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Red Lanterns #1 Review

4 min read

Sometimes a rage subsides, but you can always find something else to get your juices flowing.

What They Say:
The Red Lanterns of Rage star in their very own comic book series by writer Peter Milligan and artist Ed Benes. Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps return, battling against injustice in the bloodiest ways imaginable!

The Review:
While my history with the Green Lantern universe is a bit out of date, having fallen out of the few trades that I owned around the thirty-somethings of the previous run, I did follow Blackest Night and kept aware of all the changes to the mythos with the introduction of the various other corps and I came away really liking that change. So when the new lineup was announced and it included the traditional books and a new Green Lantern book, I wasn’t terribly surprised. When it also included a Red Lanterns book, I became highly intrigued by it, so much so that I decided to make it the only one I’d actively go after since it had my longtime favorite writer of Peter Milligan behind it as well as the very appealing artwork from Ed Benes.

The book revolves around the character of Atrocitus, the Red Lantern that brought about the few other members of this very small corps that exists. His rage is already legendary with the events that have transpired in the Green Lantern books but since then it’s started to lessen. He has his rage, but things aren’t feeling as strong as they once were, not quite as pure of a rage that drove him before. He still provides his dose of justice, such as the opening couple of pages here where he and Dex-Starr, his very adorable Red Lantern powered cat-creature, come across a starship that has a race of blue creatures that find art in the pain and suffering of other races. The two pretty much trash them and it gives him some satisfaction, but there’s still something missing from it all.

And unfortunately, because of his relationship with the other Red Lanterns, it’s not something he can actually talk about with any of them. There’s something more primal to them, that keeps him several rungs above them with his ability to think things though, but he knows he needs them for his larger goal. And that’s what this book is really about, giving us a look at Atrocitus’ past and what will be driving him forward. The flashback material is fairly brief overall but it clues us in easily to his origins, that of the Green Lantern Corps in a way and shows him just how much rage there is in the universe that must be dealt with. Seeing how he gains his inner fire works rather well here, especially with Benes artwork that captures his facial expressions just right, but they also produce enough tension and uncertainty about the Red Lanterns themselves in how they’ll play out that you can’t help but to want to come back and see more of what’ll happen.

Digital Notes:
This digital edition of Red Lanterns from Comixology contains only the first printing cover and no extras as of this writing.

In Summary:
With a good concept that has a lot of potential, a very good artist that gives this a distinct look and a writer that can produce some great work, Red Lanterns has everything it needs to succeed and to potentially give us a chance at more of the Corps out there finding a life somehow. Atrocitus doesn’t have a huge amount of detail here, but it’s rage that drives him and we get a good look at his past and how he views his mission to be. Peter Milligan didn’t win me over with some of his Flashpoint work, but this is a solid, linear and very accessible book overall while still giving the long time readers something to be energized about. Red Lanterns definitely becomes a release day purchase for me going forward rather than a +1 month digital release.


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