Sunday, April 7, 2013

Red Lanterns #18

In this very special issue of Red Lanterns, Atrocitus learns forgiveness.

Is this Wrath of the Fisting Lantern thing still going on? So far, Volthoom hasn't impressed me with many of his magic mind trips. I liked Kyle Raynor's experience the best, and they all kind of went downhill from there. You know what I'm ready for? I'm ready for Green Lantern to begin having space adventures where the fate of everything isn't on the line. I'm sick of every comic book story where the fate of everything is on the line. On the rare occasion they're written well, it can be interesting. But I tend to find the fate of everything is mostly used by lazy writers that can't be bothered to deal with characters and their individual motivations. The Flash is currently doing this really well which is surprising since he's the one usually causing everything to collapse. I'd like to see Green Lantern get a break from these cosmic total catastrophes.

I guess it's time to see if Atrocitus's life could have been more interesting depending on how Volthoom decides to manipulate things. Volthoom seems to lack imagination, so Atrocitus will probably experience a less angry life with a less dead family.

Yeah, yeah. Get on with it.

Volthoom decides that in Atrocitus's non-dead-family life, Atrocitus would have become a revolutionary and overthrown the government on Ryutt. So according to Volthoom's reality and not the actual reality that might have happened if the Manhunters didn't go wonky, Atrocitus would still be a big angry asshole. Except his name would still be Atros. I'm beginning to suspect (unless I suspected this in a previous issue of this crossover) that Volthoom can't actually change reality. He just makes up a possible life for the person he's harassing and tells it to them. Then they say, "No! That's not what happened!" and Volthoom goes, "How did they know that wasn't real?! What did Kyle do to them!?"

Meanwhile on Earth, Rankorr is still trying to be human by going on a picnic with a woman he just met the night before. Rankorr doesn't even need Volthoom to implant false memories in him. He's doing the job himself by denying his own reality and pretending he never became a Red Lantern. But Bleez won't let him delude himself and she scares away his date just seconds before he ruins the date himself by telling his date the truth about himself. I guess Rankorr thought he had made a connection strong enough to withstand the revelation that he's now an angry space monster that vomits hot lava. She did seem like a pretty open-minded person.

Either Peter Milligan didn't take notes at the Wrath of the First Lantern brainstorming symposium or Volthoom has simply decided to change up his method to match my suspicions. Instead of placing Atrocitus in the new memory and the new reality, he's simply showing Atrocitus the memory as if it were a film strip. Atrocitus isn't immersed in the experience like the others were. He's simply an outside observer.

It could be after Volthoom's failure with Saint Walker, Larfleeze, and Carol Ferris, he's decided to change up his technique.

Atrocitus falls for Volthoom's big, stupid lie and believes that no matter what happened, he would have become a monster. So he comes to terms with the massacre of Ryutt because it prevented him from turning on his own family. Once again, Volthoom turns his terrorism into therapy. What a genius!

Or semi-genius, I think. Because most therapy isn't supposed to end with the patient committing suicide, is it?

I don't care how powerful Volthoom is, this just makes Atrocitus look stupid.

Red Lanterns #18 Rating: -2 Rankings. Volthoom escapes with the Guardians' Great Heart filled with their emotions which should be able to power him so that he can finally change reality. And Atrocitus is left looking like a gigantic, gullible dupe. He has more guilt than rage which is why he chooses to believe Volthoom's words. Someone has finally validated his guilt over the inability to save his family and he's chosen suicide because of it. Atrocitus has never done anything much to make me care about him as a character and this issue certainly hasn't helped to endear me to him. He's just a big angry loser. Take control of your life, asshole! Maybe Rankorr has the right idea! No, no. Bleez is the only one of the three that has finally accepted herself as a Red Lantern. Maybe after Atrocitus fights for his life against his own Corps, he'll finally embrace the monster that he is. By the way, where the hell has Dex-Starr been?! Where's my Dex-Starr/Midnighter rematch!?

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