In Review: Sinestro #15

This is brilliantly stunning, powerful, terrifying, and sad. Recommended.

The covers: A twosome to track down, with each exploding with power. The Main cover is by Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy, and Jason Wright. It has Sinestro and Lobo fighting over the yellow ring: the ring wielder is trying to pull it down to blast the bounty hunter, while the Czarnian is trying to keep it away. The cover is black, save the two characters and the ring in the top right corner. Excellent intense looks on their faces and I really like how the black highlights them. I had to purchase the Green Lantern 75th Anniversary cover by Ryan Sook, though. It features a gigantic Sinestro, with his old-school elongated cranium (I’m a sucker for big headed Sinestro) holding a struggling Hal Jordan in his left fist. He looks at the human with disdain as Hal tries to use his ring to escape, but it’s no use. Excellent composition and superior coloring. Overall grade: Main A- and Green Lantern 75th Anniversary Variant A+ 

The story: The planet Arklu, Sector 2828. The world is a desert wasteland where its people have become frail skeletons. The triple suns bathe the planet in relentless heat. Walking out of the sunlight bearing a bowl with water for a child is a figure who says, “Do not despair. You have not been forgotten. Here…Water…I only wish…that I could do more.” Saint Walker is instantly mobbed by those who also need water, but is soon to be overwhelmed. Using his blue ring, he pushes the throng back, apologizing that there is not enough to go around for everyone. He promises to bring more water if he can find it. He sees a robed figure crouched on a street and offers him some of the liquid, but the figure grabs his wrist. His disguise tossed aside, Lobo says, “Kind of hypocritical, isn’t it? You…trying to sow the seeds of optimism…when you’re borderline hopeless yourself.” What Lobo wants with Walker is surprising, but before that can be revealed something happens on the planet that surprises the hunter. This surprise turns to anger with a turn in the tale that starts at the bottom of Page 7 and is fully realized on 8. Sinestro doesn’t appear until Page 10 when all is revealed about Lobo. This crossover made sense, but I’m still absolutely incensed with this “new” Lobo. He is better in this book than what I saw in the first two issues of his series, but I still really dislike this Lobo. Thankfully, he’s soon gone and Sinestro and Walker have a discussion. Cullen Bunn is a master at writing Sinestro. He is a complete, complex character that has me cheering for him, then screaming in rage, and ultimately shivering at the evil that seethes out of him. Bunn has crafted a fascinating dialogue between him and Walker that hits every emotional point with a reader, only to end this installment revealing, once again, Sinestro’s emotionless core. It’s brilliantly stunning, powerful, terrifying, and sad. Overall grade: A+

The art: Helping to make this such a strong read are the strong visuals by Ethan Van Sciver. I want my aliens to look alien, and Van Sciver has them looking as such, but also unbelievably frail. The full reveal at the end of Page 1 shows the fragile state of this planet’s natives. Their stature makes their actions that occur later all the more impressive, yet pointless. I’m a tremendous fan of Saint Walker and Van Sciver has made him also look fragile. He’s always been rendered by others as very slender and elongated, but in this issue he’s made to look as thin as those he’s helping. Doing this has the violence done to him by Lobo hit the reader even harder. The new Lobo is not a character I like, one reason being his normal build. That’s not the case in this issue; he’s got quite a bit of muscle (though not over the top like Keith Giffen or Simon Bisley drew him), making this the first time I actually believe he could cause the damage he inflicts. The top of Page 7 has him hunched over, giving him a slight feel for the grotesque nature of his body that was drawn in the past. Lobo’s highlight is the full-paged splash on 8, and even I have to admit that the image is impressive. It’s a “Wow” moment and it looks it. Also impressive is Sinestro’s reveal on 10; that’s the look you want to see in an egotistical, arrogant leader. The first panel on Page 17 is a beautiful way to make a character threatening in the shadows, and it upped the tension of the text considerably. The final page is a gut punch of a splash that has me unable to look away at the grotesqueness on display and the fear on one character’s face. This was stunning art. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Beautiful color work by Jason Wright can be found on every page. A reader will be able to feel the heat on Arklu, the energy from Walker on 3, the power on 8, the overwhelming strength in yellow on 16 – 18, and the disgusting putrid flesh on 20. Equally impressive is the use of yellow when a ring’s energy is employed. I know it’s tremendous work for an artist to draw that outline of energy around a character, but a colorist has to be able to make that power manifest in coloring and make sure it stands out against the background, which Wright does every time; when there’s even just a shimmer of energy, it’s jaw dropping. And something must also be said of Saint Walker’s blues. A blanket color is not used on his costume, not once. Instead it’s colored so that it highlights the shape of his body, showing every muscle. The last page is a perfect example of Wright showing he is a talent in his field. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe, the Master Lantern letterer, creates scene settings, dialogue, yells, sounds, ring speak, opening title and credits, and a spectacular tease for next issue. Sharpe never takes a false step in what he does. In fact, he puts a little something extra into what could have been a lettering shortcut: Walker’s yell on Page 3. This could have been accomplished with a larger version of the font that is used for the character’s dialogue. It would have been simple to do and would have created a strong emotional impact, as the script demands. However, Sharpe uses a different font, and one that requires colors, to make the exclamation even stronger, making it resonate more with readers. This is just one way, that you might miss, Sharpe demonstrates he’s at the top of his game. Overall grade: A+

The final line: I feel emotionally spent every time I finish this book. Just when it seems that Sinestro has gotten some morals, he does something unthinkable that damns him before the reader. An amazing character crafted by an amazing team. Recommended. Overall grade: A+

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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