Based out of the planet Ysmault, the Red Lanterns are fueled by rage and the need for vengeance. Led by Atrocitus, they scour the galaxy, killing and destroying to sate their need for bloodshed. Lately, however, Atrocitus has grown frustrated. He fears that his schtick has grown stale and that his Corps are nothing but a bunch of bloodthirsty morons. He thus sets out to start reforming the Corps.
This series contains examples of:
- Anti-Hero: The Red Lanterns as a whole after Guy takes over. Regarded as violent jerkasses at best by most heroes, hailed as heroes and saviors by people from Grax and other planets saved by Guy and his team.
- Asshole Victim: Baron Ghazz and Count Liib set Bleez up to be raped by a member of the Sinestro Corps because she rejected them. Notably when Bleez confronts them Count Liib tries to justify his actions with a healthy dose of victim blaming.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Played straight with Guy Gardner, who literally beats the leadership out of Atrocitus. Averted with Supergirl, who is the most powerful Lantern but doesn't care for the position.
- Blood Knight: The average Red Lantern spends most of his or her time fighting someone or something.
- Body Horror: The cost of becoming a Red Lantern is to have your blood replaced by burning plasma.
- Breath Weapon: Their signature move is puking burning plasma at their enemies.
- Burning with Anger: The Red Lanterns gain their power from rage, and that power has an Incendiary Exponent to it; even their Badass Creed connects their hatred with burning their enemies. Oddly enough, Rankorr looks like this trope, but is one of the few with any level of anger management.
- Covers Always Lie: The cover of Red Lanterns #29 features Supergirl burning her old costume while Superman tries to stop her and Guy Gardner holds him back. Still Kara never attempts to destroy her former costume in the actual story, and Guy in fact tries to talk her into staying with her cousin.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Most of the Red Lanterns began with wanting to avenge some injustice that happened to them. Once they fall completely under the ring's influence, they tend to become monsters. It's invoked by Guy Gardner in Red Daughter of Krypton.Guy: We came because we heard a monster was loose in our sector. It's our job to clean up the monsters. So. Do what you gotta do. Put people on trial. Punish them how you like. But watch out you don't turn into monsters. Because then we'd be back for you.
- Incendiary Exponent: The red energy burns like napalm, making their force-fields and constructs even more dangerous. The flaming blood they spew is one of the few things that can overcome a Black Lantern's regeneration.
- Mythology Gag:
- In Red Lanterns #28, the spherical Red Lantern Zillius Zox gets squashed in a battle with Shadow Thief, making him taller and narrower (but still basically a head with arms and legs). He looks a lot like the movie version of his fellow Noc'sagian Galius Zed.
- At one point during the Atrocities arc, Batman casually states he would only need one punch to knock Guy out.
- The Power of Hate: They are fueled by hatred and rage, specifically hatred and rage driven by personal loss of someone emotionally close to them.Atrocitus: Do you hate? The most powerful hate is not born out of ignorance or prejudice or a perceived threat. Those three are fear in disguise. The fury that fuels my corps ignites from personal pain. Those whose lives were ravaged by greed, lust and control wield the crimson light. The rings replaced our damaged hearts. They beat for them. And they keep us alive only to hate. But at least we live.
- Red Is Violent: Being a color that represents rage, violence and aggressiveness as well fire and blood, the red is a VERY suitable color for this Corps.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Atrocitus claims that just having bad things happen to you is insufficient to be a Red Lantern. You have to have someone to blame.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Guy to Atrocitus when the latter tries to scare the former in Red Lanterns #31:Atrocitus: Oh, the things I have planned for you, Guy Gardner. You and anyone who stands with you.
Guy Gardner: Get in line, pal. You ain't the first, and I guarantee you won't be the last. Worse than you have tried to take Guy Gardner down! And you know what? You know what? I'm still here, you bastard! I'm still here!
- Start of Darkness: The first issue documents Atrocitus', showcasing his origin story from a simple family man to an intergalactic terrorist to leader of his own Lantern Corps.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To the mostly forgotten 90's Darkstars, who had a similar scope and Darker and Edgier attitude compared to the Green Lanterns.
- Two Decades Behind: Green Lantern and Red Lanterns #28 were sold together as a "flip comic", a frequent gimmick of the '90s.
- Unstoppable Rage: Red Lanterns are almost always angry. It fuels their powers.