"In Blackest Day, In Brightest Night Beware your fears made into light Let those who try to stop what's right Burn like his power... Sinestro's might!" —Sinestro Corps Oath
Following his defeat in Green Lantern: Rebirth,Sinestro has retreated back to Qward, where he has taken over and started to amass an army of Yellow Lanterns capable of "instilling great fear." Modeling his army after the Green Lantern Corps and allying himself with the Anti-Monitor, he launches an all out war against the Green Lanterns.A Bat Family Crossover between Green Lantern, issues #21 through #25, and Green Lantern Corps, issues #14 through #18 with a prologue in the form of Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1 (plus a single tie in with Blue Beetle #20), the Sinestro Corps War is the critically acclaimed second part of Geoff Johns' Green Lantern "trilogy." (preceded by Green Lantern: Rebirth and succeeded by Blackest Night.)The story entered production in 2006 and was released following the Sinestro Corps Special in June 2007. It proved to be a massive success, financially and critically. Fans consider it among the best Green Lantern stories and it is easy to see why. It introduced new storyline concepts including the variously colored Lantern Corps and the emotional spectrum. It also brought back many Green Lanterns not seen in over 20 years such as Mogo and Sodam Yat.
This crossover contains examples of:
Anthropomorphic Personification: It's established that "Ion" is actually the embodiment of willpower, just as Parallax is the embodiment of fear. The rest of the emotional spectrum weren't covered for some time.
An Arm and a Leg: When Risk attempts to take revenge of Superman-Prime for tearing off his arm during Infinite Crisis, Superman-Prime responds by tearing off his left arm.
Ascended Extra: Many of the Sinestro Corps members. An example? Low and Maash have their own action figures now. "Who are Low and Maash?" you ask? They appear in the background of a few scenes.
Ascended Meme: It didn't quite reach meme levels, but there's a rooftop fight with the sound effect "eepaa". The sound effect's origin? A one off gag in The Simpsons Movie. (This is lampshaded in the commentary in the back of The Sinestro Corps War Volume Two.)
Combat Breakdown: Sinestro vs. Hal and Kyle, after all three get their rings drained.
The Dead Have Names: During the epilogue, Vath insists on reciting the names of every Lantern killed in action.
Death Seeker: Henshaw / Cyborg-Superman, who only works for the Anti-Monitor because it's promised to kill him once and for all.
Unwanted Revival: He almost gets his wish, but is revived by his Manhunters at the very end.
Demonic Possession: Parallax does this to Kyle, and the resulting monstrosity later absorbs Hal as well. This backfires: neither of them could beat him individually, but together they fight their way out from the inside.
Despair Event Horizon: Coast City was already suffering from morale problems after being destroyed in The Death of Superman, and Sinestro intended to hit the event horizon by razing it again. Averted when the people support the Green Lanterns and refuse to evacuate.
Foreshadowing: When the Guardians of the Universe decide to rewrite the Book of Oa, they tore out the "Blackest Night" prophecy. Ganthet and Sayd, fellow Guardians who objected to this and are thus kicked out, later explained the prophecy.
Godzilla Threshold: The threat from a rival Lantern Corps is so great that the Guardians decide to revoke Thou Shalt Not Kill. On a smaller note, Hannu lights up his ring against the Anti-Monitor, when he usually takes personal pride in never using the thing.
I Take Offense to That Last One: Amon Sur mocks Hal for being despised and abandoned by his Corps. Enter the Lost Lanterns (who hold a grudge against Hal / Parallax for leaving them for dead in space) to correct him.
"Despised is one thing, but abandoned? That the Green Lantern Corps don't do."
Loads and Loads of Characters: This is DC, so of course, but there are tons and tons of Sinestro Corpsmen with distinct appearances, names, and backgrounds who really only appear for a page or two.
Mass "Oh, Crap!": The yellow lanterns realizing that the greens are now allowed to use lethal force against them.
Monumental Damage: The Sinestro Corps destroy the Statue of Liberty and, somehow, replace it with a statue of their leader while they're busy invading Earth. Kyle and Guy fix it during the epilogue. Averted with the bit at Mount Rushmore, as the mountain doesn't take any damage.
Omnicidal Neutral: Superboy-Prime stops caring about sides, deciding he'd really rather just kill anything that moves. "I'll take EVERYONE! Both Corps! Bring it on!"
Orcus on His Throne: Superboy-Prime sits on the Moon watching Earth for much of the Sinestro War. When he finally gets involved, he does whatever he wants including punking his own teammates. The only reason Sinestro picked Superboy-Prime as a teammate, plus two other Omnicidal Maniac, at all was that he knew they'd eventually try to kill each other but not before advancing their own plans by hurting their mutual enemies.
Superboy-Prime: Ion huh? you act tough, but you don't look so special to me.
Psycho Rangers: The Sinestro Corps. A handful of Lanterns even have specific Evil Counterparts: Arkillo for Kilowog, Ranx for Mogo, Superboy-Prime for Sodam Yat, Enkafos for Salaak, even a guy called Romat-Ru for Tomar-Tu!
Retcon: Just like Rebirth established Hal Jordan and Parallax as two separate beings, Sinestro Corps reveals that Ion is an entity separate from Kyle Rayner.
Sealed Evil in a Can: Ganthet and Sayd dissect Parallax and seal him in four separate prisons - the Lantern batteries of the Earth-based Lanterns. The Anti-Monitor also becomes trapped in the Black Lantern Battery.
Sealed Evil In A Six Pack: The fear entity Parallax is captured by the Guardians of the Universe and split into four pieces, each stored in the power batteries of the four Earth Lanterns.
Sequel Hook: Before the climax, Ganthet and Sayd explain that more Lantern Corps will be emerging, and at the end they begin laying out the foundations for the Blue Corps.
The Stinger: Another Hook: The Anti-Monitor's body is drawn to a dead planet and becomes the Black Lanterns' Power Battery. We also see black-ringed hands rising from graves, but that's just metaphorical. For now.
Shout-Out: When Karu-Sil comments that Earth's beasts are weak:
Guy: You ever see "Red Dawn"? [makes constructs of]"Wolverines!"
Start of Darkness: In retrospect, this war was one for the Guardians. The Sinestros and other emotion-powered Lantern Corps that emerged afterward terrified them so much that they started taking more extreme steps to fight them, until they tried to get rid of emotion altogether.
They Died Because of You: Kyle's life was already the trope namer for "Women in Refrigerators", but now it turns out that the disease that killed his mother was a sentient virus who joined the Sinestro Corps. Sinestro lets him know this to weaken his mental defenses against Parallax.
Thou Shalt Not Kill: No longer enforced. (Hey, if real-life cops can shoot to kill, why can't Space Police?) Rather than take it too far in the other direction, debates over proper use of this power continued being discussed within the Corps even after the war. Most Lanterns (including the human leads) make it a point to leave killing as a last resort.
Notably, Kilowog considers a willingness to kill to be a weakness, and defeats Arkillo handily while Arkillo's focusing on murdering bystanders.
What Could Have Been: The commentary in the second collection reveals that Parallax was going to take over Guy and John in addition to Kyle. This was rejected because it distracted from the rest of the story and would've led to Villain Decay by making him less unique.
Xanatos Gambit: Sinestro set things up so that no matter what the outcome was, he would win. Either he and his troops gained control of the Multiverse, or he forced the Green Lantern Corps into adopting more aggressive tactics that he feels would be more suitable to bringing order to the Universe.