By Geoff Johns (Writer), Shane Davis (Art), Sandra Hope (Inks), Nei Ruffino (Colors)
The Story: The prelude to the highly-anticipated DC event, “The Blackest Night” starts here with the scheduled execution of the greatest Green Lantern. However, a few entities still crave revenge against Sinestro and they won’t stop at nothing until their anger and hatred brings them their vengeance. With blood and rage, the red ring is born and judgment for the massacre of sector 666 is due. Enter the Red Lanterns.
What’s Good: Disregard the “Final Crisis” label, and read this as if it’s the beginning of the story following the Green Lantern Secret Origin arc (GL #29-35). Rage of the Red Lanterns begins in a familiar formula, in the way we read the Sinestro Corps Special; where we have the villain giving us a haunting monologue as a new-colored ring is born. Green Lantern fans won’t be disappointed as Johns is effective in teasing readers of the events to come following this prologue. Right away he introduces two storylines that will have us salivating for the upcoming issues: the blockbuster battle between the Lanterns, and the next conflict between Hal Jordan and Sinestro.
What’s Not So Good: Although Geoff Johns gives us an exciting prelude, there are a few details that are a bit bothersome. First, there are a few things that just seem a bit too unnecessary. Words such as “rage” and “anger” and “hatred” seem to appear on every page where there’s a Red Lantern. I understand that the Red Lantern’s ring is fueled by such things, but those words either need to go, or need to stop being sprinkled so liberally. And second, the use of blood or red energy is just too much. It’s so much redness, it’s ridiculous seeing so many beings puke blood red– there’s even a splash page dedicated to it where you’ll see a bunch of blood pouring out of so many creatures’ mouths. My biggest WTF moment has to go to the Red Lantern kitty, who’s also full of rage and puking blood.
Conclusion: Rage of the Red Lanterns is a must-buy since it is the beginning of DC’s most promising event. Even if you haven’t exactly kept up with the Green Lantern series, this is a good place to start and get caught up on an epic DC story. Ditch Final Crisis, and get on this title.
A Second Opinion
The Good? The banter between Sinestro and Hal is classic. Even near his death Sinestro acts justified and lays it on thick to Hal. The Red Lanterns are vicious and make the relentlessness of the Sinestro Corps almost wimpy by comparison.
After seven months of Secret Origins it’s great to see the next big step of the Green Lantern saga take place. It’s jolting and does a fantastic job of pumping up the reader for what’s to come. I’m not saying Secret Origins was a bad thing – I loved it – but I’m glad the series is finally moving forward rather than looking back.
The Silly? That Red Lantern cat! Gratuitous and very unnecessary.
What’s Not So Good? $3.99 – but we do get more pages of story.
Conclusion: Tired of Secret Invasion and Final Crisis? Rage of the Red Lantern may be just what you need!
– J. Montes