In Review: Sinestro #17

Last issue's sensational beginning is undone by a story cut short and too many artists.

The covers: The Main cover is by Brad Walker, Drew Hennessey, and Jason Wright. It shows Sinestro yelling at his corps members to attack the members of the Paling that have been making appearances in this series for some time. Joining him in space is Black Adam, who looks upon the five members of this sinister group with indifference. I like the layout of this image, but the coloring is so dark with the Paling that the top half of the illustration is a void; the details in the art are too difficult to make out. The coloring on the title character and his team are excellent, but are so bright they really make the Paling pale. The Looney Tunes Variant cover is by Dan Panosian and Spike Brandt. This is my favorite of the Looney Tunes covers: Sinestro and the Coyote are sitting atop a tremendous pile of dynamite, with the Coyote striking a match. These two are obvious mirrors, as they are both the greatest schemers of their respective universes. Brandt has done an outstanding job on the Coyote, and Panosian has done the same with Sinestro. Overall grades: Main B and Looney Tunes Variant A+

The story: “The Pale Legion” by Cullen Bunn begins with Sinestro narrating how earth is a planet consumed by fear. Four quick images of the Scarecrow, Deathstroke, Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman punctuate his statements. With a turn of the page the reader is taken back to the desert where Sinestro and Black Adam are battling the Pale Bishop, an ancient Guardian that has been resurrected. The villain bellows, “This world has turned apostate! It has grown bloated on emotion! Only through submission…through the purging…can redemption be attained!” Black Adam fries the antagonist, but he quickly returns to his former state, seeming impervious to anything the magical character can throw at it. The most interesting part of this battle occurs on Pages 6 and 7, though the event on 12 and 13 had me cheering. Sadly, the battle ends unsatisfactorily, leaving it open to readdress at a later date. Bunn then has the story move to Warworld, where the Sinestro Corps have something odd going on just before an intruder arrives. I was surprised to see whom it was attacking the corps, but given the state of the other big heroes of earth, that individual is the only one who could arrive. After a quick meeting and summary of the Paling, the final page teases the battle for next issue. Nothing was really accomplished in this issue, save Pages 12 and 13. Otherwise, the Pale Bishop escapes and the Paling doesn’t really appear. The ending of the Bishop storyline was too quick and the Paling was only teased. Overall grade: C+

The art: Three artists (Bard Walker Pages 1 – 10, Neil Edwards 11 – 15, and Szymon Kudranski 16 – 20) and three inkers (Drew Hennessey 1 – 10, Trevor Scott 11 – 15, and Kudranski 16 – 20) make for a very uneven visual experience due to a drastic change in styles. Walker and Hennessey provide the best images for this book, with Sinestro looking stunningly villainous, Adam looking like a terror, the outstanding imagery of 6 and 7, the surprise on 8 and 9, and the full page splash on 10 showing the intruder. Their work is very strong. Edwards and Scott’s section is also strong, but looks so unlike the previous ten pages, it’s jarring. In fact, Sinestro looks as though he’s put on a few pounds on Page 11, but that’s only because he’s drawn more realistically than Walker and Hennessey create him. Pages 11 – 15 look very realistic; so much so, Black Adam looks like the Rock — I can’t imagine why these two artists would draw him like that (said the reviewer with his tongue firmly in cheek). The double-paged splash of 12 and 13 is terrific, and their version of the Pale Bishop is better than Walker and Hennessey’s, though he’s seen on only one page. The final five pages by Kudranski are just not working. All members of the Sinestro Corps, including their leader, look as though there’s a film over them, and the setting is a mishmash of silhouettes that elude to a setting, but don’t define one. Page 19 has the character in the third panel look atrocious. The final page of the book is so poorly laid out it’s difficult to see what’s occurring. The first two-thirds of this book is fine, though obviously by different art teams, with the final five pages being difficult to endure. It’s never a wise decision to have a weaker artist close a book. Overall grade: C-

The colors: Excellent work can be found in Jason Wright’s contributions to this book. He captures the four different opening panels’ scenes perfectly, with the colors creating a specific fear for the characters. Wright has always done an excellent job coloring the energy that emanates from characters in this series, and this issue is no exception. The Blue Bishop has superiors blues, Sinestro and his corps yellows, and the flesh on all the characters’ faces well done. My favorite page of the book is 10 which has terrific work with yellows and blacks, and just a touch of red. This is good work. Overall grade: A

The letters: Narration and dialogue (the same font), story title, creator credits, a unique font for the Blue Bishop, the characters that address Black Adam, sounds, and next issue’s tease are crafted by Lantern go-to letterer Dave Sharpe. I continue to enjoy Sharpe’s work, and he really had to squeeze those creator credits into an unbelievably tiny space. I do wish the narration had been in a different font, but that’s only one element of Sharpe’s work. Overall grade: A-

The final line: Last issue’s sensational beginning is undone by a story cut short and too many artists. Very disappointing. Overall grade: C+ 

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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