Bad Blood Boils Over in "Lights Out" Part Four | Fanboys Anonymous

Bad Blood Boils Over in "Lights Out" Part Four

Posted by Unknown Sunday, October 27, 2013
It's easy to get caught up in the dramatic elements of a universe-wide event like "Lights Out." The stakes are usually quite high by the penultimate issue and the big bad villain would be fun to swing at. Red Lanterns 24, however, takes a moment from the larger fray to check in on the ginger Red Lantern himself, Guy Gardner, and gives him a moment for a much-needed rage release.

Red Lanterns 24 hosts part four of the Lights Out event

The issue kicks off just moments after Bleez accuses Gardner of being a traitor to the Corps. His ensuing reaction is a nice justification for his coming to the Reds and proves it can be a story mechanic, not just a gimmick. Guy quickly devises a plan on his feet and forces Bleez to put her money where her mouth is and make the accusation before the major players of the Red Lantern Corps. (I'd imagine this is the first time most of them have been called players.) Despite her tough boned-winged exterior, Bleez fails to summon the courage to express her theory and gives up without any punching. (That comes later.) Her ring may be fueled by blood and rage "ripped from a corpse so freshly dead," but her lack of a green ring still leaves her vulnerable to stage fright. Just as Guy proves the glove doesn't fit, the sky opens up and rains Green Lanterns all over his parade. Elsewhere, Atrocitus struggles to contain the red entity called The Butcher within himself as he and Dex-Starr drift through space. It's really not a great time to be a lantern of any color.

Hal Jordan seeks Guy's help to face Relic in Lights Out part 4Following an attack by an entity-crazed Kyle Rayner in New Guardians 24, the surviving members of the GLC arrive on Ysmault as per the initial desperate plan. As the lead refugee, Hal attempts to get help from his trusted old comrade, Guy, who fulfills my Red Lantern vision and nearly knocks Jordan's lights out (see what I did there?) with a particularly fierce right hook. Sadly, the conflict diminishes as quickly as it started as Jordan plays the friend card to get through Guy's tough, red, napalm-vomit exterior. A bit of bartering later and Guy ominously tells Jordan he has a price for the Red Lantern's service. This all seemed a bit tidy for the tone the series is going for. So far, it looked like it was going to exploit the compounding danger of the quick and desperate choices Hal has had to make. Guy has the biggest ax to grind with Jordan, but the tides of his temper quickly settle to allow the plot to move on.

Atrocitus loses the red entity in Lights Out part 4Back in space, Atrocitus and Dex-Starr do everything they can to remain in the wake of the freed Butcher. Just as they get close to their target, White Lantern Kyle appears to reclaim the entity. Without The Butcher, Atrocitus—literally heartless from his red ring use—is doomed to die. Fortunately, he was a cat person and Dex-Starr decided to give up on pursuing the White Lantern to save his master. While I understand the need for more character than just growling and throwing up, I can't help but feel these Red Lanterns undermine the concept of the Emotional Spectrum as Geoff Johns established it.

Lights Out Part 4 lands the Green Lantern corp on the planet YsmaultThe spectrum, ordered in classic grade school ROY G BIV, is supposed to be the pantheon of emotion, with willpower—the Green Lanterns—at its center. The farther out you go in either direction, the more overpowering the emotions become. This brought balance to the various corps. The Red Lanterns were strong, but their feelings made them unruly. These new shy and emotional Red Lanterns are losing the very flavor that makes them distinct. Fortunately, we quickly jump away from the tender moment shared by the two iconic Reds to the "Edge of Known Space," where Relic is failing to break through the barrier that holds our universe's light reserve. He soon finds unlikely aid in Kyle Rayner and the new Guardians of the Universe, who say they are there to help get him through the barrier. Back on Ysmault, negotiations finally come to an end—along with the issue—as Jordan agrees to give the Reds their own Green Lantern-free sector in exchange for their help against Relic.

While there was a nice dose of progress in this issue, I was shocked to find the bottom heralding that "The Story Concludes in Green Lantern Annual," which is due out this week. Between the Central Power Battery, and subsequently Oa, Lights Out is having a significant effect on the Green Lantern Universe. What has been told so far barely seems like more than a first act and hardly merits a conclusion already. The status quo was just rocked hard, but we don't really get to revel in it or watch things change. Instead, we simply jump right to the dramatic final fight. While I'll have to withhold judgement on the series until it's finished, it seems unlikely the characters will get a chance to grow much, as they have each had only had one issue to deal with the changes as they were happening to them. Still, the lights aren't out completely yet, and there's still plenty of adventuring to be done. Check back to this Wednesday for Lights Out conclusion coverage.

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