Red Lantern Corps
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2013)|
|Red Lantern Corps|
|Group publication information|
|First appearance||Green Lantern vol. 4 #25 (December 2007)|
|Created by||Geoff Johns (writer)
Ethan Van Sciver (artist)
|See: (see below)|
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||November 2011 – May 2015|
|Number of issues||41 (#1-40 plus issue numbered #0), a Red Lanterns: Futures End one-shot, and 1 annual (as of May 2015 cover date)|
|Writer(s)||Peter Milligan (#1-20, 0)
Charles Soule (#21-37)
Landry Walker (#38-40)
|Artist(s)||Jorje Jimenez (#8)
Tomas Giorello (#9)
Miguel Sepulveda (#10-18)
Will Conrad (#19-20)
Alessandro Vitti (#21- )
|Penciller(s)||Ed Benes and Deigo Bernardo (#1-7)
Andres Guinaldo (#8)
Ardian Syaf (#0)
|Inker(s)||Rob Hunter (#1-7)
Mark Irwin (artist) (#8)
Vicente Cifuentes (#0)
|Creator(s)||Geoff Johns (writer)
Ethan Van Sciver (artist)
|Volume 1: Blood and Rage||ISBN 1-4012-3491-7|
|Volume 2: The Death of the Red Lanterns||ISBN 1-4012-3847-5|
|Volume 3: The Second Prophecy||ISBN 1-4012-4414-9|
The Red Lantern Corps is a fictional organization, functioning as anti-heroes throughout much of the DC Universe, appearing in comics published by DC Comics. Their power is derived from the emotional spectrum. They debuted in Green Lantern vol. 4 #25 (December 2007) and were created by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver. Some of their characteristics were inspired by 28 Days Later, which is one of Van Sciver's favorite films.
- 1 Fictional group history
- 2 Prominent members
- 3 Entity
- 4 Oath
- 5 Powers and abilities
- 6 Other versions
- 7 Reception
- 8 In other media
- 9 Collected editions
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Fictional group history
The Red Lantern Corps are first mentioned during the "Sinestro Corps War" storyline. Foreshadowing another major crossover event in the DC Universe, former-Guardian Ganthet reveals the Blackest Night prophecy to Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner. The prophecy describes a War of Light between seven Corps powered by the lights of the emotional spectrum. Part of the prophecy reads: "A force of hate will rise as the Red Lantern is anointed in blood, the bearer's rage unfiltered and unchecked."
According to DC continuity, before recruiting sentient beings to the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians formed a robotic army called the Manhunters to maintain order across the universe. After eons of service, the renegade Guardian Krona altered their central programming, leading them to believe that the only way of maintaining order was to completely rid the universe of all known life. Sector 666 falls victim to this new philosophy when the Manhunters slaughter all but five of its inhabitants. The five survivors become known as the Five Inversions: a terrorist cell bent on the destruction of the Guardians of the Universe. They are incarcerated on the planet Ysmault, where one member, Atrocitus, is so consumed by his rage that it results in the formation of the first red power battery. Atrocitus had previously escaped at times, only to be defeated and returned. On one such occasion he fatally attacks Green Lantern Abin Sur; but Atrocitus is returned to confinement by (then Green Lantern) Sinestro. Atrocitus uses his power battery to bludgeon Qull and the other Inversions to death; however, he expresses more interest in exacting revenge on Sinestro.
Geoff Johns describes the Red Lantern Corps as likely being "the most violent of the Corps [...] based on violent reaction driven by emotional eruption – rage – instead of any clear-cut plan of war." He describes Atrocitus as "the most coherent and in control of the Red Lanterns," but notes that he will have trouble controlling the other, more feral members. Sinestro is their primary target.
As the power of rage consumes and drowns the intelligence of the users, the average Red Lantern is left in a barely animalistic mindset, with limited speech abilities and lacking any ability of abstract thought and understanding, and of every other form of volition but endless rage, driven by hatred and a dim memory of his past life, focused on the circumstances forcing him to hate in the first place. Atrocitus is able to restore his fellow Red Lanterns to their previous mental acuity with his shamanistic magic. The ritual, employed only once on Bleez, restored her previous mindset and ability for coherent thought, without dimming her rage. As such, Bleez, as Atrocitus, is still consumed by rage, but also loathing her endless suffering.
Rage of the Red Lanterns
In Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns, Atrocitus is shown in a flashback as having apparently formed a central power battery by using the blood of the other Inversions in blood magic rituals. The battery stands before a great lake of blood from which he forms his red power ring (crystallized by his anger), as well as other rings and batteries used to form the Red Lantern Corps. Harnessing the red light of rage, he sends his rings out into the universe; however, upon accepting the rings, his recruits' hearts are rendered useless. Their blood spoils from within, forcing them to expel the violently flammable and corrosive material from their mouths. Additionally, the Red Lanterns are reduced to an almost animalistic state, with only Atrocitus appearing to be in full control of himself. Once Atrocitus assembles a sufficient force, he leads them on a mission to capture Sinestro (who is being transferred to Korugar for his execution). Coincidentally, the Sinestro Corps have similar plans and they launch an ambush on the Green Lantern escort to rescue their leader. In turn both groups are then ambushed by the Red Lanterns, who are able to take Sinestro captive by slaughtering Green Lanterns and Sinestro Corpsmen alike. Among the many Red Lanterns being seen by readers for the first time is one familiar face: former Green Lantern Laira. After being tried and found guilty for the murder of Amon Sur, she is expelled from the Green Lantern Corps. While being escorted away from Oa, her ship is attacked by a red power ring. It attaches itself to her, and provides her with a vehicle to achieve the vengeance against Sinestro that she seeks.
