Over the years, SuperSquad America has met virtually all the members of the Council of Cosmic Guardians and even played a role in the selection of some of them. The following is a rundown of the Guardians from the Squad's perspective followed by a general note on the nature of the Guardians.
The Guardian Supreme appears as a stern old man in purple robes. He can be wise but also stubborn. In general, he prefers the status quo and does not particularly like it when mere humans get too involved with the affairs of the Guardians. He also does not like it when his Guardians show signs of weakness such as the Guardian of Afterlife's decision to become human or the Guardian of Time allowing himself to be ambushed.
First Meeting: Year 10
The Guardian of Elsewhere appears as a mid-thirtyish woman in a costume that resembles a view of distant galaxies. Her eyes suggest wisdom much greater than her apparent age and are often locked in a faraway look. She does not so much have an Earth-centric domain as act as a liaison to Councils for other places. Because she is dealing with a constant inflow of information, she is the council member most likely to be distracted.
First Meeting: Year 10
The Guardian of Balance appears as a fiftyish woman in judges' robes. She has, to the displeasure of the council at large, also referred to herself as The Guardian of Truth and Justice. Her domain is maintaining the cosmic balance particularly between Earth and its extra-dimensional counterparts.
For example, when Dynamo assumed the role of the Template, it created an imbalance in magic and technology levels between Earth and its alternate dimensions which was being exploited by the villain DeathGrip on Earth and the sorceress Garlandra on Eyratha. As a result, the Guardian of Balance in her guise as the Guardian of Truth and Justice tasked SuperSquad America with the job of restoring the balance.
First Meeting: Year 4
The Guardian of Knowledge appears as a sixtyish woman with the look of a librarian. She seems to be able to pull any factual piece of information about Earth and its extra-dimensional counterparts out of the air at a moment's notice. She is often shy and quiet except when she has pertinent information on the matter that has not been expressed by others.
First Meeting: Year 10
The Guardian of Time appears as a fortyish man in a costume that is reminiscent of an hourglass. He is charged maintaining the integrity of the time stream; however, due to the vastness of the responsibility, it is not possible for him to deal with all violations of the timeline, but he tries to catch the major ones.
It was one such major violation that led to his ambush by Bernie Armstrong/Time Twister who stole most of the Guardian's power. Members of SuperSquad America found the Guardian adrift in the time stream in Earth's ancient past. Using the time energy stored in their bodies from the trip to the past along with energy that was returning to him as Bernie rebuilt the time stream, the Guardian was able to return them all to the present day.
First Meeting: Year 10
The Guardian of the Afterlife is responsible for the Realm of Dead and its inhabitants. In general, the inhabitants of the Realm of the Dead are those who have died on Earth or its counterparts. Each inhabitant builds his own afterlife often expressing desires not fulfilled during their life.
SuperSquad America met the previous Guardian of the Afterlife in Year 7 when they entered the Realm of the Dead to retrieve Crimson Fist. He was a harsh perfectionist with little understanding of the human condition. Somehow, the Squad convinced him that he should be reborn as a human to learn why retrieving Crimson Fist meant so much to them. Thus, in exchange for allowing the hero to rejoin the living, the Guardian was reborn as one of a pair of twins born to Crimson Fist and Forethought. Morty Scheinbaum, the Guardian's nerdy assistant became the new Guardian.
In July, 2011, the supervillain DeathTap kidnapped Morty the Guardian and drained him of his Guardian powers, killing Morty in the process. He then attacked Silver Bow's wedding with bolts of instant death using Michael Kirby, the reborn former Guardian, as a conduit. Lena Fontaine (Diva) was struck by one of those bolts, but did not die, because, as the Squad later learned, DeathTap has turned death off to use as a bargaining chip when trying to convince the Squad to join him in his overthrow of the Council. SuperSquad America defeated DeathTap. Since a new Guardian of the Afterlife was needed to set things right, which wuld include Lena dying, she decided instead to take on the role herself.
