Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red Lanterns #9 & #10 (Review)

Motto of the Red Lanterns!
I have to admit, the RED LANTERNS title is my guilty pleasure (BaBUM)....I've tried to drop it from my pull list (BaBUM), even tried passing by it and ignoring it in my local comic book shop (the great Capital City Comics in Reynoldsburg, Ohio...BaBUM)....even purposely didn't go to the store on the weeks that it's released just so maybe it would sell out and I'd miss it (BaBUM), tried to convince myself that I didn't want it anymore because Ed Benes left as artist (BaBUM).....but alas, no matter how much I've tried, I MUST HAVE RED LANTERNS!! (BaBUM BaBUM BaBUM!!)

#9: Exodus.
As Bleez and her faction pour out vengeful rage on the planet Sarff Minor, Atrocitus reveals "I have seen the end of the world.  Someone has killed the Red Lanterns."  He believes this "someone" to be Abysmus.

Bleez returns and the two factions immediately begin their "civil war", as Rankorr looks on....then when he realizes the gravity of the situation, The Power Battery is poisoned....Red Lanterns are dying...and the planet Ysmault is beginning to break apart, he yells at all of them to stop!

As Atrocitus, Bleez, & the rest of the Red Lanterns contemplate their situation at the poisoned Power Battery....Rankorr sneaks off and foolishly tries to remove his ring....then quickly realizes he cannot, for the ring and the rageful napalm that courses through his veins is what keeps him alive!  There is no leaving the Red Lantern Corps!  He realizes that the hope to return to his old life is futile.

Atrocitus orders the abandonment of Ysmault, and determines to find Abysmus so he can save the Power Battery....then make him pay!  Bleez believes that the Star Sapphires may be behind the attack on them as well, siting her past and what love did to her.

Atrocitus ends issue nine with these words:

"Die? What is Death to a Red Lantern?  To be a Red Lantern is to have met death once.......Let every living creature in this vast and miserable universe....Quake in Fear. Let them shake with Terror.  For the Red Lanterns have been Angered.  And we will not rest...we will not stop...until we do what Red Lanterns always do....WE WILL BE AVENGED!"

#10: Two Lanterns.
While Bleez leads the Red Lanterns (including Rankorr) to the Star Sapphires home planet, Atrocitus & Dex-Starr make their way looking for Abysmus.

Atrocitus follows some strange Red Lantern energy that he feels, believing it may be Abysmus. He & Dex-Starr enter hyperspace and forcibly break into Stormwatch Headquarters (where; unknown to Atrocitus and Dex-Starr, Skallox is being held).  As Apollo & Martian Manhunter attempt to handle Atrocitus, Midnighter squares off against Dex-Starr....(see: panel below).

Apollo and Manhunter have their hands full, and the station's secret position in space is at stake....Martian Manhunter "mind connects" with Atrocitus and is physically shaken when he encounters Atrocitus' rage.

Meanwhile, Skallox's ring returns to him (by Atrocitus' power?), and seeks rageful vengeance....but is transported away by the Engineer.  Atrocitus leaves peacefully, which is the complete opposite of his character....but we soon find out why.

Atrocitus explains to Skallox the crisis of their power battery, and their search for Abysmus.  They must conserve power, because they cannot recharge their rings.  Nonetheless, Atrocitus does feel...diminished by having to control his instincts against Stormwatch.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the Red Lanterns approach the Star Sapphires home planet, Rankorr has had enough of being picked on and beats some fellow Red Lanterns senseless.....earning the respect of Bleez and the rest of the Red Lanterns.

What's up with the chin-horn, Midnighter?  This would NOT have happened
if Dex-Starr's ring weren't poisoned, leaving him weaker and slower than normal
(see: Issue #1 for Dex-Starr's rageful feline ferocity at full strength!)

Writer Peter Milligan continues his journey of Rage, beginning to amp up the threat and the crisis that faces our Red Lanterns.  I've been quite impressed with how he has built this story and the mythos of the Red Lanterns in a long, extended run.  I hope he is allowed to continue for at least another 12 or so issues, but if he keeps up what he's done so far, I'd like to just see his name on this title for the duration....much like Geoff Johns on Green Lantern.

 The new "powers" that Atrocitus displays in issue 10 are impressive.  While Rankorr has shown that Red Lanterns can make constructs, Bleez/others have shown that some level of intelligence can be reached, and even that Dex-Starr may appear to be uttering words (..."Abbbsss???"...is that a word from the Kitty of Rage?), Atrocitus displays an impressive array of powers.  Focusing his Napalm rage as he uses it to melt hyperspace & sensing Red Lantern energy from a great distance, Atrocitus shows why he leads the Red Lanterns!!

Tomas Giorello stepped in for artwork in issue nine, following Ed Benes' departure.  Miguel Sepulveda took over the regular art duties starting with #10.  Although different from Benes, the artwork is good....a little darker, "scratchier" maybe.....plus, he draws a better Dex-Starr (who actually looks like a cat!  No offense Ed Benes).


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