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Posted by: Byron Brewer

Review: Red Lanterns #26

Writer: 
Charles Soule
Art: 
J. Calafiore
Colors: 
Gabe Eltaeb
Letterer: 
Dave Sharpe
Cover: 
Alessandro Vitti, Gabe Eltaeb
Publisher: 
DC Comics
Price: 
$2.99
Release Date: 
December 31, 2013

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Twenty-six months ago, if you were to hand me a copy of Red Lanterns #26 and tell me it was the same book that was uprooting Atrocitus as a dread villain and showing him and his Lanterns as more the angst anti-heroes allying with Hal Jordan in crayon-friendly groups, I would have laughed. Loudly.

The “Put a Human with ‘Em” is not my usual solution for straightening out the storyline and scope of a mag featuring aliens from diverse worlds. I, like many at CBN, are very much aversed to the Earth-centric space story unless it "works."

Under the pen of Charles Soule, swiftly becoming one of my favorite writers in comics, Red Tornado "works."

What a difference the addition of Guy Gardner has brought to this book … and to Guy! Here, his quirky disposition and hot temper seem to have a purpose, and I actually enjoy the other cast members more because of him.

This time around, Guy & Co. face their first real challenge with the new status quo and are engaged by a monarch with a brilliant weapon suited especially for the Reds. The fact that this is used – and quite effectively – by our big-bad without a snicker or wink is incredible in itself. The fact it is actually enjoyable is astounding. And enjoyable it is!

There is also a resolution – or at least a continuation – of the back-burner Atrocitus subplot, one that does not satisfy in its current situation and should have been compounded upon more this very issue, IMHO.

The art is not my favorite this time around, but Soule’s script and characterization are enough to carry this fine tale to its conclusion, for the most part.

Red Lanterns as a book is coming into its own. It is hoped it can stay independent long enough from the rest of the Lantern pack to become a strong mag in its own right. Issue #26 is one good first step!  

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