Meet Rankorr, the first human to become a full fledged Red Lantern (sort of).
Red Lanterns #6
Jack Moore just watched the police beat his brother, Raymond, to death. For the first time in his life, Jack has succumbed to the rage he’s spent all his life burying. The red ring of the Red Lanterns has found him and transformed him into Rankorr. As Jack tries to figure out what is happening to him, Atrocitus continues his violent interrogation of Bleez who he suspects has stolen the body of his most hated foe, Krona. The other Red Lanterns rise up to protect Bleez and that’s when Atrocitus realizes he’s lost the control over his Lanterns he once had complete domination over. Back on Earth, Rankorr has picked up the trail of Baxter, the man who killed his grandfather and, by extension, his brother. Just as he delivers the deathblow to exact his revenge, he’s met by Green Lantern Guy Gardner.
I have some mixed emotions on this book. Generally speaking, it’s not a bad book. In fact, the creation of Rankorr and Jack Moore’s inner confrontation was more interesting than I originally thought it was going to be. I like that on the outside, he’s a fire barfing monster, but on the inside, he’s retaining some of his intelligence. Is this something that will deteriorate or will it be a quirk of a human becoming a Red Lantern? Visually, Ed Benes and Diego Bernard is doing a good job. I usually find this book to be more visually appealing than narratively interesting.
And therein lies the problem. There has been six issues of Red Lanterns to date and while Peter Milligan has done his best to infuse the thought processes of a Red Lantern with their burning hatred, in the end, I have to wonder if this was simply just not strong enough of an idea. I’ll be the first to admit that I saw a lot of promise in what essentially is a “villain book”. The Red Lanterns in the previous incarnation of the DCU leading up to Blackest Night were my favorite of the different, newly created corps. On a visual level, they were the coolest and far more monstrous than the Sinestro Corp. The rage they used as fuel was about as interesting a concept as the Blue Lantern’s overly spiritual power.
All that being said, this series isn’t quite a dud, it’s just simply not living up to the standards any fan of the Green Lantern corner of DC would have expected. I’m not at all blaming Milligan. He’s a great writer (in fact, he’s downright brilliant on Justice League Dark), but he can really only do so much. Maybe if we had 20 years of continuity and appearances to drawn from, this series could have had a greater impact than it has. Perhaps this young group of ring slingers just aren’t there yet.
If this series can find its legs and start telling stories that are a little more plot driven than character/conflict driven, then there might still be hope. These monsters are really cosmic versions of the Punisher. They see injustice, and they mete out swift and brutal retribution. That’s all well and good, but we’re not seeing it. I want to see this group doing what they were bred to do. I don’t want to see this series get canceled or switched over to another color before then.
If nothing else, I’m hanging on by a thread hoping we will see that before they are replaced by a third wave New 52 book takes its place.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Art is still the strong. Some interesting things are rising to the surface.||The rise of these interesting threads are about the opposite of meteoric as it can get. Perhaps the Red Lanterns are quite ready for primetime yet.|
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