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Thaal Sinestro

"Labeled the first renegade of the Green Lantern Corps, I was banished to the underbelly of the universe, the Antimatter Universe... and delivered back into darkness. For the first time in my life — I felt fear. And I was blinded by its brilliance. I believed fear to be a part of the chaos I abhor, but it was more controlling than all the willpower in the universe. And it would be mine."
Homeworld: Korugar
Sector: 1417
First Appearance: Green Lantern Vol 2 #7 (August 1961)

Sinestro was a former Green Lantern who carried out his oath through the use of tyranny. When exposed, Sinestro was brought in by Hal and imprisoned in the Battery. There, he made contact with Parallax, a living yellow parasitic embodiment of fear. Years later, after his plot against Hal Jordan had run its course, he retreated to the Anti-Matter universe and built a Yellow Power Battery, making him the first to harness one of the new colors to form a Corps.

You can read his own take on himself here.

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    # — H 
  • 0% Approval Rating: This is addressed in his own comic run, no less. It's always unclear just how many of those who act like they approve of Sinestro are telling the truth, but most people in the universe know better than to trust him including most of his own Corps and he makes it clear that he doesn't trust any of them either. He does start regaining the loyalty of parts of the corps as the title progresses, but they have very different priorities than most people.
  • The Ace: Before Hal, he was considered the greatest of the Green Lanterns. It shows, as he has tricks up his sleeve that Hal still hadn't learned, even after over a decade on the job. When it comes to tactical use of the power ring, Sinestro has no equal.
  • Alliance with an Abomination: Has teamed up with the Anti-Monitor and Parallax at different times, though only Parallax stuck with him past the Sinestro Corps War.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Abin Sur was Sinestro's best friend and he personally saw Abin as the best member of the Green Lantern Corps sans himself. Even after his turn to villainy and disgracing the Green Lanterns on a mutual basis, Sinestro has nothing but respect for Abin Sur and mourns his loss, with his mentoring towards Hal Jordan based on his own perspective of honouring Abin in a way. In fact, part of the reason why Sinestro hates the Guardians of the Universe is because he feels that they indirectly played a role in Abin Sur's death via a Manhunter and that they didn't bother to intervene, something in which he isn't wrong about.
  • Anti-Villain: When written by Geoff Johns he's much more willing to work with the heroes against bigger threats, sometimes even reaching arguably Anti-Hero territory.
  • Arch-Enemy: To all Green Lanterns, but Hal Jordan in particular mainly because it was Hal who exposed Sinestro's actions as a dictator to Korugar and using lethal force by proxy, which ended with him getting revoked from the Green Lantern Corps. That said, Sinestro still sees himself as a mentor and friend to Hal.
  • Ax-Crazy: For a team that is wielded by those who inspire fear and do so via showcasing their savage and bloodthirsty nature, Sinestro isn't one of them, being mostly calm and collected. Even when driven into a Villainous Breakdown, the most he reacts is rants and fighting more recklessly than he usually does.
  • Back for the Dead: Sinestro's return during the third issue of Emerald Twilight. The character had not been seen for years apart from an appearance as a spirit possessing John Stewart in Mosaic. Yet in what was meant to be Hal Jordan's final issue as Green Lantern, the Guardians seemingly resurrected Sinestro from his imprisonment inside the Central Power Battery in an attempt to stop Hal Jordan's rampage. It doesn't work, as Hal kills him by breaking his neck. Later stories would reveal that the Sinestro that died was a Parallax-created illusion to help break Hal Jordan's will, but at the time this was meant to be the final showdown between Hal and Sinestro.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: He, of all people, ends up getting the White Lantern power. Then hilariously Subverted, as he's smacked away soon enough after and has to be backed up by the others.
  • Badass Boast: During their last round in Sinestro Corps War with Hal and Kyle, he ends up shouting out this line...
    Sinestro: As long as there is life, the universe will never be without fear!
  • Bait-and-Switch Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #3 ends with Hal defeated by a squad of Sinestro Corpsmen, ready to take him to Sinestro. The next issue begins with Sinestro about to gloatingly welcome Hal... only it turns out that the Green Lantern brought before him is Guy Gardner, who'd been captured offscreen.
  • Beneath the Mask: Sinestro happens to hide a lot of repressed emotions like hate, shame, and regret. This made him a notable host for Umbrax to take influence upon him, turning Sinestro into an Ultraviolet Lantern.
