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Red Lanterns #3

Red Lanterns, Volume 3: The Second Prophecy

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The Red Lanterns fought amongst themselves in a brutal civil war, but now they must band together against the universal threat of Guardians of the Universe's latest weapon, The Third Army. As battle lines are drawn, Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns seek final vengeance against the Guardians of Oa--but things don't go as planned as The First Lantern turns his formidable gaze on Atrocitus and shows the high king of vengeance that everything he believed about himself, the universe and rage has been pitifully wrong.

Collecting: Red Lanterns 0, 13-20

272 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 2013

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About the author

Peter Milligan

1,071 books344 followers
Librarian note:
There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name

Peter Milligan is a British writer, best known for his work on X-Force / X-Statix, the X-Men, & the Vertigo series Human Target. He is also a scriptwriter.

He has been writing comics for some time and he has somewhat of a reputation for writing material that is highly outlandish, bizarre and/or absurd.

His highest profile projects to date include a run on X-Men, and his X-Force revamp that relaunched as X-Statix.

Many of Milligan's best works have been from DC Vertigo. These include: The Extremist (4 issues with artist Ted McKeever) The Minx (8 issues with artist Sean Phillips) Face (Prestige one-shot with artist Duncan Fegredo) The Eaters (Prestige one-shot with artist Dean Ormston) Vertigo Pop London (4 issues with artist Philip Bond) Enigma (8 issues with artist Duncan Fegredo) and Girl (3 issues with artist Duncan Fegredo).

* Human Target
* Greek Street
* X-Force / X-Statix

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews
Profile Image for Anne.
3,790 reviews69k followers
December 9, 2015
3.5 stars

I read another Lantern book!
Shocking, I know. Especially considering how few I've read in the past.
Whatever. As long as my library keeps ordering these things, I'll keep reading them.
So there.

Ok, this thing was pretty thick, so I thought that maybe the title has been cancelled, and they just packed everything into one last volume.
But nope. There's more juicy, juicy Red Lantern drama on the way.

First half of the book was pretty darn good.
You get the full Atrocitus origin story, including what he did before becoming leader of the Reds, but after his home world was destroyed by the Manhunters. 'Cause, if you think about it, there was a huge gap in time there. He should have already been dead, right? I mean, the Guardians got rid of the Manhunters before the decided to even start the GL program!
Anyway, this part of the book answers that question.

Of course, you also get to see what the Red Lanterns did to help bring down the First Lantern.
And this volume includes the epilogue thingy from Green Lantern, Vol. 3: The End. This was literally the third or fourth time I've read it, so I'm assuming they stuck in every GL title they had.
Nice padding, by the way. I think this would have been a small B cup, without the filler.

The last little bit had to do with the human Lantern, Rankorr. He's been struggling to hold on to his humanity, but it seems he needs to make a choice.
It an earlier issue, he saves a girl from her stalker boyfriend, and they start dating. Bleeze shows up, outs him as a monster, and the chick (wisely) makes a run for it.
Ok. So now Rankorr decides to go back to Earth, and try to use his powers for good. In the meantime, Stalker Boyfriend breaks into Wise Chick's house, and beats her up. Rankorr goes all ragey, and tries to get his ex to see the error of her ways. She should just let Rankorr kill him, and be done with it.
She thinks he's nuts, and tells him that she's going to call the police, and have the guy who beat her put in jail. 'Cause, you know, that's what separates us from the animals.
As long as she doesn't drop the charges two weeks later...
Which is why I won't be calling the police if some dude hits one of my girls. A restraining order is all well and good. However, I doubt we'll need it, 'cause I think it will be really difficult for him to make a fist once the rigor mortis sets in.

Overall, I'm still happy with the Red Lantern title, and I'm looking forward to the next volume.

Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,426 reviews12.7k followers
December 11, 2017
Of all DC’s Lantern titles, I like Red Lanterns the best - at least, in terms of concept rather than execution. Hateful monsters who spew blood, live off rage and want to kill everything AND have Lantern rings? That should be a slam-dunk of silly fun but Red Lanterns, Volume 3: The Second Prophecy (wait, what was the first prophecy…?) is unfortunately an overlong and boring read.

