This week, it's time to give DC their villainous due, and look at Sinestro, the yellow-bellied scoundrel you'll meet inThe Green Lantern. (Let's give a hand to the rumor mill and Jackie Earle Haley for helping narrow down the choices. Gossip's guiding The Geek Beat this month, and I love it.) His name may be painfully obvious, his color palette a bit hokey, and his manner poshly British, but Sinestro is not a man to be messed with. Unlike other comic book villains, Sinestro isn't in the bad guy game for chaos, personal gain, or fun. He's in it purely because he believes fear and despotism is right, and the only way to maintain order and control in the universe. He opposes the Green Lanterns not because he dislikes their mantra, but because he thinks they're weak and irresponsible. He'd probably be best friends with Magneto.
Sinestro began as a humble academic on his planet Korugar. He was an anthropologist, and his expertise was in historical preservation. He recreated and restored the ruins of lost civilizations. That's a mild occupation, but playing with all those bones and ruins can unsettle a man. They can remind him of the cost of war, and the impermanence of everything he holds dear. He could begin to dwell unhealthily on what might become of his own civilization, and wonder if there will be an anthropologist reconstructing his hometown. Or he could just realize "Damn, my name is Sinestro. What the hell am I doing rebuilding lost civilizations? I should become a power-hungry villain!" (This is why you should really take care to name a kid something like solid and whole-wheaty Peter Parker, or Clark Kent. Those kids never become supervillains.)