Bleez believes she has taken control of the Red Lanterns while a brooding Atrocitus finds his original “children.”
Red Lanterns #7
A ship of former Sinestro Corps warriors are on the run to Sector 666. They have mutilated their hands to rid themselves of their yellow rings, but that doesn’t stop Bleez and her Red Lantern Corps from invading their ship and torturing, and ultimately killing, the refugees. Meanwhile, on Earth, Guy Gardner tries to calm down Rankorr, the new Red Lantern of Sector 2814. Gardner tells the Red Lantern that he knows what he’s going through and a Blue Lantern can cure him if he comes with him now. The Red Lantern escapes to Ryut. There, Atrocitus tries to find his missing trophy, the body of Krona. Instead, he finds his first incarnation of the Red Lantern Corps. They’ve used the flesh of Krona to give themselves bodies. They plan to kill all the current Red Lanterns and take back what they feel is theirs. When Atrocitus is distracted by the newest Lantern, he is run through by Abysmus and left for dead.
While this series has struggled to find its pacing and true voice, the last couple of issues appear to be trying to move toward some sort of plot. The last issue found Atrocitus dethroned by Bleez. We now see her carrying out some of her plans even if she hides some fear over Atrocitus returning to full power. She’s actually leading the Red Lanterns on some sort of mission even if it’s kind of short lived in the whole of the plot. The creation of Rankorr is somewhat interesting as we get an insight on the internal thought process of a newly formed Red Lantern in the mind and body of a relatively peaceful person. Obviously, the inclusion of Guy Gardner is clearly a classic crossover idea to bring a popular character into a new series to both connect their respective books in the world they share, and slightly cheap to have a new character take on an established one. You can pretty much take that or leave it.
What this book does introduce, that might be long overdue, is a true villain. The original Red Lanterns, calling themselves the Abysmorphs, adds the element this book has not had up to this point – a force that the stars of this series can unite around to defeat. For six issues, we’ve not really seen anything that really felt like a coherent plot. The Abysmorphs, might have the qualities to finally give these characters something to do instead of fighting with each other, scheming against one another, and internalizing their feelings about who they are and what they do. Is it perfect? Not really. Is it a little too late? Maybe. Either way, this series might finally have the stepping stones it needs to take this villain book, for all intents and purposes, and have them square off against a threat that is even more villainous and problematic.
The book does get the advantage of having some nice art. The fighting between Gardner and Rankorr was somewhat generic in form. The real cool aspect to the art is the chance to see mostly aliens and monsters. It’s got a nice range of character visuals that gives you a chance to pause and take a look at everything Ed Benes and Diego Bernard lays out for you. Abysmus and the Abysmorphs are gross enough to be cool and appealing as rejected agents and grotesque abortions of Red Lanterns to find some interest in their mostly skinless forms.
Ultimately, I’ve liked these last two issues a little more than the few before them, but it’s hard to imagine what the future of this book really is. Peter Milligan can get the job done, but he’s missing more than he’s hitting here. I can kind of see what he wanted to do with this book, but it’s not quite where it needs to be.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The Abysmorphs are a cool visual thanks to Benes and Bernard. With them, Milligan might be starting to form a cohesive plot to give these characters something to do.||Editorial error of swapping word balloons in the Gardner/Rankorr fight that smacks of this book being ignored even by DC. The plot, if it forms, still stands a better chance of falling flat than succeeding.|
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