Most of this book is taken up with the Rise of the Third Army crossover, which was plain rubbish, but even in the non-crossover issues writer Peter Milligan doesn’t quite know where to take the series. Atrocitus’ origins are explored wherein his family is murdered by killer robots called Manhunters created by the ironically named Guardians (really, those little blue guys are the WORST - nearly everything they ever do to help goes stupendously wrong!) and he’s forced to relive the Massacre of Sector 666. That description alone almost makes me laugh - everything about the Red Lanterns is so comically OTT emo!

Meanwhile Rankorr, the human Red Lantern, is on Earth to resolve his hatred of blah blah and pursue a romance with blah blah. Bleez is blah blah and the others are blah blah. Blah blah… Yeah, nothing to see here!

There’s the intermittently interesting scene scattered here and there and I like the idea that their home planet Ysmault is vampiric and living off the Lanterns’ blood because, yet again, it’s SO ridonkulously emo! The resolution to Atrocitus’ story arc is also suitably nihilistic and bonkers. But most of this book isn’t at all interesting to read, especially the Turd Army garbage, of which there’s too much.

I hope DC give the Red Lanterns another shot because I think there’s potential for a great series with these characters even if Peter Milligan, and his successor Charles Soule, failed to realise it. As it is though, The Second Prophecy, like most Lantern books, is unfortunately a sprawling mess of forgettable nonsense.
Profile Image for Mike.
1,455 reviews130 followers
July 10, 2014
I skipped right past the first two volumes (I'm told not very good) but wanted a taste of what preceded Charles Soule's run so I grabbed vol 3 off the shelf.

About what I'd expect of a cosmic comic - lots of weird-looking aliens I have never met (and probably not you either), many weird powers that are able to wipe out the whole universe, and a lot of excessive death scenes to make up for the lack of a sufficient number of characters with whom I can empathize.

Whoever came up with the concepts around the Red Lanterns was thematically...consistent. Blood magic, blood oceans on the blood-red home planet, magic blood, Sector 666... Enough already with the teenage-boy fantasies of power.

Oh, and the "you must kill they who first brought you to rage to become a *real* Red Lantern". Pffft.

Atrocitus has been killing, maiming and torturing for eons. He's the baddest of all badasses. So why the fuck is he suddenly, without any warning and on multiple occasions wracked with self-doubt so strong that he feels the need to expound on it out loud? Is this a character trait that Milligan inherited, or is he really that clueless that he feels the need to humanize the Red Lanterns?

His approach to the human RL is atrocious - that dude should've been wiped out of the corps on the first day, or abused until he went all Pvt. Pyle on his teammates.

Milligan isn't immune to brain-dead exposition, either: "Alright Red Lanterns, our fire blood will already be healing our bodies." That's a line that never needs to be said aloud. Maybe as a thought caption, if you feel you must wedge that shitty detail in somewhere. Or how's about this one, punctuating a fist through a robot's face: "What is pity...compared WITH RAGE?" For a dude who's been expositing during his beat-downs for billions of years, you'd think Atrocitus would've come up with some better catch phrases.

There's some interesting story ideas (redemption, alternative lives, escaping one's fate) embedded in here, but the pacing is jarring - one minute spending pages on sidelines that have no visible effect on anyone, then suddenly a key character wrenches 180 degrees towards some out-of-character reaction.

Johns' GL issue (included here for crossover continuity I'm guessing? I'm not reading GL, and this doesn't motivate me to give enough of a shit to go back) is both epic and laughably ridiculous.

There's a two-page spread of Sinestro and Hal Jordan that's supposed to be an epic fight scene with them swinging punches at each other, but (1) they're grimacing at each other with such passion that I'm expecting a big slobbery kiss, (2) they're posed like Olympic sprinters not dudes trying hard to kill each other, (3) why are two of the best ring-wielders just gonna punch each other and (4) in mid-swing, Sinestro is caught screaming "I suppose this is how it *had* to finally END!" Which is what I'd say resignedly as I slipped into death's sweet embrace, not some battle cry as I nailed my arch-enemy. (And what is wrong with Hal's torso? He better see an oncologist, stat.)

