“I bet Sinestro just loves you”
Cullen Bunn has spent the last thirteen issues of his Sinestro series developing the book’s cast and positioning the Sinestro Corps as a dominant force in the universe. With this week’s fourteenth issue one could say that “Sinestro: Phase 2” begins as Bunn adds new weapons to Sinestro’s rapidly growing arsenal. Some time has passed between the last issue and this one, where we find Sinestro in the midst of a recruitment drive and increasing his numbers is ways that I doubt any fan had considered.
Nax, the newest Fear Lantern, serves as the central focus of this issue. Her reluctance to join the rest of the Yellow Lanterns, driven by equal parts of self doubt and the contradictory of Sinestro’s mission statement, leads to Sinestro taking a personal interest in her development. Bunn makes a smart allusion to Sinestro’s mentoring of Hal Jordan and as the issue continues Sinestro makes Nax realize that she does indeed belong before dropping her at the feet of Soranik Natu, assigned Nax as Natu’s new partner.
Bunn teases that there’s a good reason why the Yellow Lantern ring found Nax and provided her with a way off the planet she was stranded on, and by the end of the issue the reader witnesses Nax’s frighteningly amazing ability. Tomar-Tu’s “psychic vivisection” is a pretty spectacular feat, once which Natu immediately see’s the value that her father finds in Nax.
Perhaps the most revealing plot point that the reader is left with is the surprising new weapons that Sinestro has added to his stockpile. If Warworld combined with Ranx isn’t a big enough threat, the re-purposing of the Manhunters is definitely a move which provides an immense advantage not only in numbers, but in the psychological warfare department. The new Manhunter mantra, “No man shall escape Sinestro’s might”, is a chilling turn of phrase which will soon echo across the universe as Sinestro and his Yellow Lanterns set off to conquer the universe seemingly unopposed.
Brad Walker takes a break this issue with Robson Rocha stepping in to lend a helping hand on the art chores. Rocha does a great job and in particular showing strength when it comes to facial expressions. I really like his take on Soranik Natu as she seems to have a more realistic demeanor to her than what we’ve seen lately. Nax’s character design is interesting and brings to mind the little grey aliens often referred to in the paranormal community. I don’t know if I’m imagining things but the yellow in the energies which surround the Yellow Lanterns seem brighter than in the past, almost visually echoing an increase in power for Sinestro and his forces.
Sinestro #14 is another great chapter in the series and it’s a shame that this book isn’t selling better. Cullen Bunn has a firm grasp on Sinestro’s character and with the Green Lanterns out of the way this series is heading towards something spectacular. The introduction of an interesting addition to the Yellow Lanterns combined with the fearsome addition of a familiar faction to Sinestro’s war chest and some great artwork by Robson Rocha make this a eight out of ten lantern issue.