Part two of the shared Green Lantern #28 flip book is Red Lanterns #28 where Charles Soule is tasked with juggling the conclusion to Guy’s trip to Earth in Red Lanterns #27, Atrocitus’ confrontation with Rankorr and Bleeze and a raging Supergirl Red Lantern. Soule does a pretty good job without dropping a ball, however having so much on the agenda for this issue caused the reunion of Guy Gardner and Ice to fall a little flat, although Alessandro Vitti’s pencils do an admirable job of adding the emotional weight that Soule’s script could not. Ice’s decision not to rekindle a relationship with Gardner needed a bit more time to percolate and is an unfortunate victim to the need to get Guy back to Ysmault in time to meet up with Hal Jordan.
Guy and Hal hash out the details of their agreement
That aside this issue has the trademark balance of action and humor that Red Lanterns is becoming known for. Zilius Zox bears most of the weight in that department and his obsession with all things globular provide several lighthearted moments, especially upon running into B’ox, his prismatic opposite. Soule’s script also hits the right notes between Guy and Hal with the two of them trading barbs in front of their respective troops while sharing some more sincere words once they get to drop their assigned roles and can be two old friends again while they wait for Kara to come to some sense at the bottom of the blood ocean. The two come to an understanding about Sector 2814 with Hal conceding the space to Guy so long as Simon Baz can remain on Earth and Guy watches out for the ones that Hal loves.
Atrocitus’ return has dire consequences for Bleez and Rankorr as the one time leader of the Red Lantern Corps takes them to task for standing idly by while Guy Gardner beat the blood out of him back in issue twenty one. Atrocitus has his own friend Dex-Starr at this side as well as a new pet, Klarn, who cannot only absorb the energy of the Red Lanterns, but can relaunch back as an offensive weapon as well. While I think the book is better off without Atrocitus in it I find it hard to ignore his presence so long as he remains alive, but the payoff will come at some point when Atrocitus and Guy Gardner face off once again. When it happens it will be interesting to see if the time spent with Gardner have softened the edges on the Red Lanterns.
Hell hath no fury like an Atrocitus scorned
Bleez and Rankorr have some good moments in their battle with Dex-Starr and Soule does well at playing off of Bleez’s lack of trust and the lesson Rankorr has learned from the dearly departed Ratchet. Should the human Red Lantern survive his one on one with Atrocitus I can see where the two could have quite a reunion.
Alessandro Vitti does a wonderful job throughout this issue, from Dex-Starr’s tiger construct to his humorous deformation of Zilius Zox’s giant mug at the hands of the Shadow Thief. Hal Jordan looks better here than in his own book, with a far more masculine body shape and more rugged facial features.
Red Lanterns #28 continues a good run of form for Charles Soule and Alessandro Vitti – it’s no wonder than many fans now consider this title their favorite in the Green Lantern family of books. Four out of five lanterns.