“I find myself with little left to fight for”
Cullen Bunn’s run on Sinestro comes to a close with this month’s twenty third issue and while the book never saw the sales that it deserved the series was a worthy experiment for DC’s. The book has time and again shown the depth in the Sinestro characters and it all comes full circle with this final chapter.
New Korugar has been a test of Sinestro’s people, the harshness of the climate and the challenge to survive either forging them into a hardened species ready to survive whatever fate the galaxy has in store for them or providing them a brutal extinction. The issue starts out with Soranik Natu struggling with the weight of leadership, but when the Red Lanterns arrive on the scene she certainly rises to the occasion and Bunn make it plain that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to Sinestro’s daughter. Of course having Lyssa Drak on your side is a tremendous advantage and Bunn implies that her abilities have allowed Sinestro to once again have the upper hand, stopping short of outright implying that sending Lobo after the Reds was done intentionally to incite the incidents this issue.
Many of the elements that Bunn has established really come back into play once the Red Lantern attack is dealt with, and Natu rises as a true leader both through the altercation and the decision she makes once the Sinestro Corps take possession of the spoils of victory. The story shifts quickly from the opening action sequence to spend the rest of the issue with the spotlight on the relationship between Soranik and her father. Looking back on the initial hostilities between the two they are in a natural place of mutual respect and, in a strange way, the beginnings of a more traditional parent/ adult child dynamic.
The book closes with less of an ending than one might be hoping for, and while Sinestro ends up in a position not too dissimilar from where he was when the series began he says himself that “after so long, after oaths sworn to both the blackest days and nights I am not the man I once was.” Therein lies the mark that this series leaves on one of DC’s most nuanced “villains” and I for one am really hoping that Robert Venditti builds on this once Sinestro makes his way into Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.
Bunn’s work this issue is unfortunately let down in the visual department with three different artists lending their pencils to the cause. Style wise Martin Coccolo, Oscar Bazaldua and Scott Eaton blend well together, but the overall quality of their combined efforts is much less than the book deserves. Atrocitus lacks his more skeletal appearance and Soranik Natu’s face is not only inconsistent but in many places she looks incredibly awful. There’s plenty of missing power rings and Natu’s ring can’t decide which hand it should be on. It’s not acceptable and the script really deserves better support.
With the release of Sinestro #23 one of DC’s most underrated series comes to a close. Geoff Johns may have redefined Sinestro for the modern age, but this series by Cullen Bunn has been a master class is how to write a nuanced three dimensional villain and show that there’s always something more behind a twirling mustache. The issue is hampered by so-so artwork but it’s nonetheless a fitting end to the series. Eight out of ten lanterns.