Every Wednesday from here until July 15th, the release date of DC Comics’ Blackest Night #1, we here at IoM will be presenting a history of each of the corps involved in the upcoming battle, as well as some background on the major players and the storylines leading up to the big event!
We started with the Green Lantern Corps and followed up with Atrocitus and The Red Lanterns. This week, we focus our attention on probably the most prevalent on the spectrum (save for the Green Lanterns), the Sinestro Corps!
Sinestro was once called the “Greatest of the Green Lantern Corps.” Created by John Broome and Gil Kane, Sinestro first appeared in Green Lantern (vol. 2) #7. In Space Sector 1417, on the planet Korugar, Sinestro was an anthropologist who specialized in reconstructing ruins of ancient civilizations. Much like Hal Jordan, Sinestro gained his Green Lantern ring when Lantern Prohl Gosgotha crashlanded into one of Sinestro’s antropological sites, and in his injured state, gave Sinestro the ring just in time for Gosgotha’s pursuer to show up. Sinestro had to destroy the ruins he had spent so much time restoring to defeat the villain, and Gosgotha then asked for the ring back, for the ring’s power would be the only thing to keep him alive long enough to get medical attention. Sinestro refused, allowing Gosgotha to die, and then took over the Lanter’s position.
Sinestro did extremely well in the Corps, but became obsessed with preserving order on Korugar. He conquered the planet, and ruled over it as a dictator, unbeknownst to the Guardians. Assigned to be Hal Jordan’s instructor, the two became friends, despite Jordan’s protest of Sinestro’s methods. During an invasion on Korugar, the rest of the GLCorps were called in, and Sinestro’s dictatorship became public knowledge.
It was decided that Sinestro instilled fear, rather than fought against it, and he was banished to the antimatter universe, where he ended up on the anti-matter version of Oa, the planet Qward. The Qwardians hated the GLCorps as much as Sinestro, and they became allies against the Green Lanterns. The Qwardians created him a yellow power ring (due to the Lanterns’ weakness against the color yellow), and Sinestro became the Green Lanterns’ (and specifically Jordan’s) archnemesis.
Before the Guardians took a leave of absence from their universe to attempt mating with their female counterparts the Zamarons, they constructed an inescapable prison for Sinestro and thousands of others on Oa. However, Sinestro’s cunning prevailed once again and he managed to free himself through the mental manipulation of the Mad God of Sector 3600. Now wielding nearly unlimited power, Sinestro murdered entire star systems until he was finally subdued by the Green Lantern Corps of Earth. Now guilty of multiple acts of genocide, Sinestro was put on trial again by the assembled membership of the Green Lantern Corps. Finding him guilty, they condemned him to death and executed him, but Sinestro managed to cheat death itself by sending his essence into the Central Power Battery, and shut it down. While in the Battery, he also made a startling discovery about the ancient weakness to yellow within the Green Lantern’s light.
Hal Jordan entered the Battery to desperately try and restore the powers of his fellow Lanterns, and ultimately defeated Sinestro, whose spirit was condemned to remain trapped inside the Central Battery, powerless, for eternity. Yet Sinestro had earned an even greater personal victory: the so-called “Yellow Impurity” turned out to be a sentient entity known as Parallax, the living embodiment of fear. He also discovers the battery’s power source was Parallax’s opposite, Ion, the embodiment of willpower. Thanks to Sinestro’s actions, Parallax had successfully infected Jordan’s mind, leaving the so-called “greatest Green Lantern” vulnerable to fear for the first time in his life… and setting up Sinestro’s ultimate triumph.
Parallax possessed Jordan, and Jordan destroyed the Power Battery before a downfall and eventual redemption led to his demise. Sinestro escaped and went into hiding. During the Green Lantern: Rebirth storyline, Sinestro resurfaced when then-Green Lantern Kyle Rayner discovered the existence of Parallax. Hal Jordan was resurrected and combated a newly powered Sinestro, who escaped back into the antimatter universe. Here, he meets the Anti-Monitor (from Crisis on Infinite Earths), a being with the intentions of undoing EVERYTHING.
With a reinvigorated GLCorps following Jordan’s return, Sinestro founded the Sinestro Corps, using yellow power rings created by he and the Anti-Monitor. The Sinestro Corps attacked Earth, hoping to make it their homeworld. The Sinestro Corps is defeated by the GLCorps, but only after making the ultimate victory – the Guardians have created new laws giving GL’s the ability to kill, thereby spreading their own fear. Sinestro is taken into custody by the GLCorps. The Sinestro Corps were still out in the universe though – being hunted down and captured by the GLCorps, their rings locked up in a large detention room.
After Sinestro escapes during the attack by the Red Lanterns (see my post on the Red Lanterns), he returns to Korugar to confront his daughter, Green Lantern Soranik Natu.
What threat do the Sinestro Corps pose during the impending Blackest Night? Are they powerless against the might of the Black Lanterns? We’ll find out in Blackest Night #1 this July!
Sinestro wields a yellow power ring that has powers comparable to that of a Green Lantern’s ring (creation of yellow constructs, space flight, etc.). Built on Qward, it is powered by the emotional energy of fear, and its wielder must be an expert in inspiring and manipulating fear to use it. The yellow rings are charged by Manhunter androids that have yellow power batteries built into themselves, which in turn are connected to a large yellow Power Battery based on Qward. The rings have only one known weakness – The energy of the Blue Lantern’s ring can drain it’s power, much like a Green Lantern power ring’s previous weakness against yellow. Also, the yellow rings are not restricted from killing sentient beings as the Green Lantern’s power rings were.
“In blackest day, in brightest night,
Beware your fears made into light.
Let those who try to stop what’s right,
Burn like his power… Sinestro’s might!”
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