Or – “Sinestro Apparently Offers Great Benefits, Pension, And A Hefty Signing Bonus.”

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When I picked up my comics this week, I asked my co-workers Jim and Jason (if the store were the Legion of Super-Heroes, and Tom Grice were Lightning Lad, they’d be the equivalent of Ultra Boy and Element Lad. [I’d probably be Star Boy, always around, but seldom the focus of the main story.]) about getting a copy of X-Men #200 to review, they both loudly told me that the REAL gem of the week was right here in Sinestro Corps. We’ve all seen the buildup to the Corps Wars in Green Lantern and GLC, but I couldn’t imagine what was so big that it would trump the shocking events of X-Men

But this time, the guys… were RIGHT.

Previously, on Green Lantern: Sinestro, once the greatest of Green Lanterns, fell from Grace. He allied himself with Parallax, an entity of pure fear who is responsible for the GL1.jpgGreen Lanterns’ yellow weakness, to bring down the man who he blamed for his downfall: Hal Jordan. Jordan destroyed the Corps, died, became the Spectre’s host, then returned to life… With the aid of Kyle Rayner, his replacement, as well as veteran Lanterns Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Kilowog, he overcame Sinestro again. Together with the returning Guardians of the Universe, these Lanterns became the nexus of a new Corps, once again protecting the universe. Unfortunately, Sinestro also had plans, and somehow managed to use his own yellow power ring to spawn thousands more throughout the universe, starting a Corps of his own. His hand was tipped when one of the rings targeted a human known for his ability to instill fear: The Batman. With Bruce Wayne aware of Sinestro’s big plans, it’s only a matter of time before the Justice League finds out, and then Hal Jordan. Somewhere in the antimatter universe of Qward, Sinestro undergoes a kind of vision quest… His back scarred with a Lantern logo courtesy of Kyle Rayner, Sinestro knows it’s time for change… “I have been to every corner of the universe, and I have learned one thing. The universe NEEDS to change.”

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“…I felt fear.” Sinestro remembers what brought him here, the battle with Jordan and Rayner, and the hatred he feels for them both. “You will be mine, alley rat,” he thinks. “And the universe… The universe WILL change.” Drawing upon his full power, he picks up his yellow power battery, and begins reciting the Sinestro Corps oath, a bastardization of the Lantern’s own mantra: “In Blackest Day, In Brightest Night… beware your fears made into light… Let those who try to stop what’s right, burn like my power… Sinestro’s Might!” Back on Earth, Batman has apprised his teammates of what has happened to him, and they’re attempting to capture Zoom to see what he knows about Sinestro’s plan. Zoom’s speed allows him to get the better of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman temporarily, when the cavalry sweeps in.

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“I missed the X-Files,” thinks Hal… The entire league continues pressing Zoom for information, wanting to know where Sinestro has gone since they were working for the Society during Infinite Crisis. Zoom psycho-analyzes Hal, trying to throw his concentration, taunting “Sinestro told me what happened to you, Green Lantern. He put you through a test like I put the Flash through one… You murdered your fellow officers and hurt the people you called friends.” Zoom manages to slip through their fingers, (and Vixen asks “Have we heard an official ‘yes’ from the Flash yet?” Heh.) but Hal isn’t ready to give up yet.

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“…it’s the Green Lanterns’.” Speaking of which, deep in space sector 424, two rookie Lanterns are chasing down a strange signal, a Sinestro Corps ring on it’s way to it’s eventual bearer. The ring responds with hostility, but the new kids are protected by a man in green and black, one of them, yet not. “A Green Lantern with no ring? It is a miracle!” cries one Lantern, but the other tells her the real story. His name is Ion, and his is “the angel of the Corps.” Ion, the next evolution of the Green Lantern, disagrees.

