In Review: Sinestro #22

If you're a Lantern fan, you want this book.

The covers: Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy, and Blond are responsible for the Regular cover which showcases the Sinestro Corps’ new leader, Soranik Natu. She’s front and center on this cover as she makes her way from a planet. She’s pointing the direction she wants her followers to go and they can be seen behind her, their yellow energy trails showing their paths as they leave the world’s atmosphere. Sensational cover with stellar coloring by Blond. Simply fantastic in every way! The John Romita, Jr. Variant cover is by the famous illustrator and it features the title character high in the top half of the cover, giving a yell as he releases a blast of yellow energy that dominates the bottom half of the image. This is such a strong illustration, this is the cover I had to pick up, but I’m finding myself continually drawn to the Walker-Hennessy-Blond creation, so I’ll have to go after that at some point. Overall grades: Both A+

The story: YES! This is something I’ve been looking forward to for some time! Cullen Bunn’s “Blood Red” opens in Sector 1122, where a satellite loaded with alien scientists have their work interrupted by the arrival of a life sign that rips through their windows. Dex-starr tears into the nearest man, while several victims are pulled into space through the hold the killer has left in his wake. Bleez arrives soon after with several members of the Red Lanterns. She spares the life of one scientist so that he can signal others so that they can unleash their rage on those more deserving. He sends out a distress signal to the Sinestro Corps. “Excellent,” she says. “Now…while we wait…tell me about your research.” What these scientists were doing is left dangling until next month, because the story then moves to New Korugar where Soranik confesses her feelings of being leader of this infamous group to Umaraal Jarta, a priestess. She finds no solace from the woman, who thinks she’s been given the power as leader because it serves another nefarious scheme of Sinestro. The two separate and two members of the corps watch the religious woman walk away, pondering if now is the time to put their interests to work. Unfortunately they are unaware of who is behind them. Bunn has mastered Sinestro’s speech and schemes handsomely. Just as a reader begins to think good thoughts about the character, he does something to remind one that his heart is as black as Nekron. As fun as it is to watch this Korugarian at work, his daughter is even more interesting in this issue. She remembers being a Green Lantern and how much they helped the galaxy without leaving fear in their wake. In this issue she momentarily returns to doing what she did while wearing emerald and it’s a heartbreaking moment because it does not, and can not, last. She’s made a decision that leaves Sinestro angry. He’s proposed an alternative to her current plan and she wonders that if she accepts his solution, it will be undone in some way. This is a great way to show the constant doubt in her father and her ability to lead. As Soranik goes through this painful decision, the story returns to its opening, as a member of the Sinestro Corp has come up against a group much stronger than he. An outstanding story. Overall grade: A

The art: The visuals of this book, by Martin Coccolo, are all over the place. The opening page nicely establishes the scientists and their base, but the final panel on the page is difficult to make out initially: it’s a reflection of Dex-starr as the’s about to break through the glass. The double-paged splash of 2 and 3 has an incredible image on the right side showing the feline tearing into a scientist. It’s incredibly graphic and completely appropriate for the cat. While this looks good, the left side has been computer blurred to show the effect of the broken window on the scientists. It looks terrible; it’s incredibly difficult to make out what’s occurring. Was the art so poor on this side of the illustration that it had to be blurred? Is Coccolo incompetent in showing this kind of movement in his drawing? Not at all; this work on other DC books shows him to be a proficient artist. Why blur it now? The arrival of the Red Lanterns on the next two pages is great and they look fantastic. This is fine looking art. The three pages that follow it are not good. Practically every image is too far from the primary characters, focusing on action beyond the pair. There are also some awkward panels, such as the fist in the reader’s face on Page 8. However, the art again improves when Sinestro appears and things absolute explode with energy on the 9 and 10. These pages look terrific. No blurring is necessary to show the amount of action, which makes Page 2 so confusing. As Soranik lists all she’s done commanding members of the corps to do, the visuals are incredibly strong. Coccolo is knocking it out of the park here. However, 16 and 17 bring the book down again, with character too distant from the reader; take a look at that first, circular panel atop 17. Why isn’t it closer on the speaker to make this a more emotional moment that the text is obviously demanding? Things again swing up for the conclusion, but this visual seesaw ride has been too much. The art needs to be more consistent. Overall grade: C

The colors: The colors on this book by Blond are stunning. The energy that he places in this book buffs up the visuals tremendously: the Red Lanterns’ crimson, the Sinestro Corps’s yellows, and the intense deep navy of the sky. The skin of the Korugarians is a brilliant deep pink that instantly makes Sinestro and Soranik a panel’s focus. The final two pages of the book are amazing for all the yellows and reds. Blond is hitting a home run on this book. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates scene settings, dialogue, sounds, the mantra of the Red Lanterns, the killer story title, the book’s credits, Dex-starr’s hisses, a character’s weak voice, a yell of rage, and the teaser for next issue. The variety of fonts on Pages 2 and 3 make the visual impression of the pages much more striking, and no one makes Dex-starr hiss more dangerously than Sharpe. Overall grade: A

The final line: Better art would have made this a better book, but there’s no denying the inclusion of the Red Lanterns signals an upcoming confrontation. If you’re a Lantern fan, you want this book. Overall grade: B+

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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