You have to give Lex Luthor credit. Regardless of the incarnation or the universe, he routinely manages the task of organizing a group of dangerous and inherently untrustworthy scoundrels that are generally inclined to doing their own thing and killing anyone who gets in their way. Be it the Legion of Doom, The Injustice League or the Secret Society of Supervillains, Lex is adept at herding cats and wrangling supervillains.
This thought occurred to me reading Scott Snyder and James Tynion’s recent run on Justice League and how Luthor manages to keep the current Legion of Doom together. Heck, Lex even managed to get Joker to play nice up until he started taking advice from The Batman Who Laughs. Then there was that whole incident with Black Manta trying to become the God of the Sea for the whole universe. But apart from that, Lex has managed to keep a lot of other volatile personalities in line… including Sinestro.
This fascinated me as a Green Lantern fan of many years. Because if you haven’t read Geoff Johns’ run on the series, Johns took Sinestro and transformed him into a Byronic anti-hero as well as a new kind of threat, building an army of the scum of the universe and further emboldening them with the power of Fear Itself. And now this guy, who once led an army including a resurrected Anti-Monitor and an evil alternate-universe version of Superboy is slumming it as Lex Luthor’s minion? Why?
Sinestro: Year of The Villain #1 addresses this question within its first few pages, as Sinestro ponders the nature of Order and the need some people have to bring about order. “Some people serve because they’ve chosen a cause. Some people choose a cause because they need to serve,” Sinestro notes, before adding, in reference to his relationship with Lex Luthor, that “… maybe people don’t choose to serve at all. Maybe they just cling to the first person who seems to possess the answer they lack.”
Mark Russell shows an amazing grasp of Sinestro’s character with this insight, but this issue is not all pontificating and philosophy. The main thrust of the plot sees Sinestro dispatched to deal with a seemingly invincible race of god-like beings who no weapon can hurt, much less destroy, and find a way to kill them before they destroy several worlds that are vital to Lex Luthor’s plans. A daunting task, but given Sinestro killed almost all of the Guardians of the Universe single-handed, there is no one better qualified for the job. The story that follows is reminiscent of Alan Moore’s work on Green Lantern, full of high science-fiction concepts and no small amount of social commentary that shows that people are people, no matter where in the universe you are.
The artwork for this issue is simply exquisite. I’ve been a big fan of Yıldıray Çınar’s work since his run on Superior Iron Man with Tom Taylor and his style proves a perfect partner to the setting of Russell’s story. Backed by the inks of Julio Ferreria and the colors of Hi-Fi, the finished artwork is truly epic. And Steve Wands does his usual stellar job on the lettering.
If you haven’t been reading Justice League or any of the Year Of The Villain tie-ins so far, you might consider picking this one up, even if you aren’t usually a fan of DC Comics or Green Lantern. The story is easily accessible to new readers and it is a great character study of one of DC Comics’ most fascinating villains.
Sinestro: Year Of The Villain #1 releases on August 7th, 2019!
Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.