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Kyle analyzes the ring, and realizes that it’s just passing through, on it’s way to another sector, and points out the hundreds of other rings flying through the sector. Though these rings are seeking a bearer, many have already hit home, and on an abandoned asteroid in Sector 3, a signal is received. The recipient is someone we’ve met already…

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Meanwhile, at the center of the galaxy, on the planet Oa, the Guardians of the Universe interrogate one of their prisoners: Hank Henshaw, also known as the Cyborg Superman. Henshaw has somehow gotten information that revealed to him the nature of the new multiverse, and the secret of 52. Having been bonding to the Source Wall, Henshaw has apparently traveled beyond the DC Universe, and even into the Bleed before he was defeated. Worst of all, he has learned that if you destroy the New Earth, then all the other Earth’s will die, in a cosmic peristaltic chain reaction. The Guardians still blame Henshaw for his role in Hal Jordan’s fall as well, having been the man who killed Coast City and drove him into the arms of Parallax. Even more ominous are the forbidden prophecies…

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They return Henshaw to the sciencells, the Oan prison complex in the center of the sun, where we see Guy Gardner getting relieved of “Prime Duty,” keeping watch over Superboy-Prime in the center of a red sun. Gardner returns to Oa, and catches a few of his old friends in the commissary. Hal, John Stewart, and Kyle are eating, but Hal takes flak once again off the Lanterns who were imprisoned because of his actions as Parallax. They can bitch all they want, but before the retcon, they were DEAD, so count your blessings, third bananas. “I can take a few glares and a handful of words,” says Hal. “I’m friends with Guy Gardner.” Heh. Kyle is in a foul mood, as the yellow ring he imprisoned hangs in a force bubble before them all, as today was supposed to be the day he heard his mother’s will. Suddenly, the ring busts free and starts flying around the room…

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Kyle’s teleportation journey ends in the anti-matter universe of Qward, where he finds the once-mighty Thunderers murdered by the hundreds. He hears a distant voice booming, and follows it, as the yellow ring settles on his finger. “To instill fear,” echoes the distant thundering voice, “is to instill ORDER!” As Kyle moves closer, he sees one of the most terrifying things in recent DC Universe memory: The assembled Sinestro Corps.

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Standing at the center, roaring his message, Sinestro commands their attention… “The Guardians had BILLIONS of years to bring order to this universe. They FAILED. Now it is our turn to spread our light. Our turn to take CONTROL!” Having returned to his old ways of demogoguery, the big S continues, as Kyle tries to contact the GLC. Sinestro’s face appears before him, intoning “Hal Jordan cannot hear you, Kyle.” The entire Corps rises to attack, and Kyle replies that way any of us would. “#&$@ me.” Heh. Back on Oa, Chaos reigns supreme, as the Lanterns scramble to find out what happened to Kyle. Suddenly, a Lantern’s head explodes thanks to Bedovian’s sniper skills, and a phalanx of Sinestro’s finest sweep in to attack. In the antimatter universe, Sinestro himself fells Kyle, while John Stewart calmly tries to take out the immediate threat…

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Bedovian go boom. With their fellows no longer being picked off one by one, the assembled Lanterns realize that they have the superior numbers, and that green, being a secondary color, is twice as powerful as the primary yellow. Or something… Either way, the voice that launched a thousand rookie GL nightmares rings out to rally his soldiers.

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Karu-Sil’s attack knocks Guy for a loop, and he snarls, “I’m gonna neuter those dogs.” Suddenly, a squadron of rings fills the air, dozens of green gems forced to find new hosts as their previous Lanterns die. I count twelve, but there may be hundreds at this point. The three Earth Lanterns follow the trail to find that the science-cells have been busted open, and all the Prime-duty Lanterns dead. “Oh, crap…” The red sun blazes with the symbol of Sinestro, and the cells are empty. ALL the cells… Sinestro, having captured Kyle, takes a moment to pontificate. “As long as there is LIFE, there will be FEAR. You will NEVER be rid of it.” He rings up a yellow scalpel, and slices open Kyle’s chest, REACHING IN and ripping the Ion entity from his chest.

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“Yes… yes you are.” I really hate Sinestro. Really hate him. Sinestro laughs, “It ends as it began. The death of a loved one is your fault.” Kyle threatens to kill him, pulling against the creatures that hold him, but he’s not strong enough. “The power rings won’t allow YOU to kill. A Green Lantern is an empty threat.” Waitaminnut. Didn’t John just blow Bedovian’s head off? Maybe Sinestro doesn’t know as much as he thinks he knows… Kyle, crushed by the revelations, and truly afraid, is thrust into the heart of the giant central power battery, to face… PARALLAX. The creature strikes, entering his chest through the hole that Ion left, and Sinestro laughs again. “Welcome, Kyle Rayner of Earth… to my Sinestro Corps.”