  • Best Friend: He shared this dynamic with Abin Sur, whom Sinestro saw as the best member of the Green Lantern Corps. Even years after his death and Sinestro breaking his ties with the Corps to become their Arch-Enemy, Sinestro maintains a great deal of respect for Abin.
  • Big Bad: Sinestro is the main antagonist of the second-half of Emerald Dawn and Sinestro Corps War. Eventually, he works himself up into becoming the main adversary of the Green Lantern Corps by being their most persistent member, establishing an Evil Counterpart version of the group that he once served and being Hal Jordan's most personal nemesis.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He plays this role in Forever Evil during the scuffle against Power Ring. While Power Ring was able to fend off Batman (who, at that time, also held a Yellow Lantern Ring) and Catwoman, Sinestro suddenly shows up, formerly presumed to be dead, to take on and defeat Power Ring.
  • Break the Badass: Sinestro was able to inspire fear in Guy Gardner. While Guy isn't the most important, popular, or powerful of the Green Lanterns, what's notable about him is that Guy is known to be utterly fearless towards anything he faces off against, to the point where he would tell "funny stories" to a lot of enemies Hal fought against. Sinestro isn't one of them.
  • Breakout Villain: In his first characterization he was a mostly one note villain with some claim to Halís arch-nemesis with not much going to him besides a yellow power ring. Compare that to now, where he along with Atrocitus are the pedestal villains of the Lantern Corps. It eventually got to a point where Sinestro would receive his own comic book issues detailing his arc during the New 52.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Sinestro was a Green Lantern member, so his suit was naturally a bright shade of green. In his prison attire, he wore a moderate shade of purple, but his most notable clothing is a bright yellow suit. He's also a militant dictator who commits villainous acts as a way to provide benefit and order in his twisted psyche.
  • Bring It: After Hal, Kyle and Sinestro have all had their rings drained and end up on a rooftop, Sinestro just glares at them.
    Sinestro: Come on, then. The both of you.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sinestro is this to the Green Lantern Corps, being their once greatest and most effective member, who was then revealed to be a dictator using unscrupulous methods to maintain a system of order that the Green Lantern Corps found unacceptable and were forced to remove him. The feeling is mutual with Sinestro feeling as if the Green Lanterns are not strong or capable enough to maintain order in the universe.
    • He also winds up becoming this to his own Corps in his own New 52 series, which occurred shortly after Sinestro defected from it. Some parts of the pedestal is rebuilt, but even they tend to be wary at times.
  • Characterization Marches On: invoked Initially Sinestro rarely had speaking roles in comics, and was often depicted as a Palette Swap variant of the Joker. Now, he's straddling the line between Anti-Villain and Anti-Hero, despite Word of God saying much of his characterization is based on Adolf Hitler. The most consistent trait is his personal relationship with Hal Jordan, though that has gone from Arch-Enemy to Friendly Enemy at times.
  • Combat Breakdown: At their final bout in the Sinestro Corps War, the battery of Sinestro Yellow Lantern Ring runs out, which also occurs with Hal and Kyle's rings. He decides to just battle them with his own body and fists.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: His original looks were based on David Niven. Some fanon said, however, that he was an expy of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
  • Control Freak: As someone who is obsessed with keeping order, Sinestro would do whatever it takes to enforce it upon those he feels that either needs control or should be saved, something which leads him into becoming a dictator to his own home planet and an enemy to the Green Lanterns. And as Hal puts it best:
    Sinestro wants complete control. Over everything and everybody. And what Sinestro can't control- he destroys.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He ends up on a very one-sided one against Hal Jordan when the latter taps into his pure-willpower form. What's even worse for Sinestro is that he is powered by Parallax and that still does nothing to shift the fight in Sinestro's favour, and neither can he prevent the destruction of his base in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
    • On the other hand, his fight against Power Ring also ends up like this; a master of fear whose power revolves around how much the victim fears him at nearly full power versus a man with dwindling energy whose power revolves around his own fear of others. The previous issue even lampshades how predictable the outcome is, as does one of the variant covers of the issue.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: He gave up his daughter so she wouldn't be persecuted for her father's political ideas. Given what happened to her mother, it was clearly a good call.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The modern take on Sinestro explores this, as far as him wanting to instil "order" throughout the universe as the motive for his villainy, which often plays out like an Evil Plan.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Subverted; he's a villain and has a Snidely-esque whiplash, but his personality is nothing like the villain stereotype.
  • Determinator: There was a reason he was a member of the Green Lantern Corps after all. In fact, Sinestro was considered among it's greatest member because alongside willpower, he demonstrated great resolve and determination in his convictions and goals. It's one of the traits he's consistently maintained throughout his appearances, with Sinestro being one of the hardest individuals to put down partly because of his drive to see his goals succeed, no matter what.
