“Our pillow talk is the stuff of nightmares”
I still find it hard to believe that the Sinestro series hasn’t performed as well as it should with the high quality work we’ve enjoyed throughout the run. Cullen Bunn has proven he has what it takes to work with the Green Lantern franchise and he was who I was secretly hoping would be taking over the main title once Rebirth came around. In this week’s twenty second issue there are several more examples of why this book deserved better sales and why Bunn is a loss for DC Comics readers.
Bunn starts the issue out by reintroducing the Red Lanterns who were last seen in the Lobo series. Bunn establishes them as having an axe to grind with the Sinestro Corps – likely revenge on sending the bounty hunter after them in the first place. Bunn makes a point of bringing up the terraforming technology that the Red Lanterns’ helpless victims were about to use and it takes no stretch of the imagination to draw a conclusion of how Atrocitus’ merry band might want to make use of it.
I love how Bunn has taken various elements of the Green Lantern universe and continued to make them important. He has a great talent in weaving pieces of the lore in when it makes sense and it helps the reader to believe that these stories are really a part of a larger cosmic story. Bunn even interconnects the Durlan/Green Lantern conflict, Uprising, from Venditti’s Green Lantern run in a way that is not only entertaining but may explain why John Stewart saw Hal Jordan closing off the opening between our universe and the one they found themselves stranded in.
Sandwiched between the return of the Red Lanterns is the ongoing struggle between Soranik Natu and Sinestro which has been further complicated by Soranik’s new role as leader of the Sinestro Corps. As would be expected there are factions with their own agendas at play and in light of all the subterfuge Sinestro unveils his own private enforcer squad, The Black Circle, to quietly eliminate factions who would see Sinestro and his daughter killed. While this is going on underneath Soranik’s nose she finds herself struggling to be true to herself and definitely feeling the burden of leadership that has been thrust upon her.
I think that it’s smart storytelling by Bunn to put Natu is this position because of how it allows her to see the universe through a lens that is not unlike the one her father lives behind. What makes an interesting character study is in seeing how Natu will respond when faced with some of the challenges that Sinestro has. In this issue we see her perceptions of the Sinestro Corps changing as they rise to the occasion in dealing with threats across the universe and accepting that she may be able to help shape them into something she can be proud of. Despite the paradigm shift of the rise of the Sinestro Corps Natu is still deeply motivated to find out what happened to the Green Lanterns and risks her tenuous new position in seeking their whereabouts.
It would be interesting to see how Bunn originally planned the intersection of Sinestro and Green Lantern: The Lost Army. I fully believe it would have been something spectacular which makes the realization that we’ll never get to read that story all the more disappointing. While it’s all water under the bridge I can’t help but wonder what the Green Lantern books would have looked like with Bunn steering the ship much in the way that Geoff Johns had done.
Martin Coccolo continues to impress this issue with a style that is certainly different from Brad Walker but works well with this series. It was great fun to see a Starro cameo this issue and to see some of his own Sinestro Corps creations fill up the page. I think Coccolo really shines with his attention to facial expression, particularly with his work on Sinestro and Soranik Natu which helps to elevate Bunn’s narrative by visually adding the right emotion rendering that the script calls for.
Sinestro #22 is another great issue in one of DC’s most overlooked series. As the penultimate chapter in Cullen Bunn’s time with the Green Lantern universe this issue nicely sets up a potentially explosive finale between Soranik Natu’s new regime and the Red Lanterns. Character exploration is clearly a hallmark of Bunn’s run and we get plenty of that as well. Eight out of ten lanterns.