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Old 04-11-2007, 07:22 AM   #1

by Vaneta Rogers

Ethan Van Sciver is no stranger to ground-breaking Green Lantern stories.

In the 2005 mini-series Green Lantern: Rebirth, Van Sciver and writer Geoff Johns redefined the Green Lantern Corps. From bringing back fan-favorite Guy Gardner to reintroducing the Guardians of Oa to explaining the downfall and resurrection of Hal Jordan to establishing a whole new Corps, Rebirth became the new bible for fans of the Green Lantern universe.

Now Van Sciver and Johns are reuniting for a 64-page one-shot in June that promises to take the Green Lantern universe to yet another level. Called Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1, the comic will explore and explain what has been teased for months within the pages of the ongoing Green Lantern series. Evil villain Sinestro, who hasn't been seen much since the pages of Rebirth, is gathering together an army of frightening characters and giving them yellow rings, then transporting them to the Sinestro Corps home base on the planet Qward. Why this is happening and what happens next will be revealed within the pages of the one-shot.

And as fans have seen in a new series of back-up stories in the Green Lantern title, called “Tales of the Sinestro Corps,” readers are going to have a slew of new baddies and origin stories to feast upon as a result of this story.

As Van Sciver took a break for lunch between drawing pages for the comic and running to Kinkos to copy and overnight them to DC, he sat down to briefly talk to Newsarama about the series and all the characters he's designing. And although he was understandably tight-lipped about the story's details, one thing became abundantly clear as he talked: Van Sciver's pretty excited about this one.

Newsarama: I'm catching you for a really quick talk, huh? Tight deadline?

Ethan Van Sciver: I have a month to finish it.

NRAMA: From what’s been said about the special, you're designing a lot of new characters for the Sinestro Corps.

EVS: Yeah, I'm making them up.

NRAMA: How many are you designing?

EVS: Well, I'm doing a double-page spread that introduces as many of them as possible, and I'm just going to keep going until there's no more room.

NRAMA: Are we talking dozens? Or hundreds?

EVS: Hundreds.

NRAMA: Whoa.

EVS: And it's good, because I'll set the spread down for awhile to work on something else, then come back when more ideas occur to me. So these are just a weird variety of different life forms that are very scary, that are frightening. It's not like designing Green Lantern aliens -- like Geoff and I did a squirrel Green Lantern character, and it was the toughest squirrel in the world. But for Sinestro Corps, these are characters that are uniquely evil and frightening.

NRAMA: You're smiling. You enjoy designing these kinds of characters, don't you?

EVS: I think I could do this for the rest of my life. I mean, if it was a quadruple-page spread, I'd still be able to come up with more characters to squeeze on there.

NRAMA: You mentioned "scary and frightening." As we discovered when Batman was offered a Sinestro ring, that's the whole basis for the selection of Corps members -- their ability to instill fear, right?

EVS: Yeah. All of these guys are unique in their ability to instill fear. That's the reason they were chosen. They are the scariest. Not necessarily the toughest all the time. But the most frightening and unnerving characters that the universe has to offer.

NRAMA: Let's talk about some of the characters that have been revealed either within the comics or in interviews you guys have done. We've seen Arkillo already in the Green Lantern title. He's like the main drill sergeant right?

EVS: He's a big gangster. I guess he would be a drill sergeant, if there was such a thing in the Sinestro Corps. I mean, it's an entirely different organization than the Green Lantern Corps. It's a lot more rigidly structured.

NRAMA: What is that structure?

EVS: Well, it's all about Sinestro. People are complaining, "Why would he call it the Sinestro Corps? That's so corny." Well, why would Hitler have everybody say, "Heil Hitler" instead of "Heil Germany?" That's the situation. Sinestro is a totalitarian figure, and he runs things his way. And I'm sure Geoff will get more into that and you'll see more of the structure.

