“I never thought I’d see the day. My father must love this.”
This week’s Sinestro #21 begins a new era for the Sinestro Corps as its leader has been left reeling from his battle with the Pale Bishop, setting the stage for Soranik Natu to ascend to the primary leadership position…..at least for the near future. Sinestro is down but definitely not out, but knowing that there are only two issues left to the series it’s uncertain if any of the remaining plot threads will be wrapped up by the twenty third issue.
That’s one reason why I find some of the narrative decision making this issue somewhat questionable. We know from Cullen Bunn’s interactions on social media that his original plans called for this series to eventually connect with Green Lantern: The Lost Army, however that’s no longer in the cards and Bunn is left to continue his run on this series until it concludes, and based on his comments online he has implied that he’s not doing any further work for DC post-Rebirth. With so little wiggle room left there are developments that Bunn introduces which aren’t likely to bear fruit between now and May, leaving me to wonder why he’d spend any of the remaining precious panel space to develop them.
It’s not just in this that there seems to be some superfluous elements which could have been trimmed in order to focus on more pressing matters. Bekka’s interactions with Superman and Wonder Woman seem like throwaway moments and then there’s all the panel space taken up by Mongol which really doesn’t seem to serve any purpose other than to be the only moments of physical action this issue. Maybe Bunn will prove me wrong and his endgame plan for this series will somehow interweave Mongol’s plot line with Lyssa Drak’s vision of impending doom.
This issue is heavy in a narrative sense, providing some closure on the Sinestro Corps defense of Earth and there are some great character moments that Bunn makes sure to include which are very fitting. Superman’s re-assessment of Sinestro, and Sinestro’s retort, are nice ways to show that even in succeeding in getting the trust of Earth and nearly dying in the process Sinestro is still one smug son of a gun. Seeing Arkillo and Saint Walker share a moment before accepting new stations in life was a nice reward to fans who enjoyed their interactions in Green Lantern: New Guardians and their new roles ensures that we’ll get to see their chemistry at work again before this series comes to a close.
Perhaps the best character moments this issue come from Soranik Natu, who’s journey in this series has seen her go from reluctant ring bearer to the leader of the Sinestro Corps and witness to the surprising transformation of the Corps in the eyes of humanity. How she parses this with her former role as a Green Lantern will allow her to grow as a character in ways that she hasn’t in the past, and how she eventually interacts with the Green Lanterns will be very, very interesting….if we get to see it.
I also liked Black Adam’s assessment of recent events and how Bunn continues to develop the relationship between he and Sinestro. Adam has dirt on Sinestro but for now there’s no reason for him to betray the confidence that Sinestro has afforded him. Even in his weakened state Sinestro has something to offer Black Adam, but should the time come when there’s nothing more to gain a feud between to two would be most interesting.
Visually Martin Coccolo takes over for Brad Walker and initially I was unsure of what I was going to think about Coccolo’s art. Walker put in a really solid effort on this series and while I think it would have been great to have seen him stay to the end, or even see Dale Eaglesham return to finish it out, Coccolo seems like a good fit for the series. Some of this I think has to do with the fine job that Blond does with the coloring and the two of them really seem to complement each other well. I think they overplayed Sinestro’s frequent grinning in reaction to his daughter’s displays of leadership but that’s a minor quibbling point.
Sinestro #21 transitions the title from the end of the confrontation of the Paling, setting the stage for the final two issues in one of DC’s most underrated series before Rebirth strikes. Cullen Bunn seems to squander some of what remains with plot points and moments which seem to serve no purpose while spending others rewarding readers with great character moments. A new era begins for the Sinestro Corps but dark days are looming just on the horizon. Eight out of ten lanterns.