The other graphic novel I picked up at the used bookstore last week was Green Lantern: Tales of the Sinestro Corps (Graphic Novel 200 pages).
“Beware your fears made into light. They have been chosen for their ability to instill great terror. With their yellow power rings, they can make your worst nightmares come alive. They are the Sinestro Corps, and together they will set the universe alight with panic! Exploding from the pages of THE SINESTRO CORPS WAR, these terrifying tales shed light on the darkest secrets of the beings who declared war on the Green Lantern Corps and the worlds they protect: Sinestro, the fascist fallen Green Lantern who would bend all of creation to his will … Parallax, the demonic parasite who has turned the greatest Green Lanterns into vicious killers … Superman-Prime, the insane and unstoppable Last Son of a forgotten universe … Cyborg-Superman, the murderous man-machine with a soul as cold as his steel flesh … Despotellis, the sentient virus with the blood of billions on his hands … And more! Behold their murderous rampage and forge past the front lines for secret files and origins of over 200 characters, places and weapons from the Green Lantern and Sinestro mythos!”
I think this is actually a good graphic novel as a follow-on to the Giant Green Lantern Annual that I read yesterday. Both of these graphic novels have some sort of dealing with Sinestro, and the two of them combined give a pretty solid history as to Sinestro’s origins and where some of the animosity between Sinestro, Hal Jordan, and the Green Lantern Corps as a whole. As with most villains, Sinestro doesn’t see himself as the bad guy. He sees himself as someone who can bring order to a chaotic and unfair galaxy. He sees himself as offering much-needed change to the way the Guardians of the Universe control things. This graphic novel really adds to the stories from the Giant Green Lantern Annual and I think I’m actually reading things in a useful order (for once).
One of the stories in this graphic novel is about Kyle Rayner’s internal battle with Parallax, which is actually a very nicely done story, based on what I’m reading here. One of the key reasons I am a fan of Kyle Rayner as a Green Lantern is because of the amount of creativity involved in the manifestations of his ring. When Parallax locks Kyle into his own mind, Kyle draws portraits of the women he has loved the most throughout the years. Starting with Alex, then Donna, then Jade, then his mother. When Parallax shows up to gloat, Kyle manifests a mechanized suit of armor, a can of bug spray, and a buffalo in order to battle Parallax. It seems to me that in the Green Lanterns before Kyle, most of the Green Lanterns would manifest shields or giant fists hitting people or any other “standard” response to adversary engagements. Kyle was always incredibly creative with the use of his ring and this graphic novel demonstrates that very accurately.
One thing I’m going to say about this collection is that it doesn’t really seem to follow a chronological order. There are a lot of different stories from a lot of different issues and it doesn’t really show how each, individual member of the Sinestro Corps is defeated. In fact, it doesn’t appear as though any of them are in this graphic novel. I guess that makes sense, though, because this is a compilation of the Sinestro Corps and not those who defeated the Sinestro Corps. This continues to be one of my disappointments with the DC Comics universe as a whole. It seems to me as though you can’t really get a full story, not even in one trade paperback, graphic novel. You only get bits and pieces because the entire story and all the characters are spread out across every different title DC Comics owns. While I understand the concept that they created a giant universe and everything is connected, if you’re on a budget, or looking for some sort of chronological management, you’re not really like to get the whole story all in one place.
I really enjoyed reading the backgrounds and brief stories of all the Green Lanterns and I think I have a much greater respect for the world-building and the character creation that went into all the stories for the Green Lantern Corps as well as the Sinestro Corps. I think this graphic novel is going to be a good reference book for me as I read more in the Green Lantern universe. Some of these characters and special stories make me wonder what possible use they could serve, but I suspect that many of them are unique and creative just so DC Comics can find ways for them to die by saving the world/universe/galaxy/whatever through self-sacrifice in a way that only their own uniqueness would allow. Because what’s a story about a hero without losing everything that matters?
Overall, I’d say this is a great option as a reference because of the files in the back about the members of the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps. The stories and character development were both interesting. I think I’ll rate this as a low three on my rating scale, mostly for the likelihood that I’ll use it for future reference concerning the Green Lantern universe.