"You don't understand how hard this is… I've turned from Atrocitus' cult of hate, but the ring stayed with me, which means the rage in my heart remains. So I must use the Red Lantern oath to recharge it."
The Red Lantern Oath
"With blood and rage of crimson red,
We fill mens' souls with darkest dread,
And twist your minds to pain and hate,
We'll burn you all — that is your fate!"
More than eighteen months ago, Razer lived with his wife Ilana on their home world in The Forgotten Zone, a sector on the very edge of Guardian Space. Unfortunately, their existence was far from peaceful; the planet was being ravaged by ongoing skirmishes between various warlords who were fighting with one another over territory. Ilana's only want was to live in a safe place where they could raise a family. Razer, wanting to make her dream a reality and better protect her and their people, joined the militia despite Ilana's protests that more fighting would help no one.
Some time after joining the militia, Razer came home from a tour of duty to find that his home had been partially destroyed in a raid and that part of the roof had collapsed. Ilana was partially buried beneath the rubble. She had been killed during the attack. Angry and distraught, Razer knelt at her side, crying out that he'd come back for her, his heart broken. It was then a red power ring found him and, in his state of blind rage and want for vengeance, he accepted the invitation to join Atrocitus' Red Lantern Corps.
Assigned to work with Lord Atrocitus' second-in-command, the bloodthirsty Zilius Zox, Razer found himself on missions to seek out and destroy Green Lanterns in Frontier Space. Atrocitus blamed the Guardians for the ruin of his home galaxy and thus wanted them and their lapdogs wiped out. Those Green Lanterns who patrolled Frontier Space, the sectors on the edge of Guardian Space, were often selected and given only basic instruction through their rings, as it would take them eighteen months to reach the Guardian home world of Oa for training there. This, of course, made them easier kills. One of Razer and Zox's first victims was Green Lantern M'Ten, who the two ambushed in open space. While Razer was the one to spring the trap, initially, he was hesitant to strike the killing bow, stating that any Green Lanterns they killed would only give rise to more when their rings sought out new worthy keepers. As far as Zox was concerned, however, that wasn't necessarily a bad outcome, as he took pleasure in hunting their victims down and destroying them. Razer then stood by and merely watched while Zox murdered M'Ten, the Green Lantern power ring flying off afterward.
Eighteen months passed with yet more Frontier Green Lanterns falling to the ranks of the Red. Again Razer was sent out with Zilius Zox, the two attacking a Green Lantern by the name of Shyir Rev on a desolate planet. Outnumbered and outmatched, Rev would have met the same fate as M'Ten if not for the unexpected arrival two Lanterns from Oa – Hal Jordan and Kilowog. The two had been in a meeting with the Guardians on Oa when the late M'Ten's ring arrived, unable to find a new bearer. After learning that their comrades in Frontier Space were being murdered one by one, Hal talked Kilowog into “borrowing” a new experimental space craft named the Interceptor to fly out and investigate. They had arrived via ultra-warp (thus eliminating months worth of travel time) just in time to save Shyir Rev, Kilowog taking the wounded Lantern on board the Interceptor while Hal recharged his ring via the ship's giant green battery engine and used it to blast Zilius Zox and Razer out into the atmosphere.
Back on Shard, the Red Lantern “mother ship”, Atrocitus was less than pleased with Zox and Razer's failure to get rid of their target, especially since Green Lanterns from Oa had been involved. While Zox attempted to force all the blame onto his hunting partner, Razer was spared the wrath of his lord when an incoming transmission reported that one of his Hunter Killer Drones had found the Green Lantern ship and planted a tracking device on the hull. It was then decided that they would find and destroy the meddlers from Oa before they could do anything further to derail Atrocitus' plans.
And, unfortunately for Shyir Rev's people on Colony 12 where the Interceptor crew was attempting to lay low for the moment, the Red Lantern plan involved using a planet buster.
Atrocitus demanded that the Green Lanterns be handed over or the planet would be annihilated. When Hal and the others did not show up in time, Atrocitus ordered Razer to activate the planet buster's detonation sequence. As before when told to take life, Razer hesitated, stating that although he believed their pursuit of vengeance was right and just, he did not see why they should kill innocents. Atrocitus reminded him that the Guardians and those who served them had been responsible for destroying his home world as well as many others and that if they did not make an example of a disloyal few, millions would suffer later on. Determined to prove that he was not weak nor a coward before his lord and master, Razer activated the planet buster “for the greater good and vengeance.”
