Sunday, September 25, 2011

DCnU - Red Lanterns #1 from DC's New 52

Writer Peter Milligan and artists Ed Benes and Rob Hunter bring you this tale of rage that is Red Lantern #1.

This comic focuses on Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns. One of the new Lantern types introduced in the last couple of years, like Green Lanterns use will power to fuel their power rings, and the yellow power of the Sinestro Corps' rings comes from fear, the power of the Red Lanterns comes from rage. Atrocitus leads, by virtue of being the toughest and angriest, a group of Red Lanterns whose main emotion is anger.

I heard in another review that some folks found Green Lantern #1 hard as a jumping on point for new readers, and I see that. Since Green Lantern was carried through basically intact from the pre-relaunch DCU, people who didn't know Sinestro and the significance of him becoming a lantern could have been lost. Particularly those who saw the movie, during which he WAS a Green Lantern.

I think the same problem could be true here. The plot revolves around Atrocitus having lost some of his burning rage because Hal Jordan killed Krona. Who was a renegade Guardian of the Universe who caused the destruction of all life in Atrocitus' sector of the universe, including his family.

I wonder how well, "Why am I not as angry as I was" works as a plot line if this is the first time you have seen this character.

From my perspective, the art is gorgeous. It was perfect for the characters, from Atrocitus to his Red Lanterns, and on down to his cat.

The issue is that I didn't find the story compelling. Atrocitus risks losing leadership of his Red Lanterns because he isn't angry enough, but ends up with a revelation that he must allow the Universe's rage to be his own. In order to live up to his task, he will need his Red Lanterns, but at the same time, one of them, a female named Bleez is fomenting rebellion.

And I found that I don't care.

We also get a look at an old man murdered in the UK on Earth for some money, and his grandsons' reaction to his death. Raymond get angry, and punches his brother for not reacting as strongly. We see the Mysterious Lady In Red who has appeared in all the #1's in the background for this conversation.

I think it is clear that Raymond's rage will eventually have him embroiled with the Red Lanterns somehow.

Overall, I found this issue a visual treat, but not very compelling. I will be picking up the second one, but it won't take much for this to fall off of my pull list.

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