Red Lanterns #8

Release Date: April 4, 2012
Cover Date: June 2012

Story: Peter Milligan
Pencils: Andres Guinaldo and Jorge Jimenez
Inks: Mark Irwin and Jorge Jimenez
Cover: Ed Benes

Abysmus escapes and poisons the Central Red Lantern Power Battery while Rankorr tries to help Atrocitus deal with the other Abysmorphs. High above the planet, Bleez hears of a new human Red Lantern, sends Skallox to Earth to find him. Speaking of the blue marble, Guy Gardner interrogates the killer of Jack Moore’s grandfather. When the rest of the Red Lanterns show up at the battle site, Zilius Zox thinks Rankorr is responsible. Rankorr somehow creates a red construct, but he can barely hold it before he’s attacked. A Red Lantern withers and dies as Atrocitus makes it back to the Battery, only to find it destroyed.

The story seemed a bit plodding here; more eye-rolling lines by Atrocitus, and more Red Lantern fight scenes. The real plot is why Rankorr has been able to keep his mental faculties and now create constructs. Intriguing, to be sure, but I don’t want it dragged out for too long. Hopefully, it’s not something stupid like latest metagenes or a “hacked” power ring. The secondary plots, with Bleez’s plans and the truth behind who resurrected Abysmus, may prove to be more interesting.

The art suffers a bit by having two pencilers. Andres Guinaldo and Jorge Jimenez have similar styles, but they’re different enough to be distracting. Plus, say you want about Ed Benes, but I feel he’s a much more skilled artist. Still, Guinaldo and Jimenez’s work wasn’t terrible.

This issue has a few callouts to other series. For example, we discover that Iroque (aka Indigo-1) had a ship on Ysmault; apparently, we’ll find out why in next week’s Green Lantern [Vol. 5] #8.). It’s possible this is the same ship seen in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2 story “Tygers,” and that the child Abin Sur saved in that story was actually a young Iroque. Of course, the ship would have to have been repaired since then, and the logs mentioned in Red Lanterns #8 imply that Iroque was the pilot. Meanwhile, Skallox’s mission will continue next month in Stormwatch (Vol. 3) #9. I’ll likely review that, as Red Lanterns #9 continues the crossover with Stormwatch.

Red Lanterns #8 featured a rather annoying retcon. Abysmus reveals that Atrocitus built the Central Red Lantern Power Battery by killing the last members of his race. Previously, he had done so by killing the other four members of the Five Inversions, not his own people. This makes him a far less sympathetic character, and I feel that’s a mistake.

Not a great issue, but not as poor as some of the past ones. Let’s just hope all of these disparate plot threads come together in a satisfying manner.

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