Oh Christ, and then there's Sinestro's emotionally abusive relationship with Hal. There's always been some tension and confusion as to their exact relationship, but here's where Johns finally confirms that Sinestro is a classic manipulative narcissist: as he's about to abandon Hal Jordan forever, Hal asks, "Were we ever truly friends?" and dick that Sinestro is, he leaves Hal with this mind-fuck: "That's the tragedy of all of this, Jordan. Hal. We'll *always* be friends." (Sadly, Sinestro can hardly pronounce the words through that tragic underbite.)

Art is totally hit-or-miss. Some are great and artistic panels, others are jittery and unfinished looking.

Best part of this book is now I get to move on to the Charles Soule volume!
Profile Image for Kyle.
727 reviews24 followers
October 23, 2014
I just don't find Atrocitus to be a compelling character. All his talk about blood-magic, blood-prophecy, and Inversions and yadda yadda yadda... I couldn't care less. Even less compelling is the new Red Lantern from Earth: what a tired old trope he is. The whole Red Lantern Corps reads to me like a group of cave people beating each other with clubs and rocks.

Maybe if this series was more about Dex-Starr, I would be interested.

However, there is some supplemental material that helps to flesh out the Third Army and First Lantern storylines, so it is worth the read in that respect...

Profile Image for 'kris Pung.
192 reviews28 followers
February 15, 2015
Holy endless monologuing Batman I really hope Charles Soule can turn the next volume around.
Profile Image for C.J. Edmunds.
Author 3 books18 followers
January 17, 2014
This third volume of the Red Lanterns collects Red Lantern issues #13-20 as well as the Zero issue and the penultimate Green Lantern #20 which ends out the Wrath of the First Lantern arc and the final issue of favorite Lantern writer, Geoff Johns, who has departed to pursue other creative endeavors in the DC Universe, apart from being its Chief Creative Officer.

This third volume also marks the end of Peter Milligan's tenure in handling the Red Lantern titles as, like Geoff, he also moves to other creative ventures.

All in all it was a good run for Peter and also for Atrocitus who finally had his "revenge" on the Guardians, or in his case, a Guardian, following the defeat of Volthoom (the crafty 1st Lantern), and Sinestro's departure to parts unknown. All 20 issues were all mostly centered on Atrocitus' rage on how the Guardians manipulated the Manhunters to kill his home planet of Ryutt in Sector 666. But knowing what we know now following the pre-New 52 GL event of War of the Green Lanterns, we know that it was specifically the Guardian Krona who orchestrated the massacre and rigged the Manhunters to do so.

With an end of Peter's run comes the climax of a release of Atrocitus rage and the embracing of Jack's new nature and identity as Red Lantern Rankorr; who is so far the only Red Lantern who can make constructs just like the other colored Lanterns.

Can't wait to see what lies in store for our rage filled beings still inhabiting the planet Ysmault. But trouble will be brewing for sure for Atrocitus and his bunch as the otherworldly witches whom he killed before have been resurrected beneath the Blood lake on Ysmault and have begun their revenge on the Red Lantern leader.

Go with our blessing. Go with Rage. And go Red Lanterns. Let's see where you're rage will take you next.

ps. Rankorr and Lantern Bleeze make a good couple. :)

