Green Lantern Week Part 2: Red Lanterns

Green Lantern week continues with the frontrunner of the four Green Lantern titles in the DCnU. What? No, it’s not Green Lantern. It’s Red Lanterns, of course.

Yes, for some reason, Red Lantern is seen as the necessary first release of the Green Lantern line each month- possibly because Geoff Johns didn’t want to compete with Action Comics every month. Instead, Green Lantern is set Batwoman and Batgirl because what the hey, girls don’t read comics, right? At least, they won’t at the rate DC is going. So, for whatever reason, Red Lantern is the first new issue Green Lantern fans get every month.

While I had some initial excitement for this series, it’s not the type of heart-pounding, action-packed or even riveting character-based story that is made to live up to that kind of expectations. After three issues I can say with certainty that I am invested in the plot and curious what’s going to happen next… but I’m not at the edge of my seat.

Red Lanterns is a curious creature. It’s clearly written by someone who cares about the characters, about Atrocitus and Bleez, and it might work for any group of characters other than ones whose sole appeal is that they kill quickly and without mercy. This is the slowest paced story of rage I’ve ever seen. It’s a curious mix, and one that I don’t think is going to make it very far. This mix makes Red Lanterns a mediocre comic, the one you’re always vaguely interested in checking out, but you always have something else more pressing on your plate. As it is, I’m wondering how the character development taking place in Bleez is going to play out across different titles, but only insofar as I have a feeling it’s not going to; at least until the next story arc.

While I’m talking about the Red Lanterns, it was revealed at New York Comic-Con 2011 that much of the first season of Green Lantern: The Animated Series is going to focus on them. I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to be the more cinematic origin of the Lanterns that we saw in the one-shot Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns, or if the series is going to focus on the storylines and motivations that we see in the comics. If Batman, X-Men and Spiderman in the past are to be any indication, Green Lantern: The Animated Series will define how a generation sees the Green Lantern mythos, which means that it may very well be a better indication as to what happens in the future of Red Lanterns than anything else we can address. I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about Geoff Johns’s Green Lantern Volume 5, and whether or not that’s in name only.

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