REVIEW: SINESTRO CORPS SPECIAL: SUPERMAN PRIME
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Chris Batista
Based on what I’ve seen on the message boards, you either hate The Sinestro Corps War or you love it.
Me? I love it. I love it as a brazen Green Lantern geek who has always dreamt of a story in which Sinestro gathered an army of like-minded individuals and set to spreading terror across the universe. I love it as a comic history geek who recognizes the numerous references to Alan Moore’s work on Tales of the Green Lantern Corps as well as his unpublished proposal for a story involving the end of the DC Universe titled “Twilight of the Superheroes”.
And this issue – despite some erratic artwork caused by two artists with dissimilar styles – I even love it because it has given Geoff Johns a chance to do what he does best and do something he wasn’t allowed to do during Infinite Crisis. Namely, he has given us a look inside the head of Superman Prime a.k.a. the boy formerly known as Superboy Prime.
Johns spells out Prime’s origin in detail. How he was the one superhero on his Earth. How he finally won the love of the girl of his dreams and had a chance to be the hero he wished to be as a child. How all of that was destroyed and how he sacrificed everything in order to save the multiverse and give it a chance to be reborn. All of this gives us an insight into his character that was lacking during Infinite Crisis. We now see how an idealistic young man – a Superman in the making – could come to be so filled with anger at the universe and become convinced that he had to make things right by any means necessary.
We also see how very different he is from our Supermen and the difference between them. While our Superman relishes the gratitude that others bestow upon him for his good deeds, he does not expect it. Superman Prime is still a lost child seeking the praise and approval of the parents and loved ones he lost a lifetime ago through the teaming masses he is working to “save”. He is not worthy of the name Superman. He isn’t even worthy of the name “man”
It is a credit to Johns’ skill as a writer that he can write a tale in which we can feel both sympathy and contempt for the same character for the same reasons. And it is that level of writing which has made the entirety of The Sinestero Corps War a real treat.