Seconds later, Hal Jordan arrived on the scene, Atrocitus and Zilius Zox immediately giving chase and then engaging him in battle atop the doomsday device. Meanwhile, Shyir Rev and Kilowog found their way inside through the volcano below and began working on halting the detonation sequence. Before they could stop it, Razer attacked and Kilowog countered while Rev continued working to deactivate the planet buster. During the fight, Kilowog managed to cause Razer to question his actions and, as a result, his hesitation got him blasted outside. By that time, however, it was too late. The sequence activated and Rev used his own powers directly on the device to allow Kilowog enough time to retreat and hurriedly gather the colonists into an air tight construct for evacuation. High above, as Atrocitus and Zox fled the doomed planet with Hal in pursuit, Colony 12 shattered and exploded. In the wake of the disaster, Razer tried to goad Jordan into killing him in space for his crimes against the innocent, but Hal refused, confiscated his ring and took him prisoner instead.
Due to the distance between Frontier Space and Oa, as well as the Red Lantern threat, Hal was placed in command of the Interceptor by the Guardians. He was then tasked with dropping Razer off at a nearby privatized penitentiary. Razer refused to cooperate with giving out any information on the Red Lanterns despite his new found hatred for them and expressed disgust with the Green Lanterns' inability to punish him properly through execution. Kilowog and Hal left Razer at the prison, which was run by the Spider Guild, and departed to go back to planning on how to deal with Atrocitus and his forces.
In the claws of Myglom the warden, Razer was hauled off to a cell where he was subjected to the prison's “rehabilitation system.” The dastardly device was one that caused its wearer to relive their worst moments over and over again until they eventually lost their sanity. For Razer, this was reliving the last time he saw Ilana, returning home to find her dead and accepting the Red Lantern power ring. Fortunately for him, a prisoner named Goggan had successfully tunneled his way out and stowed away on the Interceptor before it left the prison. When Hal and Kilowog caught him and questioned him, he revealed that the Spider Guild was torturing its prisoners. This bothered Hal and he decided that they needed to return to make sure that nothing unjust was being done to the prisoners. After sneaking back into the prison, however, they were caught by the guards, their powers rendered useless by an odd yellow mineral embedded in the many of the ceilings of the cells and corridors. Myglom refused to release them, since they had seen rehabilitation devices and subjected them to the prison's brand of torture, telling that that once inmates were deprived of their sanity…they were eaten.
After two hours of waiting for the Green Lanterns to return, Goggan went into a panic in his cell on board the ship, certain that Hal and Kilowog had been killed and if they were not already dead, they soon would be. The Interceptor's A.I. navigational program, “Aya”, thought the situation unacceptable and found a way to enter the penitentiary's security system to locate the crew. However, the yellow mineral prevented her from entering the sector where they were being held captive. Instead, she entered Razer's cell and used the machinery attached to him to interrupt his nightmares, taking on the persona of his wife. When she could not convince him to help her, as he believed he deserved the punishment he was receiving and did not want to be free, she forced the machine to dump him out and shut off. Razer then returned to the Interceptor, reclaimed his power ring and went after the other two Lanterns. When he found them, Myglom was moments away from devouring Hal. Razer interrupted the warden's meal and attacked, scattering the guards and freeing the Green Lanterns, who then joined the fray using hand-to-hand combat since their powers were still being suppressed. When the fight ended with the Lanterns the victors, Hal and Kilowog turned to Razer, uncertain as to whether or not he would attack them in his rage induced state. But he regained full control of himself and, with some effort, removed his ring and offered it up to the Green Lanterns. In the end, the Guardians dispatched a new warden (to arrive in eighteen months) and Hal made Goggan the temporary warden. He then insisted Razer leave with them, returning his power ring.
In the weeks following, Razer accompanied the crew of the Interceptor on a number of missions, such as saving a cargo ship, its contents and captain from falling into a pin hole as well as solving the murder of a Green Lantern amidst a scheme against the Queen of the planet Betrasses. In searching for the successor to Shyir Rev, the crew found its way to a planet about to be struck and destroyed by an asteroid. There, Razer met a being named Saint Walker, who despite the Red Lantern's attempts to fight him out of irritation, informed him that bad times were coming and that the galaxy would need all of strong heart and mind to survive. The crew dealt with a group of backstabbing castaways who tried to hijack the Interceptor and, in the end, it was the planet itself that turned out to be the new Green Lantern – Mogo. With the ring, he was able to save himself from impending doom and the crew moved on.
