The cover: This is a rare treat: Kevin Nowlan created the artwork for this 3D Motion Cover. Looked at in the expected way, Sinestro stares at his ring, contemplating this power, against a star field and two moons. When moved, he’s lost his hair, or it’s shaved close to the skull, his yellow costume has been changed to grey prison-like togs, and his mouth is open in a scream as his yellow ring produces constructs of several skulls. It’s quite the change-up. Outside of the motion cover, the frame for the artwork is a yellow cloud on a star field. I know it’s corny, but I liked that yellow cloud frame. This looks good and teases Sinestro out of his element and under attack by his ring. Overall grade: A
The story: “The Night, Both Fearful and Dark” by Cullen Bunn opens “Five Years Later…” on Tartaros, an “ultra-max” penitentiary. As readers are taken past the guards and the cornucopia of aliens the focus falls upon one inmate: Sinestro. He is missing his ring finger (and, obviously, his ring), and he rubs the spot of his missing digit, thinking about how his goals of conquest have fled…or have they? As he walks through several corridors, he comes upon another prisoner (Natromo, the keeper of Indigo light), whom he gives a piece of a drone. The friend states he doesn’t know if it will work, but “we may have enough now.” This gives the former yellow lantern hope. Outside he spies the group that brought him to his downfall, the Apex League. This is a new group of characters that fit the cheesy mode of “new” villains from the 1970s or 1980s. Seeing them causes Sinestro to flashback as to what placed him in his present situation, and this I enjoyed. I would rather have seen more of this, but hopefully Bunn will be able to incorporate all, or part of this, into a later/future story. It doesn’t take too much effort to ascertain what Natromo is building and on Page 11 Sinestro and fans get what they want. Pages 15 and 16 have one character’s exit done in beautifully dramatic style. Say what you will of this individual, that’s the way to go out. It’s with this character’s death that Sinestro has his key for reforming his corps, and I did not see it coming. The ending was exactly what Sinestro would do to become the “guardian” of the universe and it was perfection. I loved it, and would love for this to be a series. Make it happen, Cullen! Great future tale with a character making a major transition. Overall grade: A
The art: This is my first exposure to penciller Igor Lima and inker Ruy Jose. This pair do a bang-up job on the visuals. This is a slickly detailed looking book that opens with the duo producing a nice introduction to Tartaros. The robots (okay, “cybernetic murder machines”) that guard the facility are really nicely done, especially with their legs looking very different from most robot overlords. There are also many varied aliens they create to populate the facility. Really well done. I wasn’t too thrilled with the Apex League, though. I didn’t like them in the story and they don’t really stand out visually. The flashback sequence is beautiful. I would love to see Lima and Jose get to do more of this. The beginning of the action in the present is sharp and, again, really loaded with details. The final two pages perfectly illustrate the transformation of Sinestro and the final page had me cheering. Sigh…If only it had continued. I was very impressed with Lima and Jose and I hope to see them doing more work for DC, or any other company. Overall grade: A
The colors: Also doing a good job is Jason Wright on colors. The opening page used green wonderfully to make the setting alien, and the glare from the sun would make J.J. Abrams jealous. I liked that Sinestro’s narration was placed in yellow boxes outlined in orange to make them stand out against the rusty penitentiary setting. The coloring really exploded in the flashback during the final battle of the Sinestro Corps. It helped that it’s not in the same setting as the opening and the orange-red planet provided Wright a spectacular backdrop for all the ring slinging. The last two pages employed an entirely different color scheme and it’s amazing. Wright is really strong on this book. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Lantern legend Dave Sharpe provides narration, opening credits, robot speak, Apex League identification, screams, yells, and sound effects. All look good, but it would have been nice to have an alien or two have a font that emphasized their alien-ness. Overall grade: A
The final line: I really liked it, as the ending knocked it out of the park for me. Starts a little slow, but the flashback picks things up and that ending–Wow! Even if you’ve never read a Sinestro comic before, you could completely enjoy this. Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.