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Guy Gardner returns to Earth and gets a cold reception

Charles Soule continues his terrific run on Red Lanterns, earning high praise from fans for his ability to weave a fun and adventurous story with a set of anti-heroes who many, myself included, felt couldn’t hold a series of their own. Issue twenty seven continues their journey following the death of Ratchet in last month’s issue. While Bleez and Rankorr travel off to find out what has become of Ratchet’s power ring, Guy Gardner takes Skallox and Zilius Zox to Earth, and as one might expect, chaos and hilarity ensues.

This issue marks the debut of Guy’s new look, complete with longer hair and what many have dubbed a ’70’s porn mustache.  While Bleez and Rankorr spend little time onscreen their chemistry is fun to read as Bleez seems to barely tolerate him on the surface yet there’s an attraction there lurking below the surface. With the two of them pretty much out of the picture the lion’s share of the issue focuses on Guy’s reunion of sorts with Tora Olafsdotter, aka Ice. The two had a tumultuous relationship in the Justice League International days pre-Flashpoint and it’s good to see that some of those elements have survived the DC Comics relaunch.

Tora gives Guy the cold shoulder, literally.

Zox continues to provide the laughs

With Guy wanting to rekindle his relationship with Tora that leaves Skallox and Zilius Zox to explore the sites of Earth with a ring loaded set of Earth’s most beautiful locations to visit. Of course this is all lost on the two of them who find themselves underwhelmed at the natural beauty of our planet. Gardner’s desire that they stay out of trouble of course fails and soon the two alien Red Lanterns end up fighting tooth and nail with the new shadow thief.  Soule’s humor shines throughout the sequence but again the humor comes from an organic place and never comes off as detrimental to the natures of the characters.

The altercation leads to Guy making a promise of a non-violent resolution to prove to Tora that he’s turned over yet another new leaf, but as the issue comes to a close the scene shifts back to Bleez and Rankorr who find their former leader, Atrocitus, atop a new throne and ready to make his triumphant return.

Soule’s script keeps at a brisk pace but never feels rushed, and his handling of the Guy and Tora relationship shows a clear understanding of what’s come before and he provides a realistic approach to how these would likely interact after what they’ve been through. Alessandro Vitti and Jim Calafiore share art duty on the issue and their styles compliment each other very well, helped along by consistent coloring from Gabe Eltaeb.  While the art looks great for the most part I do feel that Tora lacks a degree of femininity, especially with the issue’s cover.

Red Lantern’s #27 is terrific read and once again Charles Soule has proven himself the right guy to helm this series.  Four out of five lanterns.

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