Newsarama is the first to speak with writer Cullen Bunn before he makes his mark on the lantern universe with Sinestro. Check out some highlights of the interview below.
Bunn on where his interest in writing Sinestro started from:
I’ve always liked Sinestro on some level. Even as a kid, I thought he was one of my favorite parts of Challenge of the Super Friends!
But, let’s face it, he was always a bit of a mustache-twirling villain (and he does have a great mustache for it) until Geoff Johns got hold of him and gave him depth. Suddenly, he became a character readers could relate to. He had a past. He had goals (sometimes unreasonable goals, but goals nonetheless). And, even though his actions were evil, he became somewhat sympathetic. Whether he succeeded or failed, you wanted to be along for the ride.
That’s the Sinestro I hope to bring to this book. He’s not evil for the sake of being evil. But he wants something — be it redemption, glory, salvation, honor, or respect — and he’ll ruthlessly pursue it. But I think his reasoning… and his “mission”… will be understood by readers.
His methods, maybe not so much.
I’m drawing on a lot of influences here, I think. Geoff Johns’ run with the character. My love of science fiction and space opera in movies, comics, TV, and books. We’re talking everything from Lensman to Star Wars, Dune to Firefly, Dr. Who to Micronauts and Dreadstar and Atari Force, Foundation to Flash Gordon.
I’m also drawing on many of my influences from horror fiction, because there are some dark things going on in this book.
Arthurian legends have a significant impact on the story, too. I didn’t really notice that until Dale Eaglesham pointed it out, but those influences are there.
And I’d be lying if I didn’t say Breaking Bad and The Shield and Game of Thrones didn’t influence me a bit. At one point, I described Sinestro’s role in the book as “Jaime Lannister, having suddenly decided that he wants to be a hero for the people, finds all his terrible actions from the past standing in his way.”
I want this story to be fun and entertaining, but its tone is different than much of what I’ve worked on. If nothing else, the space epic/intrigue/horror vibe sets it apart.
Sinestro is a character who, to quote Pulp Fiction, is trying real hard to be the Shepherd. He wants to do the right thing. Now, that doesn’t necessarily set him apart from every other villain. However, the scope of his designs definitely gives him an angle. He’s an intergalactic conqueror who thinks he’s being a hero of the people.
I wouldn’t say he’s redeemed at the beginning of this story. Rather, I think he’s simply given up. He’s lost everything — his world, his people. I’ll leave it to the readers to decide if he can or can’t be redeemed. In Sinestro’s mind, though, he’s lost any hope of redemption.
Until Lyssa Drak shows up and gives him a glimmer of hope… and fear.
Sinestro definitely takes center stage, but the Sinestro Corps will be playing a big role in the book. This will be the story of Sinestro… mistrusted even by the Corps he founded… trying to “right the ship” so to speak. He’s trying to give the Yellow Lanterns focus. To do that, he has a new mission for them.
But there are more than a few Yellow Lanterns who will not be happy with these new marching orders.
…there will be plenty of Sinestro Corps members. You’ll see all your favorites. Maash and Karu-Sil and Murr the Melting Man will be there, among many others. Arkillo and Lyssa Drak will be there. There will be many new Lanterns, too, including Dez Trevius and Rigen Kale, a pair of characters I think readers will dig.
But the story will be Sinestro’s. While the other Lanterns will show up, they’ll definitely be there as supporting characters.
A few — Lyssa, Arkillo, Dez Trevius, and Rigen Kale — will act as a kind of inner council for Sinestro.
Soranik Natu will be very present in the book. She has an important — and surprising — role to play in the series.
What artist Dale Eaglesham brings to the series:
I’ve been a fan of Dale’s for a long time. He has a gift for bringing big, epic ideas to life on the page. He’s a terrific collaborator, too, and I think the book has improved… even in the early stages… by discussing the direction with him.