The introduction of the fully formed Red Lantern Corps continues in the main Green Lantern title, where Atrocitus brings Sinestro to Ysmault and intends to use his blood in another ritual. As Johns promised, Atrocitus strikes at Laira to keep her and the other Red Lanterns from attacking him themselves. With the help of Saint Walker and Brother Warth from the newly formed Blue Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan heads for Ysmault to free Sinestro (due to Ganthet believing he has an important role to play in the approaching Blackest Night conflict). Separating from his companions, Jordan finds Sinestro but is captured by the Red Lantern Corps. Just as Atrocitus orders Laira to kill him, the Sinestro Corps also arrives on Ysmault to rescue their leader. Chaos ensues, but it's temporarily relieved upon the arrival of the Blue Lanterns. The two are able to keep the battling factions from destroying one another for a time, until Sinestro is released from confinement and kills Laira while Jordan attempts to calm her rage. Furious, Jordan's anger attracts Laira's ring and he becomes a member of the Red Lantern Corps himself. With his green power ring now inactive, Jordan attacks the Blue Lanterns and Sinestro. Saint Walker (whose powers are neutralized without the influence of a green ring) manages to get his blue power ring on Jordan's finger, which causes the red ring to explode when combined with the power of his reawakened green ring. Drained of power by Jordan's blue lantern abilities, the Sinestro Corps escapes. Wounded and seemingly beaten for now, Atrocitus and his own Corps also flee. At the conclusion of the issue, Atrocitus is seen using a blood ritual to locate the Blue Lantern Corps homeworld.
In Green Lantern Corps, Vice becomes the first Red Lantern to become a prisoner of the Green Lanterns. He attacks Kilowog and Salaak on the way back from the Red Lantern ambush, but is detained. Fixed with a muzzle to keep from using his corrosive plasma as a means of escape, he is placed in a sciencell on Oa. No longer under the allegiance of the Guardians, Scar removes the muzzle remotely as part of her own plans of bringing the Blackest Night prophecy into realization. Free of his restraints, Vice easily escapes and attacks the sciencell warden: Voz. To the amusement of the Sinestro Corps members imprisoned in their own sciencells, Vice overcomes and brutally assaults Voz. Sinestro's soldiers are horrified to find, however, that Vice is equally likely to attack them. As Vice begins culling the Sinestro Corps detainees, Scar releases their yellow power rings from confinement elsewhere on Oa. As the rings find their respective bearers, rioting ensues that necessitates the immediate attention of the Green Lantern Corps. The riot in the sciencells is eventually contained by the Green Lanterns and Alpha Lanterns. Vice, though given ample opportunity to escape, remains behind to shed more blood, and is subsequently captured and reimprisoned.
During the Blackest Night event, the Guardians of the Universe are shown observing the War of Light unfolding among the various Corps of the emotional spectrum; one of the scenes depicting the Lost Lanterns confronting the Red Lantern Corps in order to retrieve Laira's body from Ysmault. As the seven Corps battle one another, a new eighth group powered by death is introduced to the DC Universe: the Black Lantern Corps. Black Hand, a leader of the new Corps, releases black power rings that reanimated the deceased in order to recruit members to their ranks. Just as Atrocitus steps into the fight against the Lost Lanterns, the black rings descend on Ysmault, seeking the bodies of Laira and the four deceased Inversions.
The passage taken from The Book of the Black at the end of Blackest Night #3 states that rage will be the second emotion to fall in the Black Lantern Corps' crusade against the colored lights. Love is depicted as being the first which is fulfilled in Green Lantern vol. 4 #46, when the Black Lanterns devastate the Star Sapphires' homeworld of Zamaron. On Ysmault, the four Inversions attack Atrocitus and rip out his heart. However, the insatiable wrath contained within his ring prevents him from dying (having functionally replaced his heart), and temporarily destroys the Black Lantern Inversions. Later, Atrocitus is seen temporarily destroying the Black Lanterns in pursuit of Larfleeze, and demands that he surrender the Orange Central Power Battery. After a brief conflict over the Orange Central Power Battery, the two characters are joined by Hal Jordan, Sinestro, Carol Ferris, Indigo-1, Saint Walker, Ganthet, and Sayd. The group needs Larfleeze and Atrocitus to represent their respective colored lights in the emotional spectrum in a group effort to create a collective white light that will destroy the Black Lantern Corps. Atrocitus initially refuses to cooperate, but after deciding that the Black Lanterns are as much a creation of the Guardians as the Manhunter droids responsible for destroying his world, he changes his mind and complies. During the fight on Earth, Mera is temporarily inducted into the Red Lantern Corps as a 'deputy' to help hold the line against the Black Lanterns, but Wonder Woman is able to use her Star Sapphire ring to hold back Mera's rage and grant her a degree of control, with the ring being removed completely when Aquaman is resurrected as Mera's love for him compromises her rage (although Carol and Saint Walker are required to restart Mera's heart).
