I've never been a DC kind of girl and never really even given two craps about anything Green Lantern before I met my husband, who is a huge fan. I used to get a kick out of making the "Jon/John Stewart isn't black" joke every time Dave went on about some Green Lantern plot line. But then, Green Lantern exploded into a whole bunch of other colored lanterns and Dex Starr was born.
I fell in love. I don't know all the details and I don't need to. What isn't there to love about an angry blue acid/blood/vomit spewing kitty? With the relaunch of the DCU comes a new comic dedicated to the Red Lanterns and you bet your rage filled ass I'll be reading it.
Dex Starr's origin story broke my heart to the point where I actually cried while reading it. Go ahead and judge me. I don't care.
He was a sweet blue kitten adopted by a lady who loved him and he loved her. But then some assholes broke into the lady's house and Dex Starr tried to defend her. The burglary went wrong and the robbers murdered the lady, leaving Dex Starr homeless. He lived in a cardboard box for who knows how long before some other assholes got hold of him and tossed him over the Brooklyn Bridge to drown. As he was falling, a red ring found him and saved him and he vowed to use his rage to hunt down and kill the men who killed his owner.
I cried a little just writing that. I love cats, and I think Dex Starr might be my totem animal. If I could vomit napalm on those who annoyed me and channel hate into my ruby engagement ring, I would. That would be so cool.
But I don't just love Dex Starr (although I love Dex Starr a lot - to the point where I want a tattoo of him, maybe on my forearm, sleeping on a bed of skulls). I love the whole concept of the Red Lantern. Yes, I am full of rage, but I like the Red Lanterns from a calm, intellectual standpoint as well. At least as far as the DCU is concerned, rage and love are two sides of the same emotional coin and if we look at many of the Red Lanterns, they received their rings as a result of tremendous personal loss.
Atrocious is the last survivor of a Manhunter massacre. Dex Starr's rage comes from the cruel murder of his beloved human. Hal Jordan receives his ring when Sinestro murders Laira as Hal tries to save her life. Guy Gardner receives his after he believes Kyle Rayner has been murdered. Aquaman's wife, Mera becomes a deputy Red Lantern due to her grief over his death. James Kim holds the rage entity itself after his daughter is brutally murdered. A person (or cat) doesn't become a Red Lantern because they stub their toe or lose their keys or something. Some serious emotional shit has to go down.
The rage is so powerful that most of the Red Lanterns consumed with it can't even use their rings. They can't talk either, because spewing blood vomit gets in the way. Atrocious is the only one who has complete control of himself. Bleez (who recieved her ring after just plain having enough of being beaten and raped by the Sinestro Corps) has limited speech and control of her ring. Guy Gardner has control of his ring, but he retains control of both his green and red rings because my husband says he's just plain that much of a badass.
And Dex Starr is a bit of an exception. Geoff Johns has said that Dex Starr is the most sadistic and malicious of the Red Lanterns. He has some control over himself because he knows to use his rage in the worst ways possible. I have to wonder, if a lot of the the Red Lantern rage is fueled by loss of love or love gone wrong, what does that say about the Star Sapphires? They're a whole level of creepy all on their own.
I've got all of the new Green Lantern titles in my pull box for this relaunch and I'm excited. I've never felt anything beyong mild curiosity for any Lanterns until a little blue cat came into my life. Thank you, angry blue cat. I love you even though you would just as soon kill me as look at me.