“Good…Evil…Fear is beyond such distinctions”
With this week’s Sinestro #19 the struggle against the Paling’s invasion of Earth reaches a feverish pitch as an all-out war erupts between Sinestro’s forces and the anti-emotion cult. This issue is an action fest that manages to throw in a surprise or two along the way, making this “event within a title” something memorable.
It would be easy for this installment to be nothing but cover-to-cover fisticuffs but writer Cullen Bunn adds depth through the effective use of narration boxes that layer over the action, providing wonderful insight into the psyche of the title character. As nuanced as Sinestro has been through the Geoff Johns’ era Bunn has successfully added more layers while not disturbing the great groundwork that preceded his work with the character. From ego slanted observations about the Green Lantern Corps to Sinestro’s relationship to fear to the nature of will and fear Bunn channels the voice of Thaal Sinestro to perfection.
As this issue rapidly unfolds the remaining pieces of Sinestro’s careful planning come into play, and each gambit pays dividends even if they are short term gains. While his newly drafted ring bearers take the fight to the Paling to varying degrees of success there’s a sense that they are losing their footing against an adversary who simply overpowers them. With their forces struggling to maintain a position Sinestro’s battle plans shift in unexpected ways. There’s a ring up Sinestro’s sleeve that I know I never saw coming and we bear witness to the final results of the time Saint Walker has spent in the company of Thaal’s agents.
The issue closes with perhaps Sinestro’s final gambit as he and Soranik Natu disengage from the battle to take the fight to the Pale Bishop himself in hopes that cutting off the end of this particular snake will lead to the death of the body. With two more issues left in this story it’s anyone’s guess where Bunn is going with the story and that uncertainty makes this series all the more enjoyable. Despite loving the story thus far I am still however bothered by that little continuity loving voice in the back of my head wondering why there aren’t more heroes engaging against the Paling – but so long as I can keep that voice at bay there’s plenty to like about what the creative team is doing with this series lately.
Brad Walker once again shares pencil duties with Neil Edwards this issue and like last month their styles flow well together. There are visually some nice moments scattered throughout the book, notably the nice double page spread showing Sinestro casting forth even more power rings to increase his numbers. Saint Walker’s arrival is one of those panels that should have played better, but the perspective work elongates his torso a bit too far and combined with what I feel is an overemphasis of his abs left me underwhelmed. That bump in the road aside the book is still a visual treat.
Sinestro #19 is another great chapter in one of DC’s most under appreciated titles. The Paling prove to be more than worthy adversaries for Sinestro’s troops, forcing everyone’s favorite Korugarian to pull out even more tricks from his arsenal. More of DC’s roster take up rings for the cause as this series continues to impress. Eight out of ten lanterns.