The Knights of the Round Table had Sir Mordred. The Valar of Middle Earth had Morgoth. The Jedi had Darth Vader. Where does Sinestro, traitor to the Green Lantern Corps, rank among his fellow renegades? We'll find out today in this week's First Strike!
As our story opens, the entire population of the city of Valdale vanishes without a trace, and Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Earth, is at a loss to explain why. He gets his answers when the Guardians of the Universe, the immortals who created and run the Green Lantern Corps, summon him to their home world of Oa with a dire warning. Sinestro, once the mightiest and most renowned Green Lantern, was corrupted by the power he wielded and became dictator of his homeworld of Korugar. For his crimes, he was stripped of his ring and uniform, and banished to the anti-matter universe of Qward, where evil is worshipped. Sinestro allied himself with the Qwardians, vowing to destroy the Guardians and the Green Lanterns on their behalf. It now falls to Jordan to defeat the renegade and rescue the people of Valdale, bait for Sinestro's carefully laid trap.
While Sinestro remains one of the arch-foes of the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan specifically, contemporary writers such as Geoff Johns have embellished their relationship. Sinestro has now been established as Jordan's mentor and friend, with Hal being the one to expose Sinestro's crimes to the Guardians, leading to his expulsion from the Corps. Johns in particular took Sinestro down the Well-Intentioned Extremist path, depicting him as devoted to maintaining order in the universe by any means necessary and even giving him a redemption arc of sorts. He's still a villain, but not one driven by ambition and malice. Personally, I rather like these changes. Making him a zealot instead of a mustache-twirling "muah ha ha, I'm evil" bad buy gives him more substance as a character and adds some layers to his conflicts with the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan in particular. It's still nothing that hasn't been done before, but if you're a rookie to superheroes, or even sci-fi fantasy, that won't matter.
"The Day 100,000 People Vanished!" might seem overly simple to seasoned Green Lantern readers used to a more epic scale. However, for those of you who want to see Sinestro's first appearance, or simply enjoy a story from when the Green Lantern mythos was a lot less complex, it's worth your time.