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I started reading comics regularly after 'Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns'. Since then, I've become a co-host on 'The LanternCast' (a podcast dedicated to Green Lantern that's been on the air since 2008), started a new podcast covering the late 1980's DC series Action Comics Weekly (appropriately titled The Action Comics Weekly Podcast), and have been the curator of THE blog on the internet dedicated to the character of Ragman, created by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert published by DC Comics starting in 1976 and currently appearing on The CW show 'Arrow' as portrayed by actor Joe Dinicol. I'm an avid fan of comics, classic rock, and speaking my mind. Welcome!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rage of the Red Lanterns...and the Consequences Thereof...

Ever since the relaunch of the DC's new 52, we've seen multiple corps suffer through some internal dissolution. None more obvious than Atrocitus' Red Lanterns. Regardless of the popularity of the series or it's current sales figures, "Red Lanterns" has given us a perspective we hadn't previously had access to (at least not since the Red Lantern Final Crisis special), Atrocitus' view.

One of the very first things we see Atrocitus struggle with in "Red Lanterns" is the beast-like nature of his Corps. Being the only member of his Corps with a hightened awareness (at least during issues #1 & #2) we see him becoming annoyed by the constant and pointless in-fighting between his Corpsmen. So much so that he begins contemplating raising the consciousness of one of his Lanterns so they may assist him. At least, that's what he tells himself. (I personally think Atrocitus is beginning to feel lonely)

However it's not the choosing of the Lantern assistant, nor Atrocitus' loneliness that I'm interested in. Believe it or not, I think the biggest thing to be aware of in the first three issues of the "Red Lanterns" series is that Atrocitus...is ANNOYED by his own Corps.

I believe that we will start to see the internal (and in some cases external) dissolution of each of the various Corps in some form or another. However, focusing on the Red Lanterns for the moment: it's becoming obvious that Atrocitus is feeling the affects of the power with which his Corps was created.

The Red Lantern Corps was created by Atrocitus on the planet Ysmault, a planet in a space sector that had been obliterated by the Manhunters. Atrocitus and four others survived (called the Five Inversions) and were imprisoned on Ysmault by the Guardians. Years later, when Abin Sur died and Hal Jordan first got the ring, Atrocitus took on Hal and Sinestro and then was imprisoned once more on Ysmault. Somehow, Atrocitus got free and later (seemingly just before Blackest Night) he coalesced his rage and became the spark that ignited the Red Lantern Corps. Recruitment began fast and heavy after that point because it wasn't long until we saw an entire Corps on the surface of Ysmault when Atrocitus captured Sinestro and began to enact his vengeance on him.

But here's where my theory rests. What if Atrocitus' annoyance with his Corps isn't JUST because they're mindless beasts? What if it's because Atrocitus didn't take time to THINK before creating this Corps? Atrocitus knew rage because of what the Manhunters/Guardians did to his homeworld. But just because he knew HIS rage doesn't mean he understood the nature of rage as a WHOLE. Don't agree? We see during the fight scenes during the "Rage of the Red Lanterns" storyline in "Green Lantern" that Atrocitus STILL is learning things about his Corps...even as he is fighting. For instance, when Hal Jordan gets hijacked by a red ring, he is the FIRST of the Red Lanterns to create a construct of any sort...

(from: 'Green Lantern #38')

...and it isn't until much later (well after 'Blackest Night' as a matter of fact) that Atrocitus learns to do this for himself...

(from: 'Green Lantern #54')

So we begin to see that Atrocitus is STILL learning about his capabilities. Though he seems to have access to some cosmic medium (as yet still unrevealed) he shows he knows about the relationship between the green ring and the blue by stating, "...hope is nothing without willpower to enact it." ('Green Lantern #38') but yet, in the SAME issue Atrocitus reveals he doesn't understand EVERYTHING. When Saint Walker takes his own ring off and places it on a Red Ring possessed Hal Jordan, the blue ring overrides and destroys the red...to which Atrocitus says to himself, "...The blue ring...it destroyed the red? Impossible...". From here I can safely assume that Atrocitus doesn't know everything about his own corps and the power they possess. In fact, in the SAME issue (#38) Saint Walker understands WHY Atrocitus picked the lanterns he did...

(from: 'Green Lantern #38)

So we begin to see the consequences of creating his Corps too fast and not taking the time to understand the power he had begun to access. Being too focused on the object of his rage, he didn't really care. Now that the object of his rage is dead (Krona) he becomes uncertain of how to carry on and is made aware of how foolish directionless rage can be. I personally believe that each Corps will begin to face internal struggle and start to break in some form or another. It's my theory that the Red Lanterns will rebel under Bleez's leadership and will be made self aware as Atrocitus and Bleez before them. Atrocitus will be faced with a dilemma. He will either have to leave his own Corps...or awaken to a CLEAR ideal and purpose...and take back control of his Corps in a ball of blood vomit fury...


  1. For starters, the 5 Inversions were not imprisoned by Abin Sur, but rather the Guardians themselves so as to not spread the word of what the Guardians had done. When Abin Sur disobeys rules to save a child that had crashed on the planet, he learns of the 5 Inversions.

    As for the corps themselves, they all use the basic tech the Guardians use, but the only Sinestro seems to know what they are fully capable of, having studied an original before starting his own corps. He's the only one to do that, to know what a GL ring can do before starting another corps.

    As it is, we think Abin Sur was the one to start the Indigo Corps, but who knows if he taught them all the ring could do?

    Looking at all the corps and their origins, we have:

    Orange:Probably Krona (A Guardian)
    Yellow:Weaponers of Quard(with Sinestro influence)
    Green: Guardians
    Blue: Guardians
    Indigo: Abin Sur?

    Now the main questions are:

    Are the abilities of the rings based on Oan tech or are they just capable of doing what they do because they all harness the Emotional Spectrum? As in, how much programming is actually put into the rings and how much is just naturally there due to the connection they posess?

    How did ordinary warriors Abin and Atrocitus start their corps? Did they have help? Rogue Gaurdians? Mad Guardians? Harnessing the energy themselves?

    Answer those questions and all other questions will fall into place.

  2. Thanks for the correction on the Five Inversions. Corrected :).

    As far as the origin of the Red Lantern Corps goes. It's not unknown. Atrocitus started the Corps, no question. Did the Rage entity exist prior to then? Of course, but that doesn't mean a corps existed simultaneously.

    As far as the rings being based on Oan tech, I believe that is true. Before Ganthet was lobotomized he told the 'New Guardians' that all their rings were. I trust pre-lobotomized Ganthet. Now "based" doesn't mean a pure program copy...but still.

    But "ordinary warrior Atrocitus" started his own Corps, no question. If Johns and crew decides to say otherwise down the line, then so be it. But the other inversions sacrificed themselves. Not to mention we saw the birth of the first Red Lantern during "Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns Special".

  3. What I'm getting at is that Atrocitus wanted to start the Red Lantern Corps, and then BLAMO! There was a Red Lantern and ring. They say that Atrocitus started the corp. They have never said that Atrocitus is responsible for building the Lantern and ring. The whole concept just seems a little too easy I thought. I can absolutely see Atrocitus being able to power his lantern or ring, but forging a battery and ring from scratch? With no knowledge at all besides possibly some blood giving him some tips on the future? And who's providing these answers? Perhaps the same one who built that lantern...