By Charles Soule, Alessandro Vitti, Dave Sharpe & Gabe Eltaeb
And the award for the misleading cover art of the week goes to… Red Lanterns #33! If you bought this issue expecting Guy Gardner to be “At the Mercy of the Green Lantern Corps” as the cover suggests, then you’re going to be disappointed. There’s no showdown between Guy Gardner and John Stewart here, however, if you can put that aside then the end result continues to be enjoyable.
This issue is the second chapter of the Atrocities arc, and it splits its focus between Guy and John in a bar in a Formgalt Trading Outpost in Sector 1818. We catch up with the Red Lanterns on Ysmault who are dealing with the new conditions of the poisoned blood lake, and the fact that Rankorr isn’t who he once was. The third thread developing here sees Skallox head to Styge Prime, where he ends up in an unfortunate reunion with Atrocitus and Dex-Starr. So it’s safe to say that there’s lots going on in this issue, and it should be interesting to see how Red Lanterns develops going forward because it has really been impressive ever since Soule has taken over, and there’s no chance of that quality dropping now.
Alessandro Vitti is again on artistic duties and he continues to make Red Lanterns look good with his solid pencilling. Dave Sharpe’s inks work in conjunction with Gabe Eltaeb’s colours and this book remains consistently great, with a good storyline being enhanced a lot by the artistic qualities on display here.
Despite the fact that there’s a lot going on this book, the bulk of Red Lanterns #33 is focused on Guy and John playing catchup with each other in a bar. While it was nice to see these characters with each other, it slows down some of the momentum of the current arc. However, even with the loss of momentum in that thread, the others continue to advance the plot as we build to something big. It’s looking certain that a Guy/Atrocitus rematch is around the corner, and should hopefully happen by the end of this arc, so this is something that Red Lanterns fans can look forward to a lot.
Even though the Guy/John scenes don’t advance the storyline that much, they do allow for some good exchanges of humour between the two characters, especially when Guy says that his first choice of person to call was Hal Jordan, with the joke working well in context.
One of the good things about Red Lanterns being a book that gets an Annual next week is that you don’t have to wait another month to see the continuation of the story here. It should be awesome to see what happens next week, and with Soule being one of DC Comics’ most talented writers right now, the rest of Atrocities should continue to impress, much like the majority of this issue has.