Cadmus). Jim Harper did such a good job as a police detective that Intergang eventually put out a contract on Harper and he was mortally wounded. His former wards didn't want to see him die, so along with the DNAlien known as Dubbilex they tried a technique that would grow him a new body, younger and stronger than before, but replace/overlay his memories onto that body. Successful, the revitalized Guardian (sometimes called The Golden Guardian), became head of security of Project Cadmus.

  During a takeover of the Project by the inhuman creature named Sleez, the old Newsboys were cloned as spare parts with the memories of the originals, thus, a new, teenaged, Newsboy Legion was born. Once again, Jim Harper became their Guardian, helping the boys to grow-up and keeping them out of trouble. [Superman Annual Vol. 2 #2]

  After Superman's death at the hands of doomsday, Project Cadmus director Paul Westfield stole his body from its grave and assigned a team to clone a new Superman. Unfortunately Kryptonian DNA proved unbreakable and Cadmus had to settle for other options. The first functional cloned metahuman was Auron, based on Guardian's genetic makeup. Then, experiments were made with the kinetic aura that surrounded Superman's body. The result was Superboy but the Newsboys helped him to escape. Later, when the Kid came back to Cadmus as a field agent, the Guardian took him under his wing and he became kind of a father-figure to the Teen of Steel.

  During the war that opposed Cadmus to Lexcorp, Westfield was killed by Dabney Donovan. The dying Lex Luthor II (in fact Lex I who posed as his own heir in a cloned young body realized by Dabney Donovan) sent a group of Team Luthor enforcers to steal the serum Cadmus had devised from Guardian's blood to cure the clone-plague. The freshly resurrected Superman, along with Superboy opposed them and Luthor's men detonated a bomb in the Project's power core. The resultant explosion totally erased Mount Curtis from the map.

  With Westfield deceased and the outside world believing the Project destroyed, Cadmus was ready for a fresh start. Mickey Cannon took Westfield's place as director-in-chief and the old directors (the first Newsboys) along with the young Newsboys (their clones) decided to leave Cadmus. The Guardian remained as head of security but had to share his duties with Adam Winterbourne. Later, Harper became a field agent for the Project and shared an uneasy relation with Cadmus' new recruit, the reformed villain Rory Calhoun, also known as Heatwave. In 2001, Jim Harper learned of his family ties with Roy Harper, the hero known as Arsenal (Jim was the uncle of Roy's father).

  Like many kids who had to grew up in the poverty stricken district of Suicide Slum, Jim Harper was reformed during WWII because of his poor physical condition. While he has always been regarded has a hero by generations of Metropolitans for his efforts on the home-front, Jim felt the need to prove himself more. In the war against Imperiex he led the D-Company, whose objective was to insert the Human Bomb on site and help him deliver his payload. [Superboy Vol. 3 #91]

  The energy being called Shrapnel, able to inhabit and animate scraps of metals, managed to kill the Guardian during a fight. While Jim Harper had, by the past, expressed the vow of not being cloned again after his death, the US government (with Lex Luthor president) had other plans. the army send General Good and the D.N.Angels clones made by the Agenda, to clone a batch of Guardians to fight against Imperiex. Superboy managed to destroy the clones and General Rock put a stop to the operation but the Guardian lives again.

Powers and Weapons

  The Guardian possesses exceptional combat and tactical skills. He was trained in many forms of fighting, and excelled at gymnastics, thinking quickly on his feet and deduction. His only weapons are his golden helmet and shield. Guardian often used a customized motorcycle equipped with autopilot and a set of video-cameras filming from various angles and recorded on video-disc.

  The Harper clone possesses enhanced strength, reflexes and an accelerated healing factor. As an agent of Cadmus, Jim Harper also has access to the wondrous Whiz Wagon. The Hairies (a super-advanced tribe of techno-wizzards, originally genetic creations of Donovan, who left Cadmus) built the Whiz Wagon to handle every situation. It can adapt to every terrain, fly and even go underwater. The Wagon can be remote controlled or pre-programmed and is equipped with a set of powerful weapons and various gadgets.

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