  • Discard and Draw: When he obtains an Ultraviolet Ring, he stops using his Sinestro Corps power ring. During Dark Nights: Death Metal, he uses all of his Ultraviolet power to punch a hole in the Omega Knight, he wears his old ring again.
  • The Dreaded: The Yellow Lantern Rings are powered by the amount of fear the wielder inspires towards others. Given that Sinestro is among the most powerful member of his own Corps as well as their top superior, it's safe to say that he is easily among the most feared beings in the DC Universe.
  • Drunk with Power: His initial fall from grace had shades of this and revisiting the issue through flashbacks have only reinforced the idea.
  • Dynamic Entry: He starts off the fourth issue of Forever Evil by blasting Power Ring in the back.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Sinestro (with Sector 3600) destroys the rebuilt Bolovax Vik (Kilowog's home planet), along with the spirits of Kilowog's race.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: When Sinestro uses the Yellow Light of Parallax held into a ring to create a Corps, the most logical thing would be to establish the Yellow Lantern Corps as a name. Nope, he instead insists on calling it the Sinestro Corps, which is symbolic of his constant need of order and his belief that he is the best individual capable of bringing peace to the universe, despite his own Corps being powered by fear and housing a collective of Ax-Crazy berserkers.
  • Endangered Species: Sinestro's first plan of action after returning is finding and rescuing the few remaining Korugar natives (his own race) all of whom hate him with a passion and are only alive because they fled their homeworld to escape from him. Unfortunately for them they're now in danger of being attacked by others for Sinestro's crimes.
  • Enemy Mine: With Hal/the Green Lantern Corps against worse villains such as Nekron, Krona, and Volthoom. Then again, with many of these foes opting for universal annihilation, there can't be any order if there isn't anything left, so Sinestro is forced into an alliance with his usual arch-enemies if they're up against those wishing to destroy the universe and beyond.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Deep down he still cares for his dead wife Arin Sur, and his daughter Soranik Natu. He also had a very close friendship with Abin Sur, whose dismissal by the Guardians is one of the reasons he hates them.
    • On Korugar, the first police officer to support him was a woman named Arsona. While she later came to regret this choice and eventually denounced him, some part of her still cared for him, and he for her. Wrath of the First Lantern later reveals that he had fallen in love with her (Volthoom explicitly states his feelings for her are the same he felt for Arin Sur), and her death in Korugar's destruction served as his second Despair Event Horizon, first driving him to try and steal Kyle's white lantern ring to revive her and the planet, then driving him to take control of Parallax and take revenge on Volthoom and the Guardians. Although Volthoom can't die due to his Complete Immortality (but did scream in agony and was later killed by Hal and Nekron), Sinestro and Parallax slaughtered the Guardians, only sparing Ganthet.
    • It must be noted that even after everything he put them through, Sinestro has never stopped loving Korugar and his people, to the point that one of the few rules of the Sinestro Corps was to bring no harm to the planet under any circumstances. When Mongul II refused to listen and tried to conquer it, Sinestro himself came to his people's aid and riddled him with holes. When Volthoom destroyed Korugar and most of his race, Sinestro made him scream in agony, and with his Corps' help, he terraformed a former prison planet into New Korugar, a new home for his people.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Hal Jordan, who he mentored. The two still respect each other to a degree.
    Hal: Were we ever truly friends?
    Sinestro: That's the tragedy of all this, Jordan. Hal. We'll always be friends.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Sinestro just can't figure out why people who fled his subjugation react with varying degrees of horror and fury when he catches up to them and transports them to a repurposed prison planet he and his army keep an eye on from the old guard moon. He also mistakes his heroic daughter sticking around to keep an eye on him and his plots as burgeoning loyalty.
  • Evil Counterpart: Fitting that his team is a villainous counterpart to the Green Lanterns, Sinestro is this to Abin Sur, with both being among the best that the Corps had to offer, with both of them acting in unorthodox ways compared to other members. That said, Abin Sur was more in lines of negotiating things peacefully whereas Sinestro thought that was best done by dominating others and enforcing order, effectively making him a dictator. Regardless of their differences and alignment, both saw each other as Best Friends with Sinestro being shown to grieve for Abin Sur.
