This week, we get the final debuts of the new lantern creative teams (including Larfleeze #1, which you can find a review of elsewhere on the site). Charles Soule and Alessandro Vitti certainly start their run with a bang.
With all the hype over the arrival of Guy Gardner, there was concern that Earth’s first red lantern might take a backseat to Guy. While Guy will surely be more of a focal point, Rankorr was used well in this issue. He was used as a tool to show the desperation of the reds to improve themselves and their ranks, while simultaneously come across as powerful and indispensible to an already hurting corps.
Soule and Vitti did not waste any time giving us some action between Guy Gardner and Atrocitus. The fight scene was visually pleasing, but the best part was Guy’s internal dialogue, culminating with him finally going red. Guy’s constant struggle to prove himself has always made him one of the most relatable lanterns, though not necessarily one of the most likeable. In this issue, Soule makes Gardner a really enjoyable character (which some writers have struggled with in the past). He was someone we could sympathize and empathize with. We’ve all struggled with feelings of inadequacy at some point in our life. Poor Guy Gardner is the red-headed step child archetype, down to the hair color.
Disappointingly, we didn’t get to see any of Rankorr’s battle over his constructs. It would have been a great opportunity to show his ability with constructs, and why it would be so helpful for the rest of the corps. Obviously, not everything could make it into the issue, and the creative team decided to give us a bit more Guy Gardner. In the end, it was a good decision for the story, since there is a finite page count.
Why does Guy Gardner have a garage on Oa? I’ve never seen it referenced before, and it just seems a little odd. Swixxle bugs me, too.
Peter Milligan and company did a great job of leaving a blank slate for the new creative team and Charles Soule and Alessandro Vitti did a great job introducing their styles into the world of Red Lanterns. The team brings a lot of excitement to the table, and we aren’t just saying that because of the exclusive interview Mr. Soule gave us (https://dccomicsnews.com/2013/06/11/exclusive-interview-charles-soule-talks-swamp-thing-and-red-lanterns/). Across the board, the new creative teams knocked it out of the park with their debuts. It looks like exciting times are coming to Ysmault and Oa.