Art by Tyler Kirkham
The man who would become known as the notorious Sinestro was born on the planet Korugar. He was recruited to the Green Lantern Corps for his ability to overcome great fear. He became the Green Lantern of Sector 1417, and he kept the peace in this sector for quite some time. While he was a Green Lantern, he married Arin Sur and became very close friends with her brother, legendary Green Lantern Abin Sur. With Arin, he fathered a daughter named Soranik Natu. Abin confided in Thaal often in his fears about the Blackest Night predicted by the Five Inversions of Ysmault. When Abin Sur was killed by one of the Inversions, Atrocitus, his Ring found a replacement Lantern from the planet Earth. That replacement’s name was Hal Jordan. The Guardian Ganthet had Thaal Sinestro instruct Hal in the use of his Ring. Despite Sinestro finding Hal reckless and overconfident, they did quickly become great friends. On one of their first adventures, they tracked Atrocitus down on Earth and took him back to Ysmault.
Becoming increasingly paranoid about his ability to keep the peace in his sector, Thaal Sinestro took up more dictatorial and fascist tactics, becoming known as a tyrant on his home planet of Korugar. Arin gave away Soranik in secret at this time, as she feared the dangers the repercussions of Sinestro’s actions might bring to their daughter. As an uprising began on Korugar, Arin died, further intensifying Sinestro’s reign of terror.
Upon a return trip to Korugar with his student, Hal Jordan, Sinestro found that his people were beginning to revolt. Hal was shocked by the tyrannical means through which Sinestro was ruling his people, and the two had a battle. Sinestro began to fear the Guardians’ justice, and Hal and Sinestro fled to Earth. Eventually, the Manhunters tracked the both of them down, and Sinestro was brought back to Oa for a trial. Hal testified against Thaal, and Sinestro was found guilty of his crimes. He was exiled to the Antimatter Universe planet known as Qward. As he was being banished, he swore revenge upon Hal Jordan, the Guardians, and the Green Lantern Corps.
Upon Qward, Sinestro met their notorious Weaponers. Sympathetic to his plight, they constructed him a Yellow Power Ring to wield against the Green Lanterns. With the Yellow Fear Entity known as Parallax infesting the Green Lantern Central Power Battery, their constructs and Rings had a weakness to the color yellow, and Sinestro intended to exploit this.
Sinestro formed an alliance with the Weaponers of Qward, and he soon met up with Hal Jordan once again. Hal had fought the Weaponers before, and they had an animosity towards Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. Sinestro and the Weaponers of Qward kidnapped 100,000 people and threatened to kill them. Hal tricked Sinestro into believing his Power Ring had run out of energy and defeated him.
Sinestro was arrested and imprisoned on Oa. He later escaped and was powered up by a being called the Mad God of Sector 3600 and engaged on a warpath through a number of star systems that ended in the deaths of billions. It took a number of Green Lanterns to bring down Sinestro this time, and he was going to be put to death. However, he found a means of transferring his consciousness into the Central Power Battery. He shut the power down to the Battery, and Hal Jordan began to search for a means of repowering it. Hal eventually entered the Battery and defeated Sinestro. This left him to be eternally trapped inside the Green Power Battery.
During his imprisonment, Sinestro communed with Parallax and discovered that he was the source of the Yellow Impurity of the Green Lantern Power Rings. Through the manipulation of Sinestro, Parallax was able to inhabit and control Hal Jordan. This turned Hal Jordan, once known as the greatest Green Lantern, into the most powerful foe of the Green Lantern Corps.
After Parallax went on a deadly rampage throughout the universe, he eventually returned to Oa and the Guardians of the Universe. Desperate for a solution, they used their immense power to free Sinestro from the Central Power Battery and armed him with a Green Lantern Ring once again. The battle between the two was long and brutal, and both eventually lost power to their Rings. They entered a melee which ended in Parallax killing Sinestro by snapping his neck.
Later, Sinestro, somehow revived or perhaps never having been dead at all, returned to torment Hal Jordan’s successor, Kyle Rayner of Earth. He battled and defeated both Kyle and Green Arrow in the JLA Watchtower. Hal Jordan, having at this point regained control over his body and mind, returned to defeat Sinestro. He destroyed the Yellow Power Ring and banished Sinestro back to Qward.