  • Evil Mentor: Granted, he wasnít evil at the time, but he was Halís main teacher when he was starting out in the Corps, and still sometimes makes reference to being his teacher, albeit usually as a way to condescend to him. He is very quick to state that Hal has not yet Surpassed the Teacher, though itís not like his ego would allow him to say otherwise.
  • Evil Is Petty: Green Lantern Rebirth revealed that Sinestro was the true mastermind behind Halís fall from grace as Parallax, as he was the one that told the entity to use Hal to escape the Central Power Battery to begin with. The reason he picked Hal specifically? He wanted Hal to see what it was like to have been considered the greatest Green Lantern of them all, only to then be called a traitor and murderer.
  • Eviler than Thou: During the Red Lanterns' introductory arc, he and Atrocitus spent much of the time boasting in each other's face about being the bigger threat.
  • FaceĖHeel Turn: Once, he was among the best of the Green Lanterns, that is until Hal discovered that Sinestro was actually using underhanded tactics to govern Korugar like a dictator, all while out of notice from the Corps. Once he was caught, stripped off of his privileges, and arrested, Sinestro vowed that he would have revenge. And revenge, he would attempt in a glorious fashion.
  • Faking the Dead: He faked his own death when he fought Hal during Emerald Twilight.
  • Fallen Hero: Sinestro used to be the single most respected member of the Green Lantern Corps, until he took a shortcut in his work by enslaving his home planet. Just to add to the tragedy, Johns' run suggests that Sinestro didn't just start off a jerk (though he was) who happened to turn evil, but through losing his family to violence on Korugar.
  • Foil:
    • Sinestro is one to Atrocitus. Both are leaders of a Lantern Corps that just so happen to be in opposition against the Green Lantern Corps, command great fear from their alliance, and tend to employ incredibly unscrupulous and ruthless actions in order to achieve their objectives. They also intend to fight for a good cause, albeit in an incredibly extreme way. That said, while both are associated with negative emotions, Sinestro is powered by Fear whereas Atrocitus places emphasis on Rage. Their methods for a better universe also differ; Sinestro wants to bring about order and control in a fascistic way whereas Atrocitus wants to lead his Corps into targeting and butchering the truly wicked partly to sate their rage and partly to ensure they don't inspire the same kind of actions against that turned a Red Lantern into what they are now.
    • He is also one to Black Adam. Both are powerful, feared leaders who command great fear to their subordinates, have a personal relationship with their arch-enemies, and tend to display their superiority towards others on multiple occasions. This gets played up in Forever Evil where Sinestro and Black Adam recognize their similarities and end up bonding and becoming friends over these.
  • Friendly Enemy: Claims he and Hal Jordan have always been friends.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: As a young man on Korugar, Sinestro was a simple student of archaeology. Years later, he became a despotic tyrant feared across the stars.
  • Galactic Conqueror: Sinestro's greatest aspirations is to bring order to the universe and ensure it safe and secure under his watch, but given his own actions being more in lines with a militant dictator, he's more in lines with this trope than anything else.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: While normally someone who relies on using his ring (of which he appears to be among the very best in, Sinestro can fight using his bare hands if necessary, as shown in the end of the Sinestro Corps War.
    Ring: Warning. Power levels approaching 0.0%.
    Sinestro: (to Hal and Kyle) Come on, then. The both of you.
  • The Heavy:Almost always causes problems for the Laterns in anyway.
  • HeelĖFace Revolving Door: Between starting off as Lantern, becoming a supervillain, forming his own Corps (that underwent its own FaceĖHeel Turn eventually), taking part in several Enemy Mine situations- it's not so much what 'side' Sinestro is on as much as what course of action best serves his purpose of bringing order to the universe.
  • Hero Killer: In the Sinestro Corps War Sinestro leads his fellow Corps into killing several Green Lantern members in an effort to assert their own superiority towards them. This also turned out to be a ploy on Sinestro's part for the Guardians to finally allow the Green Lanterns to use their powers to kill others. While this eventually turns the tide and Sinestro is defeated, he still muses over the fact that his actions have made the Green Lanterns more ruthless than before, something that he desired.
  • Heroic Willpower: Though he can't really always be said to be heroic, Ion himself said he had the strongest willpower of all Green Lanterns.
  • Hero's Evil Predecessor: Evil Predecessor to either Hal Jordan (greatest Lantern) or Katma Tui/Soranik Natu (Lantern of Sector 1417).
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: Using both his mastery over fear and his exceptionally strong willpower, he's able to control Parallax, having it possess him and maintaining control, and practically treating it like a pet.
