By: Matthew Rapier
It’s fitting that on the day I decide to sit down and review Red Lanterns #1, I hurt my foot while kicking a machine out of anger at work. I read the issue again after my explosive episode and found myself relating much closer to the material than I had during the first reading. If there is one comic out of the relaunch that has a relatable quality to anyone who picks it up, it has to be the book with rage as the selling point.
As some heinous aliens open the issue torturing a half-naked being, we are greeted with a two page splash of Dex-Starr flying through space on his way to make these vile creatures pay for their sadism. I confess myself a cat lover so when Dex-Starr, the cute kitten with blood-fire spewing from its mouth, was introduced a special spot opened up in my heart for this particular Corps and it’s quite a treat to see Ed Benes bring him to life in the spread.
Atrocitus is introduced to rescue Dex-Starr from the grips of the alien beasts and back on Ysmault he seems to be loosing control over his followers. A good sign of writing for the new readers gives us a quick insight into Atrocitus’ past and how be came to be the violent creature as the star of the book. He still feels disdain for Hal Jordan killing Krona, believing he should’ve been the one to end the fallen guardians existence. He reaches into Krona’s chest noting that it’s odd a dead being still bleeds and offers a blood sacrifice to the universe which gives him visions of the future, sure to be foreshadowing coming events in the DCnU.
Peter Milligan does a terrific job of setting up Atrocitus to new readers while moving the character forward into the events for the future of this book. He digs deep into the psyche of the rage filled monster to find what gives him reason to search for vengeance towards the transgressions committed against his world. As for the art, Ed Benes is the perfect fit for this book. His previous body of work is impressive in its own right, but when rage is at the forefront of the story the skill he possesses shines through like a beacon. The writing and art compliment each other so well, maybe more so than any of the other new titles yet.
With relatable themes, fantastic art, and writing that services new readers, you owe it to yourself to at least try the first issue. It has an addictive quality that has me on board for the future.
Overall Grade: 8/10