Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Red Lanterns #8 (Review)

"I will...destroy the aberration.  Rip out his heart and feed it to Dex-Star..."  --Atrocitus (speaking of Abysmus)

Writer Peter Milligan is joined by new artists Andres Guinaldo & Jorge Jimenez in issue #8.  A good story arc building as the Red Lanterns face their first major threat from without the Corps.

So....Atrocitus is stabbed through the chest, Rankorr is thinking but still confused, Bleez is leading her own faction, Abysmus and the other aberrations are seeking to destroy the Red Lanterns.....that's where we left off in Red Lanterns #7 (See: RL's #7 Review for further details).  This issue begins with Abysmus on his way to the Central Power Battery to "pollute" it with his own flesh.....

Meanwhile, Atrocitus lays stabbed through the chest....rage building within him for Abysmus and the other creatures with him.  Rankorr is defending himself from these creatures and attempting to reason with them.....which they find odd for a Red Lantern.  As Abysmus stabs one of his own ribs into the Central Power Battery to "pollute" it and destroy the RL Corps (along with Atrocitus)....Rankorr begins to feel weak, and the creatures parlay their attack because they believe his death is inevitable.

Bleez gracing the Variant Cover
[Interesting sidenote: the rage that radiates from Atrocitus can be felt by Rankorr.  Whether this is just something that Rankorr feels, or whether all the Red Lanterns can feel this has yet to be explained.  It is  an interesting concept though, like a feral representation of a Red Lanterns potential power....could show the rankings of the Red Lanterns by experience, power, etc.]

As Atrocitus and Rankorr make their introductions, Zillius and the other Red Lanterns still loyal to Atrocitus return to find him injured and Rankorr standing there. What's Zillius to do but think Rankorr is behind all this,  and an agent of Bleez, right? Atrocitus tries to stop them, but feels the pain and weakening from Abysmus's actions toward the Power Battery.  One of the "unnamed" Red Lanterns falls ill and dies suddenly, which all the other Red Lanterns think is caused by Rankorr.  As they close in to attack, Rankorr does something that we've only seen Bleez do thus far that I'm aware of.....he creates a construct with his ring!!  Though rudimentary, it freezes the Red Lanterns in their tracks momentarily....

DEX-STAR (Feline of Rage) siting!!
Meanwhile, orbiting Ysmault and preparing to attack (?), Bleez's spies inform her of Rankorr's appearance and she sends Skallox to Earth to "get the scoop" on him.  Skallox refers to her as "Princess" now, showing her power and the respect/fear that her faction has for her.  Back on Earth, Green Lantern Guy Gardner discovers Rankorr's origins for himself, and takes off for Ysmault.....

As Abysmus and his fellow aberrations leave Ysmault in the spacecraft left by Iroque (of the Indigo Tribe!), and Rankorr's constructs drain him mentally.....Atrocitus; as though oblivious to it all, walks on the shore of the Blood Ocean with Dex-Star contemplating the "Ancient Blood Prophecy"......the death of the Red Lantern Corps!!

I've always been a fan of Ed Benes' artwork, so I had to adjust to Guinaldo & Jimenez.....but they do a good job in this issue.  Milligan is doing a good job writing, and is really building the mythos of the Red Lantern Corps.  He is mastering Rageful story-telling....i.e. all actions and motivations come from the perspective of Rage.  My only fear for this title is that Milligan would leave or be replaced. It could be detrimental to the Red Lanterns if a new writer would interrupt or neglect this mythos-building campaign.  Overall, a decent issue in both artwork and writing, and I like the direction this title is going. Citizen's Grade: O.K.

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