Young Justice Wiki

This article is about the third Guardian, Mal Duncan. For the golden age Guardian, see Jim Harper I, and for his immediate predecessor, see Jim Harper II.

Malcolm "Mal" Duncan is a former member of the Team and the third hero to go by the moniker of Guardian. A former classmate of Superboy and Miss Martian at Happy Harbor High School, he started out as the Team's mission control, and took up the mantle of Guardian when a dire situation forced him to.


In high school, Mal had a dominant demeanor and appearance, and facing him down was generally considered unwise.[6]

Physical appearance

Mal is a rather tall and muscular African-American male with short black hair and brown eyes. He normally wears form-fitting shirts.[6] He had a penchant for wearing Superman T-shirts in high school, but reportedly changed his wardrobe when he turned eighteen.[7]

When he became the Guardian, he wore Jim Harper's costume without visible changes. It consists of a dark blue jump suit with a golden helmet and golden shoulder and wrist pads.[8]

By 2019, Mal had a completely shaved head and a fully grown beard.[9]



Happy Harbor
September 7, 07:58 EDT

Mal called out the new student, Conner Kent, when he was harassing Marvin White.[6]

Mount Justice
October 16, post-16:01 EDT

During the Team's "alien invasion" training scenario, Mal, along with the rest of the students and faculty hid below the school's underground bunker and watched the Team's speech about how they would win and build from what they've lost, after the Justice League had been killed.[10]

Mal at the Halloween party.

Happy Harbor
October 31, 20:15 EDT

Mal went to the school's Halloween party dressed as "Superman, done right", with a black leather jacket and shades.[11]

Happy Harbor
November 5, 20:19 EDT

When all adults had gone missing, Mal came to the high school gym to watch the younger children.[12]


Sometime later, Mal found out about the Team and quickly became their mission controller, and continued his relationship with Karen Beecher.[13]


Mount Justice
December 1, 08:55 EST

Mal welcomed Zatanna and Rocket back to the Cave, and commented on their new status as Justice Leaguers.[14]

Mount Justice
December 1, 10:29 EST

Beta Squad's reported to Mal about the disappearance of Superboy, Superman and Devastation. Mal immediately conferenced the call with the Watchtower and Alpha Squad.[15]

Mount Justice
December 1, 10:37 EST

Mal received a report from Bumblebee that Metropolis was under attack, but it broke down. Mal tried reestablishing the link, but it was impossible.[15]


Mal in 2016.

Mount Justice
January 1, 18:18 EST

When Bumblebee arrived back from a mission, Mal wanted to tell her all about his plans for their date that evening. He was disappointed she didn't have time, as she needed to work with Doctor Palmer.[13]

Mount Justice
January 4, 20:00 EST

The Team sent out three squads to apprehend Kroloteans that had hidden all over the globe: one to Philadelphia, one to Vlatavastok, and one to New Orleans. Mal monitored them from the Cave, and though Alpha and Beta Squads could not capture their targets, Gamma Squad hit the base in New Orleans. at their request, Mal sent back-up, but it didn't arrive until the base was destroyed.[13]

Mount Justice
February 13, 21:51 EST

Mal witnessed the activation of the Zeta-Shield with Jaime and Superboy. Superboy asked him where Nightwing was, and Mal replied he was out on personal business. Mal objected when Superboy appropriated Jaime for his own personal business, but could not press the issue.[16]

Mount Justice
February 28, 10:07 EST

Mal arrived at the Cave by bike, and was met by a boy he never met before, but seemed to know his name: Impulse.[2]

Mount Justice
February 28, post-13:03 EST

After Impulse had stopped Neutron's rampage, he claimed he was ready to go back to his own time. Mal watched as Impulse got back in the time machine, but it didn't work.[2]

Mount Justice
March 19, 21:22 EDT

Mal talked with Nightwing and Superboy about Speedy and Impulse. Mal believed that they would end up being their responsibility, but Nightwing assured that they are taken care of. Mal still believed that they would wind up to their responsibility, and Superboy agreed. When Artemis returned to the Team, Mal welcomed her back.

