Review: Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Volume 2 collected hardcover (DC Comics)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What I found most impressive about The Sinestro Corps War, in retrospect, was the sheer amount that it changed for both the Green Lantern titles and the Green Lantern mythos. In that way, I equate the second volume of Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps Wars to something of a television show's season finale -- big on action, and when it ends, you find that nothing is what it used to be. Getting there, I still can't help but feel that The Sinestro Corps War spins its wheels for a while, but the effects are sure to be felt for a long time to come.

The biggest change that The Sinestro Corps War leaves behind is the Corps new authorization to use lethal force. In the great after-interview at the end of this collection, Geoff Johns talks about how allowing lethal force makes the Green Lantern Corps more realistic in comparison to the police and army, and also how he intended this new ability to cause discussion among the Green Lantern readership. This is fine with me; I'm not a fan of the Green Lanterns killing, and if Johns had made this change just to be "cool" I'd have to protest, but I appreciate that Johns is making a change -- the end result of which we haven't yet seen -- that is controversial and intended as such, and I'm eager to see where he takes this.

A number of other plotlines coming out of The Sinestro Corps War include Kyle Rayner's renewed status as Guy Gardner's partner, and the rejuvenation of Coast City. Both the scene of Coast City's residents waving green lanterns, and Guy and Kyle's final talk at the end of the book, were touching, and I was disappointed that they didn't get a bigger focus. The Coast City scene certainly deserved its own splash page instead of a half page, as opposed to the three or four splash pages of random battle scenes at the end of the book. And at the end, too, as much as I liked the exchange between Guy and Kyle, I was disappointed that Hal Jordan wasn't in the end, given his central role in the book.

This is just another way, in my opinion, that The Sinestro Corps War gets so caught up in being a grand battle that it loses, at times, some of the little moments. I talked before about how interesting I found the exchange between Corps member Natu and Sinestro; this falls away completely in the second volume. Some of this awkwardness has to do with how Johns and writers Dave Gibbons and Peter Tomasi split the characters in the story, such that there's often a delay in finding out what happens next to either the Earth Green Lanterns or the Corps; it makes the book move in fits and starts, without much deep detail paid to either.

Of course, we all know by now the revelations within this volume about the multi-spectrum Lanterns, including the Black Lanterns and the much touted forthcoming Blackest Night. I'm confident answers will come in time, but I'm left with about a gazillion questions -- Are all the spectrums animals like Ion and Parallax? Where did the animals come from? How was the Anti-Monitor resurrected? If there's 52 Monitors, aren't there 52 Anti-Monitors? Why is the Anti-Montior the guardian of the Sinestro Corps, and then why isn't it called the Anti-Monitor Corps -- and I tend to think it's too many questions left unanswered, especially for a "self-contained" trade. Some of these answers, I realize, may also be forthcoming in the Tales of the Sinestro Corps collection, as well, though I don't know if that excuses the loose ends.

I'm reminded of a DC Comics miniseries back in 1993 called Trinity, which starred Green Lantern, the L.E.G.I.O.N. and the Darkstars in a story tied to elements of Oan myth. I can't say if that was a better crossover than The Sinestro Corps War, or if nostalgia just clouds my recall, but I know there were fun scenes with Lobo and Boddika, and some other interaction between the groups.

I guess Trinity was a real crossover, whereas The Sinestro Corps War is more just a shared story between a family of titles, but still I wish there'd been more of a plot to The Sinestro Corps War, instead of what simply seemed to be a connected string of scenes where the characters run from here to there, and then battle. I'll be roasted alive for this, but I found Amazons Attack a more effective story than The Sinestro Corps War; Sinestro was better written, to be sure, but Amazons Attack had more quiet moments among the Justice League, which I might have preferred.

[Contains full covers; what came before; interview with writers and artists, including sketches.]

Three cheers, by the way, for the interview section that comes with volume two of The Sinestro Corps War; I know I've been critical of this book, but I appreciate DC including these extras to make the cost of the collection worthwhile. Thanks, DC!

Tune in next time as we finish our look at The Sinestro Corps War with Tales of the Sinestro Corps.
Collected Editions 2014 Comic Book Gift Guide
Get the Collected Editions scoop before anyone else -- on Facebook!

4 comments:

  1. The interview was great, wasn't it? Plus it gave us REAL deleted scenes, i.e. the Parallax Corps. Neat idea and I wish they found a way to use them, but the story has more than enough stuff going on as it is. They were right to do away with it.

    The unanswered Anti-Monitor questions bug me, too, though maybe they're saving them for Blackest Night, considering the ending. Or maybe not, since no one even questioned how the Anti-Monitor could exist, other than Ganthet making a throwaway comment about how "something else" might have come back with the multiverse (at the end of the first chapter of volume one). Not exactly a satisfying answer.

    Also, did you notice that they only included half of the Green Lantern Corps issue in the final chapter?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, really? I wasn't counting pages. Any idea what was missing from that other half-issue? Maybe they'll include it in the next Green Lantern Corps trade.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, I imagine that would be the case. I believe the parts missing are Guy meeting Ice, and Mongul getting a Sinestro Corps ring. (I'd say that's a spoiler, except that they gave it away in the solicits anyway.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Guy seeing Ice? Great, I've been waiting for that! No doubt they'll include it in the next trade; that's too important a scene to disappear.

    ReplyDelete