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“If we cannot make them fear us…then we shall make them bleed”

Cullen Bunn has been building up to the eventual confrontation between Sinestro and The Paling since the very beginning of his run on the Sinestro series and in this week’s issue 18 nearly every piece he’s put on the chessboard is put into motion.  The Paling have come to Earth and it’s up to the Sinestro Corps to save the day, but not without a little help.

This issue is a non-stop thrill ride in terms of the action that Bunn puts into his script for this month’s outing.  Readers who’ve stuck with the series from the beginning get rewarded as elements and seeds that Bunn  has planted bear fruit and it’s a treat to see Sinestro’s plans come together even as Lyssa Drak warns us about the dire vision she has for this conflict.  Even Mongul has a part to play in the latest chapter of this space opera.

Nax makes a mess of The Paling

The tension is thick as The Paling slip through Sinestro’s forces and begin to have an effect on humanity, all the while Sinestro continues his internal assessment of the human spirit in terms of both its tendency to fall under the grip of fear and its indomitable tenacity in the face of defeat.  Nax, who first appeared back in issue 14, plays a major role as fallen members of the Sinestro Corps rise again under The Paling’s influence.  Her psychic vivisection makes for a gory but effective display of power as does Black Adam literally tearing through the opposing forces.

Brad Walker shares art duties with Neil Edwards and while some of the past art pairings have been less than successful this month proves to be a good match.  The imagery in this issue creates some great moments which greatly compliments the story.  Perhaps the most memorable for me was seeing the deployment of the Manhunters bathing everything in a nearly blinding yellow light while Sinestro and Soranik Natu look on.

What’s really interesting is how Sinestro choose to use the Manhunters to increase his army…..and who gets drafted for the battle.  The Scarecrow is an obvious choice given his previous stint with the power ring during Blackest Night.  The others, however, are intriguing to say the least.  I will say that my initial thought is that Wonder Woman should have been rejected by the ring having worn a Star Sapphire ring during the aforementioned Blackest Night, but knowing that Sinestro has been doing some research and engineering with the emotional spectrum I would not be surprised if he has somehow been able to manipulate that particular limitation.

The Manhunters begin drafting new members to join the fray

If there’s one element that seems to be missing it’s the continued absence of Saint Walker who we have not seen since issue 15.  No doubt that Bunn has something in store for the Blue Lantern and his return to the spotlight will undoubtedly be at a suitably spectacular moment when whatever Sinestro’s team has been doing with him will play out dramatically.  Seeing how Sinestro has managed to build his forces and the lengths that he’s gone to in order to ensure his victory has me worried for Bro’Dee’s welfare to say the least.

Sinestro #18 continues Cullen Bunn’s “event within a series” story as he bring The Paling to Earth and putting humanity at risk when there is no one to save them but Sinestro and the forces at his command.  This issue brings everything Bunn has built upon from the start of his run back together in a momentous way, illustrated by a great pairing of artists Brad Walker and Neil Edwards.  Ten out of ten lanterns.

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