Supervillain Origins: Atrocitus

Script written by Craig Butler

Some people let rage consume them. This guy helps it consume others. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Atrocitus. As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 2008’s Green Lantern  #28-34and Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns #1 and which was expanded upon in 2011’s Red Lanterns #1.

Special thanks to our users Rassim for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Craig Butler


Supervillain Origins: Atrocitus



Some people let rage consume them. This guy helps it consume others. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Atrocitus.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 2008’s Green Lantern  #28-34and Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns #1 and which was expanded upon in 2011’s Red Lanterns #1.

Atrocitus is an alien being who created the Red Lantern Corps, enemies of the Guardians of the Universe. The Red Lanterns are powered by red light, which in turn is powered by and feeds on uncontrollable rage. And that rage is frequently turned against the members of the Green Lantern Corps.

Atrocitus’s origin story spread across many issues of a tale which also retold the story of how Hal Jordan became Earth’s Green Lantern. The whole saga takes in many different threads, but here are the basics of how Atrocitus came to be and how he created the notorious Red Lanterns.

On the planet Ysmault, the Green Lantern known as Abin Sur was consulting with two demons named Qull and Atrocitus. They and a handful of other demons known as the Five Inversions were imprisoned on  Ysmault by the Guardians of the Universe, the creators of the Green Lanterns. Abin Sur was trying to find out more information about dire prophecies the Five Inversions had predicted, including one known as “Blackest Night.”

Atrocitus let it be known that the Blackest Night event would lead to the destruction of all life. The prediction also prophesied that Abin Sur’s ring would fail him when he needed it most. Abin Sur released Atrocitus and, using a spaceship, journeyed with him to Earth, hoping to learn how to prevent this catastrophe. But Atrocitus had tricked Sur; by instilling fear in him, the Green Lantern’s ring was unable to protect him and Atrocitus escaped.

On Earth, Atrocitus sought out a human named William Hand who would play a role in bringing about the Blackest Night. Hand was a young man who worked in a mortuary and seemed to have a fondness for dead bodies.

Meanwhile, Hal Jordan had taken over as Green Lantern of this sector and had met another Green Lantern named Sinestro. A message from Abin Sur informed them that eons ago, the Guardians had created a massive android peacekeeping force known as the Manhunters. The Manhunters were created to be ruled by logic not emotion; unfortunately, this meant they eventually deduced that the only way to ensure peace was to destroy all life. They massacred untold trillions of lives in one sector before the Guardians stopped them. Only the Five Inversions had survived – and Atrocitus and company had then sworn revenge against the Guardians, prompting their imprisonment on Ysmault. 

Before they could act on this information, the Green Lanterns discoveredAtrocitus making contact with William Hand. The monster wished to give Hand the power by which he could one day unleash the Blackest Night. Hal and Sinestro defeated Atrocitus – but not before he passed on to Hand the power he would one day need.

Atrocitus was once again imprisoned on Ysmault. But this was a mistake.Atrocitus learned that by sacrificing Qull, he could bring about the creation of the Red Lantern battery. Rage replaced Atrocitu’s blood and he was reborn as the first Red Lantern.

A few years later, some details were added to Atrocitus’s backstory. It seemed that the Manhunters massacre was not an accident. One of the Guardians, Krona, had programmed them to commit the massive slaughter, hoping to prove that emotional beings were a better choice for a police force. Readers also learned that ages ago Atrocitus was named Atros, and was a well-intentioned psychologist with a loving family. But when he saw the Manhunters kill his family in front of his eyes, he was transformed into a living cauldron of rage.

Few characters in comics are as imposing as Atrocitus. As the living embodiment of pure unadulterated rage, he is a force that is difficult to stop and impossible to reason with. Perhaps he touches a chord in readers who wish they could let some of their own rage out – although hopefully not with the same devastating results.

Are you a fan of the raging Red Lantern founder known as Atrocitus? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
 
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