We last left veteran Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, on Ysmault. Ysmault is the Red Lantern Corps home. I will be referencing the previous issue of Red Lanterns, so just spoiler alert there. In Red Lanterns #21 Hal Jordan asked Guy Gardner to leave the Green Lantern Corps on a secret mission to infiltrate the Red Lanterns. Guy accepted and as the issue ended, he attacked and killed the leader of the Red Lanterns, Atrocitus.
Red Lanterns #22 continues this story arc with Guy Gardner adapting to his newly acquired Red Lantern ring. Now, I am fairly new to this series. I began reading with issue #20 which was the epilogue to “Wrath of the First Lantern”. With that said, I am a huge Green Lantern fan and have been reading Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps from their reboot in “The New 52″ and picked up Green Lantern: New Guardians around the same time as this series. I have also been reading Larfleeze since its recent debut. So, needless to say, I love this universe.
So here we are, Guy Gardner on Ysmault. Atrocitus is dead and the incredibly aggressive but small Red Lantern Corps must now deal with a new member. The issue is fairly interesting and definitely a good place to start for new readers. Charles Soule does a solid job with the story and dialogue. We get to meet the corps members and learn quite a bit about their personalities as they debate over who the new leader should be. We also learn that while rage is the power behind their rings, some of them are truly intelligent and just leverage their passion for their powers, no different than the other primary Lantern Corps. Additionally, it’s difficult to tell if Guy is truly in control of his faculties while under the influence of the red ring. Does he still remember the mission Hal Jordan sent him on? By the end of the issue, I honestly don’t know.
I really like the look and feel of the Red Lantern members. Alessandro Vitti does a truly solid job creating characters that are incredibly unique yet personify rage, aggression and anger. Everything has a hint of red sprinkled in it and the comic cells almost smell of stale blood. Additionally, I think there is some flexibility in what the Red Lantern members can look like because Vitti only has to focus on a handful of characters. Seriously, the Red Lantern Corps consists of Atrocitus (deceased), Bleez (a winged female), Skallox (reminds me of Salaak), Zilius Zox (a giant head with razor sharp teeth), Dex-Starr (a house cat like creature), Rankor (another Earthling), and Ratchet (a giant brain). Of course, there may be a couple others still alive throughout the universe but right now, that’s the team.
I’m glad I’ve picked this series up though. Now that DC Comics is providing separate series for each of the primary Green Lanterns, it’s nice to see where everyone is and how the individual stories will intertwine when the major story arcs come into play. I’m interested to see where Guy Gardner takes things with Atrocitus out of the picture and this issue hits the ground running. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that the Red Lanterns are in a very different place at the end of #22 compared to the beginning of #21.
For other Green Lantern stories:
• Hal Jordan – Green Lantern
• John Stewart – Green Lantern Corps
• Kyle Rayner – Green Lantern: New Guardians
• Simon Baz – Justice League of America
• Alan Scott – Earth 2
[quote]“With blood and rage of crimson red, ripped from a corpse so freshly dead, together with our hellish hate, we’ll burn you all – that is your fate!”[/quote]