SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Justice League #3 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
Geoff Johns changed everything we thought we knew about the Green Lantern mythos over a decade ago when he introduced the concept of an entire spectrum of light. Suddenly, the green power of will was just one cosmic force among a number of different colored Lantern Corps.
First, we were introduced to the Yellow Lanterns of Fear, and shortly afterwards we learned about Red for Rage, Blue for Hope, Violet for Love, Indigo for Compassion and Orange for Avarice. It turned the DC Universe’s cosmic scene upside-down in ways that we’re still feeling to this day, providing a jumping off point for creators in the future to explore the possibilities of an entire emotional spectrum of light.
That’s exactly what Scott Snyder and his collaborators are doing right now in Justice League, as Sinestro has unlocked the hidden power of the Ultraviolet Lantern Corps, one of the seven hidden forces of the universe locked away behind the Source Wall. The last issue of Justice League saw John Stewart forcibly recruited into the Ultraviolet Lantern Corps against his will and this week’s issue not only reveals the true potential of his new power set, but the origins of the new Corps, who their founder is and just how big their membership is.
Justice League #3 does something few comics set in the DC Universe have ever thought to, giving readers a flashback featuring a young Sinestro, prior to his induction in the Green Lantern Corps. As far as we've known, Thaal Sinestro’s entire life has been dedicated to either the Green Lanterns or his eponymous Yellow Lanterns, but Justice League #3 introduces us to a Sinestro who is already famous across the galaxy as an intergalactic anthropologist. It seems that prior to joining the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro was somewhat of a spacefaring Indiana Jones, discovering lost cosmic forces and forgotten relics of long lost civilizations.
It was hinted in Justice League #2 that Sinestro had been searching for the power of the Ultraviolet Corps for a long time, and this week’s issue confirms it. More, it explains his classic purple and black costume's return, as it was something he wore because it was made of “ancient fibers described in lost tomes to channel unseen energy.” Our flashback scene with Sinestro is brief, but illuminating; counter to what we’ve come to expect from Sinestro, he was actually seeking to lock the unseen power away, not harness it for himself.
Unfortunately, fate got to him first as he was ushered into a whole new life as a member of the Green Lantern Corps, but he never forgot what his original mission was. But now, it has been calibrated to fit in with a new outlook on the universe only decades of experience could provide. Rather than trying to lock the power of the unseen light away, Sinestro has managed to harness it to his own ends, wielding it against the Green Lantern Corps’ leader John Stewart, whom he sent to attack the Justice League as the Ultraviolet Lantern.