The Guardians of the Universe, alternately known as the Guardians or Oans are a fiction extraterrestrial race in the DC Comics universe. They first appeared in Green Lantern Vol. 2 #1 (July 1960), and were created by John Broome and Gil Kane.
Within the Green Lantern stories, the Guardians of the Universe are the immortal founders and leaders of the Green Lantern Corps, which they administer from their homeworld Oa at the center of the universe. The appearance of the male Guardians, modeled after then-Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion, is elderly, short, and blue-skinned with large heads and white hair.
The Guardians evolved on the planet Maltus, and were among the first intelligent life forms in the universe. At this time they were tall greyish blue humanoids with black hair, who roughly resembled humans except for their skin color. They became scientists and thinkers, experimenting on the worlds around them. One experiment led to the creation of a new species, the Psions. In a pivotal moment, billions of years ago, a Maltusian named Krona used time-bending technology to observe the beginning of the Universe. However, this experiment, and later attempts to stop it, unleashed disaster upon all existence. Originally, the experiment splintered the Universe into the Multiverse and created the evil Anti-Matter Universe of Qward. Following the retroactive destruction of the Multiverse, it was revealed that Krona flooded the beginning of the Universe with entropy causing it "to be born old".
Feeling responsible for this, the evolved Maltusians relocated to the planet Oa (at "the center of the Universe") and became the Guardians. Their goal was simple: combat evil and create an orderly universe. They acted quickly on that goal. During this period they slowly evolved into their current appearance, losing about half of their height and having their skulls grow larger. They now act as the leaders of the Green Lantern Corps, an interstellar police force which patrols the universe.
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Official Site: DC Comics
Links: Guardians of the Universe Wiki Comic Vine (Guardians) Angelfire site on Guardians