During the Black Lantern siege of the Green Central Power Battery, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner release Vice; hoping that the Red Lantern will be able to destroy the Black Lanterns faster than they can regenerate, thereby weakening a giant black construct attempting to destroy the battery. Believing that Vice has escaped (rather than being released), Alpha Lantern Chaselon kills him. Vice's ring later attaches itself to Guy Gardner, who has become full of rage following Kyle Rayner's death. Using both his green and red power rings, Guy slaughters dozens of Black Lanterns. After the planetary Green Lantern Mogo manages to neutralise the Black Lanterns, Guy turns his rage on his fellow Green Lanterns. Mogo uses a special pool of antibodies to remove most of the Red Lantern energies from Guy's body, telling him the only way to completely cleanse him is to bathe in the light of a Blue Lantern. Guy temporarily returns to the Red Lanterns when he uses Atrocitus's ring to fight off the Green Lantern Corps under Krona's control- Guy's green ring being compromised and reasoning that he has some experience with the red ring, while Krona has been trapped in the Book of the Black-, with Kyle Rayner's temporary blue ring allowing him to fully heal Guy of the red ring's influence once the crisis is over and Atrocitus has been freed.
The New 52 and solo title
In The New 52, the Red Lantern backstory, despite having not been radically altered, was explained and expanded in the eponymous series written by Peter Milligan, ultimately released after the end of the "Flashpoint" storyline.
After the end of the War of the Green Lanterns, disappointed at the fact that he was not the one who killed Krona, the culprit of the Ryut Massacre, Atrocitus, feeling his rage dimming, is left without a purpose and faced with the drawbacks of leading an army of devolved, animalistic underlings driven by rage only. He decides to choose an individual to be his equal and right hand, on whom to bestow his or her full mental faculties. He chooses Bleez, but soon believes she may have manipulated him into doing this. At the same time on Earth, after watching his brother being beaten to death, a human being becomes a Red Lantern, subsequently helping Atrocitus when other Red Lanterns turn on him due to his rage having lessened.
Bleez becomes the Red Lantern representative in the New Guardians team consisting of seven representatives from the seven different Corps working together for mutual interest. The group investigates a mysterious Orrery in the Vega System, traveling back to Earth with Kyle Rayner to recover his power battery after he is officially discharged from the Green Lantern Corps – while retaining his ring and access to the Oan network – in order to protect him if the Guardians should try and capture him.
To date, only a select few of the Red Lanterns have been identified by name in Green Lantern titles. It is notable, however, that many of the members who are known were actually victimized by the Sinestro Corps.
- Atrocitus (of Sector 666): A struggling psychologist from the planet Ryut who survived the massacre executed by the Manhunters on his sector with four others who teamed up with him to form the Five Inversions, a terrorist cabal bent on the destruction of the Guardians of the Universe. He was formerly the only Red Lantern that had complete control over himself (unlike the other feral members of the Red Lantern Corps) and also lead the Corps until the induction of Guy Gardner, who killed Atrocitus with his bare hands when he removed Atrocitus' red power ring and took the leadership from him. However while every Red Lantern think Atrocitus to be dead, he was however saved by Dex-Starr who was able to create a heart construct to replace the one Atrocitus lost, due to his heart being forcibly removed by his former members of the Five Inversions, which were temporarily resurrected as Black Lanterns during the events of the Blackest Night saga. Vowing to get revenge on Guy Gardner, Atrocitus then went to Sector 718 to look for a replacement ring. When he reached the planet Styge Prime, he found the embodiment of Rage, the Butcher, in captivity. After he and Dex-Starr defeated his captors, Atrocitus was able to possess the Butcher, thereby regaining his powers and possibly becoming more powerful. However the entity is taken away by Kyle Rayner and the other entities, excluding Parallax who is still under Sinestro's control. Atrocitus and Dex-Star then find another feral Red Lantern, kill it and take its ring. He then captures Rankorr and forces a bug inside him to make him feral. He then poisons the blood on Ysmult and using a second lake on Styge Prime he creates hundreds of rings and sends them to earth. He then uses these new formed reds from earth to fight Guy Gardener but Gardener bears him by proving his rage greater than Atrocitus's and taking away his ring along with Dex-star's and all the new formed red's as well. Although it is presumed he is dead, Gardener still refers to him as alive.