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
5,630 reviews5 followers
January 23, 2017
Atrocitus has without a doubt arrived.I didnt know much about him before this series began but he possesses everything you could possibly want in a super villain.Excellent origin story and is a very complex character.The other Red Lanterns are awesome as well and by books end you start to wonder how would you turn out if you suffered through what they had.
Profile Image for Robert.
3,397 reviews18 followers
September 3, 2014
Without reading all of the other Lantern series, the plot is murky at best. (I've read all of the other lantern series, so it wasn't a problem for me...but rabid fans are not the only audience, and should only be catered to so far)
Profile Image for mike andrews.
852 reviews3 followers
January 18, 2017
Thanos. Darkseid. Atrocitus. He is on par with some of the most ruthless in all comics. His supporting cast of Red Lanterns is awesome too. This is a great series. Going right in to volume 4.
Profile Image for  ManOfLaBook.com.
1,133 reviews70 followers
February 4, 2019
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Red Lanterns Vol. 3: The Second Prophecy by Peter Milligan (illustrated Miguel Sepúlveda) is a graphic which continues the story of the brutal civil war the Red Lanterns (fueled by rage) are fighting. This graphic novel collects issues #0, #13-20, as well as Green Lantern #20.

The red lantern power battery is reignited, but low on power. The Red Lantern Corps goes on a killing rage throughut the universe when the Third Army shows up. Atrocitus needs help to defeat the Third Army and he gets it from the Manhunters, which he absolutly hates.

Meanwhile, Rankorr has returned to Earth to complete turning into a true Red Lantern.

Red Lanterns Vol. 3: The Second Prophecy by Peter Milligan (illustrated Miguel Sepúlveda) has a lot going for it, but it might have taken on too much. The graphic novel follows three stories: an origin story of Atrocitus, Rankorr coming to terms with losing his humanity in favor of being a Red Lantern (Bleez acting as his conscious), and the rest of the Red Lanterns looking after the battery.

These three arcs might get confusing, but overall they make a descent story. My favorite was Rankorr and Bleez on Earth, where you can see how great Bleez is at manipulation and Rankorr’s true form.

As much as I liked, surprisingly, these graphic novels, this one just seemed too winded. Atrocitus, the angriest of the Red Lanterns still can’t find his true anger (whatever that means) and monologues about it endlessly. The art was cluttered and I did not feel enhanced the story, but made it a bit more confusing – and there was a lot to keep track of.

If you enjoyed this series, you’ll enjoy this issue as well, even though it’s a bit confusing and repetitive, and a bit too heavy handed on the philosophy – but it’s still fun.
Profile Image for Paweł.
444 reviews4 followers
May 11, 2017
Historia wpisuje się w całość Rise of The Third Army i Wrath of The First Lantern, więc niezbędne będzie jednoczesne czytanie trzech pozostałych serii, żeby mieć pełen obraz.
Ten moment, kiedy Atrocitus przestaje odczuwać gniew.
Profile Image for Shane.
1,197 reviews17 followers
December 4, 2022
Read this as part of the "Rise of Third Army" / "Wrath of the First Lantern" event. It was fun, but all these different color rings seem a little cheesy. Also didn't like the way the First Lantern looked. The story was good though and obviously some huge changes going on in the universe.
422 reviews1 follower
November 30, 2017
Great continuation of the story and the drawing wow!!
Profile Image for Andrea.
462 reviews
October 3, 2018
The only issue in this book that's not in other GL books is the zero issue. Huge waste of time for one issue.
Profile Image for Derek Moreland.
Author 1 book5 followers
August 26, 2020
Sure wish the artists would remember how many hands Scallox has. Other than that, this is ansurprisingly solid and consistent story for a collection of issues made up almost entirely of crossovers.
Profile Image for Matt Raymond.
244 reviews34 followers
June 20, 2015
I actually like this for some reason, even though gory space horror isn’t even close to a genre I like. I suppose I’m a rage-aholic now. To quote Homer Simpson, “I just can’t live without Rage-ahol!” Maybe because I have so little background knowledge of the Red Lanterns, I find these stories so fascinating. They are oddly deep and complex & I’m kind of surprised by it. Rage is not a singular emotion. It actually has layers that I didn’t think about until now.

