Marvel and DC have been doing this funny thing lately where they give their villains their own solo series. It started with Harley Quinn and Marvel followed suit with Loki and then Magneto. So DC saw this and said, “I see your smarmy trickster God and your mutant tyrant and raise you an intergalactic police tyrant.” Hence, “Sinestro”. I can only guess at the goal for these solo series, because my goal to see these guys F%$#ing SH&@ up kind of falls on its face at the first hurdle.
When I think of Sinestro, I think of the reigning sovereign of his own planet, subjugating the populace into slavery because it’s a quick fix to crime and poverty. Of course they blew up his planet, a planet he was deeply invested in—so we would all assume the first panel of this book would be him grabbing hold of the universe’s testicles and giving them a tight squeeze. Imagine my surprise when I opened the first page and found him meditating in a cave. All right, I thought, perhaps he’s taking a break because kicking ass and taking names can be quite taxing. Imagine my further surprise when I found out he had had the Paralax force under his control and then it left him without power. Christ almighty, is this what was happening in “Green Lantern”? Because I haven’t read a single issue since I had to review the relaunch. When did Sinestro become an intergalactic Batman? All of his people die so he goes to a temple to be alone for a while. Now I see why Sinestro wanted Batman in his Yellow Lantern Core, him and Bruce would be best buddies.
I suppose my main problem with these solo series is it endeavors to give these villains genuine human problems and emotions. Instead, we get our favorite villains nerfed down in order to give them any real difficulty. Why would I want this? When someone says the name Sinestro, I think of the bloke who’s been an indomitable foe to the Green Lantern Corps. That’s what I want. I want to see him fly over to Oa and kick Kyle Rayner in the head, explode the central battery, and blow a passing raspberry at Hal Jordon as he turns Guy Gardner’s bar into a crater. Instead he mopes in a cave with a ring he couldn’t use as a book light. In the first few panels, Sinestro takes on these space tigers—as if I’m supposed to be impressed. I saw this man lead a charge on the Green Lanterns, being such a threat that they allowed killing other people for the first time in Green Lantern history. Now he’s fighting some space tigers in a cave. I understand comic book series try to build up a crescendo but if that’s the case maybe leave the villains as the villains.
On a whole, the issue isn’t the worst thing they’ve published—how’s that for a bank handed compliment? Eventually, Sinestro gets some power back and ventures into the universe in search for refugees from his destroyed planet. He kills some people and then the book teases the big bad guys he’s going to be facing. By the way, why does everything in the universe want to destroy the universe? There’s been half a dozen Green Lantern villains that want to destroy the very fabric of the universe and after a time it starts to water down the threat. It seems like these villains know they want to do evil but aren’t quite sure on how to execute. This new threat that Sinestro faces is quite one dimensional—which is a tragedy considering there’s someone else at the helm of his Yellow Lanterns! That could be the conflict of the book, a story of political intrigue and assassination? No, I suppose some other faceless monster will try and eat the universe again.
It’s a bit of a bummer to review “Sinestro” because he is one of my favorite villains in the mythos. Now there’s this story that dilutes him to a mellow, uninteresting mess. I would have much preferred to review “Ms. Marvel” this week except it would be an eight word article: It’s still amazing, you should buy five copies. Instead, I’m going to have to compare the tragic return of Sinestro to a villain in “Invincible”… um, crap. Well… uh, I suppose Robot is an apt comparison? I mean he did come back from being the tyrant of a planet he conquered. Then he came back and began a mission to surreptitiously steal the mantle from Earth to become its undisputed dictator? He never diminished in strength and he allowed his goals to fall into place over time, building an intrigue that was incredibly compelling. At the end when he revealed his plan, it was a shock but it wasn’t a surprise. It had been explained well enough that I didn’t question the turn of events. That’s what I want from a villain, someone who takes the reins from everyone else because they know only they could do it.