Tag Archives: Ivan Reis

A Green Lantern: Sinestro Review – You Gave a Power Ring to WHO???

Green Lantern, Vol. 1: SinesttroTITLE: Green Lantern, Vol. 1: Sinestro
AUTHOR: Geoff Johns
PENCILLER: Doug Mahnke. Cover by Ivan Reis.
COLLECTS: Green Lantern #16
FORMAT: Hardcover
PRICE: $22.99
RELEASED: May 16, 2012

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

When Sinestro, the infamous arch nemesis of the Green Lantern Corps, was given a power ring at the end of War of the Green Lanterns, my initial instinct was that this move was made so that the comic book version of the character would correspond more with the one fans had recently seen in the Green Lantern movie.

Whether that’s actually the case or this was just a coincidence, I’m not sure. But either way, Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke manage to make the change into a pretty compelling story, despite having to put conventional logic has on the back burner for a bit to do it.

At the end of War of the Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan was stripped of his power ring by the Guardians of the universe. Moments later, the ring inexplicably chose the villainous Sinestro as Jordan’s successor. In their infinite wisdom, the Guardians allow Sinestro to serve as a Green Lantern, thinking it’s a chance at redemption for him. Thus, Hal Jordan is powerless while one of the galaxy’s worst mass murderers is wielding a green ring. But Hal’s got problems of an entirely different sort, as spending too much time patrolling the cosmos has caused his Earthly life to collapse. He’s been dismissed from the Air Force, he’s about to be kicked out of his apartment, he’s behind on all his bills, and he’s missing the life of a hero. But when Sinestro discovers his homeworld has been enslaved by the Sinestro Corps, the army he originally built to go against the Green Lantern Corps, he recruits Hal to help him free his people. Whether Hal likes it or not, he’s about to take part on the most unlikely superhero team up of all time.

Green Lantern 1, Sinestro, 2012, Doug MahnkeUpon first glance this premise, while intriguing, seems almost laughable. Having Sinestro, a being responsible for the death of countless innocents, become a Green Lantern again (remember, he was a Lantern before he became a bad guy) is like calling in the Joker to cover for Batman. It simply defies common sense. Johns uses the Guardians’ often questionable “big picture” judgment, as well as their apparently unstable mental states (which we learn more about in subsequent issues) to justify it. It works, especially when you consider the Guardians’ questionable history with big decisions like this. But you’ve still got to work a bit harder than usual to suspend your initial disbelief in the logic behind the whole thing.

Still, once the ball gets rolling the drama is very well done. This book’s greatest accomplishment is the way it turns Sinestro into a more three dimensional character. He’s still the bad guy, but we get some nice reinforcement that he’s a bad guy who started with good intentions. Unlike other villains, he’s actually capable of caring about people. It’s some great insight into one of the most infamous villains in all of comic books.

Sinestro, Doug MahnkeSinestro empowers the powerless Hal Jordan by using his power ring to create a specialized ring for him. As such, Sinestro can turn Hal’s ring on and off as he choses, and Hal’s ring can’t mount any offense against its creator. It’s a great scenario that forces two bitter enemies to work together and allows the bad guy to toy with the good guy.

I’m conflicted about how Hal Jordan is characterized in this book. Before the New 52 took effect, Hal to be a daredevil hero, whose caution-to-the-wind attitude tended to land him in trouble with his loved ones and authority figures. In this book he seems like a guy who has a heart of gold, but simply can’t get his act together, especially when he doesn’t have a power ring. He also seems a bit more impulsive, which is consistent with the Hal Jordan we saw in Justice League: Origin. Does it make Hal a more interesting character? Maybe. It certainly makes him a bit more relatable. If I had been a newbie trying to see what all the hype for a story like The Sinestro Corps War, I suppose Hal might have seemed like a more generic, handsome and muscle bound hero figure. This version gives new fans more to latch on to. But as a longtime reader, I can’t help feeling like Hal has been turned into a cliche slacker character. Perhaps I just need more time to get used to it…

Either way, Sinestro is yet another solid outing by Geoff Johns and Dough Mahnke. There’s some great character work here, as well as a nice helping of the space action and drama we’ve come to expect from Johns and his groundbreaking, constantly evolving take on the Green Lantern universe.

RATING: 7.5/10

Image 1 from goodreads.com. Image 2 from gamespot.com.


First Impressions: Superman, Aquaman, Ghostbusters, Teen Titans

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Superman #1 (2011)TITLE: Superman #1
AUTHOR: George Perez
PENCILLER: Jesus Merino
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: September 28, 2011

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

This was a FANTASTIC first issue, which carried over one of my favorite elements from Action Comics #1: Superman searching for truth and justice on the social level in a world that seems dominated by corporate interest.

In this issue we learn that The Daily Planet has been sold to a corporation called Galaxy Communications, which apparently uses illegal tactics and yellow journalism in its reporting. Furious, Clark Kent refuses to attend the big gala in honor of the sale. Galaxy proceeds to change it’s name to the Planet Global Network, and names Lois Lane as their nightly news producer and executive vice president of new media. Suddenly, the city is attacked by a giant fire monster (who apparently has ties to Krypton). Superman battles the creature, and at the end we get a glimpse into Clark and Lois’ personal lives in the new DCU (Remember, they’ve never been married in this continuity.).