    • Evil Is Not a Toy: Naturally, Parallax is not happy with this treatment, and itís noted that even for Sinestro it is often hard to maintain control over the entity for extended periods.

    I — N 
  • Interspecies Friendship: He's Korugarian, while his partner, Abin Sur was Ungaran.
  • Interspecies Romance: He's Korugarian, while his late wife, Arin Sur, Abin's sister was Ungaran.
  • Ironic Echo: Soranik angrily confronts Sinestro about how he used her, but he retorts that she's trying to blame him for something that she really should have expected.
    Sinestro: Take responsibility for your failures, Soranik. Or you will never learn from them.
    • Shortly afterwards, they receive word about Hal Jordan resurfacing and opposing the Sinestro Corps. Sinestro starts ranting about how he was always a disappointment, and Hal can never single-handedly oppose him.
      Soranik: Take responsibility for your failures, father. Or you will never learn from them.
  • It's All About Me: Sinestro repeatedly shows himself to be incapable of believing that someone else can succeed where he failed, such as automatically concluding that Kyle Rayner's White Lantern ring came from Volthoom rather than accept that Kyle achieved that state on his own, blaming others for his failures rather than accept that he wasn't good enough on his own.
    • Part of his hatred for Hal Jordan also stems from believing that Hal betrayed him by not joining him when he found Sinestro was a tyrant behind the Corps' backs. He does not seem to ever consider the reverse possibility; that it was him that betrayed the Corps.
  • Jerkass: He may be a Well-Intentioned Extremist but heís still a pretentious condescending asshole who respects very few people (his Archenemy Hal Jordan being one of them). He constantly refers to Kyle Rayner as an unworthy street rat because of the nature in which he got his powers.
  • Karmic Death: Sinestro delivers this trope to Power Ring in Forever Evil. Power Ring's ring is powered by one's own cowardice; because he is a massive coward, that makes him very powerful. However, Sinestro's ring also feeds on Power Ring's cowardice. Their battle is brief and - for Sinestro - hilarious.
  • Kick the Dog: Though he is portrayed more sympathetically as of late, Sinestro does occasionally do this to remind readers that while he might be justified in questioning the Guardians' authority, he is still a villain. He killed Red Lantern Laira just when it seemed like Hal might have calmed her down and taunted Hal about it, and then he later stabbed Ganthet.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Slaughtering all the Guardians but Ganthet is horrific, but given this was after they'd taken several major levels in jerkass from Sinestro Corps War onwards, up to and including trying to wipe out all sentient life in the universe... it's not unfair to say they kinda had it coming. Even Hal, when trying to stop him - not knowing he'd already done it - is trying to talk Sinestro down from killing them not for their sake, but his.
    • In Forever Evil, Sinestro is the one to kill Power Ring, a member of the Crime Syndicate who think nothing other than invading other worlds to conquer and indulge in their own evil.
  • Knight Templar: Above all, he wishes to bring order to the universe — and he's willing to completely enslave it to do so.
    • Part of his goal in the Sinestro Corps War was to force the Green Lantern Corps into resorting to lethal force so that even if he lost, the Corps would be more 'efficient' at bringing about order.
      Sinestro: The universe will fear Green Lanterns. And the universe will be better for it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: His puppy-kicking is not without consequence. Several members of the Red Lantern Corps, as Atrocitus himself is happy to point out, are victims of Sinestro's corps, making him partially responsible for the rise of the Red Lanterns. And killing Laira drives Hal into such a rage that he is inducted into the Red Lantern Corps himself and comes dangerously close to killing Sinestro and his corpsmen, if not for Saint Walker's intervention.
  • Last-Name Basis: Hardly anyone calls him Thaal.
  • Last-Second Chance: In Emerald Twilight, when Sinestro is sent against Hal, the latter tells the former to back away or else he would kill. Sinestro doesn't do what Hal told him, and considering the state he was in, Sinestro didn't last long.
  • Leave Him to Me!: More than once regarding Hal, on the grounds that he reckons that It's Personal and he regards Hal as being greater than any of his corpsmen - consequently, he feels he's the only one who can take on Hal. All the evidence says that he's not wrong.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: He's evil, but he's generally treated as the better man when he fights over villains like Mongul or Nekron. While a villain, Sinestro does have some scruples, honor, and virtues and at least he genuinely believes that he's doing what he does for a better cause.
