It’s rare in comics to find value for money. $3 is way too much money for only 20 pages, let alone $4, but we’re all pretty much happy to pay it, such is our addiction. But every once in a while, a comic comes along that is good value, and Green Lantern/Red Lanterns is such a comic, as for the regular price of $2.99, not only do you get the latest issue of Green Lantern, but the latest Red Lanterns as well! For free basically! I know people are able to turn anything DC do into a negative, but I can’t see how they can do that here. This is a great deal, and it actually has me considering picking up Charles Soule’s Red Lanterns run, as well as continuing the excellent ongoing storylines Robert Venditti and Billy Tan have already set up.
The story begins with two Lanterns (one of them is a Frog guy, the other looks like Wolf-Man) trying to make their way back to Mogo to answer the distress calls caused by the attacks against the Corps. On their way, they come across Supergirl, who is now a Red Lantern. I don’t read Supergirl anymore, so I have no idea how or why this has happened, but that doesn’t matter, what does matter is that there is an incredibly powerful being that has been driven mad with anger roaming free across the universe. These Lanterns get in a tussle with Supergirl, and after a struggle, eventually contain her and decide to take her back to Mogo.
On that planet, Hal is in the process of formalising the alliance between the Corps and the villains who helped them out in the GLC Annual. In a funny moment, the only oath he can think of for them to swear is US Armed Services’. You’d think a Lantern would have a bit more of an imagination! After this, we see just how effective the Durlan attack has been on the Corps, as they are becoming paranoid, especially against the Lanterns who have decided to stop using their rings. Could these objectors be secretly Durlans? It doesn’t look like any of them are, but the more important part is that these villains have the Corps fighting amongst themselves.
After this, Red Lantern Supergirl crashes down, and after another struggle, Hal is able to scan her and discover she’s a Kryptonian, so he knows this is bad news. Is this really the first time Green Lantern and Supergirl have met in the New 52? Weird, but I guess it makes sense, Hal has actually been away from Earth for quite a while now. Since the only way to remove a Red Ring from someone without killing them is through a Blue Lantern, Hal goes to see Saint Walker and ask for his help, but he’s still struggling with the new state of the Universe, and is unable to use his ring, so Hal is left with no choice but to go to Ysmault and see the rest of the Reds, and their new leader, Guy Gardner. Hal leads a bunch of fellow Greens to the desolate planet, where he finds Guy none too happy to see him, and claiming 2814 as the Reds’ own sector!
Man, I can’t wait to see what happens next! Oh yeah, I can just flip it!
The Red Lanterns portion of the story actually begins before the cliffhanger, with Guy and 2 other Reds on Earth, fighting the Shadow Thief alongside Ice. I’m a bit of a sucker for the Guy/Ice relationship, so it was cool to see that again, and the choice of Shadow Thief as a random villain is a good one, because her whole deal is that she hates aliens. There’s some of Soule’s ongoing subplots here too, with Atrocitus fighting against Bleez for some reason, these scenes were OK, but Dex-Starr was involved so I kind of hated it. Fuck that shitty cat.
Guy and his gang return to Ysmault, to confront Hal, but before long, Supergirl busts out, and so they have to try and get her into the red river, which for some reason will cure her madness and bring her back to herself. Perhaps the best moment in this fight was when Zilius Zox, the normally spherical Red Lantern, who for some reason here has been squished out of shape, was slammed into the ground by Supergirl and returned to his glorious roundness. Supergirl is forced into the river, and after she comes out, she says that her name is Kara Zor-El, which allows Hal and Guy to work out that, oh shit, this is Superman’s family, and if he finds out she’s a Red Lantern, he’s not going to be happy.
There was quite a lot in this Red Lanterns story that I didn’t get, because I haven’t been reading the title, but I enjoyed it a lot, Soule has impressed me on all of his other books, and, terrible moustache on Guy aside, Alessandro Vitti’s art was strong. I’m still not 100% on picking up Red Lanterns from now on, but this experiment made me inclined to at least try #29, so I guess it’s a grand success.
The Green Lantern books I am reading have been great so far, this double-sized issue should serve as a great jumping on point I feel, and you have to give it up to DC for doing this, it makes up for at least 2 or 3 counter resets.