Red Lanterns began with a whimper when the New 52 started, losing my interest after only one issue. There are, however, two pieces of Green Lantern mythos I love: the Red Lantern Corps itself and Guy Gardner. When DC gave all of their lantern titles new creative teams in the wake of the defeat of the First Lantern, I decided to pick up Red Lanterns again and, so far, I’ve been very, very impressed. Now, with a new status quo for Guy and his angry crimson friends, we dive into Red Lanterns #25.
After helping the Green Lanterns take down Relic during “Lights Out,” the Red Lantern Corps earned the exclusive right to patrol Sector 2814, home of both their headquarters on Ysmault and Earth. The Red Lanterns refuse to act like the sector’s former guardians who only reacted to threats, and instead take a proactive stance to defeat evil and prevent suffering. Meanwhile, Atrocitus, former head of the Red Lanterns, plots his vengeance upon the man who ousted him from his throne: Guy Gardner.
Red Lanterns #25 is probably the best issue since Charles Soule and Alessandro Vitti took over the series with issue #21. There is a great deal of character development and exploration, especially of Rankorr who I found totally boring until seeing the personality he displayed in this chapter. For a series about anger monsters who seek only to fight and rage, Soule manages to throw in some great humor that never feels out of place and actually seeks to enhance the story, especially to show how things under Guy’s leadership vary substantially from Atrocitus’s regime. Vitti’s art, meanwhile, is an excellent fit for this story. His linework is crisp and the character models are great. The way Vitti draws gives a texture to all of the images in the story, which is most evident in the way he depicts liquid. Colorists Gabe Eltaeb and HI-FI combine to fashion a wonderful palette that strengthens the look of this brutal book.
Though Red Lanterns #25 is a wonderful comic, there are a few faults. One is that the comic involves two stories, one focusing on Guy and the majority of the Red Lantern Corps, while the other shifts to Atrocitus and Dex-Starr the evil cat. Though I like the interaction between Dex-Starr and Atrocitus, these portions of the story still feel far less interesting and very disconnected from the more interesting story happening in Sector 2814. The final page reveal also felt rather strange and abrupt, and perhaps somewhat shoehorned in; this problem may be solved by the opening of the next issue, but still it felt like an awkward ending.
Red Lanterns has become one of DC’s strongest series after the arrival of Soule and Vitti. I’ve loved the issues this dream team has put out so far, and continue to look forward to new installments each month. I strongly urge anyone looking for an offbeat, original sci-fi story to check out this comic.
-several hilarious moments
-good jumping on point for new readers
-scenes with Atrocitus aren’t as good as the story focusing on the main Red Lanterns
-ending reveal felt abrupt
Brett Simon is a twenty-four year old comic enthusiast. He’s hoping for a throwdown between Krypto the Super Dog and Dex-Starr the Ragey Cat in the near future.
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