They were once just like humans (albeit blue-skinned ones.) The immortals now called the Guardians lived on a planet called Maltus until one of them, the scientist Krona, mucked with the universe and unleashed a great catastrophe upon the cosmos. In penance, the males of Maltus emigrated to Oa, a planet located at the center of the universe, while the females relocated to Zamora. Transforming over a long period of meditation, the Oans shrunk in stature while their craniums grew larger in proportion. As you’d expect, old men with big heads came to value reason over emotion and this cabal of thinkers created the Green Lantern Corps to enforce their agenda of rational justice throughout a known universe they’d divided into 3600 sectors. As the Guardians turned away from emotion, their former mates embraced it and founded their own order of Star Sapphires on Zamora whose violent-hued power was fueled by love in place of willpower.== TEASER ==
The Guardians’ willful reason often verges on coldness, and that's spelled ruin for them on numerous occasions. When they stuck to their book of laws and censured Hal Jordan for seemingly-selfish acts he did while mourning his destroyed home town, Coast City, they pushed the grief-stricken hero into the influence of the fear entity, Parallax. The possessed Jordan subsequently murdered the Guardians and almost all the Lanterns for their callous behavior. It would take much effort on the part of Jordan’s successor, Kyle Rayner, for the Guardians to be eventually resurrected and for their power battery to be restored. While the Guardians now count females amongst their ranks, they have tragically forgotten some important lessons they should’ve learned during the ordeal with Parallax. Their stern rewriting and enforcements of their own laws has fostered tensions and disagreements in the Corps that are currently bubbling over in this WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS that’s seen them captured by that old renegade, Krona. While the Gaurdians are due to appear in the forthcoming GREEN LANTERN movie, it’s unlikely that their origins will be broached that deeply.
Suffice it to say, however, they’ll likely still be the frigid disciplinarians who order the GL's around.
Imagine Dr. Frankenstein’s legendary folly occurring on a galactic scale. Long before they formed the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians created the Manhunters to serve as their universal peacekeeping agents. These unfeeling machines might’ve seemed like the perfect expression of the Guardians’ ethos of willpower overcoming emotions in the name of justice. However, unthinking automatons are prone to malfunction in a way that living beings aren’t. Not only did the Manhunters become fixated on inflicting punishment instead of preserving peace, a glitch led them to massacre all who dwelled in Space Sector 666 and put events in motion that would lead to the founding of the Red Lantern Corps.
The Guardians started dismantling this creations, but the Manhunters’ self-preservation programming kicked in and they subsequently fled to the planet Biot in Space Sector 3601. This region can’t sustain organic life and is thus beyond the Green Lanterns’ jurisdiction, making it a perfect location for the unloving Manhunters to plot revenge against both their former masters and their replacements. Among the many plots they’ve hatched over the centuries, perhaps the most insidious is their creation of cults on Earth who’ve aided their clandestine infiltration of the human race on several occasions.
Seeing as how a lot of other lore will have to be covered in the GREEN LANTERN movie first, I wouldn’t hold your breath in hope that the Manhunters will show up on screen. I wouldn’t expect them to be mentioned or even alluded to. Luckily, though, GREEN LANTERN is be a multi-media event with several off-shoots covering material that couldn’t be fit into the running time. One of those tie-ins is RISE OF THE MANHUNTERS, a video game that, as you’d guess, sees Hal Jordan and Sinestro pitted against the Corps' mechanical predecessors.