Atrocitus has a bit of a rage setback (or personal improvement? See?! I’m so conflicted!) when his own personal vendetta isn’t enough to fuel his red power ring. Meanwhile, Rankorr tries to stay human with Bleez acting as a detractor. Rankorr is trying to balance both his rage & his human/compassionate side by hiding his Rage clothes & dating someone. But it just seems to gut whatever residual emotions he has left. But while that’s happening, Atrocitus is given the choice by first lantern Volthoom to either save his planet by becoming an evil dictator, or allow the manhunter assault on Ysmault to occur, and let his planet die. This leads him into this weird introspection on how he needs to become empathetic of the other red lanterns’ rage to survive in the world in order to use his power in a positive way. But of course, he does this in a strictly Red Lantern way.

The book tries to give an origin story, which reminded me of the internal dialogue from volume one, and I enjoyed that, the backstory & the weird looking characters. I never knew Atrocitus could be so subtle & manipulative! Especially with an alien that was apparently a woman but I couldn’t tell because the face was just a vagina-ish looking thing. Atrocitus also resurrects the Manhunters, which was cool to see, and I didn’t get annoyed by that Volthoom/First Lantern nonsense. This was the first crossover where his dull mind fucking felt relevant to the story, and not just shoehorned to please Geoff Johns. I even liked Rankorr more, because he actually DOES something about his rage by trying to use it differently. He fails, but it puts him in a unique direction for future stories.

Atrocitus is all over the place in this one. Emotion goes zero to one hundred every other page. This goes with the campy dialogue, that I’m actually used to, and I think works good here. These are rage filled space freaks that kill with napalm breath! Of course the words coming out of their mouths are camp-tastic. I’d be let down if it wasn’t. There’s the moment he learns how to make blood sacrifices (no relationship to Game of Thrones/Blood Magic), and when he went to Malthus & saw the ghost of Krona. Atrocitus almost felt empathy for him. Almost. But that went away quick. It also brought some closure to Atrocitus’s revenge story so it was a good move no matter how cheesy it felt.

Probably the only thing that didn’t work for me was the “Death” of Atrocitus. It was lame. They couldn’t do the rebirth scene any other way? But once I got past it I was fine. I even thought it ended on a good spot. Having Atrocitus and Rankorr switch perspective leaves everything & everyone up in the air despite the massive win over Volthoom. Hopefully the new writer can keep this interesting. I can tell they were working hard just to get these characters in a relatable place, and I don’t want that ruined. Then where will I get my rage-ahol!?
Profile Image for Des Fox.
912 reviews17 followers
June 27, 2014
Somewhere along the line, I began finding Peter Milligan's overly theatrical dialogue sort of charming. It helps that in this installment of Red Lanterns, Milligan is locked into a conflict and story arc crafted by Geoff Johns, the man behind the GL universe as we know it. Things are a bit spotty, considering the nature of the comic book crossover. We never learn what the third army is and we don't learn much about the first lantern, since that was all reserved for the main GL book. We do get an underwhelming end to the brewing underground space demon story though, so there's that.

Tonally though, I've really come to love this book. The magic-space-vengeance-police are such a neat idea, and really help to better illustrate some of Johns' better contributions to the DCU. Sepulveda's art is superb, and the guest artists who fill in from time to time also excel at the task at hand. Rankorr meets with a satisfying end to a unique character arc, as does Atrocitus, and the contained issue of GL is well written and full of fun, if a little too rapid fire, beats.

The concept really drives this book, and it will be interesting to read the new creative team's take on the corps. Milligan goes out strong in my opinion, with what has probably been the best installment of the series yet.
Profile Image for Roman Colombo.
Author 4 books30 followers
February 11, 2017
While I liked a lot of what Milligan was doing, the volume gets a little bogged down by the First Lantern crossover event. The art by Miguel Sepúlveda was still really good, though.

There were also a few character continuity issues with Atrocitus from earlier in the series, but nothing too major.
Profile Image for Cale.
3,479 reviews24 followers
January 25, 2014
So DC cancels I, Vampire, but keeps this book going? I'm not saying it's bad, it's actually much better than I expected. But it's so tonally weird - a book about creatures of rage who spend a very large portion of their time navel-gazing. This collection also highlights the weaknesses of crossovers; there's a full issue of Green Lantern in here, seemingly due to 4 pages of Red Lanterns in it, and outside of that it's telling a completely different story (in the middle of another arc). Also, Bleez really gets around - she's a major player in this book as well as the New Guardians, and it kind of seems like the two stories were taking place at the same time.
This book has a lot more depth than I thought going into the first volume. It explores the nature of rage and revenge, and has an interesting assortment of characters. It's not great, but it's not bad either.
958 reviews15 followers
July 22, 2015
Awesome. A very good set of stories more or less.

