SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Green Lanterns” #2, on sale now.
In “Green Lanterns” #1, Sam Humphries and Robson Rocha introduced the latest scheme of the Red Lanterns, something named Red Dawn. And while there were manifestations of hatred and a strange structure on Earth, the exact nature of Red Dawn was still a mystery — until now. “Green Lanterns” #2 gives readers the inside scoop on exactly what Red Dawn entails, even as we also learn more on how much mastery Jessica Cruz has over her Green Lantern abilities.
Atrocitus, the leader of the Red Lanterns, explains to the other members of his corps, as well as to the audience, exactly what Red Dawn is and why we’re seeing rage sweep across the planet: Red Dawn’s ultimate goal is to recreate Earth into a new home world for the Red Lanterns. The need to do so is somehow connected to the death of the Butcher (and the other Emotional Entities) in “Green Lantern Annual” #2, with the first step the creation of a Hate Tower (briefly glimpsed last issue) on Earth. As the Tower grows, it will not only rise, but also burrow into the depths of the planet. Eventually, Atrocitus will complete the process by planting a Rage Seed within the Hate Tower to fully transform Earth into the new Ysmault.
The Tower’s presence is, presumably, why the rage is spreading across our planet. At least for now, the rage is not something that can be removed by a Green Lantern’s ring; both Jessica and Simon are unable to do anything more for Jessica’s infected sister Sara than encase her in Green Lantern energy so that she can’t harm herself or anything else. By the end of the issue, the rage has spread into the form of the Red Lanterns logo, burning across all of North America and infecting everyone under its symbol. It’s worth noting that the final issues of “Red Lanterns” featured not only a new, briefly-seen Rage Entity (perhaps a replacement for the Butcher?), but also the power of rage blasting across the planet and the symbol of the Red Lanterns appearing on Earth’s surface. It could merely be coincidence, or Humphries could be tying into the series that ended a year ago, picking up the seeds “Red Lanterns” writer Landry Q. Walker left behind.
Meanwhile, Jessica Cruz’s time as Power Ring has been distinctly muted. Here, she’s depicted as someone who’s still learning not only how to fly, but even the most basic of Green Lantern abilities: how to create things with her mind and the emerald energy. It’s much more of a new-hero role than we were led to believe in “Green Lanterns: Rebirth” #1, to say nothing of her appearances in “Justice League.” Simon Baz is being portrayed as much more the teacher than the fellow cadet as we saw earlier, with Simon regularly snatching Jessica up and bodily dragging her to where he believes her presence is more strongly needed. It’s a slightly different setup than we were shown in their “Green Lanterns: Rebirth” introduction.
“Green Lanterns” #2 quickly answers a lot of questions, even as new ones — can the Hate Tower be stopped, and can the rage-infected be changed back? — are raised in their place. With so much already revealed, even as additional story elements (the rogue Guardian fleeing with the stone cube) have yet to resurface from the Rebirth special, there’s a lot to unpack for Green Lantern fans. For now, at least, “Green Lanterns” is using its twice-a-month schedule to give readers a lot to chew on, quickly.
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