But for example, with the uniforms, there are no alterations in uniforms like there are among Green Lantern Corps members. With Green Lantern Corps members, there are different kinds of ways you can wear your uniform, and apparently some of the characters feel like they can be creative. You can't do that if you're in the Sinestro Corps, unless your body doesn't allow you to wear the uniform properly -- like Despotellis.

NRAMA: The virus who just appeared in the first Tales of the Sinestro Corps story in Green Lantern. He killed an entire planet, including that sector's Green Lantern Corps member, and none of them even knew what was happening.

EVS: Yeah. He can't really wear the Sinestro Corps uniform because he's a virus. Or what's his name ... the snail. The sniper.

NRAMA: Bedovian.

EVS: Yeah, Bedovian. The thing is, I draw these things and Geoff comes up with the names. But Bedovian's a sniper, and he lives in a shell, and he obviously can't wear the usual uniform. But you do the best that you can with your body type.

NRAMA: So you draw them first and then Geoff names them?

EVS: Well, usually, yeah. The aliens that we've already introduced, that people already know about because we've talked about them or shown them, were pretty haphazard. Like with Arkillo, Geoff had the idea and the name first, then Ivan designed him. And then I'd always had the idea for Karu-Sil.

NRAMA: She's the female from a planet where murders are no big deal, right?

EVS: Yeah. But with her, I had the idea for Ghost Rider. If I ever did Ghost Rider, she was going to be a Ghost Rider villain. And I just mentioned the idea to Geoff, and we turned her into part of the Sinestro Corps.

NRAMA: Why the name Karu-Sil?

EVS: She's got animals all around her. She's a human carousel. So he called her Karu-Sil and came up with her origin.

Then with Bedovian, Geoff just had the name and said this guy's kind of a snail, kind of a hermit crab guy, and a sniper, and take it from there. But with the rest of the book, with the rest of the characters, I'm just going to be drawing whatever I think is scary, and Geoff's going to be naming them and coming up with origins for them later if he can come up with a good use for them.

NRAMA: Can you give us an example of one that you've drawn that you think is pretty cool?

EVS: Ooooo! Yeah! I've got a guy who's actually patched down the middle as if a weird Frankenstein scientist cut two different aliens right down the center and sewed two pieces together, and each arm has a ring on it.

NRAMA: Two different rings on the same body?

EVS: Yeah, only it's two bodies sewn together. And we've got strange little robots, and ... oh, I don't want to say too much. It's all visual. You've got to see this stuff. And me describing it to you would be useless. To me, I think the most important thing is variety. I don't want to draw a hundred alligator men. You know what I mean? The simple solution to coming up with a Green Lantern alien is to draw a new lizard man and put a Green Lantern costume on him and give him a ring. It doesn't really instill fear. I want the strangest, creepiest, most David-Lynch, horrific images that I can come up with, and then I'll throw a Sinestro Corps costume on them.

NRAMA: Are you getting to draw any of the other DCU superheroes? We've seen some in previews, right?

EVS: Yeah, the JLA are in it.

NRAMA: Anyone else?

EVS: Zoom is in it, for reasons that will become abundantly clear when the issue comes out and you've read it.

We start out on earth and see a lot of the DCU characters, but it immediately becomes so cosmic and so other-worldly that we don't see them again in this issue. It just goes right off planet earth and starts zipping through other atmospheres and other dimensions.

NRAMA: Other ... uh. What?

EVS: Other places throughout the universe.

NRAMA: OK. Did you get to design what Qward was like?

EVS: Yeah! Funny you should bring that up! Because I haven't seen very many other artists' interpretations of Qward, to be honest with you. I looked at what Ivan did, because I think there was a sequence in a recent Green Lantern where it shows the central yellow battery being constructed. And I think he was thinking, and Geoff was thinking, it looks a little like that sequence from Lord of the Rings where the Orcs are knocking down trees or whatever it is, and there's this big, gigantic, industrial, kind of scary, dark thing going on under the ground. It looked a little like a filthy, gory Grand Canyon. And I thought that was cool. But I decided the weather would always be terrible.

