Daily Archives: September 16, 2011

A New 52 Review: Red Lanterns #1

Red Lanterns #1
“With Blood and Rage”
Writer: Peter Milligan
Pencils: Ed Benes
Inks: Rob Hunter
Colors: Nathan Eyring
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover artists: Benes & Hunter
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

Like Batwoman, this title was in the works some time before DC announced its New 52 initiative, and it’s been folded into the lineup of new titles this month that’s proven to be such a success for the publisher. While most of those new titles are about fresh starts for the properties, Red Lanterns picks up where Blackest Night and “The War of the Green Lanterns” left off. Writer Peter Milligan faces the enviable task here of transforming a group of Green Lantern villains into a collection of heroes, and he heads down the only avenue available to him: the path of the anti-hero. Atrocitus undergoes a shift here to make him a protagonist in the vein of the Punisher or Lobo, I suppose. Now, I’m a big fan of the idea of introducing Lantern Corps of many colors; I thought it was a simple concept that helped to revitalize the Green Lantern property. But these Red Lanterns aren’t characters I want to follow outside of that larger Rainbow Lanterns idea. This title might appeal to fans of violent, murderous anti-heroes, but I don’t fall into that particular demographic.

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A New 52 Review: Batwoman #1

Batwoman #1
“Hydrology, Part 1: Leaching”
Writers: J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Artist/Cover artist: Williams
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Todd Klein
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

Finally. Forget the New 52. Forget “Batman Inc.” Forget it all. Batwoman has been waiting in DC’s wings for too long, and we J.H. Williams III fans have been patient, confident the title would be worth tolerating the delays. And we were right. It’s hard to imagine any other DC comic published this month would be more beautiful thank this one, but hey, we knew Williams would offer some pretty and compelling visuals. No, the really good news is he and co-writer W. Haden Blackman have crafted a story worthy of the hauntingly beautiful artwork. I was surprised to find a supernatural element was included in this inaugural story arc, but it definitely helps to set this new story apart from previous tales featuring the title character. But the more interesting conflicts don’t stem from the mystery or the drama of missing children. Instead, what makes this such an engrossing read are the subplots, the character-driven moments that bring Kate Kane down to earth while also illustrating the extreme circumstances she’s had to overcome to arrive at this moment in her life.

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