Drew: You know that feeling when you finish a good book and you just want it to keep going? The story is done, but you just like the characters and the world they live in so much that you just want to keep spending time with them. I get that A LOT. I tend to be more character-focused when it comes to narratives, so it makes sense that, in my head, every narrative becomes a hangout story — one where the lack of plot makes the only draw the likableness of the characters. Red Lantern 16 has the appropriate lack of plot to make a proper hangout story, but lacks the key component of even a single likable character. The result is a palpable waste of time, as unpleasant as sifting through a bucket full of flaming blood rage-puke. Continue reading →
Patrick: At the beginning of this issue, Simon Baz takes a thorough tongue-lashing from (adorable) veteran Lantern B’dg. The little guy is all about the accusatory questions: “Who are you?” “Where’s your lantern?” and, my personal favorite:
But Baz isn’t bad; he’s just new to the position. Everything from fighting bad guys to trusting his powers to meeting the Justice League is new to him. And in a medium so caught up in what is old — and especially caught up in the task of making old things new again — it’s interesting to see what such a fresh character is capable of.
Patrick: When they’re working properly, the Green Lantern Universe of comics is a breathless machine that pumps out fun, exciting narratives. But that’s it: the only speed these series know is HIGH. But when these stories abandon all pretense of depth or intelligence, they simply have to be fun. Otherwise, what’s the point? Oh, let me go back, that’s how I want to start this review: “What’s the point?”
Drew: Last month, Shelby and Mikyzptlk raged about how Red Lanterns 14 seemed to misunderstand the very concept of rage. While I’d love to suggest that that response was fully intended as a clever “you are there!” meta-text, that stuff is really only satisfying when the text itself actually works. When done well, the various corps should act as a shorthand for emotion, giving you a quick and dirty sense of the character’s motivations. Unfortunately for Peter Milligan, rage isn’t a particularly relatable emotion — in fact, its irrational nature makes it totally un-relatable. I don’t envy the task of pulling something compelling out of the Red Lantern corps, so I can almost excuse the fact that he wants to make his characters driven by something other than rage — except that it ultimately serves to make the characters less compelling by removing literally the only thing I know about them. This leaves Red Lanterns 15 populated by characters with no apparent motivation in situations I neither fully understand nor care about.
Mikyzptlk: When it comes to big events like Rise of the Third Army, pace is a very important thing. If an author moves too quickly, they may run the risk of undermining the scale or importance of the story. If they move too slowly, they may start to bore or even frustrate the audience. We are now 4 issues into the event (not counting the tie-ins) and series writer, Geoff Johns, has slowed things down a bit too much for me to really enjoy this issue as much as I wanted to. Continue reading →
Mikyzptlk: Loss and regret are, unfortunately, a big part of our lives. Whether it be the loss of a job, a relationship, or especially a loved one, it can be very hard to deal with. People deal with loss and regret in many different ways and while some may choose a positive outlet to get over their grief, others may not. For example, if not for a personal loss in my life, I wouldn’t be a blogger writing this review today. Ever the goofball, I hate to be such a downer, but I couldn’t help but notice that this issue dealt a lot with the concept of loss and regret as Guy Gardner finds himself back in his home town, sans ring. However, while Guy’s journey is the main thrust of this issue, it’s certainly not entirely about him. And while Guy experiences regret and loss, fellow Green Lanterns John Stewart and Salaak get a taste of their own.
Mikyzptlk: You know, I used to love Peter Milligan. Back in the day, he wrote X-Statix, one of the most interesting books that Marvel has ever printed. But then, Red Lanterns came a long and really hurt my appreciation of Milligan. Similarly, I used to love the Red Lanterns. They used to be one of the most interesting Corps in the emotional spectrum. But then Milligan came a long and REALLY hurt my appreciation of them. Continue reading →