by Brian Truitt)
One thing Sinestro doesn't have to be afraid of is lack of screen time in his new comic book.
Debuting Wednesday, the new DC Comics series Sinestro by writer Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun) and artist Dale Eaglesham puts the former Green Lantern and archenemy of Hal Jordan at the center of a cosmic adventure involving his family, his people and his never-ending confidence and pride bordering on pomposity.
"Here's a character who genuinely believes in his every action," Bunn says. "He believes he can bring order to the universe, save his people, beat back the forces of darkness, and be recognized as the hero he truly is. His narcissism knows no bounds."
The force of will powered his light as a member of the Green Lantern Corps, but Sinestro is best known for being the leader of the Sinestro Corps, fueled by the yellow light of fear.
He's more shocked than anything, however, in the first arc of the series. He believes his people, the Korugarians, are no more. But Sinestro discovers there are still Korugarian refugees in the galaxy and, because of his actions, they're suffering from hatred and persecution.
"This is something Sinestro cannot abide," Bunn says, "and he sets out on a new mission — to rescue his people and restore them to glory, whether they like it or not."
Sinestro picks up shortly after the current event series Forever Evil, which features Sinestro on Earth helping out Batman, Lex Luthor, Catwoman and others trying to take the evil Crime Syndicate from Earth 3. Afterward, Sinestro goes into hiding, but his new mission puts him back in the spotlight and into conflict with a terrifyingly powerful group called The Paling that poses a major threat to Sinestro's agenda, according to Bunn.
The new book is set in space, with Bunn introducing a number of new planets, races and governments to the Sinestro mythos. Fans of the old Sinestro Corps are in luck: The infamous group of fearmongers is back, and readers will catch up on what they've been up to since they were left to their own devices following their leader's departure.
"When Sinestro returns, he realizes that he needs the Corps, but he also wants to give them a new mission," Bunn says. "Both his reappearance and his new edicts will not sit well with every member of the Corps."
The writer is introducing two new characters, Dez Trevius and Rigen Kale, to Sinestro's "core" team, he says. "They both have pretty interesting backgrounds and agendas that will be revealed over time."
Old faces will be reappearing as well. As usual, there are still lingering issues between nemeses Sinestro and Jordan, and Bunn teases that some of those will be addressed in the first five chapters of the new series.
Meanwhile, Parallax, the dangerous entity that most recently possessed Sinestro during the collective battle against the First Lantern, has his status hinted at in those early issues. But that mystery will simmer a little, according to Bunn.
The creepiest character in Sinestro's life is the villainess Lyssa Drak, Bunn says, "so of course she'll feature prominently in this book."
The last time folks saw her, the words of the Book of Parallax were branded on her flesh. This has a major impact on Lyssa, the writer says, "and leads her to track down Sinestro and bring him out of exile. She becomes Sinestro's closest — if not necessarily trusted — ally.
Sinestro's daughter Soranik Natu, who took after her dad and joined the Green Lantern Corps, definitely plays a big role in the series, especially after the first issue.
"Her relationship with her father isn't just strained, it's shattered," Bunn says. "She mistrusts and hates him.
"Sinestro, on the other hand, loves Soranik in his own way, and it drives him crazy that she doesn't idolize him. He's convinced, though, that given enough time Soranik will come to respect him."
Bunn also tackles another longtime bad guy in Marvel Comics' Magneto series. The big difference, though, is "Magneto knows that he is doing 'bad things' for the right reason," the writer says. "Sinestro, on the other hand, may do 'bad things' but he genuinely believes that he is taking the righteous path."
And as he embarks on a new mission, Sinestro seems to have abandoned fear to some degree.
"To his way of thinking, there's nothing left to be afraid of," Bunn says. "He feels as though his dedication as a Lantern has cost him everything, and he's 'retired' to live a quiet life of self-imposed exile.
"But he soon finds that there are still some things that frighten him. That fright, in turn, angers him enough to stir him back into action."