Mal listened to Nightwing's briefing of the mission, to defend the Earth-Mars communication satellite. He wondered why Nightwing was joining the mission, which he answered that he wanted some action.[17]

Mount Justice
March 20, 03:58 EDT

In the Cave, Mal hugged Karen to comfort her after they heard about Artemis's death. Superboy told him that they would find La'gaan and Aqualad. Mal wondered where Nightwing was, Superboy answered that he went to tell Wally, which worried Mal and Karen.[17]

Mount Justice
March 21, 17:33 EDT

In the Cave, Mal and Superboy discussed Artemis's death, Aquaman's search for Lagoon Boy, and whether the Team and League were any closer to uncovering the identity of the Light's new Partner.[7]

Ivy Town
March 23, 20:20 EDT

Mal had ridden out to Ivy Town in the hopes of a date with Karen. She was surprised to see him, and liked the prospect of a date, but had a few more hours of lab work ahead of her. He offered to keep her company. Karen knew he'd be bored.

After waiting for her to finish, Mal indeed grew bored. Just as he had made plans, Doctor Palmer arrived. After showing him the test results, Karen predicted they would have to work two or three hours more, and that was too much for Mal. He silently left the lab and rode back to Happy Harbor.[18]

Happy Harbor
March 23, 22:23 EDT

Just as he drove through the town center, Mount Justice exploded. He watched in horror, and quickly contacted the Watchtower for assistance. He then headed to the wreckage to look for survivors. He detected Sphere's presence in the water, and found Nightwing, Superboy and Wolf lying on top of her as she was sinking. He hauled Nightwing up, and woke Superboy. Together, they made it to shore.[18]

April 1, 21:15 EDT

Nightwing brought Mal Duncan, Superboy, Miss Martian and Wolf to a warehouse that would serve as their place to live now that Mount Justice had been destroyed. Mal was initially impressed until he saw the interior of the warehouse. He told Nightwing he wanted to make other arrangements. Nightwing reminded Mal that he and the others needed to go to the Hall of Justice to pick up belongings that were salvaged from Mount Justice.[8]

Washington, D.C.
April 1, 21:24 EDT

At the Hall of Justice, Mal asked to stay with Karen, but was rebuffed. L-Ron then appeared outside the Hall, announcing the arrival of Despero. With the Hall surrounded by a force field, Mal attempted to communicate with the outside, but failed. He and Miss Martian moved to join Superboy and Captain Marvel fighting Despero. Mal encouraged M'gann to use her psychic abilities on Despero, but she refused. One of Despero's attacks broke Jim Harper's old Guardian suit from its display case. Mal donned the costume and distracted Despero by posing as Earth's Guardian, buying time for Conner and M'gann to come up with a plan. He was able to evade Depsero for a time before being caught, but was saved by Superboy. After Despero was defeated, L-Ron engaged a self-destruct device, but Mal and the others were saved from being crushed by the collapsing Hall by Captain Marvel.[8]

April 2, post-21:24 EDT

At the warehouse, Mal watched G. Gordon Godfrey's report on the events at the Hall with the others, his other living arrangements having fallen through.[8]

At some point, the previous Guardian, Jim Harper, found out about Mal taking on the Guardian identity and became his mentor.[5]

April 8, 09:02 EDT

Mal was present at the warehouse when Nightwing assigned Team members to investigate LexCorp Farms.[19]

Ivy Town
May 24, 21:38 EDT

Mal and Karen went for a walk in the university grounds. Mal was happy to finally spend some time with Karen, but she was distracted by the second moon in the sky.[20]

The Warworld
May 26, post-12:00 UTC

Guardian and the rest of the Team infiltrated the Warworld. He, Bumblebee and Sphere formed Gamma Squad, who would attempt to shut down the ship's power core. They were attacked en route by battle drones, and Mal took the opportunity to vent his frustration with Karen.[20]

The Warworld
May 26, post-12:40 UTC

Gamma reached the power core room. With the Super-Cycle fending off the approaching battle drones, Mal continued to bait Bumblebee, until she entered the core itself, and he quietly wished her luck. When it became clear she couldn't deactivate the core, Guardian suggested routing the power somewhere useful. She sent it to the helm, overloading Mongul's control device.

