Comic Book History: DC’s Sinestro Corps Wars (Green Lantern)

If there’s one reason why Green Lantern Hal Jordan and writer Geoff Johns are so highly regarded, it’s the Sinestro Corps Wars. This is considered by many to be a perfect event book. A jaw dropping story with high stakes that not only changed many elements of Green Lantern, and the DCU as a whole, but setup the next big story. Sinestro Corps Wars is easily the best event book I have ever read.

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A few years prior, Geoff Johns returned Hal Jordan to the DCU in Rebirth. A decent story that corrected much of the characters incongruencies. Afterwards, not much happened. Two years went by and Hal went about his general spacecop/test pilot business. The Lantern Corp had been restored. The Infinite Crisis abated. Superboy Prime, along with the head of Hank Hensaw, Cyborg Superman, imprisoned on Lantern home world Oa. And Kyle Rayner was in possession of Ion, the embodiment of willpower, similar to Parallax (essentially he was a superpowered Green Lantern).

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Sinestro, having been banished to the antimatter universe, amassed an army. Like he they were equipped with yellow rings, reliant on fear rather than willpower. They launched an attack on Oa. Aside from causing massive casualties, they managed to free Superboy Prime and Henshaw, along with capturing Kyle. On Qward, Sinestro’s home base in the antimatter universe, he separates Kyle from Ion, allowing Parallax to take hold. On Qward, it was not only revealed that Sinestro had the Manhunters under his control (the Guardians first and failed attempt at a police force), but he was actually following the orders of the Anti-Monitor, who had not been seen since Crisis on Infinite Earths.

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Seeing the situation dire, the Guardians rewrote the laws in their Sacred Book of Oa, allowing the Lanterns to use lethal force against Sinestro’s forces. This set the stage for a final battle on Earth between the two armies. Before the climactic battle, two of the Guardians, Ganthet and Sayd, revealed to the Earth Lanterns the prophecy of the Blackest Night. That five more corps will rise, and the War of Light will ensue. Once they fall, the Blackest Night would follow.

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The story was told in biweekly chapters across the Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps book. Aside from a handful of one-shots, there were no tie-ins and the story didn’t affect any other titles in the DCU line. When this was published in 2007, event fatigue was high after company wide crossovers bogging down the entire line with Infinite Crisis and Marvel’s Civil War. This avoided that pitfall while not only telling a complete story, but setting up the next, not becoming a means to an end.

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On a side note, there was a small build up for this. Yellow rings were appearing across the galaxy, with one finding Batman. Only because of his strong will was he able to reject it. John Stewart and Guy Gardener contained it before it found its secondary target, the Scarecrow.

Johns’ inspiration came from an old Alan Moore Green Lantern Corps story from 1986 entitled Tygers, which foretold the fall of the Corps. Essentially, from a rich, single page of comic Johns was able to weave one of the most epic tales the industry has ever scene.

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This story is why Green Lantern is held in such esteem, and why DC’s New 52 sees six ongoing GL titles (Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guarians, Red Lanterns, Larfeeze, and Sinestro). Many would argue the quality after Blackest Night diminished, but that doesn’t undermine the story here. Again, if you are the least bit interested in GL, try this. It was my first GL book too.

What’s your favorite event? Think this was the best GL has ever been? Comment below!

I’ve lent this book out more than any other.

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4 responses to “Comic Book History: DC’s Sinestro Corps Wars (Green Lantern)

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