Appa Ali Apsa
on December 23, 2013
Appa Ali Aspa, also known as Old Timer, was a Guardian of the Universe who was elected by his fellows to assume human form and accompany Hal Jordan and Green Arrow on their adventures on Earth in order to experience what it is to live as a mortal. After Green Arrow pointed out to the Guardians that they were too distanced from the mortals they had sworn to protect, the Guardians took it upon themselves to better understand them.
Appa journeyed across America with the Green Lantern and Green Arrow and learned many valuable life lessons, as he grew to have a better understanding of why humans operate the way they do. Though he had originally come as an observer, over time, he befriend the two Earthmen.
He was expelled from the Guardians of the Universe when he made an important decision to save Hal Jordan that was based on his emotional attachment to Jordan rather than based on reason. The Guardians stripped him of his powers and immortality and returned him to the Guardian home world of Maltus, where he helped guide the people on the overpopulated planet.
Eventually, the Guardians of the Universe chose to leave the earthly plane with their Zamaron mates, thus relinquishing control over their intergalactic police force, the Green Lantern Corps. They asked Appa Ali Apsa to return to Oa and serve as the sole overseer of the Corps in their stead. Appa decided to take the job, but shortly after, the entire Green Lantern Corps was disbanded when Sinestro was killed, which enacted a procedure that caused the destruction of the Central Power Battery.
Appa stayed on Oa with the former Green Lantern called Priest, but the Guardian was being driven to madness due to isolation. Appa killed Priest when the former Green Lantern refused to fuse minds with the insane Guardian.
When Green Lantern John Stewart was racked with doubt due to failing to save a world in peril, he visited Oa to seek guidance from Appa. There, Green Lantern discovered Priest’s corpse and Appa’s disturbed condition. Unfortunately for Green Lantern, he did not have the power to resist a Guardian and Appa seized control of him and began fusing their minds. John Stewart could barely withstand the vastness of the Guardian’s mind and memories. He saw what the Guardian saw, experienced what the Guardian knew, and their minds became one.
Appa Ali Apsa preparing to fuse minds with Green Lantern John Stewart.
John Stewart was linked with the Guardian when Appa began lifting communities from all the worlds he visited and placing them on Oa. He linked with John in an effort to quell his loneliness, which is also why he began creating the strange patchwork of cities. Appa viewed John as a favorite pet, and planned on ruling over the cities as a god.
Eventually, Hal Jordan arrived on Oa to investigate the disappearance of several Earth communities, and he, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner managed to defeat and kill Appa with the help of the returned Guardians of the Universe.
The Guardians elected John Stewart to look after the patchwork of cities Appa created, which came to be known as the Mosaic World. The Guardians wanted to see how all the different jammed together cities would interact with each other.
As John was overseeing the Mosaic, he kept hearing disturbing voices in his head and receiving strange visions. It came out that Appa still existed within John’s mind. The Mad Guardian would continually pop up to torment John from time to time, and some times, John would actually reach out to Appa when he needed help managing the Mosaic, since no one knew the Mosaic better than the Mad Guardian who created it.
As time went on, the phantom of Appa became somewhat of a guide for John Stewart, as John sought out the truth of the Mosaic and of himself. Appa helped John realize that it was actually John who created the Mosaic World. John is the one who took over Appa’s mind to bring the communities to Oa.
John did this because he sought atonement for the world he failed to save, thus he created a world of new possibilities and opportunities for those who did not have any on their previous worlds. A world of enlightenment, where beings from all around the cosmos could learn and share ideas. Those who wanted to leave were eventually allowed to.
Through the power of Appa Ali Apsa, and with his new awareness, John rose to the level of a Guardian of the Universe, and Appa Ali Apsa, along with John’s dead wife, Katma Tui, and his dead friend, Ch’p, were resurrected.
However, John’s Guardian power was cut off when Hal Jordan became Parallax and absorbed the energy from the Central Power Battery, which caused all those resurrected by John to disappear.
Appa Ali Apsa is one of the most important characters to John Stewart. He is a pivotal part of the Mosaic storyline, which is a milestone in John Stewart’s history. Interestingly, Appa would pop up again in animated Green Lantern features, such as Green Lantern: First Flight, and Green Lantern: The Animated Series. It seems that the creators of those features lightly incorporate Appa’s antagonistic nature, as they portray him as a crotchety naysayer, counterpart to Ganthet’s understanding and compassionate characteristics.