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Red Lanterns #1

September 23, 2011

Title: With Blood and Rage

Writer: Peter Milligan
Ed Benes
Rob Hunter
Nathan Eyring
Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Artist:
Ed Benes
Brian Cunningham
DC Comics

Want to know how to piss off the nastiest of the Red Lanterns? Pick on his cat. After helping Dex-Starr take care of a few foolish aliens, Atrocitus returns to Ysmault to meet with the rest of his Red Lanterns. But things aren’t as usual for the angry warrior – Atrocitus may actually be losing his rage. On Earth, meanwhile, we check in on a man whose rage – justifiably – is beginning to build. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this series. Would it be a villain title, would it be a sort of cosmic Punisher? As it turns out, it’s not really either. The Red Lanterns have played the antagonist role in the past, but even before the New 52 relaunch, it was difficult to classify them as villains. Sure, they’re driven by anger, but in many cases, we see that it’s anger that is deserved and focused on a target that isn’t exactly innocent. This book shows a different side too Atrocitus, hints at an expansion of the Red Lantern Corps, and actually has a surprising amount of humor in it. All of this combined makes for a very entertaining read.

Ed Benes is doing good art here for the most part. His aliens look cool, and he’s definitely got the chops for the violence and blood a title of this nature demands. He still, however, keeps up his anatomically impossible depictions of the more humanoid women, Bleez in particular, who somehow manages to bend in such a way that you can see both her full chest and posterior in the same panel. (I know she’s an alien, but there’s truly nothing about her skeletal structure that would indicate such a thing is even possible, let alone comfortable).

It’s a solid first issue, and I’m willing to go along for the ride.

Rating: 8/10

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