- Guy Gardner (of Sector 2814): After Kyle Rayner's presumed death in Green Lantern Corps (vol 2) #43, Guy is consumed by rage; attracting Vice's red power ring in the following issue. Like Hal Jordan, Guy is notable as one of the few Red Lanterns capable of creating red light constructs. Uniquely, Guy maintains control of his green power ring as well, and is capable of using both in conjunction with one another. Guy is able to overcome the red ring's influence with the aid of Mogo, however the planetary Green Lantern warns Guy that some influence of the red still remains, and that only a Blue Lantern's power ring could completely remove the influence of the red ring. During the "War of the Green Lantern Corps" story-arc, Guy is forced to remove his green power ring to avoid being contaminated by the yellow impurity. Later Hal Jordan gave him the choice of another power ring so they could fight against Krona, which he choose the red ring of Atrocitus (due to his previous experience with a Red Power Ring). Afterwards, Kyle Rayner uses Saint Walker's Ring to purify Guy from the effects of the ring. Following the defeat of Volthoom, the First Lantern, Guy was tasked by Hal Jordan to go undercover and re-enlist with the Red Lanterns as a mole, given Gardner’s rage issues, and the fact that the red ring turns its user into a violent lunatic. It’s no small request, especially since Gardner had only just purged its effects from his system. Following the conflict with Relic, Gardener chose to remain with the Red Lanterns, and arranged for them to gain jurisdiction over Sector 2814.
- Bleez (of Sector 33): A princess from the planet Havania who was kidnapped by the Sinestro Corps during a visit by suitors and then tortured and raped while imprisoned on Ranx the Sentient City. However, it was due to her vow to exact vengeance on those who kidnapped her that she was bailed out of captivity by a red power ring that saved her from being caught escaping during a Green Lantern assault on Ranx and deformed her into a member of the Red Lantern Corps. In early appearances, she is seen as only having one skeletal wing; the partner of which, Shane Davis suggests, was removed during her imprisonment. In Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2, the power of her red ring reduced her two feathered wings to bone; her depictions with one wing are retconned. In her current backstory, both her wings were mutilated during her torture, thus having the ring "heal" them in their current, skeletal form. Bleez serves as the representative of the Red Lanterns Corps in the new Green Lantern: New Guardians ongoing series. Atrocitus also restored Bleez' intelligence to assist him in maintaining his control over the other animalistic Red Lanterns.
- Veon (of Sector 435): A purple alien with one eye and one of Atrocitus's first recruits, he is shown in Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns and named during Hal's attempted rescue of Sinestro when his ring says, "Veon rage." In Green Lantern vol. 4 #45, he is killed by Boodikka when the Green Lanterns retrieve Laira's body from Ysmault.
- Vice (of Sector 13): The most ruthless of the Red Lanterns, whose mate was murdered by the Sinestro Corps drill sergeant, Arkillo. His forehead and jaw contain spikes which he uses to decapitate his enemies. He is later captured and sent to the sciencells on Oa, but is freed by Scar. He starts a riot among the prisoners, attacking Green Lanterns and Sinestro Corpsmen alike. He is later killed by Alpha-Lantern Chaselon during an attack by the Black Lanterns.
- Skallox: A loyal goat-headed member of a crime syndicate hired to commit acts of violence by a man named Lancer. Lancer wrongly accuses Skallox of disloyalty and throws him in an oven, rotting his head into what resembles a goat's skull. Skallox, enraged of what he was being turned into, was then visited by a red power ring that crashed through the oven window and convinced him that he'll deserve better respect as a member of the Red Lantern Corps. He is shown among the Red Lanterns during Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns and then named in Blackest Night #0. Part of his origin story is shown in the Red Lantern series, after Atrocitus throws him into the blood ocean.
- Dex-Starr (of Sector 2814): An abandoned stray blue house cat from Earth adopted by a single woman in Brooklyn who names him Dexter. During a break-in, Dex-Starr scratched the burglar before his owner was killed and he was evicted by police. Homeless, he was grabbed by two street thugs and thrown off the Brooklyn Bridge, but the rage he felt caught the attention of a red power ring and it came to him before he hit the water. As a member of the Red Lantern Corps, he killed the two thugs and slept on their skulls, proclaiming himself to be a "good kitty" using thoughts expressed in simple sentences. He was described by Geoff Johns in an interview with Wizard as "the most sadistic and malicious" of the Red Lanterns. Originally intended as a joke by Shane Davis, he began being featured more prominently due to positive reception. Dex-Starr frequently travels with Atrocitus, with his vengeful quest centering on finding the burglar that murdered his owner. Dex-Starr gained the ability to create constructs after drinking the blood of Rankorr, and unbeknownst to his fellow Red Lanterns, he used his new found ability to save Atrocitus from certain death after the former-leader of the Red Lanterns saw his red power ring being taken by Guy Gardner.