NRAMA: So when we see Qward in the Sinestro Corps special, the weather is horrible?

EVS: Yeah. You'll be seeing a sequence when one of the Green Lanterns -- we won't say who -- is transported to Qward to meet with and actually see the Sinestro Corps for the first time, and there are dozens of tornados. As soon as he enters the atmosphere, it looks like hell. Not a nice place to stay. I think I might be establishing Qward as it will be from now on. I think I might be. Like I said, because I haven't seen anybody else's detailed representation of it, I'm just going to take my own interpretation of it and run with it.

NRAMA: And you designed the Sinestro Corps uniform, right?

EVS: Yeah, with some help from Ivan. I took a first run at it, and I think at the same time, he took a run at it. And it was like peanut butter and chocolate, and we just collided. Put in the best of my ideas and the best of his. I did design the Sinestro Corps symbol that they all wear on their chest, and they're also going to wear that on their armband.

NRAMA: They have armbands? Like Nazis.

EVS: Yeah, we're not being too subtle about that. I mean, it's really good. Even though Ivan Reis and I don't really talk very much. We've emailed back and forth a couple of times. We just sort of take from each other and move it along.

NRAMA: We've seen your design for Sinestro on the comic's cover that was recently released. Can you tell us about the character in this book?

EVS: One thing that you'll see that changes about Sinestro with our sort of new take on him is -- remember the old Super Friends images of Sinestro? And even more recently, the big Joker smile? The cackling? That's all gone.

Sinestro is now expressionless, for the most part. He's impassive. He's icy cold. He doesn't let anything really affect him outwardly in any way. The destruction of the Green Lantern Corps is now completely and entirely within his grasp -- as it should be, as it was always meant to be. And this doesn't impress him or move him in the slightest. This is just the way things are going to be. So from here on out, Sinestro's eyelids are half-closed, he wears a bored frown, and he's so colossally arrogant. He's Lex Luthor times 10,000. He is just the master of his domain, he is the king, and all of these guys have to fall in line.

NRAMA: Let's talk about Parallax, who was established in Rebirth as the embodiment of fear. In the first installment of the “Tales of the Sinestro Corps,” we saw the Book of Parallax, and it's obvious the entity is playing a role in this story. Can you tell us anything about it?

EVS: Well, you'll have to wait and see. But I can tell you, they do all wear the Parallax symbol. Because it's the symbol for fear. Just like the Green Lantern lantern is the symbol for willpower. That little shape (I'm making it with my finger right now) is the symbol or the "totem" for fear. It's the badge. It was a part of Parallax. It was actually part of the original Parallax -- I actually pulled the symbol right from Hal Jordan as Parallax's uniform. If you were to lay that shape on top of his chest, you'll see that it was sort of drawn from that costume. It's been there all along. And then, obviously, it appeared in Rebirth. So a lot of this has been pre-ordained. It's been a long time coming.

NRAMA: And Parallax plays into this story in a big way?

EVS: Of course. Parallax is a lot more important than we let on.

NRAMA: Do the Guardians know that?

EVS: The Guardians aren't saying anything.

NRAMA: But are the Guardians a part of this story during the Sinestro Corps conflict?

EVS: Of course.

NRAMA: Man, you're wearing a coy smile, Ethan. Is there more to this than just guys with yellow rings fighting guys with green rings?

EVS: There's so much more than that. There's so, so, so much more than that. This is the tip of the iceberg that's going to sink the Titantic. This is a gigantic, gigantic story, and this is just the beginning.

NRAMA: When you say this is the beginning -- we've already been told it will affect stories in the Green Lantern universe. Is it going to play into other parts of the universe as well?

EVS: It will affect the entire universe. It will affect the whole DCU. [laughs] How much do you know? You know a lot, don't you? You're leading me into saying too much.