    • Like most of the villains in Earth 1, Sinestro naturally ends up being this in Forever Evil (2013) where he's pitted against Power Ring, an evil version of Hal Jordan from Earth 3 who is defined by his supreme cowardice as well as being selfish, an exact opposite of the Hal Jordan Sinestro knew.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He's Soranik Natu's father.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Is very charismatic and intelligent, and very good at scheming and manipulating people.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is derived from "sinestra", which is Latin for left-handed. It's also an indication that he's not a nice guy.
  • Mirror Character: During the events of Wrath of the First Lantern, Sinestro ends up becoming this to Atrocitus and John Stewart.
    • With Atrocitus, Volthoom ends up destroying Korugar, which sends Sinestro into deep despondency. This was something that Atrocitus had also went through and to further twist the knife, both the destruction of Korugar and Ryut were because of the ignorance and incompetence of the Guardians who neglected to keep the Manhunters under control. On a similar note, it's also similar to John Stewart role in the destruction of Xanshi. If both men hadn't been so egotistical and intent on ending the crisis by themselves, then both worlds might have been saved.
    • He also ends up being this to Kilowog; the both of them loved their worlds and their people, but would later lose both to Sinestro's own vanity: Kilowog when Sinestro destroyed the new Bolovax Vik to try to destroy the Lanterns on it, and Sinestro who refused help against the First Lantern. Both events lead to major events in Sinestro's life as well: after destroying Bolovax Vik, Sinestro was tried and killed by the Corps, only for his soul to enter the Power Battery & meet the Parallax entity; and after Korugar's loss, Sinestro bonds with Parallax & kills most of the Guardians, and leaves for unknown space.
  • Misplaced Retribution: At the slave auction in his eponymous series, Sinestro says he'll kill everyone if the Korugar survivors are not handed over to him, even though most of the audience is not bidding and just appears to be the downtrodden watching a spectacle and there are slaves in the audience. When the woman who had the highest bid orders her guards to kill the Yellow Lanterns he then kills everyone but her in retaliation. It's especially erroneous because her reason for bidding on them is never revealed, for all he knows she wanted to free them, and anyone with any knowledge about Korugar knows better than to trust Sinestro to keep his word.
  • Murder by Inaction: His predecessor as Green Lantern was Prohl Gosgotha, who loaned Sinestro his ring to help him fend off a Weaponer while he was seriously injured. Seeing himself more worthy of weilding the power, Sinestro inherited Gosgotha's ring by refusing to give the ring back and letting him die.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Not Sinestro himself, but in one moment when Guy Gardner runs out of his his ring's battery, it's revealed that he's worn nothing and he ends up naked. In a humorous moment, Sinestro ends up face-palming at the whole situation.
    Sinestro: Gardner, how did the Green Lantern Corps ever accept you into its ranks?
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Sinestro sounds like sinister. Considering A Sinister Clue, it's pretty clear he's up to no good.
  • Narrator All Along: The events of Emerald Twilight are narrated and told to the audience by him, though we don't know this up until the very end of the story.
  • Neck Snap: This is how he ends up dying, courtesy of an enraged and maddened Hal Jordan, in Emerald Twilight. He gets better.
  • Nemesis Weapon: He originally wielded a ring that was composed entirely of the "yellow impurity" in the standard-issue GL rings. In more modern continuity, Sinestro and his Sinestro Corps wield rings that tap into fear, the antithesis of the willpower the modern Green Lantern rings tap into. Further, under Geoff Johns's tenure, this was expanded into six other Lantern corps that tapped into other emotions, some of which were Nemesis Weapons to one another, including Black Hand and the Black Lantern Corps, whose rings drive them to consume emotion on the grounds that the blackness of death is the absence of emotion.
  • Never My Fault: He'll never admit that the reason his wife, Arin Sur, turned against him, that his people came to fear him, and that he was stripped of his position as Green Lantern, is all his own fault due to what borders on a pathological need for control. Instead, he'll constantly blame Hal Jordan, the other Green Lanterns, and the Guardians of the Universe for being too weak or not intelligent enough to understand what's required to bring about order.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Despite being a villain himself, Sinestro ends up being on the benefitting end of the trope, courtesy of Volthoom destroying Korugar, which pissed him off to the point where he siccs Parallax and his Corps on the First Lantern.
  • Nightmare Weaver: Sinestro can conjure up a projection of one's worst nightmares in case his ring picks up emotional residues of their fear. He enforces a routine ala a "fear lodge" in an attempt to indoctrinate others into his cause and teach them how to weaponize their fears.
  • Not So Stoic: Atrocitus was the first to discover Sinestro had a daughter in the first place, and vowed to kill her in retaliation for Sinestro's acts against him. This marked a very rare moment when Sinestro was genuinely afraid.