During those weeks, Razer gained some level of acceptance amidst the crew. Hal demonstrated a degree of trust in him, always managing to keep his patience despite arguments and fist fights between Razer and Kilowog, who did not trust the Red Lantern at all at first. Eventually, a grudging respect formed between the two and their bickering petered off some. Aya and Razer worked together to locate the body of the dead Green Lantern on Betrasses, the two functioning well as a team. However, Razer succeeded in testing all his crew mates trust and patience in him when he decided that he was tired of waiting for action to be taken against Atrocitus.
After slipping a near undetectable diversionary program into the ship's systems, Razer left the Interceptor. Aya attempted to stop him, saying that she did not want his actions misunderstood by the others and that she did not believe he was evil. He left regardless and, to keep her from following, he triggered the hidden program via remote and caused the Interceptor's instruments to bring up false readings that many of its necessary functions (such as life support) had gone offline. This distracted the crew and by the time they realized what had happened and where Razer had gone, the Red Lantern had arrived in Shard.
Razer's first priority upon reaching the Red Lantern mother ship was going to Battery Square to recharge his power ring as it was desperately low on energy. Some of his former comrades noticed his arrival and though they'd originally believed him dead, quickly reported his miraculous return to Atrocitus. Razer then made his way to Atrocitus' citadel where he met with his ex-lord, saying that he had been taken prisoner by the Green Lanterns, but blown up their ship and returned to Shard to continue serving the Red Lantern cause. As soon as Atrocitus' back was turned, Razer attempt to assassinate him by driving a red energy blade into the base of his neck. His power failed, however, and his suit dissipated moments before Atrocitus beat him down. Not one to trust anyone at all, even his own, Atrocitus had ordered Zilius Zox to tamper with the main battery at the square; all Razer had received on recharge was a mere light show. They then tortured the traitor and when they were unable to get a single bit of information out of him about the Inceptor or its crew, Razer spitting in Zox's face, Atrocitus ordered his execution.
Hal Jordan was not about to leave Razer to the wolves, however, and devised a plan to sneak into Shard and bring him back. Aya, using the body she had constructed shortly after the cargo ship mission, went with the Green Lanterns and infiltrated Shard's main systems, uploading an altered version of the program Razer used to trick them earlier. Hal, meanwhile, dressed himself as a Red Gunner and delivered Kilowog to Atrocitus in shackles as a prisoner. Their arrival was not a moment too soon; Zilius Zox had been only seconds away from beheading Razer. Fooled by Hal's disguise, Atrocitus ordered him to execute Kilowog at the same time Razer met his fate. As they prepared to kill their captives, Hal signaled Aya and she triggered the infiltration program, creating a diversion that allowed the Green Lanterns to free Razer. He charged his ring on Atrocitus' personal battery on the way out, the three fleeing in the confusion. Their retreat was cut short when a powerful Red Lantern named Skallox engaged Kilowog in a fight and Atrocitus caught Aya and tore all her limbs off. Razer talked Hal into getting Kilowog back to the ship while he went back for Aya.
The fight between former soldier and master was a one-sided violent one in Battery Square, Atrocitus mocking Razer and lashing him against the sides of buildings with red energy tendrils. The tide finally turned when Atrocitus made the mistake of taunting Razer with the death of his beloved, saying that he had been the one to turn their planet's warlords against one another to foster an environment of destruction and hate, then slaughtered Ilana to complete Razer's turn to blind rage. Razer reacted immediately and violently, driven mad by the truth. His own power magnified by his out of control emotions, he blasted Atrocitus half way across Battery Square and was about to strike a killing blow when Aya warned him that if they did not retreat immediately, they all would die. With great effort, Razer broke off his attack, retrieved Aya's body and stole Atrocitus' personal battery before flying off to rendezvous with the Interceptor, the ship fleeing Shard with Hunter Killer Drones on its tail. Afterward, Hal was quick to inform Razer of the danger he'd put them all in, especially since the Red Lanterns were now aware that they were all alive and had not perished in the explosion of Colony 12. The one saving grace was a file Aya stole while linked to the Shard mainframe – one that contained information about a battleship fleet Atrocitus was gathering, hundreds strong.
