Comic Review – “The Sinestro Corps War”

Most of the titles I read are Marvel, but not all of them.

General Information

Title: The Sinestro Corps War

Author(s): Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, Peter Tomasi, Ron Marz, Alan Burnett

Penciller(s): Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, Pat Gleason, Angel Unzueta, Jamal Igle, Patrick Blaine, Michael Lacombe, Adriana Melo, Jerry Ordway, Pete Woods, Pascal Alixe

Inker(s): Ethan Van Sciver, Oclair Albert, Tom Nguyen, Prentis Rollins, Drew Geraci, Vincente Cifuentes, Jerry Ordway, Rebecca Buchman, Dan Davis, Derek Fridolfs, Julio Ferreira, Jay Leisten, Michael Lacombe, Marlo Alquiza, Pete Woods
Colorist(s): Moose Baumann, Guy Major, J.D. Smith, David Curiel, Rod Reis, Jeromy Cox, Jason Wright, Brad Anderson
Cover Date: August 2007 through February 2008


Sinestro has created a Corps of his own, based on fear rather than willpower. After quietly completing his recruitment drive, his Corps takes the Green Lanterns head on, causing some important changes for the Green Lantern title and setting up DC’s summer 2009 event.

Issues and Reading Order

As a crossover, this event ran through multiple titles (Green Lantern Vol. 4, Green Lantern Corps) and one-shots. The story was written in a two prong fashion, so you could read “Green Lantern” and get a complete story, or read “Green Lantern Corps” and get a complete story, as they primarily focussed on different characters. Similarly, the “Tales of…” segments further explore some of the characters involved without including anything which was critical to the understanding of the other titles. Still, if you plan to read it all, there is definitely a preferred reading order. This is usually easy to figure out thanks to the part numbers on the covers, but the “Tales of…” chapters can spoil events if read out of order. The appropriate reading order is as follows:

  1. Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special
  2. Green Lantern #21
  3. Green Lantern Corps #14
  4. Green Lantern #22
  5. Green Lantern Corps #15
  6. Green Lantern #23
  7. Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Parallax
  8. Green Lantern Corps #16
  9. Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Cyborg Superman
  10. Green Lantern #24
  11. Green Lantern Corps #17
  12. Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman-Prime
  13. Green Lantern Corps #18
  14. Green Lantern #25
  15. Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Ion
  16. Green Lantern Corps #19

The fallout of the event continues with the Alpha Lanterns and Sinestro Corps War Crimes stories going on in both ongoing titles, but these are the ones that had the “Sinestro Corps War” stamps on the covers. There was also a “Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Secret Files and Origins” one shot with little more than a “who’s who” guide to the known members of the Corps. It doesn’t really have a plot significant to the event, so it’s not included in this review.

High Point

The role Coast City plays. Damn, that was a great moment.

Low Point

DC’s drive to hit the schedule in “Corps” using whatever means necessary rather than maintaining a coherent look and feel. Check out Green Lantern Corps #17 for the worst offender, using 4 pencillers and 5 inkers in a single issue rather than delay it a few weeks. They had the same problem in the Ion series, where the look is horribly inconsistent for reasons not readily apparant when reading the stories a few months later. I think Marvel made the right decision when they delayed the end of Civil War by a few months to make sure McNiven and Vines could finish the art themselves. It’s a much better read a few months down the road. They allowed the final chapter in Green Lantern #25 to be delayed. Why not the Corps title as well? The delay on Corps would have even allowed for the room needed to get GL#25 out with the same pacing between the issues, serving both purposes with a better finished product.

The Scores

The originality of the title comes mainly from implications. This is a really big fight, and we’ve seen those many times before. However, the changes to the Green Lantern title seen here and promised for the future are big. Geoff Johns is the master of the non-retcon, reinterpreting the past in a manner that seems more like revelation than rewrite. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is, as you may have guessed, uneven. The art in the “Green Lantern” title, spearheaded by Van Sciver and Reis, is excellent. The spreads in the kickoff special and GL #25 are both excellent. (Look closely in “Green Lantern #25”, and you’ll find a few “easter eggs” in the Corps memberships.) The Corps title is generally good, but really starts to suffer when multiple artists bring different styles to the work just to maintain a schedule. Still, when it’s good, it’s great. 5 out of 6.

The story is the most satisfying major crossover event I read in 2007. It tied into the whole universe, spanned multiple titles in a way that allowed you to just read part of the line without fear of misunderstanding (as long as you read the opening one shot), kept the adrenaline pumping, showed the DC Universe at its best, set up future plotlines, changed its corner of the universe, and was a heck of a lot of fun to read. This is crossover writing at its best. I give it 6 out of 6.

The characterization is well done, with great moments for Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, Ganthet, Sayd, John Stewart, Sinestro, Hank Henshaw, Solinik Natu, Superman-Prime, Sodom Yat, the entire population of Coast City and more. Given how much of this series was spent with characters hitting each other with fists and energy constructs, that’s a very impressive feat. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was great. This was a heck of a lot of fun, and delivers the “pure fun action with lasting implications in event part two of three” promise Marvel made with World War Hulk far better than that event did. Highly recommended. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow has only two minor blips. The main one is in the inconsistent art I’ve already described a couple of times. The second is the loss of momentum in the “Tales of the Sinestro Corps” specials, which is probably why they weren’t numbered as pieces of the main series in the first place. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is just plain recommended. If you’ve already got enough background in the Green Lantern titles to know who Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, Sinestro and Parallax are, then pick this up right now and enjoy yourself. If you don’t have that background, hit Wikipedia first and then pick this up. The biggest problem in the series lead to a score in the relevant categories of only 5 out of 6. That says a lot right there. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, The Sinestro Corps War receives 38 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

Secret Invasion coverage will get caught up this week.

3 replies on “Comic Review – “The Sinestro Corps War””

  1. Trades?
    Well, sounds excellent, and from the snippets I’ve seen it looks like a blast. Any idea on the timeline for TPBs, and on how they plan to collect them together?

    BTW, speaking of non-Marvel titles: if you’re not already reading Blue Beetle, you should be. ;)

    • Re: Trades?

      BTW, speaking of non-Marvel titles: if you’re not already reading Blue Beetle, you should be. ;)

      I haven’t read the new Blue, but I may be reviewing the current arc in the surprisingly good Booster Gold, in which a few Beetles (including the current) have appeared.

    • Re: Trades?

      Well, sounds excellent, and from the snippets I’ve seen it looks like a blast. Any idea on the timeline for TPBs, and on how they plan to collect them together?

      I forgot to include the links. It’s coming in three volumes, and the first is out. volume 1 and volume 2 collect the main event, while Tales of the Sinestro Corps collects the rest.

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