The Fall of Sinestro! Twenty issues is quite a feat in this weird transitional “feed them more #1 issues” comics world we live in. So, I’ll start by congratulating the creative team and the editorial staff on getting this far. I’m pretty sure my expectations for how long this book would last were pretty low, as was my expectations for this particular issue. Spoiler alert: You’re about to read a review about Sinestro vs The Pale Bishop.
I have not been happy with this Pale Bishop storyline since writer Cullen Bunn brought other DC characters into the equation. It felt forced, and more importantly did not service the story at all. We’ll look back at this issue and say “Oh this was when Superman couldn’t fly in his own book, but got a Sinestro Corps ring and could kick but there!” Bet on that. We should also mention, during our future reread, that this was one of the best issues of the series!
The first 19 or so pages are drawn incredibly well by Brad Walker. Its so dark (because uh, SPACE) and the lines are just so crisp that everyone shown just looks so much more impressive. When The Pale Bishop begins his attack on Sinestro, Walker and company show him our star character hunched over in one panel and next to that, we get this essential close up look at his face where the anguish is clear. You can see his pain. This isn’t one of those, throw his head back and open his mouth wide to show his pain, moments. No, Walker made this scene feel real. Sinestro can’t stand up straight and yell, because the pain is too much. Then, he whips his head back as it all starts to sink in. Walker’s swan song is great one. And yet, that’s where Cullen Bunn shines.
This book has been at its best when Cullen Bunn gets inside Sinestro’s head and narrates him throughout the issue. More than the mysterious gathering of the Manhunters, more than staying close to Lyssa Drak when she’s proven herself untrustworthy, and even more than the father/daughter dynamic with Soranik. This book relies on Bunn writing Sinestro well. Here, he’s written incredibly well. This may say a bit too much about my own preferences, but this issue felt like the climax of a Dragon Ball Z saga and that’s a damn good thing! Bunn perfectly takes Sinestro through his traumatic past with the love of his life, the destruction of his home planet and many other notable events in this lantern’s history, just to build him up for the perfect realization. He can do this. He can win. That is the stuff of legends! That is why we read superhero comics! I want that comeback story. You want that feel good moment. We want this! When Sinestro finally snaps out of the pain, and uses his knowledge to plan an attack, its pure DBZ all over again. Sinestro even calls for his Corps members on Earth to send him power! Come on, it doesn’t get more Goku than that.
The art just slag a bit in the final pages, the DC heroes are still given too much screen time and the cliffhanger seems a bit weird, considering Sinestro could just rest easy for a week and be good again. Still, it doesn’t take away from all the good karma that was built before then. This is one helluva issue.
Sinestro #20 earns 4.5/5