Let's try this again!
Red Lanterns is the 3rd title in the new 52 with a Teen Plus rating. Hopefully that means Milligan can be a little freer with his storylines. The cover of the 3rd issue has that Red Lantern from New Guardians (the one with skeleton wings and garters and boobs and a butt) looking sexy while being soaked in blood.
This garners a Teen Plus rating? Bah! Apparently this is standard fare in my friend Ken's child's kindergarten!
The Red Lanterns begins in Sector 666. So that means it's an evil and depraved section of space, correct? That's a cosmic truth, right? That 666 is an evil number!
In Sector 666, some beings I'm calling the Pain Pirates are busy torturing cute little fuzzy alien things that they come across. And the next cute little thing they come across is this Red Lantern!
Awww! So SHWEET!
This little Red Lantern space cat puking molten hairballs and scratching the bejeesus out of everyone isn't alone. He's hanging out in space with a great big red Red Lantern named Atrocitus. No wonder he's a Red Lantern filled with rage! Who names their kid Atrocitus without a few expectations about the way he's going to act when he grows up? Also, all of his people were killed by the Guardians. So there's that.
But even though he's a Red Lantern filled with rage, he still loves his widdle kitty boo.
As you can read in the panel above, his rage has somewhat tempered over time. And that's where the story of the Red Lanterns becomes interesting. I was wondering how they were going to maintain a series about a bunch of Lanterns that fly around the Universe being angry and killing and maiming everything they meet. Especially since Garth Ennis wasn't writing it. So this little Red Lantern character flaw in Atrocitus is where we find the heart of this series. Um, I'm guessing!
Plus, look! Aw, kitty!
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!
Atrocitus returns to Ysmault (Red Lantern Headquarters in Sector 666?) to let kitty-tat Dex-Starr heal. The Red Lanterns are all fighting and Ed Benes, artist, makes sure to let the comic book readership know that no female Red Lantern is going to be outdone by all of the other DC women who can do The Butt-Boob Showcase pose.
The Butt-Boob Showcase. It's like a signature wrestling move meant to incapacitate male comic book fans with embarrassing pants poles. I think it just causes rage in female fans! Which is why this Red Lantern is being true to her nature!
You have to wonder if it's a Power Ring Design Flaw that allows the ring to make full costumes for males while leaving the pants part of the costume off of the females. On the next page, she walks off showcasing her ashy gray ass while Atrocitus actually makes me look up a word! What kind of fucking English major am I? Oh, that's right. The kind who owns a floor cleaning business.
Febrile: 2. Having or showing a great deal of excitement or energy. Unless it was the first definition about her having some kind of fever. Oh! Probably the Rage Fever!
Afterward, we get some much welcomed background on the Red Lanterns. Perhaps older readers were already familiar with this. Perhaps they griped and bitched when they had to read a bunch of pages explaining how Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns came to be. But I'm happy to get it.
Kronos the Mad Guardian decided the Universe's army of Manhunters should be ruled by emotion. Oh, that doesn't sound like a bad idea at all! So he reprogrammed the Manhunters and they destroyed everything in Sector 666. I like the idea of a Sector being a complete wasteland. That's probably why the Pain Pirates were sailing around in it. Probably scavenging dead worlds. Too bad they ran into the Red Kitty Cat!
Atrocitus used to be called Atros until the Manhunters killed his family and he decided to make his name longer and more diabolical. He claims to have made the Red Lanterns but I'm not sure how since he trained to by a psychologist and not a geneticist. Or whatever makes new creatures. Perhaps he created the Red Lanterns by doing psychoanalysis on them! That actually will probably turn out to be true. Brought forth their dark feelings of rage and hatred until they turned into the napalm vomiting Red Lanterns.
At the end, Atrocitus decides to become the Punisher of the Universe. And he hopes his Red Lanterns will be with him. But they seem a little bit inclined to revolting when the comic ends.