When you think about it, despite being Hal’s villain, there’s a lot of personal history between these two characters. Sinestro had Kyle’s mother killed and set him up to be possessed by Parallax and used against his fellow GLs in the Sinestro Corps War. Kyle, it could be argued, was the downfall of Sinestro’s most ambitious scheme, when he used Parallax against Hal, leading to the destruction of the Corps during Emerald Twilight. Only for Kyle to become the last Green Lantern, eventually uncover Parallax’s existence and aid in Hal Jordan’s resurrection (being the one who retrieved Hal’s body).
And of course, ever since it was revealed that Kyle’s new girlfriend, Soranik Natu, was Sinestro’s daughter, it seemed inevitable that a confrontation was inevitable.
Taken on its own, I actually enjoyed the confrontation quite a bit. The rings are quickly dispensed with, which pleased me as I worried that Sinestro would beat down Kyle in a ring combat, establishing that not only is he so much better than Kyle, but implying that Hal is the only one who can go toe-to-toe with Sinestro in the ring slinging stakes (I much prefer the idea that the Earth Lanterns are all roughly equivalent with the ring). So when Kyle lost to Sinestro in a straight fist fight, it worked a lot better for me. Kyle of course got his “I was trained by Batman” moment, but overall I can buy the idea that Sinestro would be much more trained in hand-to-hand combat than Kyle (to be honest, I’d expect that Kyle’s hand-to-hand experience to be serviceable, but basic compared to some of the other heroes, given his background).
Perhaps the only issue in the conflict, is how much of the personal history between the characters is ignored. Sinestro killed Kyle’s mother. Sinestro also despises Kyle, seeing him as an unfit Green Lantern, something made worse when Kyle scarred him during Rebirth. None of this really came across at all. I could’ve at least appreciated a line from Kyle mentioning how much he was putting aside his personal feelings about Sinestro for the sake of helping Soranik. Kyle versus Sinestro could’ve easily taken up an entire issue, instead, while I thought what we got was well written, it perhaps showed a lack of knowledge of the (let’s be honest, recent) backstory to these characters.
Meanwhile Soranik is on Qward with the Weaponer, and we get a run down of his backstory, and their recent history, including Sinestro’s brutal takeover, forcing the Qwardians into slavery in order to make the Sinestro Corps rings. I must take my hat off to Tony Bedard, as I’m thoroughly enjoying the Weaponer as a new villain for the Corps. He’s got a pretty sympathetic backstory, and his hatred and vendetta against Sinestro is easily understandable. While he’s kidnapped Soranik, its clear he means her no actual harm, seeing her only as a way to get Sinestro to walk into a trap. However, now that Sinestro’s refused to help, and Kyle’s arrived with a team of his fellow Honour Guard, you have to wonder what he’ll do.
Overall, I still really enjoyed the issue. Ignoring the personal history between Kyle and Sinestro was definitely a let down, but what was there was enjoyable, and really the Sinestro thing came across as a bit of a side note in the issue. Hopefully its not something that’s finished though, as a proper Kyle versus Sinestro fight, that does properly take into account their past would be great to read.
I’m looking forward to seeing the GLs versus the Weaponer next issue, and seeing how this develops. He’s not really a bad guy in the strictest sense, so don’t think this’ll wrap up with the usual “smackdown then Sciencell”.