This review contains spoilers.
You know your eyes are in for a treat when you see Miguel Angel Sepulveda's name on the cover and, as usual, he never fails to disappoint. His illustrations combined with Rain Beredo's colors makes the highlight of this book the visuals (once again). The First Lantern appearing opens any issue to a whole new world of blindingly bright colors and vivid panels, and the art team here takes full advantage of this. The result is a staggeringly impressive looking issue. All of the characters look great, there's a few particularly creative panels (as you'll see, sometimes less is more) and overall it's without question the strongest reason to pick this issue up. And, I never thought it would be possible, but Bleez is legitimately frightening in a panel.
Personally, I've been letdown with Peter Milligan's direction for Atrocitus' team, but this tie-in gives him an opportunity to tell a fairly interesting and self-contained tale. Seeing how his life could have been wasn't by any measure an original concept, but it did indeed hold onto my attention and provide some rather bleak and emotional moments.
Sadly, this issue is weighed down with scattered dialogue that feels awkward and unnatural. For example, if you're a regular person and you find yourself face to face with a ridiculously scary looking Red Lantern, screaming and freaking out would be appropriate, yes? Rather than a natural reaction like that, the character seems to be more startled that Rankorr (who looks like a regular dude to her) knows Bleez. If there's a creature like that lurking in a room, I'm out and definitely not hanging around for a (brief) conversation about it. Additionally, I thought Atrocitus had a few silly reactions to the First Lantern's presentation.
I sincerely think DC came up with the idea of "WTF certified" after reading this cliffhanger. It's not the kind of twist that'll make you thrilled for the next issue. Instead, it'll make you scratch your head and possibly say out loud to yourself, "wait, what?" Have fun trying to accurately guess the reasoning behind this one!
At this point it's pretty much business as usual with this book. It looks great and, while the story isn't going to blow you away, it's certainly not terrible. If you've been enjoying the book thus far or want an Atrocitus focused story, odds are you'll have a decent time with this one... even if the ending is apparently all kinds of crazy.