Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns Review
Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns Review by Armeka Jackson
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Shane Davis
There's something really great about seeing Geoff Johns writing Green Lantern, and DC has been smart to keep him on it for so long. Of all the characters he's written, he seems to understand the GL Corps and its members better than any other (which is saying a lot, since he's doing wonderful work with Superman and the Justice Society of America). Starting with Hal Jordan's Rebirth back in 2004, John's influence on the Green Lantern can be compared to Frank Miller's influence on Batman in the late 80s. And like Miller with Batman: Year One, Johns has just wrapped up a brand new origin for Hal Jordan, paving the way for The Blackest Night. But before we meet the Black Lanterns, there's other Corps to meet, and the Red Lanterns are first in line.
The red Power rings are fueled by pure undying rage, and have the ability to create fire in space. The first Red Lantern is Atrocitus, who in Geoff Johns' new Hal Jordan origin tale, is the alien criminal being transported by Abin Sur when he crashed on Earth and gave his ring to Hal Jordan. Along with Atrocitus, GL readers will remember Laira, the former Green Lantern who was thought to be killed by Hal Jordan back when he was Parallax. Found to be alive many years later, she rejoined the Corps but was chastised and banned for killing Yellow Lantern Amon Sur. While being transported back to her home planet, a red power ring attacked her ship and chose the curvy blue alien as its bearer, making her the second person to become a Red Lantern.
Hal Jordan gets the notice that he will assist in the transportation of Sinestro to his home planet of Korugar, where the leader of the Yellow Lanterns will be executed, in accordance the Guardian's new rule that killing is acceptable when necessary. He says goodbye to Carol Ferris and Cowgirl, the past and present loves of his life, coming to terms that the Corps have taken a path that there is no coming back from. Though Jordan is not fully comfortable with this new law, he acknowledges that Sinestro, once his mentor and friend, has done more than enough to deserve the death penalty.
Artist Shane Davis continues with longtime Green Lantern artist Ethan Van Sciver's epic scope for outer space, which means some great-looking double page spreads and weird, wonderful alien creatures for ach Corps. Though Davis doesn't quite reach the impossible bar raised by Sciver, we see nifty designs that have been a highlight of any Green Lantern issue. It must be a DC artist's great pleasure to illustrate the Green Lantern Corps. With its diverse characters and epic space battles, it's a good book to let the creativity run free. Check out Davis' blood-spitting Red Lanterns Corps, with members raging from demonic females to a blue evil housecat.
If there's a downside to the issue, it's that there's no real “Holy $%#!” moment as there was with the introduction to the Sinestro Corps, specifically the return of the Parallax and the Anti-Monitor. Readers already know that new Lanterns in different colors will emerge in time for "The Blackest Night", the true sequel to the Sinestro Corps War, so this issue is basically the first adventure for characters we've been hearing about for almost a year. Still, it's an entertaining one, feeling more like another great Green Lantern issue then a Final Crisis tie-in.