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Oh, god… It’s baaaack! The ugly costume is baaack! In the words of Daffy Duck, I DEMAND that you shoot me now! Rayner-lax asks when he gets to kick Hal Jordan’s buttocks, and Sinestro tells him to be patient. He takes Parallax down a hallway to meet someone, and on Oa, the Guardians feel a wave of fear across the Universe. “With the rebirth of the universe comes the return of something else…” intones Ganthet (or possibly his girlfriend, as they’re all powder-blue Oompa Loompas anyway.) “The last of your heralds has been born, my Guardian,” says Sinestro. “The other two, freed from the sciencells of Oa and delivered to you. My corps is ready.” Suddenly, we see who Sin is working for…

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AHHHH! The Anti-Monitor! This is bad… Really, really, really bad! Worse even than the Pre-Crisis Kryptonian and the Cyborg Superman joining up. As powerful as Superboy is, The Anti-Monitor’s appearance bodes ill for the entire DC Universe. The last Sinestro Corps tale tells a story we already know, how Sinestro came to Earth to train Hal, and how they gained mutual respect, before Sinestro overthrew his entire planet Korugar and enslaved that world to prove that ruling through fear is superior to the Guardians hands-off approach. “But know this, dread listener,” says Lyssa Drak, keeper of the book of Parallax. “This is not a tale of revenge against the Green Lantern Corps, as Hal Jordan would have you believe. This is a tale of change… A tale of how what seemed to be the worst of intentions can actually be the best. Sinestro was once the greatest Green Lantern in the universe, and he will be again. Even if no one knows it.”

This whole issue left me breathless, and the surprises in “recruitment” literally gave me goosebumps. With Kyle under the influence of Parallax, one of the Guardians most powerful tools is out of play, and the Lanterns have been devastated by the initial shots of the war. It’s a very impressive book, with a breathtaking cliffhanger that we probably should have seen coming, what with the return of Stinky and friends in Countdown. The seeds of destruction sown over so many months are finally flowering, and this is about to get nasty. I was riveted by this book, Ethan Van Sciver’s art is excellent as ever, and Geoff Johns once again has revamped and revitalized a concept thought forever gone. I had some doubts when the ‘Sinestro Corps’ backups were running in GL’s title, but they’re gone now. This is going to be huge, and I wonder if it’s not leading up to the rumored Final Crisis… The Sinestro Corps Special is easily worth 4.5 out of 5 stars for excitement and drama, and I’m really looking forward to the next chapter in the war.

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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20 Comments

  1. Brent F.
    June 29, 2007 at 2:23 pm — Reply

    How do you spell screwed? G-R-E-E-N-L-A-N-T-E-R-N

    Speaking as a Hal Jordan fan, it’s nice to finally see all three of Rayner’s fans get their come uppins.

  2. Josh
    June 29, 2007 at 3:13 pm — Reply

    It’s too bad that the Silver Age fanboys currently running DC get to ruin Kyle Rayner. He’s a much better character (IMHO) than Hal Jordan ever was. But to each their own.

    I won’t be reading this, but I’ll at least keep an eye out for developments to see where it goes. Much like I did with the Lightning Saga.

  3. Matt Elston
    June 29, 2007 at 3:20 pm — Reply

    Hi there. Long time reader, first time submitter.

    I cannot remember the last time I read a comic and was left with a “OH SH%T!!” feeling like I did at the end of this one. Outside of Darkseid, you have arguably the 5 most powerful baddies actively out there combined with Manhunters and the Sinestro Corps. I still can’t think of anything other than “OH SH%T!!”

  4. Brent F.
    June 29, 2007 at 3:45 pm — Reply

    It’s too bad they had to create Kyle Rayner by ruining all of the Green Lanterns that came before him.

  5. Mark I.
    June 29, 2007 at 4:19 pm — Reply

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Now that’s how you bring it!

