From USA Today
Writer Charles Soule puts a 'Sons of Anarchy' vibe on his rage-fueled crew of loose cannons.
Look out, Earth: Guy Gardner is coming back home.
The cocky former Green Lantern returns to his home planet with his crew and their new assignment in Red Lanterns No. 27, out from DC Comics on Wednesday and featuring artwork by Alessandro Vitti.
Writer Charles Soule joined the title with issue 21 and a pitch to essentially make them an outer-space biker gang full of loose cannons — an intergalactic SAMCRO from Sons of Anarchy, if you will — and Guy seemed like a great fit since he was already an angry Lantern.
"He comes with decades of great stories behind him, so some of the heavy lifting has already been done for me because there's already a lot of goodwill toward that guy," says Soule, a fan of antiheroes who's been using Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin and Steve McQueen as archetypes for his characters' mind-set.
"At its heart, Red Lanterns is going to be a really hard-boiled revenge story about finding yourself."
Since former Green Lantern scribe Geoff Johns introduced the rage-fueled Red Lantern Corps in 2007, the crimson-ringed group have been rivals to the Green Lanterns, a much larger team of space cops that patrol different sectors in the universe.
Hal Jordan was the Green Lantern in charge of Sector 2814, which includes Earth, but recent events have seen him and his Corps hand over the sector to the Red Lanterns.
"Now the only thing standing between Earth and various cosmic menaces out there are a band of angry red alien people and Guy Gardner," Soule says.
The other Reds aren't as impressed as Guy is with Earth, so while they go off on their own adventures, Guy seeks out his former love, the superheroine Ice, to show her how much he's changed. That includes, Soule says, his longer hairdo and "this amazingly sweet" and luxurious biker handlebar mustache.
They really fit the character well, the writer adds. "Guy Gardner has had a lot of crazy hairstyles over the years, and this is just one more to add to the list."
The Red Lanterns will be spending three issues on Earth, including No. 28, a flipbook with Robert Venditti's Green Lantern series that introduces the newest Red, Supergirl.
Soule isn't spilling any details yet on how she gets her red ring, but he thinks bringing in new blood will mix up the dynamics of the Red Lanterns significantly. While Kryptionian teenager is still young and looking for a place to belong, it remains to be seen if her new team will want her around for the long haul.
"Some teenagers might go through a goth phase — this is Supergirl's Red Lantern phase. How long it lasts, what happens to her, we'll have to see," Soule says.
There is another Earth-born member of the Red Lanterns, the furry blue feline Dex-Starr, but instead of coming home, the fan-favorite cat has his own mission in deep space: rehabilitating his monstrous master, former Red Lanterns leader Atrocitus. Guy pretty much beat him to death, so when back to health, Atrocitus is going to return in a seriously bad mood.
While the Red Lanterns won't exactly have the same sense of duty in terms of protecting their new sector as, say, the Green Lanterns would, what will start to show in upcoming issues is a growing sense of personal loyalty to one another.
"They're a gang so they want their turf. They've got their turf, and damn anyone who tries to take that away from them."
One of the aspects that Soule has enjoyed tackling with his take on Guy Gardner is that for the longest time, the character couldn't have his own identity because of the glut of Earth-based Green Lanterns and he was never able to just be himself.
"He thought that being part of the Reds would be his chance to not be so directly responsible, he could make his own choices and define himself a little more thoroughly," Soule says.
But he's discovering that responsibility finds him wherever he goes, choices he's been making since he joined the Red Lanterns are starting to spin out of control, and even something as presumably cool as protecting the Earth from bad things isn't all it's cracked up to be.
That said, Soule adds, "it's neat to be able to see him in a freer way where he can be himself and be the crazy hothead he likes to be, but also underneath it he has a very strong and heroic core. He very much wants to do the right thing, and the away he does it in this book is a little different but is still very fun to watch and read."