Unlike some of the other bloggers here I’m actually a fan of the different spectrum rings. Granted, I never got to reading anything that dealt with them besides Blackest Night, but still I was a fan of the concept. I thought it was a nice balance and added a bit more to the Green and Yellow Lanterns, and to me at least the concept made sense. Still when I saw Red Lanterns were getting their own book, I thought it was a bad idea for though I like the concept of other corps, I don’t think the other rings (save perhaps Sinestro Corps due primarily to their leader’s history with the Green Lanterns) had enough going for it to warrant their own series. This issue did nothing to change my view of that.
It starts out with Dex-Starr getting attacked by some aliens who solely try to make things suffer for whatever unknown reason and Atrocitus appears to save him with the great and powerful line of “What are you doing to my cat?” During this issue we get a lot of inner monologue from Atrocitus. As he fights to save Dex-Starr, we see that his rage is weakening and he’s wondering why he simply is “going through the motions”. He shows a lot of caring for Dex-Starr and a great ability to think which seems beyond the capabilities of other Lanterns who work almost purely on rage. He ponders his place in life and being a Red Lantern to get back at least some of his rage, and this is basically where we get his origin story tossed in. After that, Atrocitus basically vows he (and maybe his corps) will basically punish those he deems as evil.
During the story we constantly are brought back to Earth as well. Seeing an old man get mugged and murdered, and later two of his grandchildren that he raised get in a fight with one another. Or rather one of them just decking the other because he was late showing up to the hospital as he had to turn in a term paper. I really hope this side story leads to that one grandchild getting a ring in the next issue, for as it stands with him not getting one this little side story currently feels like a complete waste of time and pure filler. I am assuming it does have that point and that we will see the kid get a ring, but I think Milligan was an idiot for not doing it in this issue.
As it stands, this issue was mainly filled with
Red Lanterns spewing blood I mean mostly pointless action, getting history on the main character Atrocitus, and some side story that I’m guessing will be the start of a new Red Lantern. So I will state that I can see some people possibly enjoying this and that it did contain the basics in what you’d expect for a starting issue and even had nice art. But to me at least, I felt that reading it was a waste of time and that the cash I put towards the issue was also wasted. This is because the extreme measures to humanize Atrocitus for one pulls him away from what I so far away from what I have thought Red Lanterns were suppose to be and that in general the story concept behind this just feels lacking. I may decide in a month to give the second issue a shot, but right now I doubt I will.