With the help of a resurrected Anti-Monitor, Sinestro formed his own Corps of Lanterns in his own image: The Sinestro Corps. This Corps was founded on the ideal of ruling through fear. He led the Corps on a crusade against the Green Lanterns. The conflict led the Guardians into enabling lethal force against the Sinestro Corps, which apparently was Sinestro’s goal all along. The Green Lanterns were eventually able to overcome the Sinestro Corps and Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner brought down Sinestro himself.
He was subsequently arrested and brought back to Oa for execution on Korugar. During the transport to Korugar, which was performed by Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kilowog, three Alpha Lanterns, and a number of other Corps members, remnants of the Sinestro Corps attacked to free their leader. During the fight, Atrocitus and his newly formed Red Lantern Corps ambushed the other Lanterns and brought Sinestro back to Ysmault.
Atrocitus had Sinestro crucified before the Red Lantern Central Power Battery and begun using his pain to fuel it. He wanted to see Sinestro show fear and began making threats to accomplish this. He finally succeeded when used blood magic to discover that Sinestro had a daughter. A contingent of Sinestro Corps members, Green Lanterns, among which were Hal Jordan, and the Blue Lanterns Saint Walker and Brother Warth came to the rescue of Sinestro. After a battle, Sinestro and his Corps members returned to Qward where he faced an insurrection. The warlord Mongul, who had been recruited into the Sinestro Corps, had split the Corps in half in an attempt to overthrow Sinestro.
Before he could act on this, Sinestro was compelled to return to Korugar to check on the safety of Soranik Natu. She was a Green Lantern now and did not know that her father was Sinestro. He tells her the truth about who she is and why she was sent away. The schism between the two is not healed here. Sinestro warned her about Atrocitus and left.
Sinestro next stages an attack against the Violet Lanterns, known as the Star Sapphires, on the planet Zamaron. He is met by Carol Ferris of Earth, Hal Jordan’s frequent romantic flame. The two do battle until they are attacked by a contingency of the Black Lantern Corps made up of fallen Sinestro Corps members. These were the heralds of the Blackest Night that Abin Sur feared so much. Hal Jordan soon arrived with Indigo-1 of the Indigo Tribe. Hal, Indigo-1, Sinestro, and Carol Ferris were all teleported to Korugar where they attempted to halt the coup by Mongul.
Mongul attempted to kill Sinestro in solo combat to establish his leadership over the Corps, but Sinestro used Mongul’s ring to pacify him and lock him within the Yellow Power Battery. Sinestro was the sole leader of the Corps once more, but he was soon attacked by the Black Lantern incarnations of Abin and Arin Sur. These four Corps members knew that they must meet up with the leaders of the other three Corps, Atrocitus, Saint Walker, and Larfleeze, to bring down the Black Lanterns and end the Blackest Night. They found these three, and their crusade led them back to Earth where they found the one controlling the Black Lanterns: Nekron, the embodiment of death itself.
The Guardians Ganthet and Sayd arrived on Earth to help the seven Corpsmen, and they duplicated the Rings of each to recruit more members to help in the fight. The duplicate Sinestro Corps Ring went to Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow, due to his ability to instill great fear. In addition, the entirety of all seven Corps arrived on Earth to help end the Blackest Night.
Black Hand, the servant of Nekron, killed Sayd and used her blood to summon the White Entity so that Nekron could kill it, and, thusly, end all life in the universe. Before he could accomplish this, Sinestro bonded with the White Entity and became the White Lantern. Sinestro begins slaying droves of Black Lanterns, but he is not able to kill Nekron himself. Eventually, the White Entity is removed from Sinestro, and Hal Jordan summons it into the bodies of the Justice League. They drive back Nekron and use the White Light to resurrect Black Hand, who was serving as Nekron’s connection to the living plane. This banishes Nekron and ends the Blackest Night.
Sinestro next found the White Power Battery on Earth and attempted to wield it once more. It wouldn’t budge, and it told him to bring Hal Jordan. He finds Hal and Carol Ferris, and the three are sent on a crusade to save the Seven Entities of the Emotional Spectrum. They unite with Atrocitus, Saint Walker, Larfleeze, and Indigo-1 once more in this quest.
They discover that the mad Guardian Krona is the one hunting down the entites, and their search for answers leads them to Ryut, the dead homeworld of Atrocitus. Here, they find the Book of the Black being protect by Lyssa Drak, former Sinestro Corps member. The Book consumes all but Hal Jordan, forcing them to relive their lives. Sinestro eventually escapes with the help of Kyle Rayner and finds Kyle, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart battling their own Corps, whom have been corrupted by Krona and Parallax.
