By: Matthew Rapier
The idea of the Red Lantern Corps getting its own title sounds good on first thought. A book filled with characters fueled by rage and taking on threats with blind hate is sure to have its moments of fun, high energy action. How much of that can you put into an ongoing series before it starts to feel full of repetition though? The first issue had some really good moments with a wonderful Dex-Starr splash and a look into the mind of Atrocitus, showing us a different side of the character and the motivations that drive him. After reading Red Lanterns #2 I think this book would be better suited as a 4 issue limited series.
The issue opens up with Atrocitus still questioning how he will be able to fulfill his mission and what injustice in the universe should be deemed more important than another. As he carries on a conversation with the lifeless body of Krona, he gives us insight into a planet engulfed with rage called Ghan IX. A race of beings called Yuevers traveled to the planet to try to restore order, but the native Ghanites refuted against the actions of these outsiders.
Two Yueverian soldiers take voyage in an aircraft over the planet with a buddy craft beside them that eventually gets hit with an unknown threat and explodes. The soldiers assume it came from a group of Ghanites below and open fire, killing two of the three members. Atrocitus seeks out the injustice and rips their aircraft apart letting the ship crash below as he takes one soldier hostage and shows him the scene of the death’s that just occurred by their hands. He sees that they have murdered two male children, leaving their younger sister behind who witnessed their execution. Before expiring, the soldier tries to plea with Atrocitus that he made an honest mistake and gives the raging monster food for thought; he has a wife and small daughter back on his home planet and if killed their lives will be destroyed as well causing the injustice to continue in a vicious cycle.
Atrocitus leaves us guessing at the end of the issue by trying to decide which of his corps members should be given intelligence on a level equal to his.
If you haven’t picked up the issues, but read the review for issue #1 and now this one, maybe you can understand why this title is heading into problematic territory. What started off with surprising potential has considerably slowed its progression here. Nothing in this issue has me wishing I didn’t pick the book up, it just has me feeling like I could have skipped it altogether without missing anything coming back into the next installment. Peter Milligan and Ed Benes are a great paring for this kind of story, I just don’t think it deserves to be an ongoing.
Overall Grade: 5/10