Gamma reconvened with the rest of the Team at their entry point. After celebrating their victory, Guardian congratulated Bumblebee on saving the day, and admitted she had outgrown him. Karen told him she had been an idiot for taking him for granted and they kissed, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Alpha Squad. Blue Beetle then attacked the rest of the Team. Mal pushed Karen out of the way of his first sonic attack, but was hit himself and knocked out.[20] He was stored in a stasis cell aboard the vessel.[21]

The Warworld
May 27, 06:36 UTC

Guardian was present in a stasis cell.[21]

The Warworld
May 30, 03:36 UTC

Once freed from his cell, Guardian retreated to the Bio-Ship with the rest of the Team.[21]

May 30, 06:21 EDT

The Team returned to the warehouse. Guardian went to his quarters.[22]

Santa Prisca
June 19, 00:00 ECT

Along with Superboy and Bumblebee, Guardian shadowed the Light-Reach summit held in an underground cavern. After Aqualad's betrayal was discovered, the Team sprung their trap, and Mal's squad sealed off the entrance used by the Reach. During the ensuing melee, Mal fought against League of Shadows agents, using his shield to deflect their sword strikes. His training paid off, and he successfully held his own with his boxing skills. The battle ended with the heroes victorious, with the capture of the Reach ambassador, Black Manta, the Brain, and Monsieur Mallah.[23]

New York City
June 20, 06:16 EDT

Along with Beast Boy, Lagoon Boy, and Nightwing, Guardian infest the docking bay of the Reach flagship. The squad dispatches the Reach soldiers present with their brute force.[24]

June 20, 08:16 EDT

When magnetic field disruptors planted by the Reach threatened the Earth, Guardian joined 39 other heroes of Earth in a briefing in Metropolis. The heroes would use a computer virus provided by Lex Luthor to safely disable the disruptors. The heroes were paired off with another into twenty squads: one member would run interference against weapons guarding the disruptors, allowing the other to get close enough to plant the virus.

Guardian was paired off with Bumblebee, as Kappa Squad.[25] Within thirty minutes, all squads had succeeded in their mission.[24]

Mount Justice
June 20, 23:16 EDT

In the ruins of Mount Justice, Guardian joined the Team in welcoming the Justice League back to Earth.[24]

The Watchtower
July 4, 21:16 EDT

Aqualad summoned everyone to the mission room, where Batman informed the Team that they would now operate side by side with the Justice League from the Watchtower. Not because Mount Justice was destroyed, but because they earned the right to do so. Aqualad assigned Guardian to Beta Squad to investigate LexCorp's reuse of the Reach soft drink under a new name, and instructed them to gather evidence.[24]


Happy Harbor
November 22, post-16:00 EST

Mal and Karen had Thanksgiving dinner at the Carr house.[26]


Ivy Town
January 21, 20:30 EST

While driving home, Mal told Karen that he had tested negative for the Meta-Gene. They discussed the possibility of their child having the gene, with Mal suggesting Karen could give them the gene. Karen said she was content to leave it to nature, before going into labor.[9]

Ivy Town
January 22, 00:16 EST

At Ivy University Hospital, Karen gave birth to a baby girl. Unfortunately the girl had cyanosis, caused by a hole in the heart. As a surgeon was not available due to the snowy conditions, Karen had Ryan bring her Bumblebee suit from Dr. Palmer's lab, allowing her to shrink down, enter her daughter and patch the hole in the heart herself. After successfully completing the procedure, Karen announced she would take a rest and cut her comm line, much to Mal's concern.

Karen later re-emerged from her now healthy daughter, who had been named Rhea Malia Beecher-Duncan. When Mal asked her why she had taken so long to come out after the surgery, Karen told him that she had done "the right thing".[9]


Guardian was among those considered as a possible Justice League reservist.[27]

Happy Harbor
September 16, post-16:16 EDT

Guardian attended Conner and M'gann's wedding.[28]


Mal has no known superhuman powers, but has trained with Black Canary[8] and members of the Team ever since he began working with them.[5]

  • Agility: Mal has shown the ability to outmaneuver Despero for a short amount of time.[8]


  • Shield: As Guardian, Mal uses a miniature shield mounted on his right forearm for defense against attacks.[20]
  • Holographic computer[20]


Background information

  • Mal Duncan was one of the first black DC superheroes and a former member of the Teen Titans and Doom Patrol. He has gone by various names, including Guardian, Herald, Hornblower and Vox. He is married to Bumblebee. Like Bumblebee, Mal was a technical genius who created a horn that would allow him to open dimensional portals.
  • Young Justice marks Mal Duncan's second animated appearance. He previously appeared as a minor supporting character during the last few episodes of the Teen Titans animated series, where he used the identity of Herald, and was voiced by Khary Payton.


