The Book of Parallax - Chapter 1: Sinestro
As you could imagine, judging by my username, Green Lantern #23.4 was amongst the books that I was most anxious to read. Let me just say from the outset that I was actually...dissappointed with the story in this issue, so let's get to that. The review below may, or may not, contain spoilers. Be warned.
As I've already said, the story in this issue left me less than impressed. While the whole concept of villain's month was to tell the origin story of various characters, and build on their characterization, this didn't feel like an origin story, but rather a highlight reel of Sinestro's life as a ring-slinger. While that's not a bad approach to use for this kind of book, the execution didn't do Sinestro's character any justice, or even add anything to his character. In this book, he came across as your run-of-the-mill dictator, which would have been fine if Geoff Johns hadn't crafted Sinestro into a rather complex character during his 9-year run on the Green Lantern title - further exasperated by the fact that this "highlight reel" skips about 4-6 years of continuity.
Some other issues are less serious, but still noteworthy. Arin Sur's character was pretty annoying, removing any sympathy of the character I originaly felt when readers were first introduced to Sinestro's late wife in Green Lantern #11 last year, and buit on in subsequent issues. There's also a continuity error here, as Hal had never actually known who Arin was or what she looked like, however in this issue, the two definitely met. Whilst this is not a MAJOR problem, it is a rather sloppy mistake to make.
Otherwise, the origin story is a retelling rather than a reimagining - which is nice to see, as many other books have tweaked the origin stories to varying degrees of success - so it's always a nervous rolling of the dice when writers choose to do this.
For the most part, Eaglesham's work is solid, and Dahlhouse's colors are great. The issues I had with the art was the inconsistency with some of the character's faces, and how generic some of the Korugans looked. I also wasn't a fan of certain panels of Korugan society, showing it to be very similar to Earth's (woman walking space-poodle springs to mind, sigh).
The page borders were a nice touch though, as it fitted in with Sinestro's background as an architecht - which is obviously apparent in his traditional choices of constructs over the years. Lyssa Drak was drawn gorgeously well, though - which is a major redeeming point.
Was this the villain's book I wanted for Sinestro? Not particularly. Some nagging issues in the story kept me from enjoying this as much as I would have wanted to. I also wanted to see how Sinestro, or the Green Lantern Corps for that matter, would tie into the events of Forever Evil, as Sinestro has been seen on some of the covers to later issues, and how Hal and co. have had their hands busy with the new direction that the corps are taking, and the new threat of Relic.
Perhaps one comfort I could take from this issue is that Lyssa Drak had been narrating the story, after complaining of her troubles remembering the facts. Could this mean that the events presented in this book not be taken as seriously as one would expect? Possibly.
Not a spectaculour story for veteran readers, coupled with a mixed-to-positive art.