After the events of several of the Red Lanterns coming together most of them are attempting to get to work with Atrocitus as they encounter a vicious threat called the Third Army, which eventually leads Atrocitus to journey into a place where he obtains both knowledge of the Guardians as well as the power of the Manhunters.

Rankorr continues to wonder where he should reside. All the while a tie-in to the events involving the First Lantern Volthoom are shown in this story as he manipulates Atrocitus.

Then comes the awesome Green Lantern story The End. Amazing. Truly a great story.

I have to say it started a bit slow but then ended magnificently. A-
Profile Image for Dalana Dailey.
131 reviews13 followers
December 6, 2013
Such a good collection! I had read a big chunk of the material already in Rise of the Third Army (specifically Eyes Without A Face, Home Is Where The Heart Is, Waking The Past, and Once Were Enemies) but the new material was worth it. The First Lantern is particularly vile, with an evil stemming from the worst place - insecure craving of ultimate power. The End, written by the incomparable Geoff Johns, is the single greatest comic I have ever read, worth the $19.99 price all by itself. If I had to stop reading Green Lantern forever, I would be content with Johns' ending.
Profile Image for Chris Lemmerman.
Author 5 books94 followers
January 3, 2014
Red Lanterns has been mediocre for 12 issues, but it seems that all we needed was an event to make it all better. Without Krona's mind-numbing influence, Atrocitus and his friends can finally get on with their mission of vengeance, whilst the Inversions and the Manhunters make their presence known. The artwork is top notch with the addition of Miguel Sepulveda and Will Conrad, and with the upturn in quality for the story, Red Lanterns is easily the best it has ever been with this volume.
Profile Image for Adam Fisher.
2,660 reviews14 followers
December 4, 2013
Somehow Atrocitus continues to become a character deeper than rage itself. Rankorr is shaping up to be a very interesting human/rager hybrid. I hope to see him get more involved in other titles. Overall, a good read, getting us through the Wrath of the First Lantern story. Can't wait to see how the Red Lanterns handle the Forever Evil crossover!
Profile Image for sixthreezy.
924 reviews22 followers
February 22, 2014
The Green Lantern The End issue was unfortunately the highlight of this Red Lanterns book. This has fallen off pretty steadily since the very beginning, but I do still find it pretty entertaining. It's a cool read and a different type of Lantern to switch off of the green for a little bit. Definitely recommended for readers of darker heroes that find Green Lantern just a little too nice.
Profile Image for Bradley.
1,058 reviews7 followers
August 8, 2015
I think I really want to like the red lanterns. There are times in these comics that I do enjoy it and I "feel" the rage. However, I'm not so convinced about some of these characters. I dislike the human red lantern. I dislike...well I guess I just have a problem with the characters. I guess I shouldn't be surprised there. It was still a pretty good read though.
2,841 reviews
February 17, 2016
It's weird. They really gave away a lot of the Third Army story in this book, I guess. Like the part where the Red Lanterns just totally drop out and it becomes yet another Hal Jordan/Sinestro story. Not fully sure why that was there.

Nothing about this book was especially exciting, I don't think.
Profile Image for Tomas.
425 reviews7 followers
January 7, 2015
God I hate first lantern..I read all of the green lantern books and this crossover made me sleepy in all of them. He is tempting people to choose alternative timelines for almost 20 issues ? DAFUQ ? Otherwise this book is fine but I hope I will never see this transparent boredom bringer again.
Profile Image for David.
2,540 reviews77 followers
November 26, 2013
This title is better than it's ever been, but too much of the material here, I've read in other recent collections.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews

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