Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Colorist: Jason Wright
For Green Lantern books, it’s been a fairly long time since I’ve been hooked enough to stick with a title for any significant amount of time. After Blackest Night, I found myself getting a little tired of the mythos (and not being a big Hal Jordan fan), but I’ve been checking things out here and there to potentially get back in. While the Godhead event about a year ago was interesting because of my love of the New Gods, I didn’t feel a drive to stay on post event. That said, I love Cullen Bunn’s work, so I decided to give Sinestro a try this week to see if this was that hook.
While I may have my problems with this issue (that’ll come later), I cannot put any fault on Bunn. For a character like Sinestro, it’s not easy to drive a compelling narrative, because he’s just such an awful person no one would want to read it. However, Bunn balances the book between big plot ideas to keep you hooked, and interesting play with Sinestro to make you question how you feel about him. Unlike the Fascist Dictator we saw from Johns and co. during the Sinestro Corps War, this Sinestro seems to be layered in terms of motives. While he wants to basically control the universe here, he doesn’t want to destroy helpless citizens, as we see him supply a failing planet’s populace with food. It’s that type of move which keeps Sinestro interesting enough to make you want to continue reading. While the big story is more or less Sinestro attempting to grow his corps and render the other color ring bearers inert, it’s the smaller moments, such as his dialogue with the captured Saint Walker, a Blue Lantern, where Bunn shines. A good chunk of this issue is centered on Lobo capturing Saint Walker, and Lobo is a character I struggle with. He seems to be a little toned down here, so I didn’t get totally drawn out of the story, but he’s on a fine line with me, and his refusal to become a Lantern is a nice and logical tidbit from Bunn. All that said, the overall story leaves me a little shaky, as a Sinestro vs. the other Lanterns story has been fairly played out, but the Sinestro character moments are strong.
Now to the part of the book where I took issue. I really hate harping on a creator, especially an artist, because A) I know they are very skilled at their job on a macro scale, and B) if the criticism isn’t constructive, then it’s not worth reading. With that in mind, I’m going to tread a little carefully here. The art in this issue really turned me off from the book. While Van Sciver can look great, like in Green Lantern Rebirth, this was not the greatest work from him. The biggest issues were in two places for me. Firstly, Lobo looked very weird from panel to panel. It’s my understanding that the Lobo in current DC continuity is supposed to be a fairly attractive guy, also very svelte, but here we got a weird amalgamation of that and the original pre-New 52 Lobo, who is much more muscular and ugly. I honestly would have been ok with either of these, but it has to be one or the other; the two don’t mix well. Also, since Sinestro spends a good chunk of this book coming from a place of borderline logic and reason (I can’t emphasize BORDERLINE enough), the fact that he’s rendered to look like Hitler just makes him almost unreadable. When Van Sciver initially drew him with the armband in Sinestro Corps War, he was basically outright evil, so the over the top Hitler look worked. Here, however, he’s not the same character, and the universe isn’t the same, so it didn’t work. While he’s still a not great guy, Sinestro should look slightly different, or else it gets distracting.
To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this series going forward. I know Van Sciver is not the ongoing artist, but I’m still questioning whether this is enough to get me totally back in on this continuity in my already enormous stack of comics. I love Cullen Bunn, so I’m siding on giving this one more try.
3 Manhunters out of 5