Superman #1, 2011, Clark and Lois, Jesus MerinoAs a former reporter, I found the insight into the current state of the news industry to be an effective way to illustrate Superman’s views on white collar corruption. We also see the battle between Superman and the monster from PGN’s vantage point, which is very effective. During the fight, much of the narrative consists of text from a news story later written by Clark Kent, which is cheesy. Still, it’s forgivable.

Superman spends a portion of this issue brooding, which is something we’re not necessarily used to. When the old Superman got angry, often times he was like a parent who’d lost his temper. This character isn’t like that. He seems inclined to be much more emotional, which isn’t a bad thing. I just hope we get a balance between the grim and the optimistic. Superman has been a rather angry young man this month, and he has reason to be. But let’s not turn him into Batman, okay?

All in all, a complete 180 in quality from what we’ve been seeing in Superman recently. I’m very excited about this book.


Ghostbusters #1 (2011)TITLE: Ghostbusters #1
AUTHOR: Erik Burnham
PENCILLER: Dan Shoening, Tristan Jones
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASED: September 28, 2011

I once said that any writer of a Ghostbusters comic book would likely never recapture the magic Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis created in the movies. I maintain that to this day. However, the first issue of IDW’s new Ghostbusters series comes the closest out of any GB book I’ve read (and I’ve read quite a few).

We start the book with Ray having a nightmare, which features a delightful appearance by Ray’s brother, who looks exactly like John Belushi’s character from Blues Brothers. It’s a very endearing tribute. We then go into Winston and Peter tracking down a ghost at an apartment complex, who turns out to be someone that fans know VERY well. Then, in a back up story, we see that Walter Peck (William Atherton’s character from the first movie) will be butting into our heroes’ lives very soon.

Ghostbusters #1, 2011, Dan ShoeningThis book really has the total package for Ghostbusters fans. Burnham’s writing is solid. It’s not too corny, but not too serious either. To me, there’s a delicate balance that goes into creating a Ghostbusters story. You’ve got to make the threat believable and scary, but also be lighthearted and funny. That’s tough to do. But Burnham’s off to a great start.

Dan Shoening’s art is always a treat for me. I’ve loosely followed his Deviant Art page for a few years now, and it’s obvious he’s a Ghostbusters nut. He even co-manned a pitch for a new Ghostbusters comic a few years ago. His art fits the style and tone of the story, and it’s obvious he’s as passionate about the content as any diehard fan would be.

If the book keeps up with this kind of content, Ghostbusters #1 could very well become one of my favorite ongoing titles. I could gush about this book for awhile, but I’d prefer you go out and read it for yourself.


Aquaman #1, 2011TITLE: Aquaman #1
AUTHOR: Geoff Johns
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: September 28, 2011

Well, how about this? An Aquaman who’s aware of his status as a pop culture punch line.

The most interesting moments in Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis’ first issue of Aquaman are when ordinary citizens are either chuckling at the character, or saying weird things to him. At one point, Aquaman attempts to have lunch at a seafood restaurant, and someone says: “You can’t get the fish and chips…you talk to fish!” The character himself is getting a chance to respond to the public’s perception of him, which is interesting. Though, I find the idea of Aquaman sitting down in a seafood restaurant in full costume to be pretty stupid.

As a threat known as The Trench makes its way up from the Atlantic ocean, Aquaman and Mera decide that they’re going to live on the surface, and attempt to start a new life. One would assume their lives as superheroes won’t allow this transition to be easy.

Fans have wanted to see Geoff Johns tackle Aquaman for awhile now. They got that in Brightest Day, and they’ll get more of it here. I’ll stick with this series for the near future, simply out of interest for what Johns will do. Plus, Ivan Reis’ art is always lovely.


Teen Titans #1, 2011TITLE: Teen Titans #1
AUTHOR: Scott Lobdell
PENCILLER: Brett Booth
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: September 28, 2011

I don’t think I’m ever going to dig Red Robin’s new costume. It’s just…wrong. It just looks way too cumbersome and silly. In this issue, Tim Drake uses his new wings to block a storm of bullets coming at he and Wonder Girl courtesy of a helicopter. That’s great and all, but the old Red Robin would have simply EVADED THE GUNFIRE!!!!

My disgust with the costume aside, Teen Titans #1 isn’t so bad. We kick the issue off with Kid Flash (who is apparently still Bart Allen, not Wally West), rushing to help with a burning building, but ends up making the situation a LOT worse. This apparently adds fuel to the media’s claims that many teenage meta-humans are menaces. Meanwhile, Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. (see Superboy #1) is hunting down teenage metas, and the poorly dressed Red Robin rushes to save Cassandra Sandsmark, who the press call Wonder Girl. In response to the resulting battle, N.O.W.H.E.R.E. decides to release their secret weapons (or at least one of them): Superboy.

Teen Titans #1, 2011, Brett BoothA few things that caught my attention in this issue:
– It seems to run side by side with the current Superboy story arc.
– Tim Drake will apparently be the one who to bring the Teen Titans together, much like Batman will be the one to form the Justice League (according to solicitations at least). Funny how these two loners are inclined to create superhero teams…
– Wonder Girl’s costume is slightly reminiscent of Donna Troy’s, from the standpoint of the stars in space design. Curious.

Will I come back for more Teen Titans? Probably. The concept of teenagers being reckless with their superpowers intrigues me, as that’s something real teenagers would likely do. But I’m telling you, Red Robin’s costume might ruin it for me. I’m THAT bothered by it.

Interior image 1 from insidepulse.com. Interior image 2 from bleedingcool.com.

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