Leader and founder of the red lanterns corps. The Red Lantern Corps are first mentioned during the "Sinestro Corps War" storyline. Foreshadowing another major crossover event in the DC Universe, former-Guardian Ganthet reveals the Blackest Night prophecy to Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner. The prophecy describes a War of Light among seven Corps powered by the lights of the emotional spectrum. According to DC continuity, before recruiting sentient beings to the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians formed a robotic army called the Manhunters to maintain order across the universe. After eons of service, the renegade Guardian Krona altered their central programming, leading them to believe that the only way of maintaining order was to completely rid the universe of all known life. Sector 666 falls victim to this new philosophy when the Manhunters slaughter all but five of its inhabitants. The five survivors become known as the Five Inversions: a terrorist cell bent on the destruction of the Guardians of the Universe. They are incarcerated on the planet Ysmault, where one member, Atrocitus, is so consumed by his rage that it results in the formation of the first red power battery. Atrocitus had previously escaped at times, only to be defeated and returned. On one such occasion, he fatally attacked Green Lantern Abin Sur; but Atrocitus is returned to confinement by (then-Green Lantern) Sinestro. Atrocitus uses his power battery to bludgeon Qull and the other Inversions to death; however, he expresses more interest in exacting revenge on Sinestro. As the power of rage consumes and drowns the intelligence of the users, the average Red Lantern is left in a barely animalistic mindset, with limited speech abilities and lacking any ability of abstract thought and understanding, and of every other form of volition but endless rage, driven by hatred and a dim memory of his past life, focused on the circumstances forcing him to hate in the first place. Atrocitus is able to restore his fellow Red Lanterns to their previous mental acuity with his shamanistic magic. The ritual, employed only once on Bleez, restored her previous mindset and capacity for coherent thought without dimming her rage. As such, Bleez, like Atrocitus, is still consumed by rage, but also loathes her endless suffering.
In Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns, Atrocitus is shown in a flashback as having apparently formed a central power battery by using the blood of the other Inversions in blood magic rituals. The battery stands before a great lake of blood from which he forms his red power ring (crystallized by his anger), as well as other rings and batteries used to form the Red Lantern Corps. Harnessing the red light of rage, he sends his rings out into the universe; however, upon accepting the rings, his recruits' hearts are rendered useless. Their blood spoils from within, forcing them to expel the violently flammable and corrosive material from their mouths. Additionally, the Red Lanterns are reduced to an almost animalistic state, with only Atrocitus appearing to be in full control of himself. Once Atrocitus assembles a sufficient force, he leads them on a mission to capture Sinestro (who is being transferred to Korugar for his execution). Coincidentally, the Sinestro Corps have similar plans and they launch an ambush on the Green Lantern escort to rescue their leader. In turn, both groups are then ambushed by the Red Lanterns, who are able to take Sinestro captive by slaughtering Green Lanterns and Sinestro Corpsmen alike. Among the many Red Lanterns being seen by readers for the first time is one familiar face: former Green Lantern Laira. After being tried and found guilty for the murder of Amon Sur, she is expelled from the Green Lantern Corps. While being escorted away from Oa, her ship is attacked by a red power ring. It attaches itself to her, and provides her with a vehicle to achieve the vengeance against Sinestro that she seeks.
Appears in Green Lantern Animated Series, Green Lantern Emerald Knights and Justice League Unlimited.