Thursday, August 27, 2009

Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Mike McKone and Shane Davis

The Sinestro Corps war is over, and the leader, Sinestro, has been captured and imprisoned on Oa. But changes have been happening in the Guardian Corps. Ten new laws have been created, one of which advocates the use of lethal force on occasion, And thanks to that, Sinestro is now on their Death Row.

Meanwhile, the Corps is dealing with the death of so many of its members, but on a far-away planet, a being named Atrocitus is rising, and he has discovered the Red Lantern Battery, and its power of rage. He becomes the first member of the Red Lantern Corps, and increases its numbers by recruiting the victims of the Sinestro Corps.

Meanwhile, the Green Lantern Taira murders the son of Abin Sur, who has become a member of the Sinestro Corps, and is brought back to Oa to stand trial. Amon Sur had murdered the family of one of the Green Lanterns, and waited to be captured because he wanted other members of the Sinestro Corps to follow his example and eliminate the families of the Green Lanterns. While Hal and the other Guardians are on Oa, the Oans unveil a new corps, the Alpha Guardians. They invite several of the Green Lanterns to join, including John Stewart. The others join, but John turns them down.

The chosen Green Lanterns undergo Cosmic Surgery that makes them the perfect guardians of Law, and the Guardians reveal the second new Law- Lethal Force may be used against any of the foes of the Lanterns. Needless to say, Hal finds this disturbing. But the advent of the Red Lanterns is not the only new force in the Galaxy. While the Red Lanterns embody rage, and the Sinestro Corps in yellow embody fear. there also appear Blue Lanterns who embody Hope, and Purple Lanterns that embody- healing? or perhaps emotional calm.

Hal meets with one of the Blue Lanterns, who have chosen him to lead their group, but Hal is loyal to the Green Lanterns. However, the presence of the Blue Lanterns has a synergistic effect on the Green Lanterns rings, supercharging them. But when Hal and the others are charged with taking Sinestro to his place of execution, they are ambushed by the Red Lanterns and the Sinestro Corps. Hal leads the fight to get Sinestro back, but during his fight with Atrocitus, he is infected with the Red Lantern rage- something that has been hidden inside his soul. The Blue Lantern Saint Walker uses the Blue Lantern Ring to purge the infection from Hal, but something strange happens, leaving Hal half Blue Lantern, half Green Lantern- and Atrocitus is still at large.

Meanwhile Carol Ferris is being courted by members of the Star Sapphires, holders of the Purple Power Rings. led by their new leader, Katma Tui- or someone who looks very much like her. The question is, what does this portend for the universe?

Wow. We had the Green Lanterns, and the Sinestro Corps, but apparently every color has some kind of power or emotion inherent in it, from the Green Lantern's Law to the Yellow Lanterns Fear, With Red being Rage and Blue Hope, and Purple... well, that's not made exactly clear. But certain rings can overpower others. Red overpowers green, Blue overpowers red. I have no idea about purple, but it overpowers yellow. The question is what do the emergence of all these rings, colors and powers mean to the universe. And what of the two so far missing colors, orange and indigo> Are they going to show up as well? And what powers will they embody?

While all this is leading up to a storyline called "Blackest Night", which kinda leads me to think that there will be a Black Lantern that will nullify all powers of these various forces and embody evil, if where the story is going is where I think it may be going. I mean, why not have white lanterns that embody Good, not just green ones that embody law? That way, they could manifest all sorts of colors- and the good side of each. Red for passion, etc. Law, while it can be used for good, is also a two-edged sword, as people can use the laws to benefit themselves and not society.

This series brings out that the flaw of the green lanterns and the green lantern corps is not just the yellow impurity in their power source, but that law cares nothing for good or evil. Law can be used to beat people down just as badly as evil does. Laws are neutral with respect for good and evi and can be used for both purposes- and the Guardians, in their quest to bring law to the universe, are going that route, with laws and rules that bring more good than evil. Laws must be maintained with compassion as well as enforcement- and we see that pure law can turn people into monsters.

I can't be sure exactly what is coming next, but it seems that it won't necessarily be good for anyone involved. I'll be interested in seeing if Orange and Indigo power rings are revealed and what sort of powers they might have. And I'll also be interested in seeing what the hell is really going on. Are these new powers going to stay, or what will happened to them? I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

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