Friday, June 17, 2011

The Sinestro Story

With the release of the Green Lantern movie, I thought I would talk about GL's main enemy, Sinestro. Sinestro first appeared in GL #7 as the renegage Green Lantern. This was during the brief period when GL was not aware that he worked for the Guardians, and so they summoned his "energy duplicate" to fill him in on Sinestro's origin. He was originally another member of the Green Lantern corps, until the power infected him:

The Guardians stripped him of his ring and power and banished him to the evil anti-matter universe of Qward (which Green Lantern had battled previously in GL#2-4).

Sinestro comes up with a plan that basically involves him saying evil a lot:

But as it happens GL misses his appointment in Valdale, and thus, unlike the 100,000 citizens of that fair metropolis, is not teleported to Qward. At the end of this back story, the Guardians decide to allow him to know that he works for them.

Hal makes it to Qward, but Sinestro plays his trump card; unless GL surrenders, he will kill the Valdale residents. GL agrees and is imprisoned in a yellow globe. Sinestro has an eeeeevil plan:

But GL manages to fool him by pushing the clock ahead a few minutes. He escapes from Qward, leaving Sinestro imprisoned in a green bubble. But when Sinestro returns in GL #9, we learn that he must have been a Boy Scout, for he believes in the motto, Be Prepared:

This time around he comes up with a scheme to siphon off the power from Green Lantern's ring to enhance his own. Once he succeeds in doing so, he imprisons GL inside a cage and goes off to a meeting of the other GLs where he again steals their power. He then zips to Oa to attack the Guardians, but Hal has gotten free by now and hits on a Silver Age cliched way to defeat him:

The Guardians put Sinestro in a capsule and launch him on an 18,000-year orbit of the universe.

In GL #11, Sinestro returns. It seems the Guardians forgot to check his heel, where he stored a backup power ring. He returns to Qward, where he uses a mind-control device to cause Green Lantern to screw up several times on the job. Then, at a trial held by the other Green Lanterns, Hal pleads guilty and requests to be sent to Qward (again by the force of Sinestro's mind control). Fortunately the other Green Lanterns were only agreeing to find out who was behind the plot, and after a brief subplot where Hal uses some high school chemistry to escape from a death trap, they use Sinestro's mind control machine on him:

But in GL #15, Sinestro escapes. Once again, thinking a step ahead of the Green Lanterns, he had set the mind control device so it would not work on him. He's back on Qward, competing in the annual "Most Evil Citizen Contest", with a sidekick that should be familiar to Golden Age fans:

Yep, that's Doiby Dickles (although Sinestro calls him Magot in this story and the next). Sinestro has a plan to win the contest; he'll trap GL on a world where everything's yellow, and that's not all:

It's all terrifically eeeeevil, but Sinestro makes one mistake; he decides to televise GL's death, and the beam he uses to do it turns out to be purple, giving Hal his one chance at escape. He fixes the mind control machine so it will work on Sinestro, and locks the villain away.

Except that Sinestro again had planned ahead for this eventuality. We learn in Green Lantern #18 that he placed a hypnotic suggestion in GL's mind, instructing him to turn the mind control device off at a point in the future. Sinestro's again in the contest for "Most Evil" and after getting Hal to Qward without his power ring, he reveals his diabolical plan:

Well, it turns out that GL had anticipated all this (two can think ahead!) and only faked not having his power ring. He uses Sinestro's own plot against him:

Having made five appearances in less than a year and a half, Sinestro now went into hibernation for over four years. In his next appearance he came back as a car (Doiby Dickles taxi, Gertrude). This of course is a nod to the insane 1960s TV show, My Mother the Car:

This time his plot is to steal the giant power lantern on Oa, but Green Lantern foils the plot with the assistance of the Golden Age GL and Doiby Dickles.
Sinestro returned one final time in the Silver Age, in GL #74, in which he teams up with Star Sapphire.

Overall, the qualities that I would associate with Sinestro and hope will appear in the movie, are his preparedness, and his desire for revenge against GL and the Guardians.

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