On the emotional spectrum, anger is a common reaction felt by everyone at some point in their life. It could be triggered by something small or large. In certain situations, anger is justified, while other times it can simply be the result of an overreaction. Anger management can be difficult for some and when I think of how emotions are dealt with in comics, the best representation is found in the Lanterns Corps. Rage is represented by the Red Lanterns Corps, with the group being made up of individuals who are prone to losing control.
An exception in the Red Lanterns is Rankorr, due to him being able to control his rage and channel it more constructively. As a character, Rankorr is intriguing because he can be used as a metaphor for anger management. The Comic Vault is looking into the character’s history to understand what makes him different to other Red Lanterns.
John Moore was born in England and he grew up to be shy and quiet. After their grandad died, Moore’s brother, Ray wanted to take revenge on the killer because he felt the police weren’t doing enough. Moore warned his sibling that it was a bad idea, but his advice was ignored. Hoping to mediate the situation, Moore called the police to tell them what Ray was planning. The police arrested Moore’s brother, only for Ray to be beaten to death for resisting.
Moore witnessed the police brutality, causing him to be overwhelmed by anger. His emotions were so strong that it attracted a Red Lantern ring, transforming him into Rankorr. Like other Red Lanterns, Rankorr lost control of his senses, tracks down his grandfather’s killer and comes close to murdering him. Guy Gardner intervened before Rankorr could finish the job, trying to calm him. This was shown to have some effect on Rankorr’s psyche.
After flying to Ysmault, the Red Lantern homeworld, Rankorr became embroiled in a fight to save the Red Power Battery. During this time, Rankorr is able to retain his intelligence and become the first of the Corps to generate constructs. He proved himself to his teammates, growing into a respected member of the Corps. This caught the attention of Bleez, who he was partnered with on several occasions, and she wanted to unlock the power of making constructs for herself.
Rankorr’s desire to hold onto his humanity made him different from other Red Lanterns. While the others were prone to extreme violence, Rankorr took a more diplomatic approach. He controlled the rage inside of himself enough to be able to think rationally. This demonstrates incredible self-control for a character that’s meant to embody rage in its purest form. It’s similar to anger management because Rankorr takes steps to regulate his fury on a daily basis, even though it could consume him at any time.
What’s even more interesting is the source and type of Rankorr’s anger. Over the years, Moore built up his anger without expressing it properly. It was a kind of slow burn that he pushed down and bottled up, which was an unhealthy coping mechanism. Ironically, the Red Lantern ring could have been the best thing that ever happened to Rankorr because it taught him how to be more in touch with his emotions, leading to him becoming more self-confident and assertive.
Managing your anger is important, but it can also be healthy to express it in the right circumstances. The trick is finding the right balance, which is why Rankorr is a relatable character and one of my favourite Lanterns.