Friday, December 9, 2011

Fragmented, But Worthwhile, Tales Of The Sinestro Corps Fleshes Out The Sinestro Corps War Well!

The Good: Moments of character development, Artwork, Great encyclopedic resource
The Bad: Very fragmented, Does not tell a coherent story
The Basics: Still vital to readers of Green Lantern, Tales Of The Sinestro Corps is a series of vignettes that bridges some of the gaps in the main narrative of The Sinestro Corps War.

When I was busy kvetching about the gaps in the two volumes of The Sinestro Corps War, I knew full well that there existed Green Lantern: Tales Of The Sinestro Corps. I had not read the Tales Of The Sinestro Corps when I read the two separate volumes of the Sinestro Corps War, so I was unsure of how useful the book actually was at the time. What is worth noting right off the bat is that DC’s new omnibus publication The Sinestro Corps War does not include the stories in Tales Of The Sinestro Corps, making this volume still vital for those reading their way through the Green Lantern Saga.

Like most comic-related books with “tales” in the title, Tales Of The Sinestro Corps is a compilation of vignettes. The book does not have a single narrative and some of the character stories are basically short works of five to ten pages that profile some of the villains of the Sinestro Corps. As a result, there is no real plot to this book and the characters are established, but do not have real development.

The book opens with Amon-Sur (Abin-Sur’s son) arriving at the fear chambers where the Keeper Of The Book Of Parallax prepares him for his experience that will light his yellow power ring. There, Amon-Sur leanrs of Despotellis, the virus that killed Kyle Rayner’s mother. Despotellis’s story focuses on how the disease invoked fear in an entire sector by wiping out its inhabitants! Karu-Sil is explored next. Her story is a very simple one of a “girl raised by wolves,” except in this story the wolves are giant lizard creatures. The moment she turns on a human, it is pretty gruesome! The least inspired story is the story of Bedovia. Bedovia is characterized as an ancient evil who killed once and now waits in an asteroid field to kill again. Meh.

Amon-Sur then goes into his fear chamber and the book progresses. The story of Sinestro himself is recounted with how he met Hal Jordan and how alike the two were. That story is interesting, especially in light of the current DC universe reboot. Parallax is also given a spotlight as the parasitic entity is compared to Ion and it taunts Kyle Rayner while the infected Kyle/Parallax body is out in space actually killing members of the Green Lantern Corps.

Cyborg Superman is explored with his full story being revealed. His story is a little weird in that it reads a lot like the origin story for the Fantastic Four! That said, readers who just want to pick up Tales Of The Sinestro Corps, without all of the rest of the DC Universe stories that relate to the villain, this is a good way to get the essential information. In his story, Hank Henshaw (he even sounds like a Marvel character!) details the shuttle accident that cost him his wife’s life and his body. Recreated as an immortal that passes through machinery, Cyborg Superman has joined the Sinestro Corps in order to finally die. What the origin story, as presented in Tales Of The Sinestro Corps lacks is the story of how Sinestro found Henshaw and manipulated him into joining the Corps. One of the aspects of The Sinestro Corps War I enjoyed most was how it followed up on the dangling ending of Infinite Crisis (reviewed here!) by having Superboy Prime used by Sinestro to help instill fear in the galaxy. That elaboration continues in Tales Of The Sinestro Corps when Superboy Prime details his history for new readers. This does not make him a more credible villain, though.

One of the most credible villains explores, though, is Kryb. Told as the Green Lanterns take Qward, Kryb’s story as a baby-snatching crazy is recounted and it is troubling . . . especially for the pregnant Green Lantern who has to hear it. Tales Of The Sinestro Corps is fun in this way in that it is foreshadowing coming events that are pretty cool! Kyle Rayner gets a spotlight as he reflects on his experience after Parallax. The chapter with him, though, is less impressive in that it tends to muddy itself with a somewhat forced story between Kyle and Sodam Yat, who now has Ion.

Tales Of The Sinestro Corps then degenerates into an encyclopedia of the Green Lantern characters. I use “degenerates” very loosely here as the character guide is exceptionally in formative and imaginative. Each member of the Green Lantern Corps and Sinsestro Corps is presented (at varying sizes) and each one gets a blurb. This makes this section of Tales Of The Sinestro Corps an absolutely invaluable tool for anyone getting into the Green Lantern Saga.

The artwork in Tales Of The Sinestro Corps is homogenously fabulous. Usually, artwork really sticks out at me, especially if it is off, but in Tales Of The Sinestro Corps everything looks amazing.

Tales Of The Sinestro Corps is a surprisingly vital series of vignettes that stands poorly on its own, but is very worthwhile for those looking to complete their understanding of the Sinestro Corps War!

For other Green Lantern-related books, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Green Lantern: Rebirth
To Be A Lantern
The Sinestro Corps War - Volume One
The Sinestro Corps War - Volume Two
Ring Quest
Sins Of The Star Sapphire
Rage Of The Red Lanterns
Agent Orange
Emerald Eclipse
Blackest Night
Blackest Night: Green Lantern
Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps
Blackest Night: Tales Of The Corps
Brightest Day: Green Lantern
Brightest Day: Green Lantern Corps - Revolt Of The Alpha-Lanterns


For other book reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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