Warning: The following article contains spoilers for The Green Lantern #12, by Grant Morrison, Liam Sharp, Steve Oliff and Tom Orzechowski, on sale now.
As Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps battle against Hal's terrifying counterpart from the Anti-Matter Universe in the last issues of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp's first major story arc on The Green Lantern, the intergalactic peacekeeping force receives timely assistance from an unlikely source: The Anti-Matter incarnation of longtime Green Lantern antagonist Sinestro.
Considerably more heroic and friendly than his doppelgänger in the main DC Universe just as the Anti-Matter Hal Jordan is a villainous figure, monstrously transformed through extensive cybernetics and barely recognizable as the DCU's iconic superhero. Further reflecting the inversion, the Anti-Matter Sinestro's outfit has the colors reversed from his classic depiction in the DCU, making him a full mirrored version as he swoops in to save the day against his Anti-Matter enemy, rescuing Hal.
In introducing a new incarnation of Sinestro, Morrison and Sharp looked back to the original, physical inspiration for the character's creation: Prolific British actor David Niven. While the main DCU Sinestro is usually depicted as being completely humorless, arrogant and unfailingly stoic as he faces off against both the heroes and cosmic horrors within the universe, the Anti-Matter Sinestro shares Niven's sardonic wit as the fight against the Anti-Matter Hal becomes increasingly desperate, with the cybernetic villain revealing he hasn't even reached his full power.
Across its history, the DCU has introduced many radical reimaginings of its most iconic characters, from a Soviet Superman to a Victorian Batman. The Green Lantern mythos has largely remained unaltered over the years across different, alternate continuity depictions, with several notable exceptions. In crafting The Green Lantern, Morrison and Sharp have reintroduced a stoner Green Lantern harkening back from Morrison's classic run on Animal Man and an alternate universe Batman wielding a Green Lantern Power Ring while leaving the character's supporting cast untouched. However, Sinestro's various multiversal depictions had usually skewed more towards the stern, mustachioed villain from the main DCU.
This all changes with the sojourn deep into the Anti-Matter Universe with this heroic vision, at once recognizable but with a wise-cracking personality reminiscent of Alfred Pennyworth. However, while the heroic Sinestro's appearance certainly saves the Green Lantern Corps for a moment, the unstoppable, cybernetic Hal Jordan of the Anti-Matter Universe mortally wounds his main DCU counterpart before continuing to undergo a monstrous transformation to grow even more powerful and poise a threat for the entire DC Multiverse.
With the villainous Controller Mu completely rewriting the DC Universe through use of a prototype Miracle Machine powered by stolen components, including the main DCU's Hal Jordan and his Green Lantern Power Ring, it is unclear if the Anti-Matter Universe Sinestro was similarly rewritten or retained after Mu's actions. However, his inclusion not only gave the Green Lanterns enough time to escape from a losing battle but also injects some much needed levity into the mythos with a fun twist on an iconic villain. For a property whose eponymous superhero is limited only by the constraints of his own imagination, the creative team of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp have made an addition to the franchise that is simultaneously classic, identifiable and just a lot of fun that helps break the tension of the issue's apocalyptic intensity without compromising the stakes. Here's to hoping that just as the Anti-Matter Hal Jordan has lived to fight another day, so has the Anti-Matter Sinestro.