Peter Milligan is out and Charles Soule is in, a writer who is becoming one heck of a workhorse nowadays with all of the projects he is taking on. Does he have what it takes to make this mediocre title something? Is it good?
Red Lanterns #21 (DC Comics)
After every conflict and war they have been dragged into, the Red Lanterns are really low on members and low in power as well. Atrocitus decides it is time to rebuild their forces so they can begin working on a new plan. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan recruits Guy Gardner for a special, undercover mission into the Red Lanterns themselves to see what they are planning and what challenges the Green Lanterns face from them. This sudden urgency is mostly because their last way of checking in on the Reds has stopped working in a rather bloody fashion.
Listening device? I’m pretty sure that’s just a very nasty parasite infection. He probably thank you if he wasn’t already dead.
Red Lanterns has traditionally been a very meh title. Never really bad, but never really all that good either with its slow pacing and lackluster characters (most of time at least). However, Soule managed to do a complete 180 on this title in almost every way. He introduces all the characters at an admirable pace, the focus for the story, good characterization for Guy Gardner with his inner thoughts about his new assignment, a clear direction for where this title will be heading, and great dialogue exchanges between everyone. It’s all mostly setup but it’s good setup and helps get you into the story.
Damn it, Atrocitus is way too genre savvy.
The art on the comic is probably the weakest point. It’s not that it’s bad or anything, it’s just not nearly as good as the story. It’s extremely heavy on the inking, which works well in some parts to make some characters more intimidating, but in other parts its overdone. The worlds and characters are drawn well, but everyone seems to have small faces and the facial expressions are rather limited, with Atrocitus being a rather bad example. The coloring also feels flat in some parts. None of this ruins the comic, but it’s not making it any better.
- The writing is very strong.
- A new and far more interesting direction for the title.
- The artwork could use a bit more refinement.
- Not a lot happens.
- A bit wordy from time to time.
Is It Good?
It definitely is. Despite some of the artwork, Red Lanterns is definitely a solid read and a promising new start and direction for the title. If the comic didn’t work for you before in the past, it’s definitely time now to return to it and give it another shot.