Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Final Crisis Rage Of The Red Lanterns #1
Johns, Davis & Hope
I can’t explain what this has to do with Final Crisis because I’m not reading it and this issue really gave no indication that it was connected to it. What I can say is if you are a fan of Green Lantern or plan to read the Blackest Night arc next year then you must purchase this comic. It’s essential reading. It’s also an excellent story. It makes me wonder why Green Lantern wasted seven issues on the red lantern subject when this issue was really all that was needed. If you felt Secret Origin was a waste of time, fear not, this issue is absolutely not.
The issue opens with Atrocitus getting his red ring. It’s simple, but it is brilliant. He explains everything you need to know about him and his blight. It wraps up Secret Origin in two pages and gives an incredible visual as he seems to be baptized in blood. The art in this sequence is so graphic and powerful that it enhances the story ten fold. This is brilliant storytelling.
Next is the worst part of the comic. Hal is talking with his girlfriend, Cowgirl, and his brother Jim. It derails the flow of the story in an effort to anchor Jordan in a real life role. It’s unnecessary and left me scratching my head. Hal then seeks out Carol for advice and introduces the concept that will carry forth throughout the rest of the comic, which is the pros and cons of capital punishment. To me, this sequence could have and should taken place among the Lanterns. In fact, it would have been great if it was with Ganthet. But, again, the shoehorning of Hal’s “normal” life needs a stage and this is how it gets it.
The guardian known as Scar and her personal Lantern, Ash, get some page time in a very interesting turn of events. This needs to be read carefully and check the eyes when you read it.
Next we have Sinestro and Hal talking about the pending execution of Sinestro on his home planet. It’s interesting that Hal’s deeds were so dismissed because of the Parallax inside him, couldn’t Sinestro claim a similar thing? It’s obvious that Hal sides with Sinestro even though it’s not verbalized.
The remainder of the issue has the transportation of Sinestro run into some problems as a couple of other groups break out in a huge fight. Hal receives an interesting helping hand in the end and the war is basically erupting in this issue.
This comic brought the same level of excellence that we saw during the Sinestro war. It was as though no time had lapsed. It’s incredible that the Sinestro war has had legs for this long, but this comic is a reminder that there is still a lot of story left to tell from that war.
Another aspect of this comic that I loved was the art. Particularly in the character creations. The second half of the comic has new characters page after page. There is a small section in the comic where some red lanterns are introduced. It’s a quick part to the story but it just shows the thought and the creativity that has gone into this story. It’s very impressive. The art ratchets up its game when the battle begins. There is one double splash page with six panels at the bottom across that left me staring at it for about five minutes. Just incredible.
Well, I obviously endorse this comic. I think maybe the Sinestro Special that kicked off the first war may have been better, but barely. This is among the best comics I’ve read all year.
5 out of 5 geek goggles