By The Mighty Monarch 2 Comments
Today I nearly caught up in Red Lanterns, a series I was largely losing sight of the point, due to the overly drawn out first few issues. I don't have a problem with slow burn storytelling IF DONE RIGHT, but Red Lanterns hasn't thus far. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to talk about the changes happening in DC's cosmic stories. Namely, the impending rebirth of the Red Lantern Corps and the Yellow Lantern Corps.
[Spoilers for #1-8 of Green Lantern, Green Lantern: New Guardians, and Red Lanterns will be present.]
As you should know at this point, Sinestro has abandoned his former corps for his previous former corps. He established the so called 'Sinestro Corps' as the 'second' in the emotional spectrum. As we later found out, the Indigo Lantern Corps and the Orange Lantern Corps had been around much longer, with the Red Lantern Corps, Blue Lantern Corps, and Violet Lantern Corps to soon follow; Red and Blue rising from nothing as Sinestro's did, and Violet awakening from a previously seemingly unrelated source, the Star Sapphires.
What always made the Sinestro Corps stand out was that it was the SINESTRO CORPS. Sure the members were called 'Yellow Lanterns' but they were never called the 'Yellow Lantern Corps. Sure the Indigo Lanterns are sometimes known as the Indigo Tribe, but that's much more of a semantic difference, AND the current Green Lantern arc might be leading into a similar rebirth for them to align with the rest. Why was the Sinestro Corps so special to have this different name? The answer, is that it was founded by one man's ego. The Green Lanterns were created to establish order. The Blue Lanterns were created to fill out the spectrum and spread hope. The Violet Lanterns were created to spread the joy of love. The Indigo Lanterns.... well we don't know enough there. Sure the Orange Lantern Corps was founded on greed, as is it's sole purpose, but it was not fueled by egotistical desires, merely greedy ones. Orange defined Larfleeze, not the other way around. But Sinestro founded the Yellow Lanterns as part of his long term plan, and he hadn't completely thought about what to do once he had succeeded, it's why he lost sight and devolved into more of a full on villain leading a corps of fear atop a throne with nary a direction or purpose. It's why his rejoining the Green Lantern Corps, inspired by Hal's show of Will in the face of adversity reminding him why he started the Yellow Corps in the first place, makes perfect sense.
But this doesn't change the fact that Yellow was defined by one man, Sinestro. Thus it created an imbalance, an impurity. Arkillo was given a true Yellow Ring by The Weaponer. Where Sinestro's rings are full of countermeasures for his own sake, Arkillo's ring is more like the other corps'. Concentrated essence of the spectrum it represents. Sure he could fight Sinestro to take control of the corps, but that would be cliche and boring. Sinestro already did that with Mongul anyways. And the Sinestro Battery is shut off, and still filled with tricks and traps that make it belong eternally to Sinestro. Arkillo is also inspired by his friendship with St. Walker. Arkillo, and possibly the Weaponer, are now in a position to create a new Yellow Lantern Corps, one that is TRULY a YELLOW LANTERN CORPS, free from the ego of one man's specific drive. A purity that the rest of the corps have, but Sinestro's didn't. Well.... all but one of the rest of the corps...
Because, despite not having an egotistical name, the Red Lantern Corps fell into the same trap. There's been a lot of criticism of Milligan's attempts to remove the blind savagery of the Red Lanterns, but recent issues are making it appear that it was in Johns' bigger plans all along; and Milligan just didn't handle it well at first. The human Red Lantern, Jack Moore (I REFUSE to call him Rankorr because nobody's used that name, and it doesn't really come from anywhere yet.) is displaying an intelligence alongside rage. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much sense it made. Why are the Red Lanterns drooling mindless savages? Their counterpart on the spectrum, the Violet Lantern Corps, aren't mindless drooling romance/sex machines. Its the Orange and Indigo pairing that seems to be the most controlled by their color. Jack Moore displays a level of rage that is directly proportionate to the love most Violet Lanterns portray. Red Lanterns rarely used constructs, but we know they have the capacity for them; so why aren't they part of an average Red Lantern's powerset? Why do only elite intelligent Red Lanterns have this ability? And then I remembered how much Atrocitus built his corps on his own vendetta. Sure, a personal vendetta is good rage for fuel, but it's far too personal to retain the purity the rest of the corps have. Just like Sinestro, Atrocitus' ego led him to channel too much of his own self into his corps, instead of making it with rage alone. But Milligan has provided a clever fix. Krona may not be resurrected, but a failed experiment, a reminder of what his personal influence created when attempting the Red Lantern Corps, has resurfaced wearing Krona's skin, and attaining some of his powers. This is, as Atrocitus puts it, the closest he's ever going to get to killing Krona himself, and he relishes the opportunity. Furthermore, Abysmus, the being wearing Krona's skin, has poisoned the Central Power Batter for the Red Lantern Corps. Thus, once Atrocitus kills his Krona proxy, he'll need to rebuild his corps. And he'll be focused again, having conquered his rage. He'll no longer have his personal vendetta to over-channel into the essence of the corps, he'll have the pure rage by itself. And he has the model for the new Red Lantern Corps standing before him, Jack Moore.
The Indigo Corps with their creepy brainwashing, slightly different than usual name, and seeming entirely 'Blackest Night' fueled creation motivation; leads me to believe the current Green Lantern arc is setting up a similar rebirth for them. I can't be entirely sure on that one though; but the Yellow Lantern Corps and Red Lantern Corps are both undergoing trials of destruction to rise from the ashes with a greater purity to the essence of the color they represent in the emotional spectrum; and I think that's brilliant, and at least worth noting as we wait to see how Geoff Johns' perfectly planned massive cosmic saga continues to unfold.
[In the wake of Green Lantern #9, an analysis of the Indigo Tribe's clear slot as the Third corps to undergo a Pheonix transformation, and the uncertain possibility of the Blue Lantern Corps as the fourth, will be added later in the day.]