Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns

green lantern rage of the red lantern cover trade paperback
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Builds Johns ultimate plan

Doesn't read well as individual issues

Comic Info

Comic Name: Green Lantern (Volume 4)

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist:  Mike McKone/Shane Davis/Ivan Reis

# of Issues: 7

Release Date: 2009

green lantern #27 cover alpha wars

Green Lantern (4) #27

Reprints Green Lantern (4) #26-28 and #36-38 and Final Crisis:  Rage of the Red Lanterns #1 (February 2008-March 2009).  When the Green Lantern Laira kills Amon Sur out of rage, it starts a chain of events among the Green Lanterns.  A new Alpha Lantern is created to investigate crimes of the Green Lanterns and the restrictions on killing are lifted.  With the new danger, a Red Lantern Corps has risen with Atrocitus as their leader…and Hal’s only hope my be the mysterious Blue Lantern Saint Walker.  The only hope to stopping the Red Lanterns might be Sinestro, but even if Hal is strong enough to spare Sinestro, his own rage might get the best of him.

Written by Geoff Johns, Green Lantern:  Rage of the Red Lanterns contains two different storylines.  Following Green Lantern:  Secret Origin (which actually filled the issues between Green Lantern #29-36), the first storyline is “The Alpha Lanterns” in Green Lantern (4) #26-28 (February 2008-April 2008) and the second storyline is “Rage of the Red Lanterns” which started in the stand-alone Final Crisis:  Rage of the Red Lanterns #1 (December 2008) and continued from Green Lantern (4) #36-38 (January 2009-March 2009).  The collection features art by Mike McKone, Shane Davis, and Ivan Reis and the issues of this volume were also collected in Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus—Volume 2.

Geoff Johns really up-ended the Green Lanterns.  He introduced the whole color spectrum and created all these multiple Corps.  This volume of the Green Lantern really has the events starting to come to fruition after Green Lantern #25 which broke open the idea.  While I like this collection, how it was published was somewhat problematic.

The collection reads as one story, but unfortunately if you bought individual issues, it was too strung out.  The Secret Origin storyline in Green Lantern #29-36 was a really momentum buster.  If you know Green Lantern, you know his origin.  Johns tried to keep the Origin story a little relevant by having Atrocitus in it, but the division issue-by-issue division was killer.

green lantern #37 cover rage of the red lanterns

Green Lanterns (4) #37

The series might have needed the Origin break simply because there was a lot going on in this collection.  You have the introduction of the Alpha Lanterns, the Red Lanterns attack, the Blue Lanterns, and hints of Larfleeze and the Orange Lantern.  With so much going on, Johns does a surprisingly decent job keeping it flowing and going without feeling like you were missing much of the story (and building the mystery of the Blackest Night).  It is a decent encapsulation of his run and a nice payoff to his readers.

While I’m not a fan of the Alpha Lanterns, the Red Lanterns are kind of interesting if not a little underdeveloped in this volume.  All the Lanterns are emotion based and you could argue that anger/rage is one of the most basic emotions…and therefore not as much depth as fear and willpower or even hope, but the idea that there is a reason behind the rage is something interesting to explore.  All crimes have motives, and the Red Lanterns are all motivated.

Like a lot of Geoff Johns run, this volume feels almost more like set-up for the next event.  Throughout the story, the idea of the Blackest Night hangs heavy, and if you didn’t know what the Blackest Night was when you were reading the series, it does loom over everything that is happening.  Johns however has another volume of “Prelude to the Blackest Night” and Green Lanterns:  Rage of the Red Lanterns is followed by Green Lantern:  Agent Orange.

Preceded By:

Green Lantern:  Secret Origin

Followed By:

Green Lantern:  Agent Orange

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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