With blood and rage of crimson red…
DCâ€™s Sinestro Corps was the dark horse hit that got me, and many other comic readers, back into the Green Lantern titles.Â Geoff Johns followed this up with a retelling of Hal Jordanâ€™s origin, that skewed everything those of us old enough to remember Emerald Dawn attempted to do 15 plus years ago.Â The main reason for retelling the origin?Â To add in the character of Atrocitus and set up his hatred for Sinestro, who left him nailed to a crucifix of sorts in sector 666.Â Someone with that much rage and hate is probably not someone who is going to do great things.
Remember that scene in Fight Club where a battered and bloodied Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) started spewing blood all over the club owner?Â Imagine that same scene but with 10 times the amount of blood spewing from the mouth of the Red Lantern, and you have a some idea of how disturbing the transformation to Red Lanterns is in the pages of Rage of the Red Lanterns.Â Itâ€™s even more disturbing than seeing vampires meeting their fate in television programs like True Blood.Â The imagery isnâ€™t super intense, nor super graphic, but it is unnerving to see the transformation take place to the point I wonder if it is being added for shock value alone.
Sure the transformation is great the first time Atrocitus rises from the bloody pit, reciting the Red Lantern oath, and even more interesting to see him spew his bodily fluids all over his first transformed lantern, but to see seven pages of upchucking destruction makes me wonder.
The Green Lanterns have a mission in this issue – escort Sinestro back to Korugar where he will face execution for his crimes against the universe.Â The new rules allowing Green Lanterns to kill their enemies doesnâ€™t seem to be a big deal to any member of the Corps.Â For Hal, who once considered Sinestro a friend (see Secret Origin in the pages of Green Lantern for more on that), heâ€™s more than willing to go along with the will of the Guardians.
Of course a series titled Rage of the Red Lanterns wouldnâ€™t be that great if it didnâ€™t feature some red on green action, and no, I donâ€™t mean some adult christmas activities… This issue not only sees red on green, you also get to see yellow in the mix too as a faction of the Sinestro Corps attempt to free their leader.Â Howâ€™d they know?Â Thereâ€™s a traitor among the Guardians.Â Too bad their attempt to free Sinestro is met with some raging throw up.Â If you ever needed an excuse not to own a cat, the cute cuddly Red Lantern Cat that turns rabid in a very bad way for everyone in its vicinity, will confirm your fears.
Even though things are not good for the Green Lanterns (there are even more deaths), there is hope that arrives at the very end of the issue in the form of Saint WalkerÂ – The Blue Lantern, sent by Ganthet to help those who will battle Sinestro and Atrocitus.Â It is a very dramatic splash page ending that actually does gives the reader a feeling of hope.
I wish Johns had not sold the idea of Blackest Night to the editors at DC as soon as he did.Â By showing his hand a year ahead of time, it gave DC the chance to whip up fan frenzy, make a big deal out of an event that could have quietly happened with the same success of Sinestro Corps War, but resulted in this series featuring a glossy stock cover and a $3.99 price tag.Â The story is good, and the art is fine, although it is a bit mushed up in places, but it isnâ€™t an issue that warrants the high price and glossy cover.Â I would have been much happier paying $2.99 for a Green Lantern issue, which is where this story belongs.
Even with the Final Crisis dress on the cover, this is not a Final Crisis tie-in.Â If DC was trying to make a fast buck off those who are wanting to buy everything with Final Crisis on the cover, this is one good way to do it, but I have a feeling after reading the issue, most will feel the way I do – this is a fair to good Green Lantern story.Â The only indication we get that this is remotely tied to Final Crisis is the Editorâ€™s note that says â€œThis issue takes place between Final Crisis #1 and #2â€, and the reference to Deicide.Â This issue follows up the Secret Origin arc nicely, but not Final Crisis.
Even with all the blood and gore, even with the deaths of even more Green and Yellow Lanterns, even with the apparent escape of Sinestro, Rage of the Red Lanterns is not an issue that totally blows – despite the aforementioned throwing up of bodily fluids. It could have been better, and thatâ€™s why Rage of the Red Lanterns only receives 2.5 out of 5 stars.