Red Lanterns #21

Written by: Charles Soule
Art by: Alessandro Vitti

Charles Soule and Alessandro Vitti offer the best outing among all the Green Lantern books, with Red Lanterns #21. The series is vastly improved from the previous run; packed with comedy and depth, realized with the addition of Guy Gardner to the cast.

Red Lanterns, as a series, was always a hard sell. It’s difficult to pull off a book about villains, and previous attempts (with characters like Rankorr) failed to bring that human element to the series. With Guy Gardner, the character acts as our eyes and ears into the absurdity of the Reds. Soule captures the ridiculous practices of the Corps, specifically in the scene where Atrocitus decides he will sacrifice Rankorr.

The sharp wit, and delectable sarcasm is handled with ease at the hand of Soule. Soule handles Guy, not as a stereotypically defiant renegade, but as a cop with a chip on his shoulder, who still respects direction.

Vitti’s artwork is at its best when it comes to capturing the passion and rage of the characters. However, Ysmault is portrayed almost too much as a flat wasteland, which is a little jarring juxtaposed to the highly-detailed characters.

Besides that note, the visuals are powerful, particularly in the scene where Guy fights for Corps leadership. Vitti elevates the rage from the page, emphasized with rigid strokes of splattered blood and popping eyes.

Red Lanterns #21 is a wonderful shake up for a series that needed one badly. With engaging characterizations, and perfect use of comedy, Soule and Vitti show us how much fun it can be, to be one of the bad guys.

Score: 9.1/10