Friday, November 21, 2008

Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War

By Geoff Johns and David Gibbons and Peter J. Tomasi

Art by Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason, and Ethan Van Sciver

After reading Marvel’s space opera, Uncanny X-men: Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire, I decided to read DC’s take on the genre. Like Marvel’s X-men story, DC’s Green Lantern epic is in several volumes, and has not yet been concluded.

First off, I have to admit to some bias, as I’ve always been a Marvel fan and only followed DC sporadically. I grew up with the Marvel characters and can fully appreciate the history and references. When terrible things happen to them, I feel like it is happening to people I know. I don’t have that connection with the DC characters. So, despite a great many terrible things happening to the Green Lanterns (the body count is high), it doesn’t resonate fully with me. That said this is a roller coaster of a tale, with plenty of action and the dark, grand scale you expect of a war story. There are lots of splash pages, but they aren’t wasted. They are crowded with creatures from hundreds of worlds battling each other, or filled with alien vistas, or those huge gotcha story moments -- all of which contribute to the realization of the cosmic world of the embattled Green Lanterns.

For those like my self, who aren’t as familiar with the DC universe, Sinestro is a former Green Lantern who was stripped of his ring when he abused his powers. That's his very angry face in the picture. He was Hal Jordan’s mentor in the Corps, and it was Hal who realized Sinestro had gone from helping keep order to imposing order, and turned him in. Needless to say, the former Green Lantern has a special animosity for Hal. And with the help of some fairly powerful villains, Sinestro forms an anti-Green Lantern Corps, whose mandate is to spread fear.

As far as the art goes, let me just say I’m adding Ethan Van Sciver and Ivan Reis to my favorite artists list. Wow! I could heartily recommend this book on their work alone. It is reminiscent of Neal Adams, but more detailed. Van Sciver especially so, and plus he has a talent for making the horrible really creepy. Compare his full page splash of the Parallax host in the Prologue of Volume One to Reis’ in Chapter One of Volume One.

To reserve Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Volume One, click here; for Volume Two, click here; and for Tales of the Sinestro Corps, click here.

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