Not long after their escape from Shard, the crew realized that they would soon require a stop for provisions. Aya, still only partially repaired, managed to locate a planet suitable for food foraging. Hal and Kilowog left to gather supplies while Razer refused to set foot outside of the ship; he had taken to spending much of his time in his quarters, brooding. So while the Green Lanterns gathered supplies, then dealt with a hostile situation among the locals and got it resolved, Razer attempted to keep Aya out of his business. The AI was somewhere between curious and concerned about him and his status. She requested to observe the ritual of Red Lantern ring charge, but Razer was too ashamed of it to let her hear or see him use it. Later, she entered his quarters while he was mid-oath, causing him to stop and demand to know why she had come into his room. Her explanation about his heightened vital signs finally got him to relent and he explained the vile nature of the Red Lantern oath, which she found "interesting." Her choice of words offended and enraged Razer, causing him to scream at her to get of his quarters. She complied, but returned later. In an effort to help him, Aya had written a new oath that bent the words to something more justice and redemption oriented. Razer used it and told her that it worked, thanking her for the assistance, but as soon as she was gone, he recharged his ring using the original oath. Much to his shame and regret, the rage fueling the ring was still with him.
Later, the Interceptor was attacked in open space by a translucent, squid like alien. As large as the ship itself, the creature wrapped its tentacles about the Interceptor and, despite the best efforts of the three Lanterns on board, would not release it. Fortunately, they were aided by two more Lanterns arriving on the scene - a pair of Star Sapphires (Violet Lanterns who represent the emotion of love), Queen Aga'po of Zamaron and her niece, Ghia'ta. The beast fled the scene and the Queen invited the crew to her palace on her home world for a chance to rest and recover. Upon arrival, however, Razer refused to leave the ship, not particularly interested anything to do with the female Lanterns and their ways. So while Hal and Kilowog departed to accompany the Queen and her niece to the palace, Razer remained behind with Aya. It was less than a few hours later, however, when Aya came to Razer with disturbing news: the Interceptor's sensors picking up on Kilowog's ring were reporting that his vital signs had taken a sudden plunge. Razer and Aya disembarked to head for the palace, determined to find both Hal and Kilowog.
And it was as they ascended the steps, greeted by the Queen's guards that the Call to Wake drew Razer into Nautilus.
To be blunt, Razer is an angst-ridden, self-loathing rage machine with self destructive tendencies. He states in canon that one has no chance of claiming victory if one is not willing to die for one's cause. However his reasons for wanting to take up a suicide mission against Atrocitus runs deeper than self-sacrifice for a greater good or even vengeance. Rather, extreme self hatred also plays into it. Razer loathes himself for the crimes he has committed and may even ultimately blame himself for the death of his wife, since if he had not left her to join the Militia, she might not have fallen victim to Atrocitus. He disagrees with the Green Lanterns' decision to incarcerate him early on, saying that for what he has done, he deserves to be executed. It's entirely possible that, at this point, he feels deep down as though he can do nothing right and that he deserves nothing good. He is a wretched creature, so consumed by rage that even after abandoning the Red Lantern Corps, the ring remains bound to him. His is a vicious cycle, keeping the ring as a necessity to carry out his mission against Atrocitus, yet knowing that being able to do so means he is still scum no matter how hard he tries to be otherwise. Razer sometimes attempts to cover this by being aloof or mustering up bit of an ego in regards to his abilities, determined not to show weakness if he can avoid it. He may hate himself for what he's done and become, but that doesn't mean he lacks faith in his engineering talents or tracking skills.
Part of the problem with so much self hate is that it also makes Razer bitter and foul tempered, further perpetuating the ugly cycle. He has little tolerance for anything he deems as foolishly unnecessary and it only takes so much prodding to goad him into a physical altercation. His relationship with Kilowog was very strained to start, the two of them exchanging both insults and blows, needing to be pulled apart multiple times by Hal Jordan, who Razer sometimes views as too idealistic and even weak. Still, Razer demonstrates patience for Hal that he does not often offer Kilowog, likely because Hal continually gives him chances to make right and even puts a degree of trust in him. At this time, the dynamic between Razer and Kilowog is one of grudging respect after working together in the field under life-threatening conditions. (Because nothing says bonding like nearly being pulled into a pinhole and crushed to death.)
