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Interview: Cullen Bunn Talks SINESTRO and Godhead

Writer of SINESTRO chats it up about writing villains and the crossover event

Cullen Bunn has quickly become the go-to writer for villain books. Currently, he's writing both LOBO and SINESTRO for DC and we talked to him mainly about his work on the current Green Lantern event Godhead and how Sinestro playing into the larger scheme of things.

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COMIC VINE: In the last issue, Sinestro sacrificed quite a few Sinestro Corps members because the corps had become bloated. Does that mean we'll be seeing new members or will the team stay small?

CULLEN BUNN: For now, the Sinestro Corps will be a bit smaller. Aside from the core group we’ve been following (Sinestro, Lyssa Drak, Arkillo, Dez Trevius, and Rigen Kale) there are still plenty of yellow lanterns. Many of the fan favorite lanterns are still around, mainly because Sinestro picked them himself. There might be one or two new lanterns joining Sinestro’s cause, some of them showing up very soon. The smaller group, though, allows me to build upon the backstories of some of the other lanterns.

CV: What's it like working on a major crossover event like this with so many other creators?

CB: The Godhead crossover has been a real blast and a terrific learning experience for me. This was the first time I was able to sit in a room for a few days with my fellow writers and my editors and hash out a huge story. Keeping all the plates spinning and making sure that the pieces connect clearly was a unique challenge, but I’ve been really impressed with the results.

CV: How challenging is that compared to writing something like LOBO, where it's really just you?

CB: Well, whenever you write a comic… or at least whenever I write a comic… it tends to stray from the outline. And every change has a ripple effect that impacts everything originally planned as happening later in the series. With a book like LOBO, I’m solely responsible for compensating for any changes to the outline and how they alter what comes next. With a huge crossover, though, a change in an issue of SINESTRO could throw the whole thing off. It could definitely mess things up for the writer who is tackling the next chapter of the story. Usually, keeping editorial and the other collaborators apprised solves any potential issues, but it is something that I have to keep in mind at all times.

CV: What about Sinestro appeals to fans?

CB: I think fans just like a smug, supremely confidant jerk. At the very least, they love to hate him. With Sinestro, I think they like to see what he’s going to say or do next, who he’s going to anger, and who is going to try to plant a knife in his back. Sinestro is a villain, yes, but he does what he does because he believes in his cause and believes he is the only person capable of actually saving the universe. That also makes him appealing.

CV: What's Sinestro's motivation in Godhead?

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CB: Sinestro doesn’t really care to help the other lanterns. Hell. He even treats his own lanterns as wholly disposable depending on his whim. But he is proud to a fault. When the New Gods arrived and took one of his rings, it insulted him. And Sinestro will not stand idly by and be insulted. Now, as he got more involved in the war with the New Gods, new motivations started to surface. He certainly seems to have a keen interest in Bekka now. As he faces these “gods,” Sinestro is starting to think that his most recent plans are too small, and he’ll have a new attitude at the end of the event.

CV: Is there something more appealing to you, as a writer, about working with villains or anti-heroes?

CB: I think villains and anti-heroes can still surprise me as a writer. Hopefully, that means they can surprise my readers. With a hero, we usually know that they are going to do something on behalf of the greater good. A villain, though, might do something for the greater good… if it suits their needs, goals, or beliefs. Or a villain might spit right in the face of the greater good. The challenge (and the joy) of writing a villain is to make them relatable to the reader without making them too likeable. That’s a fun line to dance along.

CV: Out of all the characters in the DCU, who would you like to see become a member of the Sinestro Corps and why?

CB: I think the easy answer is Batman. We’d all love to see him as a Yellow Lantern. We’ve been teased with the idea a couple of times. But what about someone like Constantine? The secrets that guy has in his head are certainly capable of instilling great fear. I also think he’d be fun to play against Sinestro. An arrogant jerk versus an arrogant jerk!

Thanks a ton to Cullen Bunn and make sure to check out SINESTRO #7, currently available at your LCS. In addition, check out a preview to the issue!

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