This last week saw a quite unexpected piece of news from DC. The current three Green Lantern ongoings are going to be joined by a fourth. Although this spin off won’t be based on the Green Lanterns. Nope, the Red Lanterns are going monthly.
Now, ever since the War of Light, and especially the New Guardians arc in Green Lantern, its been clear that the new Corps were going over well. We’ve seen numerous t-shirts, and action figures from the various Corps, and the recent news that Saint Walker would be joining the JLA (although given his powers only work when close to a Green Lantern, it’ll be interesting to see exactly how that’ll work).
All this, to be honest, has left me wondering when DC would just release a “Tales of the Corps” series, featuring one-off storys and arcs that could rotate around the various Corps. To me that would make a lot of sense, as there’s lots of scope to examine the characters that have been introduced, such as Carol, Saint Walker or Atrocitus, and introduce new Blue Lanterns or Star Sapphires or whoever with their own histories that could be explored.
However, instead DC have decided to go in an unexpected and different direction. And I’m not entirely convinced about it. Essentially this is Atrocitus getting his own monthly. Or I have to assume so, since the majority of Red Lanterns are effectively rabid dogs, with little of their personality remaining as they’ve been consumed by the rage. And for Atrocitus himself, yes he’s been explored reasonably well, but is he headline material for his own book? Or will the book include a cast with some other lanterns, like how Bleez is part of the Emerald Warriors cast?
There’s a side of me that can’t help but think this could end up being a bit 90s with their love of anti-heroes. We are after all talking about a character, that while we might understand what drove him to become what he is, is still a murderer. Were all the prisoners on that bus actually guilty? What about the woman (and her husband) that he killed in the last issue for his ritual? There’s a part of me that can’t help thinking of the Venom: Lethal Protector series from Marvel, although I suspect even Venom’s twisted moral code was more developed than that of Atrocitus.
Now, I could see this working as a limited series, telling a particular story over the length of its run, but an ongoing? I can’t say I’m excited, but I am at least intrigued to see what DC are going to bring to the table to try and make this work.
And I still can’t help but think a Tales of the Corps book might be a more interesting way to go.