The Red Lanterns seek to turn Earth into a Rage Planet
Some of the DC Rebirth titles have been fast starters and great reads almost immediately. With Rage Planet continuing to develop, it’s now evident Green Lanterns isn’t quite there yet. But there’s some hopeful signs that this is going to be a title worth sticking with even if it takes a bit longer.
Pacing was a problem this time. Writer Sam Humphries spent too much time rehashing what he established in Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 and Green Lanterns #1. Atrocitus wants to make Earth the Red Lanterns new home base — a Rage Planet. Earth’s Green Lanterns Baz and Cruz meanwhile are still settling into their roles and can barely function as a unit.
That came at the cost of delving in deeper to the Baz and Cruz dynamic. Perhaps a bigger concern is Humphries hasn’t done enough to make the main characters particularly likable. Baz comes across too often as irrational while Cruz is almost paralyzed with indecision. Both could learn from the other, but Humphries needs to make those traits an asset not liabilities.
This issue, Humphries experimented with inner monologue for the characters. Maybe it’s the matter of having two leads, but the character narration is a bad fit for both Baz and Cruz. Still, with essentially two blank slate characters and a new title, there’s room for experimentation to figure out what does and doesn’t work.
Robson Rocha’s art remains a work in progress. Overall, the artwork is a little soft. Character expressions don’t always match up with the dialogue and some of the panels could use sharper details. Then there’s some panels that hint at Rocha’s potential and it’s very encouraging.
On the plus side, the issue gets better as it goes on.
The overall plot of the Red Lanterns looking to make Earth their new base of operations is solid. Prepping Earth with mini rage bombs that infect regular humans is a creative touch. Geoff Johns built a secure foundation for the various Lanterns Corps. It’s good to see Humphries finding some new avenues to explore with characters that were in danger of becoming too simplified.
Character wise, Humphries tackles the importance of willpower for a Green Lantern in very intriguing fashion with Cruz regarding a skill set readers take for granted with the ring bearers. And by the end of the issue, Baz and Cruz finally seem ready to start working as a team.
Green Lanterns isn’t there yet. By the conclusion of Rage Planet the problems might not all be addressed, but there’s something here that makes me think Green Lanterns is going to be a special title in the Rebirth era.
Rating: 6 out of 10