Release Date: July 23, 2014
Cover Date: September 2014
Story: Charles Soule
Art: Alessandro Vitti
Cover: Miguel Sepulveda
Guy Gardner meets up with John Stewart in a dive bar to vent, and the two bond over their recent crummy experiences. John decries anger as an empty, useless emotion, but Guy knows John needs to cut loose, too, so he arranges a good old-fashioned bar brawl. Meanwhile, back on Ysmault, the Red Lanterns are trying to find a cure for Rankorr as well as locate Atrocitus. Unbeknownst to the rest of the Corps, Skallox has secretly tracked down the former leader, who has set up camp on his homeworld of Styge Prime. Atrocitus has built a church there, complete with a new blood lake, and Skallox begs him to return to the flock. Atrocitus accepts this and channels the power of his group of Red Lanterns, causing hundreds of red power rings to burst forth from the lake.
Atrocitus becoming more of a preacher and continuing to add followers was neither unexpected nor special, and while the priestly vestments suit him, the costume design itself is a bit boring. Still, the real meat of this issue was the the talk between Guy and John. Both characters were absolutely right concerning their respective problems, and it was cool that the longtime friends really needed each other to blow off steam and gain strength for what lies ahead. From the first panel, I knew a slugfest was coming, and the fight didn’t disappoint. Very little usage of power rings, too; just fisticuffs and bottle smashing. Great stuff!
Alessandro Vitti returns as the artist, and while the pages looked good, the linework seemed a bit too heavy at times. Still, the knuckleduster in the bar was solid, as was the environments on Ysmault and Styge Prime. Skallox appeared both badass and meek, as the situation warranted. Zox didn’t get a lot of face time (get it?), but his design seemed slightly altered, too. That happens a lot with that character. He goes from Red Lantern Pac-Man to Littleface on the artists’ whims, but at least he’s still recognizable and unique.
The big war between Guy and Atrocitus’ factions is still brewing, but I hope we can get to it sooner rather than later. The problem is that I don’t see the two leaders ever coming to terms, and unless one of them is killed, they’re at an impasse. The obvious solution is to bring Guy back into the Green Lantern Corps somehow, but then Red Lanterns loses what turned the book around in the first place. I know it’s only a matter of time, but here’s hoping the powers-that-be can keep the book interesting for a while longer.