Review by Frank Plowright
DC’s ‘New 52’ reboot of Green Lantern ended with pretty much the entire cast wiped out or discarded, presumed dead, and their greatest enemy Sinestro was a spent force. Never mind, because they’re all back here, almost as they were back in the day, even Hal Jordan who was converted to pure willpower. Yeah, only 399 of 7200 Green Lanterns survived, but who knew all 7200 anyway, and 399 is more than enough to encompass anyone’s favourite individual Green Lantern. There are two ways to look at this. The first is that it’s a cheap and easy way of re-setting the status quo, and what’s the point of reading any superhero graphic novel if it’s going to be that simple? It’s insulting the intelligence of the readership. The second is to acknowledge that mistakes had been made, what most readers want is what’s now been restored, and ‘New 52’ was such a pig’s ear of an idea it deserves no better.
Robert Venditti is left with a single Green Lantern series in which the original spacefaring article takes top billing, Sinestro and his henchmen are again a threat and the remainder of the Green Lanterns gradually take more of a role. In Sinestro’s Law it’s Guy Gardner as the lead guest star. Due to the diligence of Geoff Johns in reconstructing him, Sinestro is a far more faceted and fascinating character, many steps on from the revenge-driven despot he once was. His current plan is that the Sinestro Corps maintain his idea of universal order, collected doses of concentrated fear powering his fear engine. He’s helped by a feared quasi-religious order, the Sacrament, this devised by Venditti.
Ethan Van Sciver’s dynamic pages introduce the new series, but the majority of the art is by Rafa Sandoval, and that’s a mixed blessing. There’s a hollow gloss to his art, with an awful lot of the improbably muscled cast in spray-on costumes, hanging around posing in mid-air, minimal backgrounds and the colouring of Tomeu Morey responsible for adding a lot of the depth. Van Sciver’s other contributions concentrate more on the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro, with Hal Jordan off panel, and this is far more expansive art, incorporating a greater design element, and so much more imaginative layouts.
Much of Sinestro’s Law is Venditti moving chess pieces into place. Sinestro may have a consistent, if corrupt, worldview, but has nonetheless gathered a massive army of brutes to follow his will, while the outnumbered Green Lantern Corps score a few minor victories. The wild cards are Jordan and Soranik, Sinestro’s daughter, who’d hoped to change his forces into something good. Everything comes together in a suitably apocalyptic finale, but reaching there is a slog in places, with dull pontification, justification and monologuing slowing the pace. However, by the end the decks have been cleared, leaving Venditti able to carry on with Bottled Light entirely his own vision.