This week marked the sixth issue of the Red Lanterns debut run, and issue number six dredges through the plot just as slowly as the first five. Overall, the Red Lanterns premise seems promising and full of potential, but thus far the execution has been slow to fruition. Readers following the rage of the Red Lantern Corps should be privy to gruesome action scenes filled with blood, gore, and revenge as they tromp across the universe, yet it seems as if the Red Lanterns prefer to hangout on Ysmault to converse about mutiny and conspiracy.
The issue begins with Jack Moore irking as his body undergoes the transformation into a Red Lantern. After watching his brother being beaten to death by the police, years of rage being continuously buried finally bubbles to the surface. Jack fights the change at first seemingly retaining a bit of himself as the rage washes over him. However, even though his inner monologue is coherent his speech is just as unintelligible as the other mindless Red Lanterns who haven’t relived their trauma in the blood oceans of Ysmault.
As Jack’s mind looses control to flashbacks of his troubled youth, the sudden realization that his family is dead, and the trauma brought on by the red ring Atrocitus is grappling with mutiny on Ysmault. Atrocitus tries to hold his own against Bleez’s mutiny, but it appears as if his influence has already somewhat dissipated and the Red Lanterns Corps has already begun to divide.
The issue concludes with Jack Moore hotheadedly chasing after his grandfather’s killer after reliving a conversation with his brother about the murder of their grandfather. He quickly tracks down his prey and proceeds to tear into an armored truck. At the precipice of Jack’s rage Guy Gardner steps into frame and tells Jack, “That’s enough.” The tag for the next issue reads, “Green Lantern vs. Red Lantern,” which is by far the most intriguing promo that the Red Lantern has had thus far.
All-in-all, pencilers Ed Benes and Diego Bernard create solid artwork for the issue. Nothing to write home about, but not amateurish by any means. Peter Milligan’s plot seems stagnant at this point. Most of DC’s new 52 have wrapped up their first story arc, but the Red Lanterns run really hasn’t expanded on any of its groundwork that was originally laid out in the first couple of issues.
If you are a Green Lantern aficionado and can’t live without reading every incarnation, then this issue will fit nicely into your collection; however, for the rest of us this one should stay on the back-burner until a new writing team rotates onto the scene, or Milligan decides to tell us a story.