Review: Green Lantern-The Sinestro Corps War

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So.  Following reading Green Lantern: Rebirth, I wanted some more.  It was nice to visit that universe again and the book itself, though a ‘complete story’ (beginning, middle and end), really did have that ‘jumping off point’ feel to it.  They were intentionally setting up what was to come and drawing a line from which new people could hop on and old fans like me could dive back in.  Really, it was the precursor to the whole ‘Blackest Night’ mega event crossover thing (which I came to hate when I was collecting comics).

Luckily for me, the sequel event/story was also available in trade paperback / graphic novel format, so I picked it up to check it out.

For those not in the know, Sinestro is the greatest enemy the Green Lantern has ever had.  He was also their greatest member a long time ago.

The story goes that Sinestro was the greatest Green Lantern of all time; the Guardians on OA held him up as an example for all other Lanterns to follow and emulate.  When the very first human from earth joined the corps, the Guardians decided that their greatest Lantern needed to be the one to train him, so they sent Sinestro to find and train Hal Jordan.

Jordan and he clashed from the get-go.  Sinestro believed in his own brand of order and justice, so much so that he conquered his own homeworld, Korugar, and ruled there for years as a dictator.  Eventually he was tried by the Guardians and sent to the antimatter universe where he allied himself with powerful beings there who forged a yellow power ring for him, yellow being the one color that a Green Lantern could not defend themself against due to an impurity built-into their power rings.

Throughout the years since, Sinestro fought and was defeated time and again by Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns, so he was due a little retribution.

Enter: The Sinestro Corps War.

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: DC Comics (May 5, 2009)

The Sinestro Corps War is a trade paperback / graphic novel that compiles the events seen in Green Lantern 21-23, Green Lantern Corps 14-5 & the Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special all published by DC Comics.

If you haven’t read Green Lantern: Rebirth, you may want to stop reading this right now because there are spoilers going forward.  In order to explain this books story, I have to give away that books secrets, which I avoided in my review.

So, you’ve been forewarned.

Go forward, get spoilers.

Okay?

Okay.  So.  The Green Lantern’s use power rings that are connected to a central battery on the planet OA, home to the Guardian’s.  They created the battery, the lanterns that access it, the rings and the Corps.  Originally, the Green Lantern Corps protected the universe sector by sector, one Lantern per sector.  Today’s Corps uses pairs for each sector – so they’ve adopted the buddy system.

To use the power rings, one must have great willpower and little or no fear (or be able to conquer your fears).  This is due to the yellow impurity within the rings energy, which is actually a living creature named Parallax.  Parallax was able to infect Hal Jordan and do a ton of damage.  A similar, willpower based creature also lived in the central core of the battery on OA, keeping Parallax in check at first and then, later, bonding with Kyle Rayner in much the same way as Parallax had infected Hal Jordan.

Thus, ION was born.

Kyle Rayner, once the ‘last’ Green Lantern, is now a beacon for the new Lantern Corps.  When the story begins, we see Sinestro preparing something while Hal Jordan and the Justice League search for his whereabouts.  Meanwhile, Ion comes across a yellow power ring making its way across the universe, then he realizes that it’s just one of many rings crisscrossing the universe in search of something.

Rayner captures a ring and then returns to OA where he finds the other Green Lantern’s from earth, Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner, all waiting for an audience with the Guardian’s.  Suddenly the yellow ring, sensing Kyle’s despair over his mother’s recent death, goes crazy and captures him, transporting him to the antimatter universe and to the planet Qward where he encounters: The Sinestro Corps

Before the Green Lantern’s can mount a rescue, a coordinated attack happens all around the universe.

To their horror, the members of the Sinestro Corps, powered by yellow rings that the Lantern’s cannot defend against, begin killing Green Lantern’s all across the universe causing their rings to seek out new, worthy beings.

Back on Qward, Kyle Rayner is separated from the being that gives him his power as Ion and is instead infected by the creature known as Parallax.

The Green Lantern’s, lead by Hal Jordan, mount a rescue mission into the antimatter universe while the rest of the Corps, lead by Kilowog, try to counter attack the Sinestro Corps but their inability to fight off the yellow energy of Sinestro’s forces, coupled with the fact that the Sinestro Corps can actually kill where the Lantern’s cannot, means that they keep getting pushed further and further back.

Oddly, in the middle of all of this, Sinestro himself takes the time for a side trip to his home world, Korugar, where he confronts and defeats the current Green Lantern assigned to that sector, Soranik Natu.  I say this is odd because it seems to kill the pacing of the book even though it’s a very Sinestro thing to do given that he used to rule that planet and the people there still fear him and any Green Lantern.

The Guardians decide that there is really only one solution if they don’t want to lose the war they didn’t even know was coming, one thing they can do to tip the scales and give their Lantern’s a fighting chance.

Lethal Force Has Been Enabled.  Lantern’s all over the universe hear the same message coming from their rings.  The gloves are off, the stakes set.  War.

Having said all of that, I want to add – this is a much more disjointed story versus Green Lantern: Rebirth.  I think that’s because this is the first act of a greater story (the whole ‘Blackest Night’ mega-crossover-extravaganza-lollapalooza-lillth-fair-ozzfest-icecapades-thingie).  They had to cut it up to make it readable as a single volume and they did the best that they could, but, as with all of these massive mega-crossover events, there are too many threads to compress down.  So, there’s a second volume to this that I don’t have yet and, of course, the whole ‘Blackest Night’ thing after that.

Because this is a disjointed story, it’s much harder to follow along versus Rebirth.  I keep saying ‘disjointed’ even though, really, I mean – they put it all together in the order that it appeared, so I guess it’s not really disjointed, it just feels that way.  Is that poor storytelling or do you really need to have all the subsequent volumes to see the whole picture and have it all make sense?  Probably.  But that’s the problem with the crossovers like this.  I think they go too far, they try for too much and, in the end, they lose the reader because of it.

I’m a fan of Green Lantern and I enjoyed this book, but nowhere near as much as Rebirth.  I think, if you’re not a fan, you’ll struggle with this one.

The Sinestro Corps War will run you $15 at your local store sans any discounts you might receive or you can find it online for around $10.

~P

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