    Kon-El: Dead
    Bart Allen: Dead
    Kyle Rayner: Parallaxed

    Pattern sensed…it seems we’re tying up loose ends amongst legacy heroes and sidekicks here. Who’s next? Jason Todd and Donna Troy? Or are we being swerved…Dick Grayson (!!!) and Cassie Sandsmark? Mary Marvel?

    And is Sinestro going to save the universe?

  6. Brent F.
    June 29, 2007 at 4:22 pm — Reply

    With the way the Monitors behave I wouldn’t be surprised if this new Anti-Monitor actually turns out to be a good guy.

  7. JacinB
    June 29, 2007 at 4:45 pm — Reply

    I may be alone, but I hated almost everything about this comic.

    1) The Parallax-is-a-energy-demon thing was dumb the first time around. Admit it. Further, I’m pretty sure it had been said that Kyle was immune to Parallax’s influence specifically because of the way that he’d dealt with the fear he’d experienced in his life specifically related to the events that Sinestro mentioned.

    2) The Ion-is-also-an-energy-being thing is even dumber. So, he really DIDN’T get his powers from his ring, the battery, his willpower, and the power of the Starheart that Jade gave him upon her death like we’ve been told for the past year. It’s actually just been a big, dinosaur-looking energy beast living inside him. Woohoo.

    3) Superboy-Prime. C’mon. Leave the guy imprisoned. It’s not like we’re all just suddenly over the stupidity of having him punching the walls of reality being the excuse for any and every incongruity in the DCU for the past 25 years, are we? Did we really need to bring him back AND give him an energy ring AND team him with the biggest and baddest the DCU has ever known? Really? Overkill.

    The only good part of this book was John Stewart’s sniper rifle. Everything else was tripe.

  8. June 29, 2007 at 5:02 pm — Reply

    What did I tell you? Desite the mustache, the guy can BRING it!

  9. Maximus Rift
    June 29, 2007 at 5:10 pm — Reply

    As a fan of both Kyle and Hal, I call for a cease fire between both groups.

    Did Hal get hosed with the Parallax story? Yes, but I like to add that GL comics sucked for awhile since their characterization was all over the place. Hal sucked; Guy sucked, John was nowhere to be found. I found the whole debacle the equivalent to “putting it out of its misery”. Doesn’t excuse Hal send off, but what was done When Kyle came along, it was a breath of fresh air. GL was interesting again and Kyle became a d@mn good GL in his own right.

    What’s my point? I guess it’s to be a little more understanding and that one isn’t necessarily better that the other. Just different.

  10. June 29, 2007 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    1) The Parallax-is-a-energy-demon thing was dumb the first time around. Admit it. Further, I’m pretty sure it had been said that Kyle was immune to Parallax’s influence specifically because of the way that he’d dealt with the fear he’d experienced in his life specifically related to the events that Sinestro mentioned.

    Parallax as a parasite was about the only thing that could bring back Hal Jordan without just closing your eyes and ignoring Emerald Twilight.

    2) The Ion-is-also-an-energy-being thing is even dumber. So, he really DIDN’T get his powers from his ring, the battery, his willpower, and the power of the Starheart that Jade gave him upon her death like we’ve been told for the past year. It’s actually just been a big, dinosaur-looking energy beast living inside him. Woohoo.

    I rather liked this, with Ion and Parallax as opposite sides of the same coin.

    3) Superboy-Prime. C’mon. Leave the guy imprisoned. It’s not like we’re all just suddenly over the stupidity of having him punching the walls of reality being the excuse for any and every incongruity in the DCU for the past 25 years, are we? Did we really need to bring him back AND give him an energy ring AND team him with the biggest and baddest the DCU has ever known? Really? Overkill.

    Overkill is the point here. Sinestro is grabbing the biggest guns he can find and he’s willing to use them to kill people. Your points are certainly valid, but none of them really stopped me from enjoying the issue… Certainly everyone’s mileage may vary, but I liked it.

    As for the whole “Kyle Rayner ruined” thing, I sincerely doubt that Kyle is permanently gone… Hell, I’ll bet baubles to Bismarcks that getting Kyle back is one of the major plotlines of the coming Green/Yellow war. C’mon guys, this is COMICS. He’s possessed! By the same demon that used to possess Hal! And Sinestro has shown that removing Ion isn’t at all difficult, so why would removing Parallax be any different?

