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Monday, April 16, 2012 

It sounds like Sinestro is no longer a villain

USA Today writes a sugarcoated article about where Geoff Johns has been taking Green Lantern, and it sure doesn't sound like Sinestro is amounting to a serious menace for Hal Jordan:
Hal Jordan and his alien rival Sinestro are becoming the DC Universe's answer to Felix and Oscar. [of the Odd Couple]
In other words, the best of friends?!? Again, I fail to see the point of this.
While Hal had been the star of writer Geoff Johns' Green Lantern series prior to DC's "The New 52" relaunch last fall — and the main guy of the Green Lantern movie of a summer ago — he has shared a lot of panel time so far in Johns' new series with Sinestro, former leader of the yellow-tinged Sinestro Corps who's back in emerald Green Lantern togs and power ring.

Drawn by artist Doug Mahnke, the current book has definitely found an audience that was bigger than it was, Johns says, and it's the interplay between Hal and Sinestro that's "what makes the book different and fun. I could write those two characters together all day."
And still result in a very repellant tale, recalling his frequent penchant for shock-tactic violence, which has turned up even post-Flashpoint. After all the trouble Sinestro caused the Corps over past decades, why should they just want to allow him back? It only makes the commanding council look like fools. The only fun being has is for Johns, not the wider public.
Since first tackling the Green Lantern Corps back in 2004 with Green Lantern: Rebirth, Johns has set out to give this sci-fi part of the DC Universe a scope worthy of a Star Wars or Lord of the Rings film, with several colored Lantern squads and character-centric stories featuring players such as Hal and Sinestro.
But they won't mention how most of those rainbow-rendered Lanterns were mostly just more style over substance, or how Johns seemed more intent on turning Carol Ferris, mentioned below, into Star Sapphire again, just for the sake of more weak allusions to the Silver Age.
Under the Indigo's apparent control, Black Hand appeared to Sinestro in issue 7 and fans will get to see a lot more of him, Johns says, and Carol Ferris — Hal Jordan's love interest who is also a Star Sapphire — will play a more significant role, too. She has been popping up as Hal has spent more time on Earth trying to be a normal guy again — and pretty much failing.

"There is no life on Earth anymore for him and he's had that thrown in his face and realized he's got to get his act together," Johns says. "For the first time in a long time, he's looking for commitment and now he's struggling with even being able to do that because of the circumstances he's been thrust in."
Even if he finds commitment, most people have been bored enough with his take as it is, and writing that he doesn't have what to live on Earth for any longer is hardly a way to make Hal a solid character.
Sinestro won't be leaving the series anytime soon — Johns says a major event happens to him in issue 11 "that reveals a lot about how he's changed" with a much bigger one happening later. In the meantime, the writer will be revealing more about Sinestro through the different emotions readers have seen him cycling through and experiencing.

"The character's incredibly complex and fascinating, and his journey is really one that I think is worth watching," Johns says. Where he ultimately ends up and where Hal ultimately ends up are going to be a pretty big change for those who expect the same."

The twosome have gone through a lot together: Hal was recruited as a Green Lantern after Abin Sur died, and Sinestro watched that happen and looks down on Hal since he thinks Abin can never be replaced. Eventually they become friends and allies before everything went horribly wrong, Sinestro was ousted and they become mortal enemies.
This sounds almost like idolatry, made worse considering Sinestro was created as a villain back in the Silver Age. The description of GL and Sinestro's pasts given above though, alludes more to how they retconned the past of the twosome post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, especially when Johns took over. The really annoying thing is how Johns thinks Sinestro complex and fascinating, yet doesn't seem to see any of the same in Hal Jordan. How peculiar.
However, newer readers to the Green Lantern series may not see Sinestro as a true bad guy — Johns is leaving it for them to decide if he is or not.

The guy's name is Sinestro, though.

"Never get too comfortable," Johns says. "Look at what he does in the opening five pages of issue 8. I don't know if you can call that heroic."
I don't know if it's even readable! I won't be one bit surprised if yet another of Johns' shock tactics laden with violence, and if he's resorted to more sensationalism, that's just why newer readers need not apply. If Sinestro's not being depicted clearly as the baddie he originally was, that's actually part of the problem with Johns' writing - that he seems more interested in spotlighting the villains than serious focus on the heroes and why they can work well.

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I hope Hal and Sinestro join up and hit the road to discover the real America, encountering various social injustices along the way. Something original like that.

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