- Rankorr (Jack Moore) (of Sector 2814): A child punk from Earth who was taken in alongside his brother, Ray, by their grandfather after their mother died. Ever since, he always repressed his growing feelings of rage over the tragedy by attending Oxford University and reading books, until he witnessed his grandfather's murder during a robbery committed by his old classmate Baxter and Rays's brutal beating at the hands of the local police, who caught him trying to firebomb Baxter's house. Unable to repress his feelings anymore and going out to rescue Ray, Jack unknowingly allowed a red power ring that appeared before him to inductee him into the Red Lantern Corps, becoming the fifth human to bear a red power ring after Hal Jordan, Mera, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner (the sixth terrestrial including Dex-Starr). After killing one of the officers and escaping, Jack went after Baxter, who was being transported to a safe house by the police in a van, but was stopped by Guy Gardner, who Jack pleaded for help after rescuing from gettng run over by a truck. Only too late could Jack be helped as his ring transported to Ysmault for training.  As with Hal and Guy, Jack Moore manages to hold on part of his rationality, and he is one of the few able to create constructs. After giving his grandfather's grave a last greeting, he decides to avenge him and his brother by slaying his killer, the man he held responsible by trying to smash him with his grandfather's tombstone. But his prevented by a green lantern Guy Gardener. He was then confronted by Guy, making the Green Lantern Corps aware of his existence, until he is called to Ryut to join Atrocitus in his fight towards Abysmus and the Abysmorphs. He is made a true red after he finally kills the one responsible for his grandfather's death. His construct creation ability can be gained by other red lanterns if they drink his blood.
- Zilius Zox (of Sector 3544): First shown in Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns, he devours a Sinestro Corps member during Sinestro's abduction. He appears to be the same species as late Green Lantern Galius Zed. In Red Lanterns, Atrocitus throws him into the blood ocean in an attempt to restore his intelligence like Bleez.
- Abyssma: First identified by name by Ethan Van Sciver during an interview, Hal Jordan is shown fighting this Red Lantern during a battle between the Corps.
- Antipathy: A favorite creation of Ethan Van Sciver, she is shown fighting Lantern Soranik during the epic battle between the Corps. She is distinguished as being one of the few Red Lanterns to create constructs using her ring, as she is depicted wielding scissor-like blades made of red light.
- Fury-6: First identified by name in the promotional imagery contained inside Blackest Night #0, he was first seen as a participant in the abduction of Sinestro.
- Haggor: First identified by name in the promotional imagery contained inside Blackest Night #0, he is similar in appearance to Abyssma.
- The Judge: a unique member, her rage was feral but rather calculating. Atrocitus tries to recruit her into his Red Lantern Corps but she wishes to 'judge' both factions and goes to see Gardener's reds. Finally during the Atrocities story line of the Red lanterns she deems Atrocitus reds gulity and herself Guilty as well and generates a mental blast that kills her and renders the guilty reds unconscious.
- Nite-Lik: Unique to the members of the Red Lantern Corps, Nite-Lik was designed specifically for Mattel’s series of Green Lantern figures by Four Horsemen Studios and was named after Mattel's Scott Neitlich by Geoff Johns. The packaging for Nite-Lik's figure (which is a body that includes interchangeable heads for Nite-Like and Skallox) states that his first appearance is in Green Lantern (Volume 4) #61, however, he doesn't actually make his debut until the first issue of Red Lanterns.
- Ratchet: A large floating brain with jellyfish-like features that is shown among the Red Lanterns during Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns and then named in Blackest Night #0. In Red Lanterns #4 and 5, his origin story is revealed after Atrocitus throws him in the blood ocean on Ysmault. First depicted as a small, alien life form not resembling his current jellyfish-like appearance, his body is mutilated and deformed by his society's law enforcement by defying their cultural rule of physical isolation. Finding a place with the Red Lanterns, his rage, born of his forced isolation, gradually starts to diminish. Before it can fade completely, he sacrifices himself in battle.
- Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) (of Sector 2813): The biological cousin of Superman.
- Hal Jordan (of Sector 2814): A Green Lantern officer given a red power ring during his attempt to rescue Sinestro from the Red Lanterns and to calm Laira's rage, only to have Sinestro kill her just as he appears to be breaking through. Enraged, Laira's red power ring detects Hal's anger and forces itself onto his finger; temporarily transforming him into a member of the Red Lantern Corps. Hal is able to overcome the red ring's influence with the aid of the Blue Lantern Corps.
- James Kim (of Sector 2814): A man whose daughter was cruelly murdered. Though not in possession of a red power ring, as the host of the The Butcher, he has no need for one.
- Krona (of Sector 0): During the War of the Green Lanterns, Krona was briefly able to take control of Atrocitus' ring and the other six rings, using them against the Green Lantern Corps, but the ring returned to its master after Hal Jordan killed Krona.
- Laira (of Sector 112): A former Green Lantern who is chosen by a red power ring after being punished and expelled for killing Amon Sur. Her rage regresses her to a semi-feral state, where she is capable of saying little more than "Sinestro." Hal Jordan meets her again on Ysmault and attempts to calm her rage. Just as Laira and her red power ring simultaneously utter "help me," she is killed by Sinestro.
- Mera (of Sector 2814): The queen of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. Mera is chosen as a deputy Red Lantern during the war against the Black Lantern Corps. When Aquaman is later resurrected by the White Entity, Mera's love for him severs the connection to her ring. Fortunately, she is spared from death through the combined efforts of Carol Ferris and Saint Walker.