  11. June 29, 2007 at 7:07 pm — Reply

    Did Hal get hosed with the Parallax story? Yes, but I like to add that GL comics sucked for awhile since their characterization was all over the place. Hal sucked; Guy sucked, John was nowhere to be found. I found the whole debacle the equivalent to “putting it out of its misery”.

    Generally I wouldn’t be this adversarial, but… that is NOT the case. When Emerald Twilight came along, Hal was enjoying decent adventures and characterization for the first time in YEARS. John was headlining “Green Lantern: Mosaic” which was really fascinating and weird, and even Guy had his own title that apparently had okay sales. The change to Hal was NOT by any means putting it out of it’s misery, it was an editorial caveat from an editor who didn’t get it.

    The theory was that having Hal as part of an intergalactic police corps made him less unique because there were 3599 other people who had the same powers, but this ignored the fact that Hal being a space-cop WAS what made him unique… When old guys seem to have a grudge against Kyle, it’s because he was rammed down our throat like a Ron Jeremy video, without the slightest explanation of what made him tick. Kyle, in his early going, was a series of personality tics, he liked coffee, girls liked him, he was essentially a slacker jerk of the early 90’s.

    The character evolved well beyond that, but it’s hard NOT to remember… Ask spoiler-a-holic Bruce if you don’t believe me.

  12. Brent F.
    June 29, 2007 at 9:08 pm — Reply

    Hey! Not all Hal fans are old! Some of us just have good taste. :P

  13. Adam
    June 30, 2007 at 12:34 am — Reply

    Holy crap! I mean really. Who would have thought that Sinestro could be this good of a bad guy. Right now, IMHO, his corp is more dangerous then the Middle Crisis was. As it’s set up now, it’s going to take the entire DCU to handle this problem.

    But everyone is dealing with the events of Countdown.

    Oh, and having Superb….er Tom Welling Prime back in the mix, so soon, and have a power ring, um, overkill. Way to mix Superman and GL into one uber bad guy. But TW Prime better not die. Why, because I want Conner to come back and kick his @$$. But that’s just me.

    Oh and Kyle will be fine….go Kyle :)

  14. June 30, 2007 at 3:15 am — Reply

    I’m personally in favour of every single Green Lantern except for Allen Scott. Mainly because his costume sucks noodles.

  15. Maximus Rift
    June 30, 2007 at 8:00 am — Reply

    I really wouldn’t know since I stopped reading GL after the first few issues, since they decided to give him Bruce Banner’s M.O. . After that I left and never looked back until Emerald Twilight.

  16. Brent F.
    June 30, 2007 at 10:10 am — Reply

    I don’t think Superboy-Prime is nearly as strong as he use to be, hence the reason why he’s wearing the Anti-Monitor solar energy collecting armor.

  17. July 1, 2007 at 10:32 am — Reply

    Notice how Parallax’s new duds are an amalgamtion of his old duds and Kyle’s?

  18. July 1, 2007 at 7:13 pm — Reply

    I don’t think Superboy-Prime is nearly as strong as he use to be, hence the reason why he’s wearing the Anti-Monitor solar energy collecting armor.

    He’s a PRE-CRISIS Kryptonian. ‘Not nearly as strong as he used to be’ will still smash you into jelly with a finger-flick.

  19. Adam
    July 1, 2007 at 11:43 pm — Reply

    Kinda makes you wonder if TWP and Android Supes will even ‘need’ to use their rings. Here’s a question for ya, if the rings ‘power’ is the bearer’s willpower would TWP or Android Boy be any good at wielding it. Seeing as how they have always used pure brute force, now their minds are the source of the power. I would think that it would make them weak, when it comes to their ‘ring’ powers.

  20. will s
    July 2, 2007 at 3:50 am — Reply

    honestly… i feel alittle left out of the whole thing
    i couldnt really pick up the book. but we will see what will come next
    all i got to say is

    Holy Crap
    Holy crap
    they are all dead
    If only ganthet and his lady had the cajones to act…
    wait…
    will they or wont they?
    That is the ultimate question!
    with out parallax in the battery, does that give the glc the adventage over the sinestro corps.
    only time will tell

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