Comic Vine Review

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Red Lanterns #26 - Red. Dead. Review

4

The Red Lanterns charge right at their first major roadblock the only way they know how: head-on.

The Good

When we last left our intrepid, red avengers, they’d just walked into a carefully executed trap and now they find themselves at the mercy of a tyrannical king using the most unlikely of weapons: a beam that causes the victim to become placid and content. Since the Reds are fueled by their rage, this renders them effectively harmless and unable to fight. Charles Soule has a real knack for writing very serious characters with just enough wit to keep them interesting without sacrificing the sincerity at their hearts (no pun intended) and unlike his work on Thunderbolts, there’s nothing satirical going on here, just good, old-fashioned characterization with a dash of wit to give the characters some verve. And verve is certainly what was missing from the first several issues of this series. The Atrocitus sub-plot also finally shows signs of bearing fruit and only occupies a few pages in the issue. We also get a shockingly dramatic moment with some incredible emotional content.

Jim Calafiore’s linework is solid, rendering this bizarre, diverse cast with thick, smooth lines that bring plenty of definition, but physical and emotional, to the proceedings and Gabe Eltaeb is, as always, at the top of his coloring game on this, a book that definitely needs a strong hand to color it. This issue is definitely heavy on the action and the artists to a great job of keeping it fluid, which is all the more amazing for how prodigious and defined the linework is. It could come off as stiff or overly posed, but rarely does.

The Bad

There are still small pieces of this issue that don’t make a great deal of sense to me. How the villain that sprung the trap on the Reds survived isn't really answered and the storyline also wraps up just a little too quickly and neatly and I wouldn’t have minded seeing this go on for another issue. This is especially true of the B-plot, and while I’m happy to see it finally payoff, it happened just as abruptly, especially after the introduction of what seemed like it would be a very significant character. Both storylines, while still entertaining, felt a little more like wheel-spinning that would have fit in better before Lights Out when we were still getting to know Guy Gardner's leadership style.

The Verdict

The award for Most Turned Around Book in 2013 (not a real award) goes to Red Lanterns, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not sure how it happened, but a book about a bunch of outer space monsters that vomit acidic blood on their enemies became rote and dull. Ordinarily I don’t like shoehorning humans into alien stories (it feels like a cheap way to get someone the audience can identify with), particularly as this book already had one of those, but the combination of Charles Soule and Guy Gardner seems to be just what the book needed. This storyline may not have been the most epic or groundbreaking, but it set a great foundation for what the tone and tenor of this book can be.

13 Comments
Edited by Ando123

THis comic is crazy awesome¡

Posted by timelord

Poor ratchet the one thing I don't get is he said his rage was fading but I thought you died when the red ring came of? I thought the only way to be cured was by a blue lantern?

Otherwise good issue and good review Coery

Posted by kilomac29

The dialogue in this book is just outstanding. Even after reading his "How I do it" post, I'm still not sure how he gets it all done. However, I am ready to get the Atrocitus storyline rolling.

Posted by NarrowGhost

@timelord: you are right, but ratchet said that since he had been with guy gardner and crew he had sensed that his rage was beginning to fade because he finally found a family that he had always longed for. So he told Guy about the enemy so he could make his time as a red lantern mean something.. This issue was very well written..

Posted by G_leno

I really like this book, but I just can't get in to Rankorr. I like the idea of him, being English and fairly reserved, I found it easy to relate to him, but he's not really done anything notable for a long time. I don't know if its just Guy being the star and him getting pushed to the sidelines or what. I've not read this issue yet so if its all about Rankorr just tell me im in for a treat.

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Posted by LightningTiger2190

So Atrocitus has finally gone full villain huhf

Posted by AverageInsanity

This is a fun book. With a wide variety of interesting characters.

Posted by Mezmero

Totally digging the new direction of this book. Not so much all of the Atrocitus side story though it's sure to get better upon his return to the main plot. I'm really curious what ability the Reds will inherit when they bathe in Ratchet's blood. Brain tentacles for everybody!

Edited by ArturoCalaKayVee

Once again, Charles Soule kills it. This man is going to become a modern day legend. Ever since the creative changes in the GL world this book has become my favorite of the GL books.

Posted by CantDance93

Poor Ratchet, but he was my least favourite, can't really relate to a space squid, imo. Either way i'm looking forward to the next issue, I wanna see Atrorocitus get his ass kicked again XD