With blood and rage of crimson red, the Red Lantern Corps incite much dread. A tribe of barbaric warriors fueled by their anger, the Red Lanterns will take on any foe, anywhere, at any time. Formed and led by the monstrously powerful Atrocitus, the Red Lanterns harness the power of the Butcher via their Red Lantern Rings.
Unlike the other Corps, the Red Lanterns rarely use their powers in constructive or creative ways. Most of the time, the Reds bulldoze their opponents by lashing out with savage fury! Masters of disaster, the Red Lanterns primarily use their rings to deconstruct and destroy. Over the years, we've seen these madmen and women pull of insane feats of strength and power. We've also witnessed them commit stomach-churning acts of violence against anyone who stands in their way. This article will focus on that latter category, in all its gruesome glory.
10 Jumping Hal Jordan
Harold "Hal" Jordan is widely considered to be the Greatest Green Lantern alive, both in-universe and by the majority of DC Comics readers. His willpower is so great that it virtually renders him fearless. He's also been the host of both The Spectre and Parallax and is still alive to tell the tale!
All of Jordan's experiences have left lasting impressions on the Emerald Knight. Atrocitus can sense this and tries to convert Hal into a Red Lantern whenever the opportunity arises. In this particular instance, Atrocitus didn't wait for fortune to strike - he created it himself. Atros rallied the chief members of his Corps and ambushed Jordan - beating him down before Hal could retaliate! Atrocitus then took Jordan to his home planet and began torturing poor ol' Highball.
9 "Incinerating Space"
"Beyond the impossible" is a popular phrase among anime fans that calls for characters to exceed and shatter their limitations like glass. Living up to this axiom is a major reason why heroes like Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Spider-Man are so universally loved; when the going gets tough, these guys dig in deep and redefine what is and isn't possible!
As it turns out, heroes aren't the only characters that perform these sorts of feats. Atrocitus has a penchant for pulling off the impossible, despite being an anti-hero. While searching for the forsaken creature Abysmus, Atrocitus "incinerated space" using his Red Lantern Ring. To put things more accurately, Atros vomited red plasma all over the final frontier and tore a hole through it!
8 Melting Gang Members To The Bone
Much like the Green Lantern Corps, the Red Lanterns will accept anyone in their ranks who possesses great enough hatred in their hearts. Dex-Starr may look like an average house cat, but he possesses enough malice to impress Atrocitus himself! Dex is cunning and coldhearted, making him one of the most dangerous members of the Red Lantern Corps.
Don't believe us? Well, think about this; Dex-Starr once killed an entire gang of armed criminals all by himself! He hunted them down like mice, broke their ranks, and then burned them to cinders with his plasma breath! In general, Dex is one of the most potent Red Lantern Ring slingers in the DC Universe - second only to the leaders of the Crops.
7 Burning Down Prison Buses
With a name like Atrocitus and the appearance of a demon (even hailing from Sector 666,) you might think that Atros is an out-and-out supervillain. After all, how could he possibly do any good if rage and hatred motivate him? What is he, the DCU's answer to the Hulk?
Well yes, in a manner of speaking; both the Jade Giant and Atros draw power from their anger. However, both beings try to channel their anger towards targets that they feel deserve it. For instance, Atrocitus once burned down several prison buses full of convicted felons. So why would this count as a horrible act committed with a Red Lantern Ring? Because Atrocitus took the law into his own hands and revoked whatever chance any of those convicts may have had at redemption.
6 Beheading A Guardian
Okay, so we've made a quite a few articles both defending and deriding the Guardians of the Universe. That's the because the founders of the Green Lantern Corps are a hard group to pin down; sometimes they genuinely seem like want to make the universe a better place. Other times, they exile Lanterns like Hal Jordan for defending their home planets too much!
In spite of their flaws, however, we wouldn't wish death on any of the Guardians. And we definitely wouldn't wish for a 7'9", heavyweight alien to tear a hole through their head using a Red Lantern Ring! Without a doubt, this is one of the most brutal deaths in DC Comics history.
5 Bisecting A Green Lantern
We kind of hate say it, but it seems like the Green Lantern Corps are the most expendable heroes in the DCU. Whenever a massive space battle takes place, you can bet that scores of unnamed GLs will get killed in the crossfire. Even heavy hitters like Hal, Guy, and Kyle have bit the dust in one story or another.
As a consolation, the GLs typically go out in an epic blaze of glory. Not the unfortunate Lantern pictured above; during a war between multiple Corps, Atrocitus lead the Reds into battle - using his Red Lantern Ring to tear this footsoldier in half as soon as they entered the battlefield! Comic books can get really gory sometimes, especially when Red Lanterns are at play.
4 Tearing Off An SCs Arm And Making Them Eat It
To rest the case of the point we raise in the last paragraph, we present this gem. Guy Gardner has always been a hothead, but he kept his anger issues in check for the most part. But when the Red Lanterns debuted, Gardner was one of the first heroes that joined their ranks.
Again, Guy mostly managed to keep his rage in check - making him one of the few RLs that could create hard light constructs. But when a member of the Sinestro Corps pushed him too far, Guy retaliated by tearing off one of his attacker's arms! As a cherry on top, Guy then violently shoved said arm into its former owner's mouth!
3 Attacking Earth
We sort of glossed over Guy's tenure as a Red Lantern, but Gardner made a massive impact on the Corps. So much so, that many RLs didn't know who to swear their allegiance to; Gardner or Atrocitus. Not one to tolerate insurrection, Atrocitus sought to settle the matter once and for all.
After gathering a handful of his top Lanterns, Atrocitus invaded Earth to confront Guy! When they arrive, Atros orders his Reds to level cities in a bid to draw Gardner out. To further salt the wound, Atrocitus deploys thousands of Red Lantern Rings around the planet - converting people all over the globe into Red Lanterns!
2 Facilitating Blood Magic
Hopefully, we've managed to make it clear how mechanically unusual a Red Lantern Ring is in comparison to the others in the DCU. Most of the time, Ring Bearers use their weapons to create all sorts of imaginative constructs. However, most RLs are only capable of barfing on their enemies like the girl from The Exorcist!
A Red Lantern Ring also differs from the others in another meaningful fashion - Atrocitus used Blood Magic to create the RLs' Power Rings! This largely explains how Atros and his soldiers are able to overpower the other Corps so easily. However, this power comes at a great cost.
1 Turning RLs Into Heartless Monsters
The two emotions at either extreme of the Emotional Spectrum are Anger and Love. As opposed to the Green Light of Willpower, Anger controls the Red Lanterns - not the other way around. As a side effect of wielding the Red Light of Rage, all RLs have their hearts replaced by their rings!
During Blackest Night, a Black Lantern reached out and tore Atrocitus' heart from his chest. Atros responded by killing as many BLs as he could, not slowing down at all! Because of this, it's impossible to leave Red Lanterns without the aid of a Blue Lantern - you'd genuinely be heartless if you took off your Red Lantern Ring on a whim!