REVIEW: ‘Sinestro’ #1

(DC Comics, 2014)

Written by Cullen Bunn
Artwork by Dale Eaglesham
Color Artwork by Jason Wright
Lettering by Dezi Sienty

I will preface this review by stating the fact that I am an unabashed, full-fledged Green Lantern fan, so unlike many comicbook readers, I welcomed and was even excited at the prospect of another Lantern related title especially one that featured Sinestro as the focal point and star of the series. In the post-Johns era the Green Lantern books have taken on a decidedly more diverse sense of individuality, granted that is due in large part to not having one single writer handle the lion’s share of the writing on multiple Lantern projects as Johns did when he ran the show. Don’t get me wrong I love what Johns’ did in his nine plus years working on the franchise and I consider his work to be an extremely important contribution to Green Lantern history as a whole, in fact I would have to say that his is the most significant work on the series in my lifetime. However, the changing of the creative guard and injection of new blood into the franchise has yielded some fantastic results; there is the Larfleeze solo book that has been brilliantly hilarious, full of biting satire and razor sharp sarcastic wit, the Red Lanterns is another example of how a shift in focus can result in an imaginative and fresh series and now we have the Sinestro solo on-going by Cullen Bunn with art by Dale Eaglesham.

Recently Bunn has proven himself to be quite adept at writing dark, complex characters with slightly ambiguous allegiance; his work on Deadpool at Marvel is a prime example of how spectacular his work is when dealing with these kinds of anti-heroes or characters with their own best interests at heart. With Sinestro Bunn has worked that dark magic once again. He has taken the deep, intricately detailed villain that Johns so meticulously crafted in Sinestro and used that as his foundation for the Sinestro we meet in issue #1 of this series. Johns left us with a Sinestro that had repeatedly severed ties with the Lantern Corps, then in a final act of defiance integrated with the sinister entity Parallax. Bunn begins this issue with Sinestro in exile after expelling Parallax and right from the start we can see that Bunn has a firm grasp on the subtle aspects and nuances of this character. This Sinestro is as complex and multifaceted as Johns’ version. Thaal Sinestro is bedraggled, battered from combat and world weary from living with the consequences of his recent decisions. He is a man at odds with himself in an introspective war of ideals. Bunn addresses Sinestro’s past crimes without over vilifying him however he is careful not to write them off by creating an unrealistically heroic Sinestro or by making him seem overtly sanctimonious and fake. The character is genuine with a voice that resonates from a heart that is heavy and a soul that is restless. The decision to team Sinestro with Lyssa Drak works very well, the two complement one another in ways that strengthen both characters and provide a unique dynamic for Sinestro. This also makes quick work of tying this series into the existing Green Lantern universe so the inevitable crossovers can begin immediately, which is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.

Visually Dale Eaglesham is almost perfect on this issue. The only problem I have is with Sinestro’s physique. I have always liked a tall, lean and wiry Sinestro, so Eaglesham’s more body builder-like form was somewhat jarring for me. The rest of the book is amazing, artistically. The action is kinetic and rendered with attention to framing and composition. Eaglesham’s character work is dynamic, the only flaw being that some of the characters seem just a bit overly statuesque. Overall Eaglesham does an impressive job capturing the epic scale and intensely emotional tone of the narrative.

As a first issue goes, Bunn does an admirable turn bringing readers who may not be as familiar with Sinestro up to speed in a minimum amount of pages. He doesn’t gloss over important events or try to pack too much information into a single issue. The story is well paced, rich in detail with just enough action to work with the somewhat darker tone of the narrative. Sinestro is a tragic character on a Shakespearean level; he has lost everything but the desire to live and that certain undefinable sense of exiled nobility that keeps him from falling completely and irretrievably into despair. I recommend Sinestro to anyone who enjoys the other Green Lantern titles as well as to anyone who has been looking to jump into the GL universe.  This book makes an excellent entry point. (4.5/5)

___________________________

ShawnWarner-bio-pic1-crop

Shawn is an aspiring writer/ artist who has been reading, collecting and living comic books for over 30 years. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, their son, lots of cats, dogs and other various finned and furry friends.

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