Red Lanterns #2
Written by Peter Milligan
Art and cover by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter
Review by Bobby Shortle
Last month’s issue of Red Lanterns was short on character development and devoid of dynamic emotional range. Issue # 2 “Pure Rage” , although still not great, is a marked improvement from it’s predecessor in almost every way. The framing device of this issue is the Red Lantern Corps search for beings with perfect moments of rage. The location that Atrocitus (our anti-hero) chooses to focus on is a planet that’s self perpetuating cycle of violence. It’s a place where innocents are caught in the crossfire of ancient disputes. This not so subtle, (nothing is subtle about Red Lanterns), allegory to our planet’s Middle East is actually an effective story device for creating empathy for characters we do not know.
Writer Peter Milligan has also managed to address a lot of my issues with Red Lantern leader Atrocitus. He’s still full of rage but he is also a thinking being. I’m no longer watching a monster tear apart a universe. What I am now seeing is a being of great power question his purpose and that’s interesting. The book raises quandaries about the notions of revenge, death and living. But most of all it tackles the idea of blind unthinking anger. Which it seems is a rather important tenant of the Red Lantern world.
My main gripe with this issue is that it still feels like I’m supposed to know things I don’t. I can feel the writer playing off a mythology I don’t know and an ethos I haven’t yet learned. Atrocitus as a character still plays like someone you are supposed to have respect and awe for. But none of that has been earned in the first issue and is only beginning to be hinted at here. I actually wish this was an anthology series about different in justices throughout the DCU instead of a study of a two dimensional character.
Skip It – This is better than issue one and it raises some interesting points but there are still many more books worth your time. Though, if you have an affinity for Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns it may be up your alley.