In the last few issues of YEAR TWO, we saw Superman go from violently smashing Sinestro into the moon to working side by side with him. Needless to say, it's a little odd to have this alliance casually grow out of nowhere -- especially given Sinestro's history -- so writer Tom Taylor dedicates this chapter to showing us why Clark is cool working with Sinestro.
A very large percentage of this revolves around Sinestro explaining why he and Superman want the same thing and draws parallels between their experiences. The former Green Lantern telling his story of loss and betrayal is cleverly handled. We're treated to his side of the story, but unlike Superman, we also get to witness both sides of the story. The captions of his dialogue are often placed over panels revealing what truly happened. What he's saying compared to what's actually occurring is most definitely an entertaining experience.
In spite of being a story about Sinestro's path to villainy, Taylor still manages to sneak a few laughs into the script. I've grown to really enjoy his handling of the Flash, and given the fact he won't die (since he's a main character in the game), it's nice to know we'll likely continue to see more and more from the character. Although, given the tone of this book, incapacitation is a possibility. Well, I'll just have to hope that doesn't happen to the speedster because his blunt remarks often give a nice little dose of levity when they're needed the most. It would be seriously cool if Taylor finds a way to make him face-off with Guy Gardner -- another character he fills with wit -- when the war eventually hits. That has the potential to be hugely amusing.
Mike S. Miller's character work thrives with Sinestro. I'm not the biggest fan around of the short displays with the rest of the cast and Korugar's cloudy conditions don't give Rex Lokus too much room to shine, yet the variety of expressions from the Yellow Lantern -- be it sadness or rage -- really leaves a mark and gives this cosmic character so much more life as we witness the unfolding of his story. There's some particularly creative panel layouts which compliment the story incredibly well, too. That said, the real attention-grabber is a double-page spread of a seemingly happy and proud Sinestro soaring through space. From the eye-catching sea of stars to the vibrant glow around his costume, it's a page that's certain to leave an impression. Also sure to leave an impression is Sinestro's "encounter" with Kilowog.
I understand why some exposition is needed for Sinestro ("why should we trust him?" is a conversation that needs to happen and it's understandable to assume some readers don't know the alien), but with so many gripping developments taking place in this universe, it feels as though this chapter dedicates too much time to telling us about Sinestro and not enough time juggling potential plot developments. Yes, it's well told, but if you're already familiar with the basics surrounding Thaal Sinesto -- which I believe many of you are -- then it'll likely come off as feeling somewhat unnecessary.
While I've been mostly enjoying this second volume's slow burn, this departure from overall story's progression is sure to really upset the crowd claiming several issues have been "filler."
Minor gripe: some of Miller's facial work with Flash and Superman comes off as a bit too exaggerated and a pose or two felt a little stiff.
Sinestro's a character that has always appealed to me, so it should come as no surprise this latest chapter kept a pretty good grip on my interest. The presentation of Thaal's tale is intelligently executed, but you can't help but feel that it's a major departure from the "big picture." Yes, it's completely understandable that Sinestro needs to be given depth -- especially for new readers -- but ultimately, it doesn't bring anything new to the overall narrative or pack the same kind of punch and intrigue that the other chapters possess. It's still an enjoyable issue, but given the fact so many promising plot points are floating around, it would be been great to have it tackle more than just Sinestro's past.