- Spectre (of Sector 2814): After being freed of the possession of a black power ring by Parallax during the Blackest Night event, Atrocitus attempts to recruit the Spectre to the Red Lantern Corps. After taking on the Red Lantern symbol and signature regurgitation of blood, The Spectre is able to shrug off the effects of the intrusion (explaining that he is God's rage, not Atrocitus').
- Kyle Rayner (of Sector 2814): One of the four Green Lanterns of Earth, Kyle had become a "magnet" to all the corps rings with one red ring appearing to him claiming him as its bearer. It has since been revealed that Kyle must channel all the powers of the emotional spectrum while without possessing a red ring, he can access, at will, the powers of the red light, also turning him disturbingly cold when he does.
- Superman-Prime (of sector 2813): Superman-Prime temporarily becomes a member of the Red Lantern Corps during the Blackest Night storyline as his rage causes the black power ring that tries to turn him into a black lantern to temporarily turn him into a red lantern.
The red rage entity is called The Butcher and takes the form of an earth bull with a forehead bone structure resembling the Red Lantern symbol, created by the first act of murder. As with the other emotional entities, the Butcher was attracted to Earth by the Entity and is hunted by Krona. The white entity intones for Hal, Carol, and Sinestro to find them before it is too late. According to Atrocitus' divining ritual, the Butcher can be found in the northwestern United States. The Butcher goes on the run all the while trying to find a host. Atrocitus is currently searching for it, along with Dex-Starr and Sinestro. The Spectre is also seen searching for the entity.
The Butcher eventually tries to possess a man named James Kim whose daughter was cruelly murdered, however the Spectre prevented it claiming that the Butcher was too chaotic and too dangerous to be left alone on Earth and as he tried to kill the rage entity, Atrocitus comes to the rescue.
Taking the opportunity, the Butcher finally possess James Kim, goading him with words of his daughter's killer only to empower its rage which lead to James killing the murderer. However by killing him, James rage began subsiding, forcing the Butcher to choose another host. Atrocitus tricks the entity to expose itself, and with the help of the Spectre, Atrocitus manages to contain the entity in the red lantern battery by chanting the Red Lantern Corps oath.
Later, when Krona is attempting to obtain the last of the entities he uses Ophidian's powers to get Atrocitus to release The Butcher and claim it. During the assault on Oa Krona allows the Butcher and the other entities (except for Parallax) to take one of the six remaining Guardians as hosts. The Butcher was eventually free from Krona's control, after Hal Jordan defeated and killed the rogue Guardian. The Butcher roams at large in the Universe once again. The Butcher soon began suffering from a strange illness, later revealed to be the reservoir of the emotional spectrum was becoming exhausted. After Relic wiped out the Blue Lantern Corps and forcefully drained the green light from Oa's Central Power Battery and destroying the planet in the process, the Butcher sacrifices himself, passing into the Source Wall to repair the emotional spectrum.
However it appears that a new rage entity as since been born from the excess rage left on Earth from the war with Atrocitus.
Like other Corps in the DC Universe, Atrocitus created an oath for the Red Lanterns to use when recharging their rings. As the other members of his Corps are rarely seen as being capable of speech, it's unknown how often they use it (if they are able to at all). However, it has been shown how Atrocitus is able to restore intelligence and abstract thought, along with full speech capabilities, to his fellow Red Lanterns by the use of his shamanistic magic, making them able to recite the full oath. The Red Lantern Corps oath is recited as follows:
—Atrocitus, Green Lantern (vol. 4) #32 (June 2008)
Green Lantern: The Animated Series features an adjusted version of this oath:
Aya also created an alternative that was ultimately unable to activate the ring and battery:
Powers and abilities
Red Lanterns use red power rings, fueled by the rage of their users and those around them. Like other power rings, the ring covers the user in a protective aura which shields them from harm and enables flight, and can create "Hard Light" constructs. The power ring fires blasts of rage energy. The user's blood is replaced by a form of corrosive, rage-energized blood. The user can regurgitate this blood. The blood has the effect of bursting into flames of rage; the flames are so potent that they will burn even in space. The blood can melt through the constructs of other ring wielders, penetrate their personal force fields (sometimes burning them to death in the process), and corrupt their rings, depleting their energy at an accelerated rate. The Red Rings' blood is one of the few known substances that can destroy a Black Lantern's corpse faster than even they can regenerate. Since the Red Ring completely takes over the circulatory processes of the wearer, removing the heart of a Red Lantern only temporarily incapacitates them.
A red power ring operates by expelling the blood of the wearer, replacing it with red light. As a result, removing a Red Lantern's ring will result in the wearer's death. However, a Blue Lantern's ring can reverse this process, freeing the wearer from the ring. The combined powers of blue and green rings can destroy a red ring. Also, if the heart of the wearer fills with love, which is the opposite emotion to rage in the Emotional Spectrum, the rage gets compromised and the connection with the ring breaks, instantly destroying the ring, but the light of a Blue Lantern is still needed to heal the former Red Lantern, because his/her heart goes into cardiac arrest by the lack of blood. To date, Mera is the only Red Lantern who was freed this way.
