Atrocitus and his team of Lanterns gets their chance to shine (and vomit blood) in their own title. What say ye, reviewers?
Welcome to 52apolooza, the Outhouse feature focusing on DC's September Relaunch. All of DC's 52 titles will be reviewed by our pool of reviewers to point out the best and worst that DC's new comic book line has to offer. To see how this book ranks among the other new DC titles, be sure to check out our 52apolooza Rankings!
The Red Lanterns go out on their own in this title by Peter Milligan, Ed Benes, and Rob Hunter. Does the 52apolooza review team love it... or HATE it?
Grab Bag Reviewer: Christian Hoffer
The Red Lanterns Corps, along with the other Rainbow Corps introduced by Geoff Johns a few years back in Green Lantern, is one of the more intriguing concepts that's come out of DC over the last few years. While the idea of multiple corps with different ideologues and functions had great potential, Johns neglected to flesh out the various corps during the build-up to Blackest Night, instead rushing them into existence to fulfill his "War of Light" prophecy. Like the rest of the Corps, the Red Lanterns are frustrating in part because we know so little about them. When it was announced that one of DC's New 52 would focus on the Red Lanterns Corps, I was more than a little excited.
However, instead of delivering a coherent first chapter and direction to Red Lanterns, Peter Milligan and Ed Benes deliver a disappointing and underdeveloped first issue. Red Lanterns #1 focuses on Atrocitus, the leader of the Red Lanterns, and his struggle to find a new focus after his quest for vengeance was denied by Hal Jordan's actions during the War of the Green Lanterns. Although Atrocitus appears to find a new direction for his corps of angry vomiters by the end of the issue, readers are left without a clear idea of the direction in which the series is going to head.
What's most disappointing about Red Lanterns #1 is that both Milligan and Benes are capable of so much more than a comic that consists of a ludicrously extended monologue, sloppy cut scenes and art that looks like a filler chapter of a 90's comic that's on the verge of being cancelled. Milligan writes an Atrocitus who's mopey, moody and angstier than a vampire in a Stephanie Meyer novel, while Benes delivers a sloppy and lifeless first chapter that falls woefully short of the standards set by Benes' previous runs on Justice League of America and Birds of Prey. Benes' art is so ineffective that even a scene with fan-favorite Dex-Starr feels dull and motionless. When a artist can't manage to render a vomiting ragecat with any sort of discernable emotion, it's hard to understand why he was put on a comic about anger and rage in the first place.
Out of all DC's New 52 released thus far, this has been the only series that feels as if it has no real direction or reason for existing. While other series attempt to explore new corners of the DC Universe or tell new stories about timeless characters, this book exists only to exploit the Green Lantern franchise a little further. This series represents everything that's wrong with the comic book industry. It's a pointless, worthless comic with no reason for existing other than to make DC a little extra cash off its fans.
Total Score: 31/100