Another entry into Villains Month, another story told mostly in flashback. That’s what “Green Lantern #23.4: Sinestro” presents, which considering that Sinestro was a Green Lantern for a lot of the New 52 “Green Lantern,” run, feels a bit odd of a choice on the part of Matt Kindt and Dale Eaglesham. Because in the end, not only does this story feel not that inventive, it’s ultimately rather tired to boot.
Lyssa Drak from the Sinestro Corps is the narrator in “Green Lantern” #23.4, and it’s a smart choice since she was their record-keeper/historian up until recently. Kindt handles her well enough, reminding readers of her hero-worship of Sinestro as she recounts how he became originally a Green Lantern, and then a wielder of a Yellow Lantern. But after getting so much of a focus on Sinestro in the past few years, dredging up his history yet again feels like a misstep. There’s nothing terribly new or exciting here, and the manner in which it’s narrated gives a certain clinical distance to the character.
The problem is this is that there’s no hook that will make a new reader — presumably the person who wouldn’t be bored by another retelling of Sinestro’s origin — interested enough to want to see more about the character. Setting it firmly in the past avoids any sort of hook on caring about his present day exploits. There’s a tiny attempt to pull this into a current storyline in the three pages with Lyssa Drak, but they feel like too little too late. That revelation at the end of the story could have been built up towards a bit better, but instead it feels out of the blue and there for the sake of having some sort of twist.
Eaglesham’s art is nice in spots. I like the book border that Eaglesham has laid onto all of the flashback pages, even if it feels a little limiting in terms of the layouts that can fit well inside of it. His characters are always attractive and fun to look at, without a doubt. On the other hand, the fight between Sinestro and the Weaponeer of Qward feels a little awkward and not easy to follow, though; there are some strange storytelling choices in terms of angle and panel-to-panel progression that should have been fixed. All in all, the pluses outweigh the minuses, but there are some tweaks that could have been made to strengthen it all up a bit.
In the end, “Green Lantern” #23.4 tries hard but it’s not quite there. There’s a certain lethargic quality to the comic that’s pervaded a lot of Villains Month, turning what could have been fun and exciting into a bit of a slog. And that’s a real shame. These are creators from whom we’ve seen a lot better in the past, and I suspect will in the future, too; “Green Lantern” #23.4 just doesn’t work.