First Meeting (former Guardian): Year 7
First Meeting (Morty Scheinbaum): Year 7
First Meeting (Morty as Guardian): Year 7
First Meeting (Lena Fontaine as Guardian): Year 13
The Template (aka the Guardian of the Template Throne or the Earth Template) sets the general tone for life on Earth. As each Template's comic life comes to an end, a new cosmic cycle begins and the battle for control of that cycle rages anew between the forces of the White Shield and those of the Black Sword to see who gets to appoint the new Template. The sixth such cycle ended in the late 1990s with the cosmic death of the previous template, a 1930s adventurer.
In Year 3, SuperSquad America won the Battle for Control of the Seventh Cycle on behalf of the White Shield and when the team was offered the chance to choose the next Template, Dynamo strode forward and took on the role. While Dynamo's desire for greater tolerance has an effect on Earth (for example, a more peaceful Middle East), his affinity for technology created a cosmic imbalance between technology and magic that required the Guardian of Balance to call upon SuperSquad America to repair it.
The Template never actually leaves the Template throne and appears at council meetings through a cosmic projection.
First Meeting (as Dynamo): Year 1
First Meeting (as the Template): Year 3
The White Shield leads the forces of order (generally considered good) in the continuing battle for control of the Template Throne. On Earth, the Order of the White Shield acts on the White Shield's behalf including the recruiting of possible candidates for the Template Throne or for the role of White Shield itself.
Prior to the Battle for Control of the Seventh Cycle in Year 3, the former superhero Brainstorm (Michael Shannon) held the role of the White Shield. As a living human, Shannon moved back and forth at will between the world of the living and the cosmic world, although it appears that when he gave the last of his life force to send SuperSquad America to fight the Battle for Control of the Seventh Cycle, it also ended his cosmic life.
In Year 10, when SuperSquad America appeared before the Guardians to deal with the Bernie Armstrong/Time Twister issue, the Squad suggested that Dianne Armstrong Kennedy (whose murder by DeathGrip had triggered the Time Twister issue) be appointed to the role of White Shield so that she could keep an eye on her son.
The current White Shield appears as a mid-thirtyish white woman with red hair and green eyes. She is usually dressed in long white robes. At present, it is not known how much interaction the current White Shield (a dead human) can have with the living world.
First Meeting (Michael Collins version): Year 1
First Meeting (as Dianne Armstrong): Year 1
First Meeting: (Dianne as White Shield): Year 10
The Black Sword leads the forces of chaos (generally considered evil) in the continuing battle for control of the Template Throne. On Earth, the Cult of the Black Sword has plays a similar role for the Black Sword that the Order of the White Shield does for the White Shield.
The current Black Sword is the dead human supervillain DeathGrip (Jeremiah Chance). On the one occasion that SuperSquad America has met him in this role (their appearance before the full council in Year 10), the Black Sword appeared in DeathGrip's powered armor with black robes over top of it.
In July 2011, Jeremiah Chance was removed as Black Sword when it was discovered that he was part of DeathTap's plans for overthrowing the council. Chance's replacement as Black Sword is currently unknown.
First Meeting (as DeathGrip): Year 3
First Meeting (as the Black Sword): Year 10
The beings that make up the Council of Cosmic Guardians seem to be of a variety of origins and natures. For example, the previous Guardian of the Afterlife appeared to be very much a cosmic being with little knowledge of the human condition while his successors have been the much more human-seeming "Morty Scheinbaum" (although it is not currently known if Morty was human before becoming his predecessor's assistant) and the very human Lena Fontaine. From all indications, the role of the Template is always assumed by a living human while the White Shield has been a role assumed by both a living human (Michael Shannon aka Brainstorm) whose role ended with his death and by both a dead human (Dianne Armstrong Kennedy). Perhaps the truth of what makes a Guardian is not something that can be fully understood by human beings, even those with superpowers.