    O — Z 
  • Obviously Evil: He's scarlet-skinned with a Snidely-esque whiplash and is literally called Sinestro; the only thing shocking about his villainy is that it's well-intentioned.
  • Papa Wolf: On a rare occasion, he will act uncharacteristically protective in case his daughter gets involved in a deathly situation. After all, Sinestro felt that it would be best that Soranik be left distant from him as her association as Sinestro's daughter would damage their reputation as well as have foes think of her as emotional leverage for Sinestro.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: He used to be "The Greatest Green Lantern". Now he's the Corps' worst enemy.
  • Pretender Diss: During his brief return to the Green Lanterns, he remarked to Starstorm, an alien hero who'd fought him in his Yellow Lantern days and had been utterly psychologically crushed by it, that he had seen men climb out of far worse ruin than that... and then added that, however, Starstorm was no Hal Jordan. In general, he deemed the various Earth Lanterns to be Inadequate Inheritors to Hal - who is just about the only person he very begrudgingly respects.
  • Pride: Sinestro's fatal flaw. He can't accept that anyone can succeed where he has failed, with the closest he's come to acknowledging another's equality/superiority in any respect being when he considered his and Hal's clash to be the ultimate clash between Fear and Will.
  • Planet Baron: He lorded over Korugar like a military general and felt that it was his right to govern the planet to a prosperous route. What's surprising about this is that Sinestro genuinely believes that he's doing a big service to Korugar, even though many in the planet actually dislike him for what he's done.
  • Post-Final Boss: Once Volthoom is defeated, Hal has one more battle, against Sinestro, who wants to murder the Guardians. However, Hal wasn't trying to save the Guardians, he was actually trying to prevent Sinestro from crossing another line.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: In order to cement his control of the universe, Sinestro creates the Fear Engine, a gigantic machine inside Warworld. Thousands of captives are shown their greatest fears, which would fuel the Sinestro Corps' fear rings indefinitely. However, Sinestro actively avoids the "child" part of this trope. He believes that only the best and brightest can provide enough fear energy, and children certainly don't fit the criteria.
  • Power Tattoo: During his tenure as a member of the Ultraviolet Lanterns, instead of a ring, Sinestro was branded a tattoo in the shape of a ring on his middle finger that held and conjured the ultraviolet powers of repressed emotions.
  • The Psycho Rangers: He created an entire organization of one to oppose the very Corps that he used to be a part of as well as prove it to them that what he can do is better and more effective than what they've done. Of course, The Sinestro Corps is filled with ruthless, raving maniacs powered by fear, and they're all sub subservient towards Sinestro because in addition to being their leader, he inspires the greatest fear out of the bunch.
  • Purple Is the New Black: As an Ultraviolet Lantern, Sinestro's costume is largely the same, except the yellow is replaced with a dark shade of purple and his ring constructs also generate Hard Light with a dull purple color scheme.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Sinestro is pink, and he's a formidable leader, an expert manipulator, skilled fighter, and an incredibly talented figure in his own right.
  • Redemption Rejection: The villains are granted full pardons for their help in defeating the Crime Syndicate but only Luthor and Cold accept it. Sinestro and Black Adam openly laugh at the idea.
  • Ring of Power: He had one, and was considered it's most skillful user. Sometime after his defection from the Green Lantern Corps, he ends up in the possession of another powered ring, this one being yellow and powered by how much fear it inspires. It leads Sinestro to create his own corps.
  • Satanic Archetype: He was the best and brightest of a heavenly host, but his prideful and opinionated nature led him to become disobedient. This led to him being cast out and becoming their greatest enemy.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: If Adolf Hitler had more foresight—and a power ring, and magenta skin—he'd be Sinestro.
  • A Sinister Clue: He's left-handed, which is referenced in his name.
  • The Social Darwinist: He frequently looks down on the weak and believes that those with considerable strength are inherently in the right. He even became Green Lantern of his sector by refusing to return the ring to his predecessor Prohl Gosgotha when the latter was gravely wounded and loaned Sinestro his ring to fend off a Weaponer of Qward.
  • The Starscream: Back when he was still a Green Lantern. He had major plans to dethrone and murder his superiors, the Guardians, due to his belief they were doing a poor job running the universe (which, all things considered, probably isn't far off).
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore, Being the founder and leader of a Corps dedicated to using Fear as their main emotion of power, he has owner of the Book of Parallax, which details everything the Corps' member have, can, and will do in the name of inspiring fear.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Johns has pulled this with a number of characters. Sinestro went from being a good arch-enemy to Hal and already badass to becoming a full-blown Magnificent Bastard.
