Sunday, January 2, 2011

Green Lantern #61

“Seeing Red” by Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke.  An interlude starring Red Lantern Atrocitus in his search for the rage entity.  The Butcher makes its presence known in Deer Lodge, Montana, where is immediately confronted by the Spectre.  During Blackest Night, the spirit of vengeance had warned Atrocitus how dangerous this entity was; in this follow up, the Spectre plays the role of the kettle calling the pot back and tries to eliminate the Butcher.

It is easy to see why Atrocitus initially though that the Spectre was the rage entity; you really can’t see what separates him from the Butcher, except probably the fact that the spirit of vengeance has a host.  That difference is quickly set aside as the entity possesses a human to give rise to a fantastic creature.  This design for the Butcher-human hybrid was amazing, and I hope we get to see it again.

Geoff Johns is doing an excellent job with the New Guardians.  Take Atrocitus for instance, he is such a paradox; all the rage he represents comes from a place of lost love; same thing with Larfleeze.  On the other hand, we have seen how deranged love can be at the hands of the Star Sapphires, and the dirty little secret of the Indigo Tribe is becoming exposed.  So the emotions that initially were thought as “the bad ones” are turning out to be not so bad, while “the good ones” are proving to be very dark.  What does this mean for Fear and Hope?  Are they not what they seem? 

By the end of the issue, Atrocitus is finally able to capture the Butcher in his lantern, and make a compelling argument before the Spectre passes judgment on him, not before showing his compassionate side.

Variant by Alex Garner
It is astonishing how this issue can be enjoyed from beginning to end, and only then realize that the flag character was actually absent from the story.  The world of Green Lantern is growing so much and becoming so rich, that soon the current titles are not going to be enough to contain its wide range of characters; we are already seeing signs of it with Saint Walker joining the Justice League and Larfleeze appearing in Action Comics.  My hope for Atrocitus is either a series for the Red Lanterns or integrating him into the Aquaman world –via Mera.-

Doug Mahnke’s art continues to improve with every issue, and his representation of the Butcher –with and without a host- was excellent.  Despite the multiple inkers in this issue, the art by Mahnke and Randy Mayor’s colors were good enough to make it seamless.  I loved Gary Frank’s cover, and there is a variant cover by Alex Garner as well, but be careful DC… don’t mislead your readers, it is a slippery slope.

Overall “Seeing Red” was an entertaining read, and one that helps us understand Atrocitus better.  The ongoing effort in making us question the real motivations behind each of the corps is also evident, and the build up toward the fight against Krona is nothing but exciting.

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