Though most red ring wielders are little more than beasts driven by rage, individuals with strong willpower are able to manipulate the energy to create constructs. The Red Lantern ring is unique in that the user can manipulate its base of power, rage. A Red Lantern can detect the rage in the heart of others and, by connection, the blood that pumps that rage. Those who face a Red Lantern already in a state of anger are even more vulnerable to a red power ring's attack, as their anger only feeds the attack and increases its destructive power.
The red power ring has also displayed a number of weaknesses as well. To wear a red power ring is to be overtaken by the red light of rage, reducing the wearer to act on pure instinct, driven to kill and destroy with little reason or forethought. Supposedly because Atrocitus is the creator of the corp. he is one of the few who have retained his personality without drowning in the Blood Lake of Ysmault. The only other member to retain their sanity is Rankorr of earth. This was done through sheer will power which may be why he is the only Red Lantern capable of creating hardlight constructs, though a Blue Lantern can, at least partially, restore a Red Lantern's cognitive functions while retaining their Red Lantern abilities. If a Red Lantern Ring wielder is placed in the Lake of Blood on Ysmault, he or she will have their intelligence restored. Atrocitus intentionally set the rings to select beings who cannot control their rage, and the rings have attempted to leave wielders who gain control of their rage on a few occasions (although as all of these were with members of the Green Lantern Corps, they may be set instead to leave those whose willpower is too strong to be influenced).
In the universe prior to the current one, groups managed to tap into the wellspring of power created by the Emotional Spectrum. In this universe those who tapped into the red light were known as the Lightsmiths of the Red Light of Fury and were the ones that rejected relic.
Critical reception for the Red Lantern Corps has been mixed. Their first appearance, during the Final Crisis event in 2008, was met with a mostly positive critical response. Jesse Schedeen, writing for IGN, remarked that "the Red Lanterns are an excellent addition to the increasingly crowded Lantern mythos." J. Montes, writing for Weekly Comic Book Review, noted that "The Red Lanterns are vicious and make the relentlessness of the Sinestro Corps almost wimpy by comparison." Likewise, Red Lantern Bleez's origin story, as told in Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2, received widespread praise, particularly for Eddie Barrows's artwork.
Their solo series, launched in 2011 as part of the New 52, initially received a mixed to negative response. Most reviewers praised the artwork by Ed Benes and Miguel Sepulveda, while criticizing the weak plot, inconsistent characterization, and uneven pacing of the story.
In other media
- The Red Lantern Corps are the primary antagonists of the first arc of Green Lantern: The Animated Series, however there are a number of differences between their representation on the show and how they appear in the comic. This version of the Red Lantern Corps is not mindless, for instance, and all of the members depicted appear to be fully in control of their actions. The energy produced by their rings also does not produce persistent damage effects or increased violent tendencies in their targets (although it is demonstrated on multiple occasions to be more powerful than Green Lantern energy in sheer output), and Red Lantern rings can be removed without instantly killing the user in this continuity. In this version, Red Lantern energy isn't necessarily a negative emotion, depending on the user and their intentions, as "anger" is part of the emotions of sentient life. While the version in the comics was blind, unthinking rage, the TV series version of Red Lantern energy is said to cover a broad definition of "anger", ranging from "rage" on one end, but also "righteous fury" on the other. The Red Lantern Corps organization under Atrocitus, however, focuses on rage. Membership is voluntary, with the organization preaching a fascist protectionist ethos. There also appears to be a Cult of Personality centered around the veneration of Atrocitus as a prophet figure. It has been revealed that while membership is voluntary, Atrocitus has on at least one occasion plunged an entire planet into generations of war simply to produce a single Red Lantern candidate, manipulating the entire life of Razer in order to fill him with hate. So far, Zilius Zox, Atrocitus, Bleez, Veon, and Skallox have all appeared as members of the animated Red Lantern Corps. New members that are original to the series include Razer- a 'reformed' Red Lantern who sought to escape his past by working with Hal and Kilowog- Cleric Loran, and Ragnar. Their powers are negated by the proximity of Blue Lantern Corps energy, although extreme anger can overcome that weakness.
- The Red Lantern Corps appear as enemies to both heroes and villains in DC Universe Online as part of the first DLC pack. Atrocitus and Vice are present in this game. They are seen attacking Ferris Aircraft in Coast City.
- The Red Lantern became a playable power for both heroes and villains in the first of three new DLC packs for DC Universe Online DLC 9 War of the Light Part I released early 2014.
- A Red Lantern can be seen flying in the background battling a Green Lantern in the alternate reality-Metropolis level in the Injustice: Gods Among Us.
- Atrocitus, Bleez, and Dex-Starr appear as playable characters in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
- Atrocitus appears as a playable character in Infinite Crisis.
- Atrocitus and Bleez were both featured in the DC Comics Super Hero Collection.
- Red Lanterns Skallox, Dex-Starr, and Nite-Lik were featured in the Green Lantern Classics toyline in 2011.
- Atrocitus, Mera, and Dex-Starr were released as part of the Blackest Night collection.