  • Trauma Button: During Blackest Night, Carol zaps him with the standard Star Sapphire technique of putting him in a crystal prison that makes him feel love. Unfortunately, it reminds him of Arin, and Sinestro promptly goes berserk, smashing out of the crystal instantly.
  • Unexplained Recovery: It is never explained how Sinestro survived after getting his neck snapped by Hal at the climax of Emerald Twilight. Later material explained that Sinestro was only a hard light construct created by Parallax and controlled by the real Sinestro.
  • Villain Has a Point: As shown in full from approximately Blackest Night through Brightest Day and culminating in Rise of the Third Army and Wrath of the First Lantern, his opinion on the Guardians of the Universe was largely correct. Hal comes to accept that, and when he confronts Sinestro at the end of the last event, he makes it very clear that he agrees, and he's not trying to save the Guardians from Sinestro - he's trying to save Sinestro from himself.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He has one during Blackest Night. Whenever he finds out that the Guardians made Abin Sur (his only true friend) look like he had gone insane when he really was the only one who knew the truths behind Blackest Night, he gets really pissed off. Understandably so! Also his reaction to Hal getting the Parallax entity again instead of himself and the part around the end with his need to get the White Lantern battery.
  • Villain Respect: Towards Hal Jordan. He views practically everyone else with total contempt, but Hal is pretty much the only one who earns his compliments, backhanded and snarky as they often are.
  • Villainous Friendship: Considers Black Adam a friend and peer, mainly because of the number of similarities they tend to share with one another.
  • Villainous Vow: Like all the other Corps, the Sinestro Corps has their own oath that they recite. Sinestro's case is unique in that instead of chanting '"Burn like his Power", he instead proclaims "Burn like my Power!"'' to further emphasize that his Corps was named after himself.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: After Volthoom is defeated, Sinestro admits to Hal that this is how he really sees him as, in spite of their opposing sides and their means to maintain order in the universe.
  • We Can Rule Together: Sometimes offers this to Hal when they clash, telling him join him or die. Hal invariably turns him down, lampshading that they're both too stubborn to ever change.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Depending on the incarnation, but the comic usually portrays Sinestro as this. He really does care about his people and maintaining order, but the lengths he will go to in order to keep them safe and thriving are almost always what most would call controversial. For one, he felt that being a dictator to Korugar really was for the best for the planet, even if many started to hate Sinestro for this act.
  • Willing Channeler: Twice in Green Lantern #20. Sinestro frees Parallax from the Yellow Power Battery so he can utilize his powers. He does, and keeps control of himself. Hal also becomes a Black Lantern specifically to return from the Dead Zone and summon Nekron to kill Volthoom. It also doubles as Hijacking Cthulhu as because he is well aware of what Parallax is and a master of Yellow Energy, Sinestro manages it easier than Hal, who has to use his Heroic Willpower to overcome Nekron's control.
  • The Worf Effect: He's on the giving end of this trope in Green Lantern: Rebirth and Sinestro Corps War. The first thing Sinestro does upon showing up in the former is to beat the hell out of Kyle Rayner, even on the latter occasion when Kyle has a huge power boost. This is done just to make Sinestro look badass.
  • Worthy Opponent: He has exactly two, for the most part - his daughter, Soranik Natu, in part because she has the strength to defy him, and his eternal nemesis (and only friend) Hal Jordan. Despite it all, and a tendency to snipe at Hal when they fight and when they team up, he genuinely has enormous respect for Hal's willpower and on Hal's return in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, he portrays their clash as the ultimate battle between Yellow and Green, between Fear and Will, telling his entire corps to back off because Hal was too great for them. Given that he was in full control of Parallax and Hal had become living Willpower (and just ripped through their supercharged ranks like they weren't even there), it's hard to argue with that.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Back in the Sinestro series, the titular villain had been gravely wounded, resulting in his daughter Soranik taking over the Sinestro Corps. Under her leadership, the more-benevolent Corps was accepted as the new protectors of the universe. However, it turns out that Sinestro was counting on her good nature for the Corps to install order. With that accomplished, he heals himself by absorbing Parallax, and re-takes command to start keeping order. Hal figures this out pretty much as soon as Soranik explains that she remade the Sinestro Corps into a force for good, finishing the explanation. As he lampshades, he knows Sinestro's style of scheming pretty well by this point.
  • Xanatos Gambit: In the Sinestro Corps War, he 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.