NRAMA: [laughs] No, no. I don't want you to give away the whole story, but people should know this is more than just the Green Lantern Corps vs. the Sinestro Corps.

EVS: It's much more than just that.

NRAMA: OK. Anything else you're designing besides Qward and the costume and the new Sinestro Corps members? As if that weren't enough.

EVS: Wow. What can I tell you about? There are a lot of things I'm doing that ... hmmmm.

NRAMA: ... that are secret?

EVS: Yeah, that will be revealed in the book. Surprises that I can't really say.

NRAMA: See, there you go with the coy smile again. Whatever they are, you're obviously excited about them.

EVS: Well, there are like a half dozen that I'm thinking about but I can't tell you about! I'm chomping at the bit to tell you about them. Believe me. I love this stuff. I want to shout about it. I mean, I guess I can tell you that I'm drawing two new Green Lantern Corps members. Nothing big there that I can tell you about. Sorry. I just can't.

NRAMA: No problem. Let's talk about you as an artist. Last time we talked, you said Rebirth was your favorite thing you've ever done because you felt like it was the best thing you'd been involved with. Is this Sinestro Corps one-shot comparable to that?

EVS: We'll see how it's received. I think it looks better than Rebirth. I think I drew better than Rebirth, but I think that's just because it's two years later. You're bound to improve. But we'll see. We'll see what the fan reaction is. I think everybody's still excited about Green Lantern. I think this is one of the biggest events that DC has for 2007. I think those that don't believe that yet will in June. And I don't know -- I hope it's a step up.

NRAMA: You've talked a lot about working with Geoff. You guys have created together more than once now, and you've obviously been working closely with each other on this comic. Can you tell us about the collaboration?

EVS: We're working fairly closely on this and on the larger story that comes after this. But this is a lot looser a collaboration than other times I've worked Geoff, in that, I think by now, I know where he's coming from, and he knows where I'm coming from, and he knows what to expect from me. So he'll leave something kind of vague, and I'll fill in the blank, and other times he'll write something very specific, and I'll understand what he's going for. We're two years older, and I think our working relationship has changed a little bit -- for the better, for the most part. It's a bit more comfortable.

That's an awkward answer.

NRAMA: You don't like what you said?

EVS: Well, it's kind of a heavy question. Geoff and I have been working together for six, seven years.

NRAMA: Well, I asked the question because I've heard both of you, separately, mention times when you've come up with things on the phone together -- for this comic in particular. You seem to play off each other's ideas a lot. It's a relationship that I don't hear about from a lot of artists and writers.

EVS: Yeah. We get so excited sometimes. I'll come into the room and babble to [Ethan's wife] Sharis after a long phone conversation, at 3 a.m. when Geoff and I finally get off the phone, and it's like, "Wait until you hear this!!" And she's just like, "That's nice." Or it won't make any sense to her -- I'll be like, "Wait until you hear what we're going to do with Qward!!" and she says, "Do whatever you think is good with Qward, honey."

But yeah, we have those kind of conversations where, after we're done putting together pieces from things we've set up and things other people have set up, and we notice how it all comes together as a puzzle, it's so electrifying, and so invigorating, that we're so happy with what we've done and so excited about it, that now it's just a matter of writing and drawing it and getting it out. And that happens big time with Green Lantern.

NRAMA: So one of the things you and Geoff are doing in this story is pulling together a lot of pieces that are already in place and making them come together to explain things in the Green Lantern universe?

EVS: Yes! And you know, you have to wonder how some of this stuff hadn't been thought of before. Like how did so much time go by without someone thinking of the Sinestro Corps and doing it? It's so obvious. And once you have that piece in place, you can see a much bigger picture from there, a much larger picture. And you think, how did these pieces get set up by various creators that all form a gigantic whole and nobody ever realized it before? Geoff and I have conversations like that, and it's very exciting to see it all come together and be part of it.

