Sinestro’s absence has been keenly felt in the pages of various Lantern titles since his last appearance in Wrath of the First Lantern, and while we’ve seen him appear in the pages of Forever Evil, I’ve definitely missed him being front-and-center. So him not only returning, but returning to a book that he’s the focal point of is something I had to give a chance. This turned out to be a good decision as Cullen Bunn has already written a Sinestro similar enough to the one we’ve come to know, but different and clearly changed by the events that caused him to enter self-imposed exile. This is definitely his issue and Bunn writes him with a serene dignity that perfectly communicates that, despite his abandonment of the things he once held dear, he’s still the same as he ever was. Lyssa Drak shortly enters the picture with a message and a prophecy, attempting to bring him out of exile and, as the cover clearly shows, she has some success. HOW she has that success is actually one of the most intriguing parts of the book and I won’t go into detail here. We also get a look, early on and at the end, of the current state of the rechristened Arkillo Corps, and a sorry state it is. I always thought it was a little silly that all the other Corps were named for their lanterns, but Sinestro’s was named after him, but to see that, apparently, it’s a title that is passed to whomever is leader actually makes a lot of sense and completely works for me.
Dale Eaglesham handles linework and does a generally great job of establishing a very sharp, clear look for his characters and settings. There is an absolutely insane level of detail to every, single panel and the quality never dips from page to page. There’s a particular page that is actually reenacting the cover and it actually looks even BETTER. I’m not saying it would have been a better cover because of how those need to be staged, but it’s rare that interior art (same artists) actually bests cover art. Jason Wright is on colors and this is another reason this book shines, both literally and figuratively. The palette, despite taking place mostly in caves and space, is incredibly diverse and brings the entire book to life from page 1.
It’s impossible to tell where this falls in terms of Sinestro’s appearance in Forever Evil, or if that’s even being considered, but we learn something that I’m not terribly fond of: he’s forsaken the power of Parallax but they don’t really get into A) what that means (is the entity just wandering the galaxy?) or B) Why. That was one of the most intriguing developments of the end of the Geoff Johns' era and while I’m sure they have something planned for it, it’s still disappointing to see it simply fall by the wayside for now.
As amazingly detailed as the art is, the characters are extremely bulky and large. Characters that would normally be slender like Sinestro and Lyssa become overly muscular, but Arkillo looks like he’s trying out for Incredible Hulk.
I’m still fond of the overall look of the issue and I love the way Sinestro is being written in it. I think this is a great title to get in the ground floor on and answers the question of how to make a book that stars a villain compelling: give him a compelling, even sympathetic, motivation. The world-building is already seizing my interest and the creative team gives us a great cliffhanger to end the issue on.