This is definitely the meeting I expected it to be. Sinestro. Black Adam. Black and yellow. Black and yellow. Pittsburgh would be so proud. Come take a gander at my thoughts below on this interesting meeting between the two longstanding villains of the DC Universe and their matching color scheme and similar ideals. Oh, and some plot progression too!
So what happens when Sinestro brings his favorite (and mine) corps members to Kahndaq to meet Black Adam? Nothing much. A lot of smirks mostly, but it still manages to be amusing. That must mean credit is due for writer Cullen Bunn. Its not until this issue that you realize just how much they have in common and all that is instantly brought to your attention on the very first page of the issue. So, if you were not familiar with this Teth-Adam guy, then you’ll still be able to appreciate that he’s a strict arrogant ruler much like Sinestro is typically portrayed to be.
The problem though lies in that while these are genuinely two interesting characters, they don’t show it enough here. We get a good sense of Black Adam and his love for his land (not his people) and tradition but nothing beyond that. To be fair, there was never a point in reading that I was bored or felt that issue was dragging. I just think that Kahndaq could have been explored more and that Soranik and the rest of the corps members could have had their own side adventure as well. We get quips from them, sure. Soranik is attracted to Black Adam, as she should be because both artists Brad Walker and Ethan Van Sciver draw a very beautiful Black Adam. But quips and one liners can only go so far, especially when the characters expressing those lines aren’t doing anything. Like at all.
The one interesting note, beyond the final page that is, features Lyssa Drak literally jump kicking her way into a scene like she’s auditioning to be the next Blue Power Ranger to simply talk to Sinestro. Its not their talk that interests me. Far from. No, its the brief chat between Black Adam and Sinestro after, that becomes important. We know Lyssa isn’t trustworthy. We knew that when we got that new jumping on point back in issue 12, so its great to see that Sinestro knows that and arrogantly keeps her close despite that. I just freaking love that. By the way, come on EVS, you’re better than that terrible action pose entrance.
I’ll try not to go on long about the art in this issue. There are very few things Brad Walker and Ethan Van Sciver’s art style have in common but the most important thing is scale. You’ll always read about that when discussing these two artist and its worth mentioning here again. I’ll never forget that director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings/The Hobbitt trilogy) once said he simply put the camera on the ground and looked up to make everything bigger. You get that feeling when you look at Brad Walker’s art. The personal shots in these panels are perfect. It looks as if everything the character is saying or doing in these panels is important. On the flip side of that scale is Ethan Van Sciver where he just has the uncanny ability to draw s*** big! The throne room scene is epic but not just because its two pages, but because his sense of how large everything should be is accented by the large amount of detail put into the little things. There is more details in the background that the characters we came to read about on the forefront. That’s impressive. To answer your lingering question, no these two great artists don’t compliment each other but as stark as that page turn from one to the other may be, it certainly didn’t throw this issue off the rails. Not even close.
So briefly, that final page needs to be discussed, I guess. Sinestro came to Kahndaq for potential information on The Paling and finds their not-quite-dead mystery leader (The Pale Bishop) is a freaking Guardian of the Universe! These little guys will just not go away, will they?! Definitely a cliffhanger that should make things difficult for Sinestro and ramp up the amount of action this series desperately needs. I mean, besides Lyssa’s unforgivable kick-landing, the only fight scene was Sinestro & Black Adam versus skeletons…Let that sink in a bit.
Sinestro #16 earns a 3.5/5