Sinestro is unable to retrieve a Yellow Ring, but he is granted a Green Ring once more. He helps Hal battle Krona, and Hal manages to kill the Guardian. This frightens the remaining Guardians of the Universe, and they banish Hal Jordan from the Corps. Meanwhile, Sinestro is completely unable to remove the Green Ring.
The universal rebirth of the New 52 did not disrupt this story, and Sinestro continued to search into why he was given another Green Ring. He makes a lower power facsimile of a Green Ring for Hal Jordan and recruits him to his search. He returns to Korugar and finds the Sinestro Corps instilling chaos on the planet. Sinestro and Hal free the Korugarians and overthrow the Sinestro Corps by depowering their Central Power Battery. They next find Black Hand on the home planet of the Indigo Tribe, and they return to Earth with Black Hand. He turns on them and traps Hal and Sinestro within his Black Ring, where they stayed while the Guardians unleashed the Third Army upon the universe.
They are eventually freed in time to find the First Lantern, Volthoom, attempting to seize control of the universe itself with his growing power. Sinestro tried to slay Volthoom alone. Sinestro is bested, and Volthoom destroys Korugar in front of him. This infuriates Sinestro enough that the Green Ring, which was actually part of a Guardian plot, releases itself. This allows Sinestro to summon a Yellow Ring once more.
In the final siege against Volthoom, Sinestro bonds himself to Parallax. The united efforts of the various Corps are able to overwhelm the First Lantern. Afterwards, Sinestro tracks down the Guardians of the Universe and kills them all.
During the reign of the Crime Syndicate on Earth, Batman attempts to wield a Sinestro Corps Ring in the hopes that it will allow him to bring down Power Ring, the Syndicate’s version of Green Lantern. This attempt was unsuccessful, but it attracted the attention of Sinestro to Earth. He finds Batman and is recruited to a coalition of villains with the intent of overthrowing the Crime Syndicate. The only reason that Sinestro chooses to do this is as a means of undermining Hal Jordan. Hal was away from Earth, and Sinestro would save it in his absence to spite him. Sinestro, Batman, Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Captain Cold, Black Adam, Black Manta, and Deathstroke unite to bring down the Crime Syndicate, which also frees the Justice League. During this crusade, Sinestro formed a friendship with Black Adam.
Sinestro lost his connection to Parallax after this, and he worked with Lyssa Drak to rebuild the Sinestro Corps. The two brought together the remaining members of the Corps and founded a new homeworld for the remaining scattered Korugarians on a former prison planet.
He next travelled to Warworld and battled its ruler, former Sinestro Corps member Mongul. After defeating Mongul, he seized the mobile battle station and turned it into the new headquarters of the Sinestro Corps.
After this, he battled the Church of Anti-Emotion, a challenge that led him to Earth and reunited him with Black Adam. His final play involved recruiting much of the Earth’s population to the Sinestro Corps and fighting off the Church.
With this victory, he was finally able to establish the Sinestro Corps as the central police force in the universe in the absence of the Green Lantern Corps. Upon his victory, he stepped aside and allowed his daughter and new Sinestro Corps recruit, Soranik Natu, to lead the Corps.
Now, the Green Lantern Corps has returned from a pocket universe. Sinestro, having exerted himself greatly in his mission, has bonded with Parallax once more and retaken his position as the leader of the Sinestro Corps. He has used the former Church of Anti-Emotion to establish the Fear Engine: a device that can turn the fear of sentient beings into energy to overcharge the Rings of the Sinestro Corps. Soranik has abandoned the Corps and helped Hal Jordan, who is now on a warpath against Sinestro. The Green Lantern Corps, led by John Stewart, has been informed of the new status of things and makes its way towards Warworld to end the reign of the Sinestro Corps.
When I listed Magneto as my favorite Marvel Villain, I felt that this spoiled Sinestro as my favorite DC Villain somewhat. Though their politics differ, Erik Lensherr and Thaal Sinestro are very similar men. They are both driven to protect their people above all else. They value them, but their means of protection often end in blood and fury.
Sinestro is a man driven to bring peace to the universe. He is, at his heart, a fascist that believes only he is worthy to rule and that fear is the only thing that can accomplish this. He wants there to be order, but his approach is corrupt and narcissistic. He is incredibly ambitious, and he is very intent on bringing this order. He is also loyal to those who earn his respect, though those people are very few. He even has admitted to considering Hal Jordan a friend though they constantly battle. He is a man who wants peace and will do anything to bring it. These are the reasons why Thaal Sinestro is my Favorite DC Villain of all time.