Bleez For Poppies
Rage: Violent, uncontrollable anger. There are a lot of villains and anti-heroines who are a possessor of this feeling, we all know that. And it’s a pretty bold statement to say that there is one such rule-breaker who does it better than anyone else, but I’m feeling extra crispy today, so I’m gonna go ahead and appoint that title. Who’s the trickiest, best cowl-wearing’, looking-great-in-red lady of them all? Mistress Bleez, the loveliest Red Lantern of them all.
The thing about Bleez is, she didn’t always look like, uh…that, though I think the look suits her much better, don’t you? Before she took up the whole demon lady persona, she was a beautiful princess on a planet called Havania, and girl was turning down dudes left and right. There was just no one who deserved her, and there’s nothing wrong with holding yourself to the highest standards. Her backstory is one of the most tragic and hard-hitting, though, so TRIGGER WARNING NOW. Bleez turned down a particular suitor, who was such an awful piece of colorful things I can’t say on here, that he killed her mother and captured her. From there she was raped and tortured by members of the Sinestro Corps, but managed to escape. However, she was captured by him again, and that Nice Guy was just being himself, and forced her to kiss him. It all ends in a skewed fairytale after she becomes part of the Red Lantern Corps, and throws up fiery plasma (what a nice new power to have!) into his throat. Oh, she also wins the award for Best Revenge Getter. So, we must meet this Disney princess somewhere sweet, right? Sure, if you love the color red and have a fondness for blood. Her first appearance is in Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns #1 where she is giving in to her rage and the Red Ring’s power.
She makes some appearances here and there, not really having a big role until The New Guardians, in which we see her be awesome and get sassy with the Blue Beetle. A notable scene takes place in which the anger that she is so known for clouds her noggin, and makes her unable to communicate with Atrocitus, whom she is supposed to be reporting back to. Always the Nice Guy, he gets beyond pissed and throws her into the Blood Ocean, which is literally an ocean of blood. There are some nifty fighting scenes, as usual, but it isn’t until the end of the series where we see another side of Bleez’s complex personality. Though she is usually labeled as villain, Bleez refuses to stay with a team that is all about murder and lies.
If you want to see what it would be like if she and Mr. Incredible had a baby, check out Green Lantern: The Animated Series. She’s also a playable character Lego Batman 3, and it would make sense to see an actual real Lego of her any day now…any day now…Ahem.
These appearances are as great as a basket of puppies (because who doesn’t love puppies, and in baskets, yay!), but she shines brightest in the Red Lanterns series. We see Bleez in that great Blood Ocean yet again, this time being revived by Atrocitus to be his second-in-command, which I think everyone can agree is not a good idea. She emerges with her whit sharper than her outfit, and her sarcasm to match. There is some triggering speech in this series as well, so be warned if you decide to read it. It helps that we get to see Bleez literally rip the head off one of the men saying such terrible things though. It’s just a guess but he was probably saying something along the lines of, “Not all men…” before she broke up the party. Before I say any more, I just have to talk about the art. It’s blow your mind out yo’ fingertips in a 90’s psychedelic fashion, kids.
The Red Lanterns #3 cover, where we see Bleez outdoing Elizabeth Bathory is beautiful, but will probably be guaranteed to not get you any smooches if you bring it up on the first date. Trust me, I know. Ed Benes does both color and penciling and Rob Hunter also doubles as the inker and colorist, along with a third colorist, Nathan Eyring, so there is no shortage of work or talent for this series. Also, you have to admire those who can make one color contrast so well, because they had to work with an awful lot of red. But let’s get back to leading lady; in this series she also Atrocitus also comes to attack her, to which she impressively holds her own against him, and seizes control of the Red Lanterns. In one scene, she admits out loud that her violence and anger had not brought her the peace that she had wanted, and even though it was said under the influence of a violet light of love, it reveals how aware of herself Bleez really is.
At first glance, this bone-winged woman is a mix of cynical speech and devilish looks. But her character is a painfully real reflection on real world issues that stem far away from comics. She’s had terrible things happen to her, and in turn, becomes what a lot of people would consider a “monster”, being known of course, as a villain. Even though she lives only on the pages of a comic book and a bit in a TV show, the roots of her story is that of one that exists in a frightfully high number of people, both men and women alike. Though through her struggle and bad-girl image, it is revealed that she has more on quite an intellectual brain than the emotion in which she is pieced around. Though she, like a lot of female characters, is drawn in a “sexy” fashion, her posing that reflects such a style is usually in panels where she is straight up kicking ass, truly showing the overcoming of her past and living with her scars. The strength of this character is something that has to be applauded, because she is a downright inspiration cased in a ferocious shell of power.