NRAMA: You said earlier that you and Geoff are working on this comic and the larger story that comes after it. Are you going to be working on Green Lantern after this one-shot?

EVS: I'm doing this, and I'm hoping to be involved in something later on. But I've learned not to make long-term plans because things change so much. I mean, month to month things change.

NRAMA: And this project itself has evolved so much.

EVS: Yeah -- originally it was going to be two bookends with some issues in between, and then it became one gigantic issue, then it grew, then it shrunk a little bit, and then it grew a little more. And you know, this has been happening since September -- you were there in Toronto when we started planning this project. So, like I said, you kind of have to remain loose and go with the flow. I'm not going to be doing Green Lantern immediately after this. I'm not going to be doing it even after that, that I know of. But maybe next year? Maybe in a couple years? I hope so.

NRAMA: Besides this project, you've been doing a lot of covers lately -- a few Green Lantern covers, and of course, those World War III covers.

EVS: Yeah, but I don't know what those mean!

NRAMA: You just drew what they told you to draw for the World War III covers?

EVS: Yeah! I don't know what the story is. I have no idea. I just sort of take notes and draw what they tell me to draw and hope it fits with the story somehow. I assume that it will. I'm not very involved in World War III or Countdown or any of that, but I wish that I was. That thing they asked me to draw where Jason Todd is holding the Red Hood and the Nightwing costume in either hand and looking at his old Robin costume -- what is that about? It looks cool.

NRAMA: OK, getting back to Sinestro Corps, and knowing that you're on a tight schedule here, is there anything else you wanted to tell us about the project, Ethan?

EVS: Yeah, I just want to tell people to buy it. Then buy more of it. And then I'll do another cover for it. Maybe I'll do a black and white cover of it! If they ask me to do one, I'll do one.

NRAMA: On the second printing?

EVS: Yeah! I'm half kidding, but on the other hand, it would be cool to do another variant cover for that book. But what can I tell you? We're really excited about this comic, and hopefully it will sell itself.

NRAMA: Your excitement about the story is pretty obvious. You're proud of this one, aren't you?

EVS: I think it's the best thing that I've ever done. And I think the whole story arc itself is going to be called the best thing that Geoff Johns has ever done as well.
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:50 AM   #2
Thumbs up Ethan's soooo cool!

Wow, is Ethan totally psyched or what? I think his art is amazing and i'm glad he's getting to play with so many toys...and make new ones too! That's awesome. I just think Sinestro is a bit uh, gross. Don't like looking at his big head. Ugh...lol....anyway...love his take on Hal though.

hope it does well, it's obvious he and Geoff have put alot of time and thought into it.

"Do whatever you think is good for Qward, honey." Priceless!

Oh yeah, First Post! Woo Hoo! I'm so cool. Finally.
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:50 AM   #3
John [>H]
Best thing that Geoff Johns and Van Sciver have ever done? I'll definetley be picking this up then! I loved Rebirth (and Recharge,) and the the current Green Lantern ongoing is fantastic. I'm more excited about the Sinestro Corps than I am about Countdown.
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:54 AM   #4
Sinestro is DA BOMB! Always like him, even with his little evil mustache. This is a guaranteed hit!
And throw in a yellow boxing glove for good measure!
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:07 AM   #5
Now that's one heck of an interview! I'm sooo psyched for this now.
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:07 AM   #6
Good interview. Does this tie into Apokalypse i wonder?
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:15 AM   #7
This will be the first Green Lantern book I purchased.. I read GL at my LCS, but i might have to drop a title to get into The Green Lantern Corps & Green Lantern
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:18 AM   #8
This looks way better than anythign like ''The Confession'' one shots marvel have been spewing out
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:26 AM   #9
Zoom appears? I am SO getting this..

I love Sinestro appears to be Worshipping the ring...

does this come out today????


Last edited by BubbaKanoosh : 04-11-2007 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:33 AM   #10
Originally Posted by Tirpen
Now that's one heck of an interview! I'm sooo psyched for this now.

