It’s no secret that I’ve felt that Red Lanterns has been a bit of a let down and I’ve made it a point to try to let it stand on its own merits and not color my opinion with my own preconceived notion of what the title should be by focusing on what it is. I really felt that issue 7 was a step in the right direction and that the book had finally found a focus with the arrival of Rankorr and a brewing civil war. Issue 8 adds another plot to the mix which could render the civil war a meaningless affair as the ghosts of Atrocitus’ past comes back to haunt him in a most volatile way.
|Abysmus provides a change to how we might view Atrocitus and the formation of the Red Lanterns|
Before he can remove the spike which impaled the leader of the Red Lanterns Zilius Zox arrives with reinforcements under the presumption that Rankorr is one of Bleez’s agents. The rising plague manifests itself in Atrocitus and some of his Corps leading Zox to attack Rankorr and pushing him further over the brink.
|Jack Moore’s descent continues to be the high point of the series|
There are a few interesting reveals with this issue with one being the reference to Iroque. Way back in Green Lantern #47 in 2009 I wondered whether Indigo-1 was the child on the ship that Abin rescued in Alan Moore’s “Tygers” short story and my hunch may not have been too far off base after all. The notion that someone dug up Abysmus is an interesting plot point as well and one has to wonder if this was an attempt to distract Atrocitus by an unknowing Bleez who may find herself a victim of her own treachery.
|A link in the connection between Abin Sur and the Indigo Tribe|
While I liked the sense that we had (finally) gotten this red ship set on a specific course I finished this issue with the feeling that writer Peter Milligan has once again failed to provide a focus for the series. Rather than elaborate on Bleez and the civil war that would have served as the main thrust to propel the book instead we have another plot thrown into the mix. I find myself in that familiar place of feeling like I’m at an all you can eat buffet with so many things in front of me that no matter how much I might think I like the variety of the courses I’m left unsatisfied by the mediocrity of it all rather than having one stellar meal I can consume and walk away from the table feeling satisfied.
The Art –
With Ed Benes taking a break before his last issue next month the art for this issue is by Andres Guinaldo and Jorge Jimenez. While the artwork was serviceable I was a bit disappointed by the lack of detail and background work on nearly every panel that took place on Ysmault. This issue featured one of my biggest coloring pet peeves as well with Guy Gardner’s boot being white rather than green. The art isn’t horrible, but it’s just average enough to not elevate the book in any way.
What Do I Think?
After eight issues I’m still struggling to find the enjoyment with Red Lanterns that I do with other books. I really do want to love this series but I find that I’m really only reading out of wanting to keep tabs on the Red Lanterns between their appearances in the rest of the DC Universe. Despite a couple of pieces of new information this issue is just average at best. Three out of five lanterns.