The fate of the universe rests in Blue Beetles hands. But can the universe survive Red Lantern Starro the Conqueror long enough for him to save it?
Injustice 2 #59
Writer: Tom Taylor
Cover Artist: Tyler Kirkham
Cover Colors: Arif Prianto
Colorist: J. Nanjan
Letters: Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns have come for vengeance against those who wronged them. Though they failed to kill Sinestro they succeeded in recruiting Hal Jordan into their ranks. In order to continue their quest and raze Oa to the ground, he recruits a new member into the Red Lanterns…Starro the Conqueror. Fully aware of the danger this poses, Metron of the New Gods hires Lobo to bring him the Blue Beetle to defeat Starro the Conqueror. While Lobo was successful in his mission, Blue Beetle is still inexperienced. Not only that, the Titans were quick to act and are now on their way to rescue their captured friend.
What You’ll Find Out:
Picking up immediately where we left off, Metron offers to pay Lobo to remain by Blue Beetles side as a bodyguard. While Lobo agrees begrudgingly, Blue Beetle is skeptical about being able to save the universe from Starro. But Metron stresses that Blue Beetle is the only one who can. While under the influence of the Red Ring his spores now spread his rage with it. To make matters worse, rather than simply mind controlling them he implies the hosts will now destroy themselves instead. Elsewhere, Hal flies alongside his fellow Red Lanterns to Oa. The Hallucination of Guy Gardner (who I’ll just call Guilt Gardner from now on) reminding him that after Oa Starro will go across the universe. Eventually getting to earth and more importantly, Carol Ferris. This manages to reach Hal and he attempts to flee.
Bleez calls out Atrocitus for allowing Hal to live but Atrocitus is unconcerned. No matter how far or fast he flies he won’t be able to escape Starro. Atrocitus turns out to be right as Hal is swarmed by Starro Spores with one succeeding in attaching to his face. Guilt Gardner uses tough love in reminding him how he manipulated by both Sinestro & Superman, asking if he was going to let himself become a pawn yet again? Using his newfound rage, Hal repeatedly punches himself in the face and eventually destroys the spore that had attached to him as well as the ones in pursuit.
Back on Oa, Soranik asks Sinestro who Atrocitus was. Sinestro explains that his world was destroyed and his family killed and that he blamed the Guardians for this. Sinestro doesn’t even argue that Atrocitus was wrong in his sentiment as the Guardians have a long checkered past. He goes on to reveal that Atrocitus and his Corps have in-fact been active since he was still a Green Lantern. Having battled him when he was both with the Corps and after founding the Sinestro Corps. Having battled Atrocitus as both Green & Yellow, he has been responsible for a number of dead Red Lanterns which seems to be the reason for him being targeted. Now that Atrocitus knows about Soranik, he will go out of his way to use her to get to the former Yellow Lantern. Soranik scoffs at Sinestro caring about her but he simply replies that he’d willingly tear apart the universe to keep her safe.
Her questioning is once more interrupted by reports of a high-speed object approaching. Sayd, one of the Guardians, is leading the defense of Oa against the object in question…Hal Jordan. Not moments after his arrival is Hal sealed within an energy construct. He pleads for them to listen but Sayd believes he’s still under the influence of the Red Ring. Telling him they plan to remove the ring and it’s influence from him moments before he shatters the construct and lashes out both verbally and physically at Sayd. Slashing her with a sword construct, something Guilt Gardner calls him out on. To get them to listen he’d need to do a more different and more drastic approach. Hal is sealed in a construct once more. Sayd starts to warn him against using lethal force but Hal simply cuts off his finger and the Red Ring attached to it. Now that they could see he was free of the Red Ring, he begins his warning. But he’s too late as a sea of Starro Spores descends upon Oa…
What Just Happened?
The fun times are gone and we’re back to the regular dark tone of Injustice 2. As such, we have also switched back to the darker and more stylized art style. Although we haven’t seen the Titans in this issue, by doing the brief scene of Blue Beetle and Lobo at the beginning we get a clearer sense that all three sides are heading on a collision course.
Most importantly, we got some much-needed exposition for the Red Lanterns and change in their backstory. Rather than staying hidden and only being formed right before the events of Blackest Night, the Red Lanterns are now the second or third Corps to be formed. Meaning they bided their time throughout the events of Injustice 1. While one could argue this is a plot hole as Earth would’ve been a great recruitment ground for Red Lanterns. However, this reminds me of two lesser known or perhaps forgotten details about Injustice. The first was that in the mobile version of Injustice 1 they did actually have a Red Lantern Hal Jordan skin.
But more importantly that in the background of the Metropolis stage (and in one of the missions) Red Lanterns and Atrocitus are actually present.
So adding this bit of detail to the lore as a reference to those is actually a nice touch. (I do know Red Lantern Hal has been around a few chapters but this addition to the lore makes noting this more relevant now than before) Given Atrocitus cares little for Earth, and attacking Earth would’ve been suicide, it makes sense why he’d have stayed hidden for so long. Sinestro would’ve been out of his reach, Superman would’ve likely been far too uncontrollable (as referenced in his Injustice 2 dialogue), and as stated a few chapters ago they don’t have the manpower to take on Oa.
By combining all these little details we get a really nice way of giving seemingly unimportant things new significance. This also further shows that the Red Lanterns, or rather Atrocitus, are far more intelligent than one would assume. His quest for vengeance is both brutal in his willingness to sacrifice countless lives with Starros assistance. Yet also cool and calculated in his patience with waiting for Sinestro to be alone and an easy vulnerable target and to attack Oa once he had a strong enough attack force. While he wasn’t exactly an idiot before, he definitely wasn’t the most tactical.
While this revelation that the Red Lanterns have always been present is great, without knowledge of the Red Lantern cameo in Injustice 1 or Atrocitus’ dialogue against Superman in Injustice 2 it can come off as a plot hole. Fortunately, that is one of the two issues I found with this chapter. Being reminded of all these little things made me enjoy it far more than I did upon my first read through. But for a first-time reader or one who hasn’t seen the games, this is one minor detail I can’t look past, unfortunately.
The other being that acquiring a Red Lantern Ring means it replaces your heart. That if it’s removed you will die as a result. The process of removal requiring a Blue Lantern, Indigo Tribe, or Star Sapphire in some combination. The implications the Green Lanterns can just remove it themselves kinda lessens the danger of acquiring a ring in the first place. But as this is a different universe, it’s not the worst change. Just one that negates a possible appearance from one of three other Corps.
Final Thought: While I greatly enjoyed this chapter the two previously mentioned issues are the only thing keeping it from a full 10. Though both stem from the same problem for different reasons. By knowing the little details and past canon for the Red Lanterns it improves the implications that they’ve just been in the background. But at the same time, it makes the rings lethal defense against being removed a bit of an oddity.
Subscribe to us on YouTube, Follow us on Twitter, and Like us on Facebook!
Join our Age of Social Media Network consisting of X-Men, Marvel, DC, Superhero and Action Movies, Anime, Indie Comics, and numerous fan pages. Interested in becoming a member? Join us by clicking here and pick your favorite group!
User Review( votes)