Wes Serafine

Equinox Staff


A month ago, we took a look at the Zero issue of Green Lantern: New Guardians, where Kyle Rayner, one of only a handful of humans to be inducted into the Green Lantern Corps, discovers his destiny of uniting the seven colors of the emotional spectrum.

Today, we once again check in on our old pal Kyle and see where his journey takes him next.

Last time, Kyle Rayner returned to Earth after a long battle in outer space. Once on Earth, he enlisted the help of Carol Ferris, member of the Star Sapphires to help him fight off a horde of zombies.

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During the fight, Kyle discovered an inherent ability to channel other colors of the spectrum, learning that if he must master all of them if he is able to prevent a forthcoming disaster. This week, Kyle has to master his first color: Red. In order to acquire the powers of the color Red, Kyle needs to learn from Atrocitus, the leader of the Red Lantern Corps, whose rage knows no bounds. Atrocitus formed the Red Lantern Corps after his entire planet was destroyed in a massacre staged by the Guardians of the Universe, the founders of the Green Lantern Corps.

The Red Lantern Corps thirst only for rage and vengeance. In order for Kyle to master the Red Fires of Rage, he must learn this as well. We begin with Atrocitus training Kyle—this consists of breaking him down to the core before he can channel the powers of the color red. Throughout the beating, Kyle has flashbacks to his former girlfriend, Alex. For those who do not know, Kyle’s girlfriend was brutally murdered and shoved into a fridge by a psychotic super-villain, making these scenes very heart-wrenching, especially when we learn that Atrocitus is torturing Kyle next to her grave.

The idea is that Atrocitus is trying to find a spark of rage within Kyle and bring it out so he can channel the power. In order to do this, Atrocitus feels it’s time to take on more extreme measures.

He takes Kyle to an Arab village where civilians are being executed senselessly. Kyle tries to save them, but Atrocitus holds him back and forces him to watch. Being helpless seems to be what finally causes Kyle to snap and unleash the rage within.

This story is incredibly well done. They seem to be going the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” route with all this, with Kyle being trained by different members of each Corps in order to master the different colors of the emotional spectrum.

I think if the series continues this trend, it will make for an excellent story. It’s different from the first 12 issues, which focused more on action and adventure and the forming of a team made up of a member of each Corps. This new arc has a more emotional focus, it’s different, but it still works. Kyle is done amazingly well—he is a gentle soul at heart.

He’ll get angry when the situation calls for it, but he is not like Atrocitus. I like how at the end, when he discovers his true rage, he begins to treat Carol in a more agitated manner—comparable to someone who has been exposed to the true evils of the world for the first time.  The exposure to the rage is Kyle’s baptism by fire, and he emerges from it as a new man.

Atrocitus is also written surprisingly well, his character has gone through an interesting evolution over time.

When he first appeared, he was an unabashed villain, pretty much what one would expect from a character who is so full of rage, that or The Hulk. Later, however, Atrocitus became something of an anti-hero—a man who was once an innocent scientist who lost his home and his family in a senseless massacre.

After letting that hatred brood within him for centuries, he finally became the monster he is now. He’s not evil, so much as he is a man who believes that vengeance is justified, and can you really blame him after all that he has lost?

In this issue, Atrocitus acts in a manner befitting his development. He taunts Kyle, not for kicks, but rather because he knows that this is what is necessary for Kyle to unlock his inner rage which will ultimately contribute to saving the entire universe.

This series continues to be my favorite weekly series. It has great characters and a fine story.




Wes Serafine can be contacted at



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