Hell hath no fury like a Red Lantern Supergirl scorned
Supergirl scribe Tony Bedard told Newsarama that Supergirl’s time as a Red Lantern is a chance for the character to grow as she learns that dealing with her pain with rage is not her best choice. There’s little doubt that this is not a long lasting change in her status, but while she’s got the ring and comes to terms with her inner demons we readers have the great benefit of the opportunities it presents both Bedard and Red Lanterns writer Charles Soule. Red Lanterns #29 is the first step in Kara’s journey where she learns more about her new status quo than she probably wants to, leading Guy Gardner to call on Superman.
Supergirl finds herself a welcome member of the Red Lanterns
Soule continues to show his strength in balancing what could easily be one note characters and turning out scripts which have a great deal of balance to them. Skallox and Zilius Zox provide much of the fuel for the light hearted moments, particularly in the opening third of the issue as they bring Supergirl into the fold, testing her mettle and seeing a glimpse of why a Kryptonian Red Lantern isn’t such a good idea before adjourning to the bar. Alessandro Vitti puts in a few visual bits to add some levity to the moments as well, alluding to the dislike that the Red Lanterns have for Dex-Starr with some great signage in the bar.
But when Supergirl is about to imbibe it’s Guy Gardner who puts a stop to Kara’s initiation, with their interaction leading to Guy taking the Red Lanterns to Earth so he can appeal to Superman to help him deal with Kara. Like so many people that Supergirl is angry with, Guy underestimates Kara’s intelligence and when she interrupts the conversation and discovers the cost associated with being a Red Lantern for life her rage is reborn. I haven’t read enough of Superman in the New 52 to know how well he’s written here, but he does seem true to the character as I believe he might after the reboot.
Superman decides it’s time for some tough love
Superman’s interactions with his cousin take center stage for the rest of the issue with Superman ultimately deciding that being a Red Lantern for the foreseeable future might be what Kara needs despite his concern that she will ultimately surrender herself completely to her rage. While we all know that’s not going to happen, seeing Superman let her go so that she can become her own person still carries some dramatic weight. Regardless of the obvious destination this is a journey that can and will most likely be a great story.
Atrocitus’ return and the status of both Bleez and Rankorr are forgotten this issue until the last couple of pages when we are given a jarring reminder of violent nature of the Red Lantern’s return. With Kara on the team now I am really looking forward to seeing where loyalties fall when Atrocitus is reunited with his former followers. Guy Gardner has been a catalyst for the positive direction that Red Lanterns has been taking since Soule and Vitti took over the series and I’m really interested in seeing how the creative team injects Atrocitus back in the title as he returns as a major player in this series. Four out of five lanterns.