After reading Batman 23.2: Riddler, I wasn't sure if I'd go back for more Villains Month, but the idea of an issue all Sinestro's was too good to pass up. Sinestro played a pivotal role in the building of Geoff Johns' legendary Green Lantern run. He's a multilayered villain with morals and motive beyond money and not liking heroes very much; plus he makes awesome constructs. It is because of all of this that I am afraid to say this issue was the worst kind of disappointment, a flashback issue. Let me rephrase that, not just a flashback issue, an origin issue.
That's right, an origin issue for one of the lead characters in one of DC's leading properties. Worse yet, the issue falls back on the ever-exhausting plot device known as Lyssa Drak to tell this tiresome tale.
Lyssa's origin goes back to the celebrated Sinestro Corps War arc in Green Lantern. Since that time, however, she's quickly fallen from feared Sinestro Corps soldier to founding member of the Exposition Corps. She kicks things off in classic info dump form, delivering a monolog to rationalize all of her talking to come. (This way no one in outer space judges her) We then launch into the epic origin of Sinestro.
This became frustrating fast as it immediately builds to one of the most exhausted Green Lantern moments, the one where we see them light up in the suit for the first time. These guys have lost and regained their rings so many times in the last few years that a shot of them making a Green Lantern costume like this one is almost at once per graphic novel rate. I'd be surprised if you're allowed to pitch a story without one.
The rest of the book, then, is really just a colorful Wikipedia page although it moves far too quickly to really paint an accurate portrait of Sinestro. Here are the highlights; Sinestro was an architect, he got a ring, became a dictator, got beat up and his ring taken, made a new ring, got beat up, got his old ring back, got beat up, got his new old ring back and beat some people up, and then he flew away. All of that for the price of a gallon of gas. Take that recession!
My original understanding was that Villains Month was supposed to show what the villains were up to while the heroes were out of commission due to the events of Forever Evil. Batman 23.2: Riddler showed me this needed to be bigger than a villain pulling off a heist. I thought Sinestro would be just the guy to find something more meaningful to do with the free time. DC, however, chose to pass up on this opportunity to remind us where he came from and what he was doing in the Spring. Hopefully it's to set the stage for the soon to be announced Off Broadway surprise smash hit "Springtime for Sinestro".
Perhaps the fault is in my logic in the selection of the book. Maybe the real advantage in Villains Month is for the publisher. It's a chance to let the villain breathe a little without the hero to share page time with. I could see this working for a more obscure villain like…and that's how this reviewer just talked himself into giving Villains Month another go.
Have any books released so far? Leave suggestions below and stay tuned to Fanboys Anonymous see which villain I take on next.