Animated Series Episode 18 Review – “Prisoner of Sinestro”

“You can’t have Green Lantern without Sinestro” is a common phrase uttered by Green Lantern fans both young and old.  In fact, so ingrained in the public perception of the character that in the past you’d be hard pressed to see an appearance of Green Lantern without his pointy eared foe cropping up to oppose him.  Since Green Lantern: The Animated Series was first announced fans have been waiting for the arrival of everyone’s favorite Korugarian, but one of the many strengths to the show has been how they’ve explored the mythology of the comics without falling prey to falling back on using the renegade Green Lantern.  But you can only delve into the Green Lantern universe so far without crossing Sinestro’s path, and the latest episode of the animated series serves as a fitting debut for him.
The “Prisoner of Sinestro” follows our crew as they continue to prepare for the coming showdown with the Anti-Monitor only to be called to aid of Sinestro, who has custody of the assassin Neuroxis  by way of forcibly taking him from the Spider Guild.  The Guild is none too happy about it and when Hal takes the Interceptor inside their frigate to assist the Green Lantern of Sector 1417 the Guild inexplicably self destructs their own ship.
With Sinestro and Neuroxis safely aboard the Interceptor it’s not too long before people begin acting a bit out of character and we discover why Neuroxis is such a big threat for a such an unassuming creature.  Writer Mark Hoffmeier, who also wrote “Fear Itself”, does a great job of subtly revealing Neuroxis’ abilities as the episode unfolds, providing a great deal of tension throughout an episode which takes place entirely on board the ship.
The scene which perhaps has all the show’s fans talking provides a moment that everyone has been waiting for, but not quite the way anyone wants to see it.  Razer’s private moment with Aya turns out to be exceedingly creepy and as I watched it unfold in front of my own television screen I imagined a million fans staring, jaws agape, at the kiss that almost was.  I also imagined, huddled away in a top secret bunker, sat producers Giancarlo Volpe and Jim Kreig sinisterly rubbing their hands together, laughing maniacally at us! Creepy factor aside, the interaction between Aya and Hal afterwords is awkwardly laughable as he attempts to try to have “the talk” with the poor thing.
The moment fans want to see, but not quite the way they want to see it!
Jason Spisak and Grey DeLisle do a wonderful job continuing the roles of Razer and Aya.  The two have certainly provided a number of great moments and their developing relationship is clearly a highlight of the show, garnering a fan community all their own.  Their struggles are very human and we can all find things to relate to as they try to understand their own emotions and how they relate to each other.  Watching Aya having difficulty in watching Razer suffocate and wrestling with her duty was a nice touch as was the sequence between the two later when Razer checks with Aya to see if he’d done anything regrettable in his time being controlled by the alien assassin.
As equally memorable is how Sinestro reacts to the events that close out the episode and the foreshadowing for the fate that Sinestro must have as this series continues forward.  The death is handled well for an all ages show and once again there’s an underlying moral debate to be played out for anyone who wishes to examine it.  Sinestro, while seemingly violating the ethics of the Corps, has his own perspective that is equally valid – and I’m glad that the creators are taking the same tact in showing that Sinestro is not a mustache twirling bad guy as Geoff Johns has done in the comics.  Sinestro’s perspective is different and it is surely only a matter of time before it collides with the Guardians’.  I particularly liked the little touch of Hal realizing that the subject of his professional admiration may not be the idol he’s made Sinestro out to be.
Sinestro is certainly how we would hope he would look and the character design is clearly inspired by how he appears in the comics and one can clearly see the inspirations taken from both his Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps uniforms.  It was a little weird to see him have no fingernails, though!  Ron Perlman may have not been an obvious choice for voicecasting but he proves himself up to the task of taking on one of comic’s greatest villains, and although he does seem to lack some of the arrogance I expect to hear in his voice the bravado is clearly there.
Sinestro’s road to hell is paved with a number of different intentions
It was also great to see the Spider Guild again and continuing to make them a threatening presence for the Corps.  I also really liked seeing Sinestro show his value as a Green Lantern, providing a novel solution while Hal, Kilowog and Razer struggled to find a way to deal with Neuroxis’ abilities.  Hal’s idolization of Sinestro is well played, really helping to set the stage for the future, and seeing Kilowog’s perception does a great job of presenting an opposing point of view.  
The “Power of Sinestro” does very little on the surface to propel the current over-arcing story along but it does serve viewers with a fun, action filled story that suitably injects one of the greatest characters in the Green Lantern mythology into the animated universe, setting us up for what will no doubt be great drama when the lines are drawn in the Oan sand.  Four out of five lanterns.

About the author

Life long Green Lantern fan and co-host of the Podcast of Oa. I’m a Barbecue snob and aficionado of blues music. Hal Jordan is my co-pilot!

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