Sinestro is an evil man among evil people.
Things have been heating up in Sinestro by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Dale Eaglesham (with Rags Morales also lending a helping hand). The survivors of Korugar resent Sinestro almost as much as his daughter Soranik Natu does; his Yellow Lanterns are a bit more intelligent and manipulative this time around; and the deadly Lantern killers known as the Paling are making their move against him.
IGN Comics: Soranik Natu has her work cut out for her. She wants to care for her people, but she has to stick by Sinestro to do so. What is her goal in all this? Does she have an endgame in mind with what to do about saving her people and dealing with Sinestro?
Cullen Bunn: I’m not sure Soranik has a goal in mind at this point. Events are unfolding too quickly for her to do any real planning… and that’s the way Sinestro wants it. She’s rescued from Arkillo, shown that her people need her help, given a fully charged green ring… all in rapid order. She doesn’t have time for much more than snap decisions.
Maybe this is Sinestro, as the spider, getting Soranik, as the fly, tangled in his web. Over time, she’s going to need to refocus and recalibrate. Once she has her feet under her, she’ll need to make some tough decisions. But by then Sinestro will have had plenty of time to make counter-plans.
IGN: Umaraal Jarta, one of the survivors of Korugar, has a crown-like headpiece. Is this coincidence, or can we expect her to play a bigger queen-like role in the future?
Bunn: I think I described Umaraal as a priestess or healer. Dale, knowing the plans we have for Umaraal gave her a bit more of a regal design. That works well for the character, as she becomes something of the spiritual leader of her people. She’s very much a foil for Sinestro, and you’ll be seeing quite a bit of the contention between them in the days to come.
IGN: We’re seeing more and more of the Paling, the evil dark Lantern killers. Is there any reason they are going after just Yellow Lanterns? Or are all Lanterns the same to them?
Bunn: The Paling is a church of anti-emotion, so they would see the entire emotional spectrum as blasphemy. They’ve been at work at the farthest reaches of space, and it just so happens that Sinestro is the first Lantern to draw their attention. They could, in theory, turn against any of the Lanterns.
IGN: Dez Trevius is quickly becoming a standout character. He’s manipulative and duplicitous in all the best ways, and you have to hand it to Dale Eaglesham for giving him that devilishly angular face. He seems to be a bit smarter and quick-minded than most of the Yellows – what was it like creating him?
Bunn: I wanted a really sinister, manipulative, and devious foil for Sinestro, and that’s where Dez came from. Under Arkillo’s rule, the Yellow Lanterns were a bit more simple and violent perhaps, and we can imagine that Dez was at busily pulling strings of that group. Now, of course, Sinestro is back in charge, and he presents much more of a challenge for Dez. There’s definitely a bit of cat-and-mouse gameplay between those two.
Dez Trevius and Rigen Kale were both quite a bit of fun to create. I’ve had a little more opportunity to explore Dez’s personality, though.
You mentioned his devlish design, which I think works quite well for him. In early sketches, he looked hideously inhuman, which would have also been cool, because I intended to write him the same way—charming and smooth and crafty.
IGN: The slave market battle was incredibly well-done. Again Dez was a standout with his sweet samurai facemask and sword. What was it like orchestrating that scene?
Bunn: Action scenes like that are a lot of fun to write. My goal is to layer telling character beats or moments throughout the action. Dez’s mask and sword reveal a little about his character and history, and we’ll be seeing more of that as time goes on. Dale and Rags [Morales] both really go out of their way to bring those panels to life.
I typically write pretty detailed panel descriptions for these fight scenes. I do quite a bit of choreography rather than just writing “They fight.” But most of the artists I work with feel pretty comfortable changing things up a little if it helps the visual storytelling.
IGN: You’re obviously highly experienced in writing villains, but what are the challenges unique to writing Sinestro?
Bunn: After writing a few issues, I have to keep reminding myself that Sinestro is a bad guy. I think he plays a little too nice in some of my early drafts, and I’ve had to go back into the script and make him a little more cold, devious, and cruel. He might be a likable bad guy, but he’s still a bad guy. I have to tread carefully so that I don’t make him seem too much like a hero.
IGN: Anything else you’d like to add to get fans excited for what’s coming up in Sinestro?
Bunn: There are some pretty interesting issues on the horizon. In issue 4, Sinestro has his first encounter with the Paling. In issue 5, he runs into Hal Jordan. Also in issue 5, I’ll answer the question about where Parallax has gone! We’ve also got a Future’s End issue coming up, and I’m pretty excited about how awesome it turned out!