I have to agree. That was one heck of an interview. Probably the best hype for a book since the surprisingly well thought out and respectful one Millar did before Civil War 1.

I wasn't interested in this at all before, and now I'm really curious.
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:47 AM   #11
James Asia
Van Sciver's so damn good.
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:49 AM   #12
This is one of the best interviews I have read. It really has me excited for this summer! I have loved GL since I was 8 years old (GL#50 was the comic that got me into comic books) and it is great to see Johns and Van Scriver reunited on the title. I AM GIDDY!
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:50 AM   #13
Ethan Van Sciver
Thanks Vaneta, for once again turning rambling, confused answers to smart questions into something coherent. And it was good to see you!

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Old 04-11-2007, 08:55 AM   #14
Originally Posted by Ravager
Good interview. Does this tie into Apokalypse i wonder?

Well, we know there is a GL on Apokalypse, imagine what their contribution to the Sinestro Corps could be? One of the Female Furies? Kalibak? The possibilities are endless!
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:57 AM   #15
Can not wait to pick this up. Last year Ethan came to Charleston for a signing at my LCS and showed me an early drawing of the new Sinestro look. If I remember correctly(Ethan would have tell you) there wasn't the armbands on it then. Or the chest emblem. But basiclly it looks like the one he showed me.

I hope to see him at Heroes Con again this year. Which reminds me I need to reqest that weekend off when I get to work today.
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:57 AM   #16
Originally Posted by fearlessrees
This looks way better than anythign like ''The Confession'' one shots marvel have been spewing out

C'mon...we don't need to resort to that here.
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:04 AM   #17
Originally Posted by I am MODOK
Well, we know there is a GL on Apokalypse, imagine what their contribution to the Sinestro Corps could be? One of the Female Furies? Kalibak? The possibilities are endless!
I sorta meant the 'look to the skies' event that will be happening soon, but, yeah i see what you mean....
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:07 AM   #18
Dessad, natch
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:10 AM   #19
Nate-Earth 2
Being a huge Green Lantern fan, I was already looking forward to this since it was first announced. But, after reading this interview, I'm looking forward to it more than ever. I can't wait to see this book. I'd have to say that Mr. Sciver's enthusiasm concerning his work is contagious, haha. Great interview, and preview.
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:16 AM   #20
Sinestro hasn't been seen since Rebirth? I could have sworn I saw him among the villains in Infinite Crisis...
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:19 AM   #21
Originally Posted by Ravager
Good interview. Does this tie into Apokalypse i wonder?

huh? Never heard of it.
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:33 AM   #22
Originally Posted by Ethan Van Sciver
Thanks Vaneta, for once again turning rambling, confused answers to smart questions into something coherent. And it was good to see you!


Thanks, same here -- but that art!! I hadn't seen it before we talked. That scar on Sinestro's back... the arrow marks still in his skin... his posture of defeat... his flashback to what Hal and Kyle did to him in Rebirth... and that splash of him in costume, looking defiant...

Oooooooooo.... it's obviously payback time.

Nice work, Ethan.

- Vaneta
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:34 AM   #23
technically, Sinestro was in VIllians United and Infinite Crisis after Rebirth, correct?
I always wondered why he'd bother workling for Lex and Co.
This should be good. I hate to say it, but I was never the biggest Green Lantern fan (preferring him in team books as opposed to his ongoing) but Johns has made a believer out of me... and my wallet hates him for that.
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:34 AM   #24
Originally Posted by skaly
Sinestro hasn't been seen since Rebirth? I could have sworn I saw him among the villains in Infinite Crisis...
I think you're right - #7, I think, during the big battle scene...
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:41 AM   #25
Originally Posted by whitemarkd
I think you're right - #7, I think, during the big battle scene...

Yeah, I added "much."

The point is, this story picks up after Rebirth.

- Vaneta
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