Lights Out: Green Lantern #1 & Red Lanterns #1

September 17, 2011

Comics

I never was a fan of the Green Lantern. That whole “yellow weakness” thing put me right off the character from the first time I read about him. Never got into it, despite the character changes. I had a passing knowledge of the Lanterns and their universe, thanks to the JLA and events like Blackest Night etc. but that was about as far as it went. Oh and I loved Gnort (JL Antarctica for the win!!).

So when the reboot came along, I figured that I’d definitely give the Green Lantern the old college try. And then DC rebooted not one but two Lantern books: Green Lantern (duh!) and Red Lanterns.

Let’s start with the Red Lanterns…

Now, I first got a look at these bad boys in the Blackest Night saga.  Bascially, they’re all about the 3 R’s: rage, revenge and (w)rath. And yes, they’re the bad guys. The Yang to the Green Lanterns’ Yin. A bunch of intergalactic vicious bloodthirsty killers, with cool red rings, raising Cain wherever they go. It sounds kind of awesome, right? And they got a kitty too!

Isn’t he cute!? And look where he keeps his ring! Awww…

So what we have here is book about villains – and that’s great…except that it kinda sucks. The first warning bell was the kitty. I like kitties but this cat is in the same league as Superdog right now.

And then there’s this dude.

Yup. His name’s Atrocitus. Like atrocity. Like atrocious. Which is what his name is. And he’s the leader of the Red Lanterns. And with a name like that, it’s impossible to take him seriously. Yeah, he could probably eviscerate me in less than 3 minutes but I’ll die laughing.

Anyway, villlain books are awesome, when they’re about the villain doing what villains do best: be villainous.

But this book doesn’t do that. Nope. Instead what it does is try to make you feel sympathetic towards the villain by giving him a backstory that’s impossibly maudlin. Get this: Artocitus (snigger) used to be a family man…and a psychologist…named Atros. All that was taken from him in a terror campaign orchestrated by a rogue Guardian and…

You know, what? I don’t care. I really don’t. I don’t want to care about my villains. I want to understand them. And if Atrocitus really wanted to change things, he could have become a Green Lantern. Or a boy scout. Or a gynaecologist. Or something. Truth be told, if Atrocitus never existed I wouldn’t be the poorer for it. This book fails miserably at trying to grab your interest. It’s no Killing Joke…even though it’s laughable. And that’s why I’m gonna give it a pass.

And now it’s time to talk about the Green Lantern. Just a heads up: the entire issue is one long establishing shot (to borrow a movie term). It’s like coming back into a soap opera from a  commercial break.

First off, if you’ve read anything about the impending reboot, you’ll also have seen the cover, which looks a little like this.

Yup. That’s Sinestro wearing a Green Lantern Corp ring. Yup, He’s been reinstated because…well, I don’t know. There’s some reason, something to do with a renegade Guardian. I don’t know what makes him a renegade. It’s never explained. Maybe it’s because he’s blown off the dress code.

Yup. He’s a renegade, for sure. Just look at his beady eyes. So where’s Hal Jordan? Well, he’s set up house in Loserville, population: him. Yup. Hal’s been divested of his ring and is no longer a member of the GL Corp.

Oh and there’s these guys. The Yellow Lanterns – who are causing merry hell on some planet somewhere. Sigh.

And somewhere in the book is  a Purple lantern. See if you can spot it.

Anyway, there you have it. The stage is set for an underdog story, a tale of redemption, a battle of determination and once again, I don’t care. Yes, this first issue was all about scene setting but there’s no substance here. For me Green Lantern has never deserved his own book. He’s just not strong enough. He works better as part of a team, like the JL or even the Corp itself. And for all the drama of Sinestro being back in the corp, believe me when I say that tension really isn’t carried through the book.

I’m gonna give this one a miss too. Seriously, this one is for the serious Green Lantern fans, the ones who watched the movie, who hated Kyle Rayner, who cried when Hal Jordan was declared an alcoholic and felt conflicted about Guy Gardner.  If that sounds like you, then please do enjoy it.

PS: the featured image for this article (the one on the front page) is from myconfinedspace.com. You can view it here (opens in new tab).

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4 Comments on “Lights Out: Green Lantern #1 & Red Lanterns #1”

  1. Neil Says:

    You were respectful in your disagreements with the books. I like R.L. more than G.L. but whatever floats your boat. p

    Reply

    • Amod Munga Says:

      Hey dude.
      Thanks for taking the time out to read and leave a comment.
      I gotta say I’m enjoying the GL characterization in the current Justice League set-up but I still can’t buy into a solo book.
      Can you give me some reasons as to why you like the RL books?
      It may change my mind. 🙂

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. DC 52′s: The Also-Rans… | What is this? I don't even... - September 20, 2011

    […] redeemable features whatsoever. Think Deadpool but with less gags and more attitude. This is what Red Lanterns #1 should have been. Get Deathstroke. It’s totally worth the price of […]

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