Posted by:
Matt McGloin

Atrocitus: The Blood Red River Flows Free


picThis June from writer Peter Milligan, the "anti-hero" Red Lantern Corps Leader, Atrocitus, stars in a new "Red Lantern" ongoing, the fourth Green Lantern related book. The wielder of the red ring's rage is what fuels him in his quest for ultimate vengeance - even leading the Spectre to back down from this unbridled passion.

The Rogue Manhunters decimated Atrocitus' sector 666, murdering his family and people in the process. With only a handful escaping, Atrocitus and the surviving few formed  "The Five Inversions" to get revenge on the Guardians. They performed a blood ritual that enabled them to see the future  - learning about "Blackest Night." Their attempt against the Guardians failed and the group was imprisoned on the planet, Ysmault - Atrocitus's homeworld.

Abin Sur, predecessor to Hal Jordan, took Atrocitus off Ysmault to investigate Blackest Night - on Earth. Atrocitus escapes in the process, wounding Abin Sur as his ship crash lands. This leads to the death of Abin Sur and the passing on of the ring to Hal Jordan. From there, Atrocitus learns of the human behind Blackest Night, William Hand, and attempts to murder him - but is thwarted by Green Lantern Sinestro and new recruit Hal Jordan. Atrocitus is returned to Ysmault, where he prophesizes the destruction of Sinestro's homeworld of Korugar.

In the Rage of the Red Lanterns one shot, which took place after the "Sinestro War," Atrocitus formed his Red Lantern Battery fueled by the emotion: rage. To form his power rings for his Red Lantern Corps, Atrocitus murdered the other members of the "Five Inversions" - using their blood as the building block for the rings and batteries. He promises to get back at Sinestro, capturing the now leader of the Yellow Lanterns. However, the Green Lanterns and Blue Lanterns intervene - as Sinestro is needed against the Blackest Night - and the Red Lanterns flee back to Ysmault. Atrocitus then agrees to put his differences aside as the Blackest Night threatens all of existence - but says his promise to get back and the Guardians remains intact after Blackest Night.

After the events of Blackest Night, he forms a pact with Green Lantern Guy Gardner and former Guardian (now a GL member) Ganthet to stop the vision that Guy witnesses - when Guy became a member of the Red Lantern Corps. Guy foresaw the current events that are playing out in Brightest Day with the rogue Guardian Krona controlling all the Emotional Spectrum Entities (Parralax being one). Both the Red Lantern Corps and Green Lantern Corps were shown to be fallen leading to their pact.

Writer Peter Milligan spoke on his new "Red Lantern" ongoing series that hits this June over at CBR.

Milligan states, Geoff Johns called him one night and asked if he would be up to writing a "Red Lantern" series. Milligan came up with ideas after their inital discussion working out a storyline for the next year or so.

He says the driving force behind the Red Lantern Corps leader, Atrocitus, is the loss of his family:

"You’ve touched upon an important point: the loss of Atrocitus’ family. This is central to our understanding of Atrocitus. The thing about Atrocitus is that he does have a heart. He even has some kind of rational process. Can you be both consumed by rage and still rational? As far as Atrocitus is concerned, the answer is yes. For him rage is rational."

The first arc will see Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns on Ysmault with some surprises in store. From there, the story makes it's way to the UK where the arrival of a number of red rings turns things, "upside down."

Milligan states we'll see the fan-favorite feline, Dex-starr, and also Bleeze - currently in issues of Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors.

As the "Red Lantern" ongoing takes place in June - this is after the events that take place in "War of the Green Lanterns" that begins this March.

Atrocitus is an interesting character and brings up a good question: Is he a villain or a hero? He has committed a number of atrocities all in the name of his murdered family. Will the rage finally consume him or set him free?

Find out this June in the "Red Lanterns" ongoing!

With blood and rage of crimson red,
Ripped from a corpse so freshly dead,
Together with our hellish hate,
We'll burn you all--That is your fate!