Though he will not admit it outright, Razer seems to care about his fellow Interceptor crew mates, at least to the point where he believes that they do not deserve to die for his mistakes. He demonstrates this by using a diversion to keep them away while he goes to Shard alone, then refusing to give up any information about them even while being tortured. And while it's true that he doesn't like most anyone else on a personal level, Razer is not entirely without compassion; he does not condone killing innocent sentient life and willingly accompanies the Green Lanterns on their missions to help others as penance for his wrong doings. The latter is sometimes done a bit grudgingly depending on the mission, however, with snarky side commentary and sarcasm if Razer becomes irritated at any point. So though an angry individual, Razer has not lost the ability to give a damn about others. He is simply terrible at showing it outright in those rare instances when he actually does care, likely because he is so far removed from caring about himself that he does not know how to manage it with other people. Also, for as much as he hates himself, it almost seems to baffle him at times when other people show honest signs of being concerned over what happens to him.
Unsurprisingly, Razer is also a pessimist. The negative aspects of a situation are the first things he'll notice and he is not shy about commenting on them. He is woefully “glass half empty” to the point of being almost “glass completely empty.” He is also about as blunt as a brick to the back of the head. Generally, Razer sees no point in sugar coating anything or creating little white lies in social situations to spare someone else's feelings. This is likely because he doesn't see the point, doesn't give a damn or both. There are exceptions to this kind of behavior, but they are few and far between.
While he has been known to lock himself away in his quarters to brood for hours and even days at a time when he's in a particularly deep funk, Razer can be quite impatient and demanding for action in some situations. He greatly dislikes missions being dragged out longer than necessary, for example, as it wastes time and energy. When Razer wants something done, get out of his way.
Despite all his issues, however, Razer comes across as a decently eloquent speaker capable of a steady, soft tone when not aggravated. The trick with him seems to be knowing what subjects to avoid as well as knowing when one has worn out their welcome. In many ways, Razer is like a large red cat… Expect him to be aloof and independent, and don't rub him the wrong way.
As a Red Lantern, Razer possesses some of the abilities Green Lanterns are famous for, namely the ability to fly and travel safely through the vacuum of space with a personal force field. The accompanying “Lantern suit” also seems to increase the durability of the wearer, allowing them to take more punishment with an active ring than without. Unlike Green Lanterns, however, Reds are a little more limited in what they can create in terms of constructs, likely because red energy is based upon rage and therefore naturally harder to tame into detailed shapes. What do pass for constructs are mostly weapons like energy whips and simple shaped spears or daggers. Otherwise, they favor strong blasts over anything else. Red Lanterns make up for minimal constructs by being more powerful in terms of their energy output; in many cases, red energy will shatter green energy constructs. Rings can also be used as communication devices, both voice only and in casting miniature holograms of the wearer to another ring bearer, and automatically serve as universal translators.
The downside of Lantern rings is that they require a recharge from a battery of a corresponding color in order to remain functional. There is no specific time frame on how long any ring charge lasts in this particular continuity, but obviously the more a ring is used, the faster it will drain. Once it's out, it will cease to work and the suit it provides dissipates. (It should be noted, however, that charged rings can be worn without being fully active. This is what allows Hal Jordan to keep his ring on while still going about day to day activities on Earth without his Lantern suit on.)
In terms of Spectum specific weaknesses and strengths, Red Lantern rings are still effective in the presence of Yellow whereas Green is not. However, Red can be negated/purged by Blue. Also, the corresponding emotion is necessary to make a ring work. (Which is why Yellow often disrupts Green for example; fear is the enemy of willpower and can cause it to break.) In the case of Red, rage caused specifically by loss is the necessary catalyst to make a ring work and stay bound to its bearer, though any amount of anger in any situation will serve to feed that power even more.
Outside of being a Lantern, Razer trained as a soldier in the Militia. His combat skills are intermediate at this time; he is effective against novice warriors and those on his level, but has difficulty dealing with masters and veterans, such as Drill Sargent Kilowog, Saint Walker and Atrocitus. His fortes are speed, agility and stealth. He is also an accomplished tracker and an excellent programmer/engineer, working incredibly well with machinery and electronics. It is likely that prior to his time in the Militia, he was working or training as an engineer.
Razer's species has a unique trait that allows them to be die-hard survivors. Their bodies store and use sustenance so effectively that, under the right circumstances, they can go months at a time without needing to eat.