Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Adventures of Abin Sur and Sinestro

So I'm looking forward to a Sinestro/Abin Sur reunion of some sort, even if Abin has to be a rotting zombie when it happens.

I can't help it. I love it when villains are given some depth, and giving them dead friends is a good way to do it. I like the dynamic Johns has gone for -- Sinestro as Hal's mentor is something, and Abin as Sinestro's mentor is something more to build on. Honestly, can you imagine Sinestro actually respecting someone the way he seems to respect Abin? Or being friendly with someone? He considers (or once did) Hal as his friend, but even when they were getting along Sinestro was barely civil to him. Was it different with Abin? I mean, did they... I dunno, go out and drink beers together, or whatever Korugarians and Ungarans do with their best buds? I guess the "no hanging out in other GLs sectors" thing probably put a damper on that, but they obviously had contact with each other, even if only through their rings.

It begs a few questions. For one, did Abin Sur know how strictly Sinestro was keeping order in his home sector? Sinestro never believed that his way of ruling was wrong, so I can't imagine him keeping it secret when he's talking to someone he considers a friend. You know:

Abin: "Wow, you wouldn't believe the week I've had. Between riots on Flipflop 7 and the evacuation of that unstable planet in the Sparkly System, I've barely had time to take a nap, let alone file a report. So how are things out in 1417?"

"Oh, you know, more of the usual. Some idiot tossed a Jolly Rancher wrapper on my pristine sidewalk, and I had to bitchslap him through a building."


Sinestro: "Also, my wife left me. So I decided to outlaw divorce."

Abin: "..."

Sinestro: "She'll be eligible for parole in sixty years."

Abin: "...Did you stop taking your medication again?"

But seriously. I think it's touching that, when Abin is in his ship headed for Earth and is talking to Sinestro, Sinestro offers to come help him even though they both know perfectly well that Abin is doing something that will likely get him kicked out of the Corps if he gets caught at it. Freeing Atrocitus wasn't something the Guardians would look kindly on. And it makes me wonder if the Guardians even realized that Atrocitus was loose because of something Abin did. After all, Abin was dead, Hal was stupid, and Sinestro quite pointedly didn't mention anything about it when explaining what he was doing on Earth. He just said he was helping take Atrocitus back into custody, that's all. And I know the ring is supposed to record everything, but that doesn't always appear to be true (if it even was back then).

You'd think getting killed doing something against the rules, because of a prophecy that he wasn't supposed to talk about let alone act on, would have lost Abin his spot in the GL crypts or something. Sort of a posthumous dishonorable discharge? Or maybe, because he was dead anyway, they didn't think it was worth quibbling over.

And look at the expression on Sinestro's face when his ring makes contact with Hal/Abin's and Abin's image appears to give him his final message. D'aww! He looks like he's going to cry!

One thing I've wondered, though: at the end of Secret Origin, when the Guardians are dressing down Hal and Sinestro for fraternizing, one of them mentions that this is the second time that Sinestro has defied them with a Green Lantern from 2814. So Sinestro and Abin got in trouble together at some point in the past? We know that Sinestro got suspended as a rookie for questioning the Guardians, but he made no mention of Abin Sur being involved in that particular incident. (Maybe that's what got Abin assigned to be his mentor in the first place?) I suppose they could be referring to that, but it seems odd that, if they were, Sinestro didn't say "oh yes, Abin Sur and I got suspended..." when he was telling Hal about the incident.

So what did Abin and Sinestro actually do? What are these shenanigans that we don't know about? And why do I think that I could probably read an entire series of nothing but Abin and rookie Sinestro perpetuating these shenanigans?


Sea_of_Green said...

LOL! I love the idea of Abin and Sinestro having a beer together. :-)

There are older comics in which the Guardians hint that Abin Sur was a bit of a troublemaker, so maybe his insubordination just wasn't a surprise to them. They even compared Hal's behavior to Abin's a couple of times (referring to both as troublemakers) -- but, of course, Hal always got just a slap on the wrist, and then the Guardians adopted a general "Oh, that's just the Earthmen for you" attitude. They even seemed a bit fond of Hal for being a troublemaker. The worst punishment Hal ever got was to be exiled to space for one year -- still nowhere near a "stay in line or we'll kick you out of the Corps" punishment.

Though they DO step in to punish the GLs for stepping out of line, it seems like the Guardians never really takes a GL to SERIOUS task unless someone from that GL's sector makes a formal complaint. Otherwise, the attitude seems to be, "Oh, that's just the way his/her/its people behave." But if the people have a serious grievance that's brought before the Guardians, THEN the GL receives serious punishment or exile. That, essentially, is what happened to Sinestro. His people really COULDN'T make a formal complaint, until Hal came along.

SallyP said...

The Abin and Sinestro show, eh? I wonder if Geoff Johns has any plans?

This is one of the reasons why I wish they'd bring back Tales of the Green Lantern Corps, or Green Lantern Corps Quarterly, so that we'd have a place for all the untold, but undoubtedly fascinating stories about the various GL's.

Duskdog said...

The Guardians are terribly inconsistent, aren't they? Maybe they're more in tune with Sinestro's thinking than they let on, but they just don't want people to know it. GLs can go around doing whatever they want to keep the universe safe and the Guardians will look the other way so long as no one actually calls them on the behavior?

I'd love a new quarterly to tell the stories of Green Lanterns who aren't Hal. Obviously I want to see Sinestro as a rookie, but Abin is a really interesting character, too, and I'd love to see some more about him and what was going through his head when he started to believe this prophecy stuff. And of course there are tons of others who have the potential for good stories, too. Tons of Lanterns were first introduced to us in short backup stories like these, and it would be a good way to introduce us to some more.