  1. Weisman, Greg (2012-09-10). Question #15672. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 David, Peter (writer) & Zwyer, Mel (director) (June 2, 2012). "Bloodlines". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 6. Cartoon Network.
  3. San Diego Comic Con promotional tote bag
  4. Weisman, Greg (2022-05-20). Question #25953. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2022-05-21.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Weisman, Greg (2013-11-26). Question #19258. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
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  7. 7.0 7.1 Weisman, Greg (writer) & Murphy, Doug (director) (September 29, 2012). "Satisfaction". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 8. Cartoon Network.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Dubuc, Nicole (writer) & Murphy, Doug (director) (January 12, 2013). "Cornered". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 11. Cartoon Network.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Vietti, Brandon (writer) & Heuck, Vinton (director) (August 6, 2019). "Unknown Factors". Young Justice. Season 3. Episode 21. DC Universe.
  10. Dubuc, Nicole (writer) & Oliva, Jay (director) (November 4, 2011). "Failsafe". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 16. Cartoon Network.
  11. David, Peter (writer) & Oliva, Jay (director) (November 18, 2011). "Secrets". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 18. Cartoon Network.
  12. Weisman, Greg (writer) & Chang, Michael (director) (March 3, 2012). "Misplaced". Young Justice. Season 1. Episode 19. Cartoon Network.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Weisman, Greg (writer) & Divar, Tim (director) (April 28, 2012). "Happy New Year". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 1. Cartoon Network.
  14. Weisman, Greg (w). Jones, Christopher (a). Atkinson, Zac (col). Sienty, Dezi (let). Gaydos, Sarah (ed). "Players, Chapter One: Wheelbarrow, Shoe, Thimble" Young Justice 20 (September 19, 2012), New York, NY: DC Comics
  15. 15.0 15.1 Weisman, Greg (w). Jones, Christopher (a). Atkinson, Zac (col). Sienty, Dezi (let). Gaydos, Sarah (ed). "Players, Chapter Two: Directly to Jail" Young Justice 21 (October 17, 2012), New York, NY: DC Comics
  16. Weisman, Greg (writer) & Divar, Tim (director) (May 19, 2012). "Salvage". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 4. Cartoon Network.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Hopps, Kevin, Giacoppo, Paul (writers) & Divar, Tim (director) (June 9, 2012). "Depths". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 7. Cartoon Network.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Weisman, Jon (writer) & Zwyer, Mel (director) (October 6, 2012). "Darkest". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 9. Cartoon Network.
  19. Giacoppo, Paul (writer) & Zwyer, Mel (director) (January 19, 2013). "True Colors". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 12. Cartoon Network.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 Weisman, Jon (writer) & Zwyer, Mel (director) (February 9, 2013). "War". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 15. Cartoon Network.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Vietti, Brandon (writer) & Murphy, Doug (director) (February 23, 2013). "The Hunt". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 17. Cartoon Network.
  22. David, Peter (writer) & Zwyer, Mel (director) (March 2, 2013). "Intervention". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 18. Cartoon Network.
  23. Weisman, Greg (writer) & Divar, Tim (director) (March 9, 2013). "Summit". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 19. Cartoon Network.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Hopps, Kevin (writer) & Murphy, Doug (director) (March 16, 2013). "Endgame". Young Justice. Season 2. Episode 20. Cartoon Network.
  25. Weisman, Greg (2013-03-18). Question #1032. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  26. Weisman, Greg (writer) & Berkeley, Christopher (director) (July 2, 2019). "Illusion of Control". Young Justice. Season 3. Episode 16. DC Universe.
  27. Stotts, Taneka (writer) & Sotta, Christina (director) (April 14, 2022). "Beyond the Grip of the Gods!". Young Justice. Season 4. Episode 18. HBO Max.
  28. Weisman, Greg (writer) & Heuck, Vinton (director) (June 9, 2022). "Death and Rebirth". Young Justice. Season 4. Episode 26. HBO Max.