The New 52 – ‘Red Lantern: Blood and Rage’

What do you do when all you are fueled on grief and rage, but suddenly all that has gone? Red Lantern Atrocitus has this dilemma after Krona, the rogue guardian who slaughtered his home world is killed by Hal Jordan and not by Atrocitus’s hands. He is on a path of self discovery to see where his life now leads him. His troops no longer respect him, he is a changed man.

This is the basic story from writer Peter Milligan (Hellblazer) and artist Ed Benes (Justice League). The plot is built up quite nicely and it seems the plan here is to make the Red Lanterns a smarter, more interesting team. In the course of the story a few Red Lanterns are given semi intelligence to give Atrocitus a sounding board to his woes. This means that the book is full of dialogue. In fact most of the story is Atrocitus self mutterings!

There are some great scenes which show the origins of the Red Lanterns but I have to be honest aside from Atrocitus and Bleez they are a little dull! To be fair they don’t have a massive monologue so maybe this will improve later on. At the time been I preferred them when they were rage filled simpletons!

The scenes between now clever Bleez and Atrocitus are very well written with her goal been to undermine him and take over the Red Lanterns. Dare I say there may even be sexual tension between the two? Probably not but it seems that way the way these two smash each others heads about!

Some of the plot points are a bit naff. Krona’s vanishing body does not really pay off in the end while on earth the story line involving a new human red lantern is pretty dire. It involves two brothers Ray and Jack. One is a bad boy, one is a nerd. One gets beaten to death in front of the other and one turns into a Red Lantern. You will guess who does and when it happens it’s kinda anticlimactic. They even have to get Guy Gardner in to spice it up! His costume design is pretty. Looks a bit like a rubbish version of firestorm.

But these are really minor quibbles as the story is great! The artwork is stunning to look at and even thou I’m not sure about it yet. I do like the progression that Peter has taken with the Red Lanterns and I’m interested to see where he is going to take their story arc. So ill def be tuning into the next graphic novel of the red lanterns encounters!

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