Thursday, September 4, 2014

Red Lanterns #34

If only one Red Lantern will survive, I hope it's Dex-Starr.

I don't think I was very successful in my attempt at brevity while doing my Harley Quinn #10 commentary. I'll just have to redouble my efforts with Red Lanterns #34! Or halve my efforts? Whichever one is briefier!

Last issue (which was the Annual because DC heard the fans resounding yell of "More Essential Annuals!" and made it happen. Unless they just hallucinated the fans yelling that which seems more probable actually), a whole mess of Earthlings became Red Lanterns and joined Atrocitus's army. Now Guy Gardner (with the help of Supergirl and a handful of his own Reds) must stop them without killing anybody. I don't think that's going to be possible. He might as well just start out killing for the greater good.

Guy plans on making a last stand on Ysmault while Rankorr, Skallox, and The Shadow Thief (now a Red Lantern as well) hide out on Styge Prime. Is Atrocitus really needed as a main character in Red Lanterns? I mean, I understand he's the whole reason the Red Lanterns exist. But now the team has Guy Gardner! I think it's time for Atrocitus to just lay down and die and let Dex-Starr eat him. Then Dex can kind of hang around Ysmault accepting handouts but not really wanting anybody to touch or look at him too much. Until after a few months of this kind of hard to get lifestyle, he'll eventually allow Bleez or Guy to give him a little scratch behind the ears. But after a few seconds, he'll hiss and run off. It'll take another few months before he begins rubbing on legs and enjoying the company of the other Reds. And then I never have to read another story with that whining, pseudo-philosophical asshole Atrocitus!

Now if this were a Hollywood movie, they'd realize that their irritation of the other's personality was actually love, somehow. Then they'd fuck.

I think that's the plot of all Hollywood romances. Two people are irritated by each other. The two people are too lazy to find somebody that they actually get along with and like. The two people fuck. The two people spend the rest of the movie pretending that they're going to spend the rest of their lives together. The movie ends before either one can come to their senses, leaving the audience believing in true love! Also in the belief that if somebody doesn't like you, you have to just keep bothering them until they finally get naked with you.

Guy Gardner truly thinks Atrocitus is going to slaughter him and Bleez so he gives his last words to John Stewart. His last words are all about making Hal Jordan feel better. I hope you're happy, Hal Jordan! Everything always has to be all about you, doesn't it? Guy should have said, with a smirk, that Hal is to blame for Guy's upcoming death. Let Hal choke on that one for awhile.

Rankorr, Skallox, and Shadow Thief arrive just in time to stop Guy and Bleez from being overwhelmed. If Atrocitus was just about to slaughter two Red Lanterns, why would three Red Lanterns be able to rescue the other two?

Whoops. Make that two Red Lanterns to rescue the other two.

So now Skallox and Zilius Zox are dead. I'm sensing a pattern! Good thing Guy's last name isn't Gardnerox.

Yeah! No fair! He's not Dex-Starrox!

I'm sure Dex-Starr is going to be all right. Charles Soule can't kill a cat. Although he is a lawyer and I've heard lawyers have no souls or hearts or feelings or emotions or anything. I've never met a lawyer in my life so I don't know if there is any truth to the rumors. But I do tend to believe things that I want to believe, so that's really all the veracity I need.

Judge Red, who was probably a lawyer before becoming a Judge, has finally reached a verdict concerning Guy Gardner. I guess this was one of those non-jury trials that are probably decided by back room cash hand outs. Luckily, Guy is judged not guilty. But Judge Red judges herself as guilty and explodes. Fucking lunatic. She also takes all the humans with her. Not to the Realm of the Dead! To the Realm of the Probably Comatose and, Quite Possibly, Worse. Guy gathers them all up so he can figure out a way to get the rings off of them without killing him. I suppose he either has to stick them in the sun or convince Saint Walker to come out of retirement.

And then Guy Gardner battles Atrocitus. Not like a normal comic book where two characters punch each other until the one that punches the best wins. No, Guy battles Atrocitus in a Charles Souleian manner.

What kind of comic books did Charles Soule read that he now thinks this kind of confrontation is acceptable?! Where are all the punches?!

Look. I've read a lot of comic books in my time. I've read a lot of Guy Gardner comic books in my time as well. And there's always been something about Guy that I really love, especially when a writer gets it right and doesn't just portray him as an egotistical asshole that has to be in charge. Charles Soule gets Guy. He gets that Guy wants to do good. He gets that Guy needs approval and it hurts deeply when he doesn't get it. Guy wants to be recognized. That's why the Guardians knew they could manipulate him by promoting him to, what was it, Captain of the Everything or something. Anyway, Guy wants to be the best person he can be but he's got some anger issues that he's never been able to deal with very well. And now when Guy gives up the Red Ring, he's doing it because he knows the ring will choose him again. And seeing the ring choose him again, seeing ten rings choose him because of the anger he has, at the world, at his father, at himself...that fucking hurts to read.

This motherfucker is in some serious emotional pain.

Earlier I made that facetious comment about Guy's last words when I said they were all about Hal. The part of that I liked which I didn't mention because it didn't fit in with my rant about Hal being a jerko was when Guy admitted that he probably wasn't the best Green Lantern simply because he needed to be recognized as the best so badly. Everybody in the DC Universe has daddy issues but I like to see them manifest in intelligent and realistic ways. Like a guy needing his father's love so badly that he becomes the leader of an angry alien police force to prove to some other guy leading another cosmic police force that he can do the job too. It doesn't get more realistic than that.

Anygarden, Guy removes the Red Rings from all the Earthlings and Atrocitus and Dex-Starr and Atrocitus's Reds without anybody dying. He uses the rings to restore the Red Lantern Battery and the Blood Ocean. And then he gives the Red Lantern Corps to Rankorr. As for Guy, he returns to Earth wearing the Red Ring on a chain around his neck. Is it time to be Warrior again?!

Red Lanterns #34 Rating: +2 Ranking. Well, Mogo is getting more prisoners! I wonder if Mogo has any ethical issues with becoming a prison planet for the Green Lanterns. I don't really know what direction this book is going to go after all this. Will it follow Guy Gardner a bit on Earth? Or is it going to become a romance with Rankorr and Bleez honeymooning all over the place while they vomit lava on bad guys' faces? And what's going to become of Shadow Thief?! Or is it Shadow-Thief? Once she takes a dip in the Blood Ocean, she's really going to hate what she's become. But most of all, what is going to happen to Dex-Starr now that he's free of the Red Ring? I hope he becomes Mogo's best friend. Maybe Dex and Mogo will tame each other!

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