- A Red Lantern Guy Gardner figure was released as part of the Green Lantern, Series 4 collection.
- Atrocitus is part of DC Universe Club Infinite Earths
- Red Lanterns Vol. 1: Blood and Rage (Red Lanterns #1–7)
- Red Lanterns Vol. 2: Death of the Red Lanterns (Red Lanterns #8–12 and Stormwatch #9)
- Stormwatch Vol. 2: Enemies of Earth (Red Lanterns #10 and Stormwatch #7–12)
- Red Lanterns Vol. 3: The Second Prophecy (Red Lanterns #13–20, #0, Green Lantern (vol. 5) #20)
- Green Lantern : Rise of the Third Army (collects Green Lantern Annual #1, Green Lantern (vol. 5) #13–16, Green Lantern Corps (vol. 3) #13–16, Green Lantern: New Guardians #13–16, Red Lantern #13–16, Green Lantern Corps Annual #1, 416 pages, Hardcover, September 10, 2013, ISBN 1-4012-4499-8)
- Green Lantern: Wrath of the First Lantern (collects Green Lantern vol. 5 #17–20, Green Lantern Corps vol. 3 #17–20, Green Lantern: New Guardians #17–20, Red Lantern #17–20, 416 pages, hardcover, February 25, 2014, ISBN 1-4012-4409-2)
- Red Lanterns Vol. 4: Blood Brothers (collects Red Lanterns #21–26, Green Lantern Annual #2, 176 pages, Paperback, June 3, 2014, ISBN 1-4012-4742-3)
- Green Lantern: Lights Out (collects Green Lantern #24, Green Lantern Corps #24, Green Lantern: New Guardians #23-24, Red Lanterns #24, Green Lantern Annual #2, Green Lantern #23.1: Relic, 192 pages, Hardcover, June 24, 2014, ISBN 1-4012-4816-0)
- Red Lanterns Vol. 5: Atrocities (collects Green Lantern/Red Lanterns #28, Red Lanterns #27, #29-34, Red Lanterns Annual #1, Supergirl #31, 272 pages, Paperback, December 9, 2014, ISBN 1-4012-5090-4)
- Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2 (July 2009)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #25 (January 2008)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #33 (September 2008)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #30 (June 2008)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #35 (November 2008)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #28 (April 2008)
- Geoff Johns on Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns, Newsarama, October 27, 2008
- Red Lanterns #3 (November 2011)
- Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns (October 2008)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #36 (December 2008)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #37 (January 2009)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #38 (February 2009)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 2 #34 (May 2009)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 2 #35 (June 2009)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 2 #38 (September 2009)
- Blackest Night #1 (September 2009)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #45 (October 2009)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #46 (November 2009)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #47 (December 2009)
- Blackest Night #6
- Blackest Night #8
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 2 #42 (November 2009)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 2 #43 (December 2009)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 2 #44 (December 2009)
- Green Lantern Corps vol. 2 #45 (February 2010)
- MILLIGAN WRITES "RED LANTERN CORPS", Comic Book Resources, January 3, 2011
- Mullin, Pamela. "Green Lantern #1s". DC Comics. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- Red Lanterns #1 (September 2011)
- Red Lanterns #2 (October 2011)
- Red Lanterns #4 (December 2011)
- Green Lantern: New Guardians #4
- Green Lantern: New Guardians #8
- Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #8 (March 2011)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #65 (April 2011)
- Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #10 (May 2011)
- Red Lanterns vol. 1 #21 (June 2013)
- Road to Blackest Night: Red Kitty Rage, Newsarama, May 13, 2009
- Red Lanterns #5 (March 2012)
- Red Lanterns #6 (February 2012)
- Red Lanterns #7 (March 2012)
- Ethan Van Sciver - Behind the Lanterns' Looks, Newsarama, April 25, 2009
- Blackest Night #0 (April 2009)
- Rage of the Red Lanterns: GLC series 2 Skallox and Nite-Lik Review, MTV Geek, April 19, 2011
- "MattyCollector.com Online Store - DCU, Green Lantern Figure". Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #61 (December 2010)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #67 (July 2011)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #26 (February 2008)
- Blackest Night #6 (December 2009)
- Blackest Night #8 (March 2010)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #51 (February 2010)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #54 (May 2010)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #58 (October 2010)
- Green Lantern vol. 4 #55 (June 2010)
- Venditti, Robert (w). Green Lantern Annual v5, 2 (October 2013), DC Comics
- Red Lanterns #39
- "Red Lantern Oath.mov". YouTube. 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
- Green Lantern #23.1
- Green Lantern Animated Series Does Not Follow Film; Will Feature Red Lantern Corps, ComicBookMovie.com, August 9, 2010
- ""Green Lantern: The Animated Series" Beware My Power: Part One (TV episode 2011) - IMDb". Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- ""Green Lantern: The Animated Series" Beware My Power: Part Two (TV episode 2011) - IMDb". Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- ""Green Lantern: The Animated Series" Reckoning (TV episode 2012) - IMDb". Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- Red Lantern Corps at the Comic Book DB