SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Justice League #2 by Scott Snyder, Jorge Jimenez, Alejandro Sanchez and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
Geoff Johns changed the DC Universe forever when he introduced the idea that there were Lanterns for more colors and emotions than just green; there was a Spectrum of Light that had Red Lanterns powered by Rage, Yellow Lanterns powered by Fear, Blue Lanterns inspired by Hope and more besides.
Now, thanks to the destruction of the Source Wall at the end of Dark Nights: Metal, the heroes of the DC Universe are being exposed to new cosmic forces making their presence known in their reality, including entirely undiscovered spectrums of power; an Invisible Emotional Spectrum. This week’s Justice League #2 not only introduces the first of these new Lantern Corps, but we learn that there’s a long history behind the search for them and their leader is someone very familiar.
According to Lex Luthor, there are seven hidden forces of the universe and thanks to the fall of the Source Wall, they’re no longer hidden. While flying through space on a top-secret mission for the Guardians of the Universe, John Stewart is accosted by the man who has unlocked one of these hidden forces, and of course it’s Sinestro.
Now wielding an Ultraviolet Power Ring, Sinestro notes that he has been looking for the Invisible Emotional Spectrum for a long time and his return to the classic purple and black costume isn’t merely nostalgia for Super Friends on Snyder’s part. Sinestro tells John that he wore those colors following his exile from the Green Lantern Corps because he was searching for the power of the Invisible Emotional Spectrum, and now he’s unlocked it he’s going to make John Stewart his first recruit.
Sinestro was first cast out of the Green Lantern Corps for using the power granted to him by the Guardians of the Universe and becoming a dictator on his home planet of Korugar. Exiled to the anti-matter dimension of Qward, its weaponeers forged Sinestro a yellow power ring capable of breaching the Green Lanterns’ defenses but this new revelation changes everything we thought we knew about the villain. It seems that everything he’s done, all the fear he’s inflicted on the universe, was merely a consolation prize because he couldn’t unlock the secrets of the Invisible Emotional Spectrum, until now.
Sinestro was already one of the most dangerous people in the entire DC Universe when he wielded a power that could be understood in its relation to the rest of the forces on the visible Emotional Spectrum, but powered by the mysterious Ultraviolet Light, he could be unstoppable.
While we don’t see how the Ultraviolet Power Ring works or even what emotion it’s powered by, it seems to be able to control people to a certain degree as Sinestro sends John Stewart, now the first Ultraviolet Lantern, to attack his colleagues in the Justice League and while Sinestro may be the discoverer and founder of the Ultraviolet Corps, John Stewart introduces himself as its head and orders his teammates to die.
The Ultraviolet Ring controlling someone and making them do something against their will isn’t exactly an entirely new concept, as several of the rings in the visible Emotional Spectrum have similar properties. The Indigo Lanterns are all former criminals forced to feel unending depths of compassion and empathy, while Larfleeze’s Orange Lantern Ring captures the souls of those it murders and turns them into constructs.