Over the past few nights I’ve reread the big Green Lantern event from last year, The Sinestro Corps War. I really liked the story, finding it to be the perfect sort of fun, widescreen superhero action you want in comics. The story was designed to be very easy to read, with minimal tie-in issues. Despite what by my count adds up to 23 books, that’s actually very low for many summer “events”, like Marvel’s Civil War. In fact, while the main two books telling the story were Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, the subplots are split up properly such that you can easily start with the initial special and then read only one or the other title and still get a coherent read out of it. Of course, with any crossover, if you want to get the whole picture, it can get hard to know which books to read in what order.
The story is very much foreshadowed in both titles from the very start, beginning with Green Lantern: Rebirth and popping up here and there in both Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. You’ll see Batman get offered a yellow ring, you’ll see the Zamorans’s purple rings, you’ll meet Ranx the sentient city, and a new direction for Black Hand, but none of it is required reading. Below are the books that bear the official “Sinestro Corps” logos, plus a story from twenty years before the crossover started that’s absolutely essential to it. I’m actually very surprised the didn’t reprint it in one of the issues.
- Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual 2: Tygers, a 1986 story by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil, upon which Geoff Johns draws heavily. It’s been collected in DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore, and can be read online here.
- Green Lantern 18: Tales of the Sinestro Corps back-up story about Despotellis
- Green Lantern 19:Tales of the Sinestro Corps back-up story about Karu-Sil
- Green Lantern 20: Tales of the Sinestro Corps back-up story about Bedovian
- Sinestro Corps Special 1: Sinestro Corps War, part one
- Green Lantern 21: Sinestro Corps War, part two
- Green Lantern Corps 14: Sinestro Corps War, part three
- Green Lantern 22: Sinestro Corps War, part four
- Green Lantern Corps 15: Sinestro Corps War, part five
- Green Lantern 23: Sinestro Corps War, part six
- Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Parallax 1
- Green Lantern Corps 16: Sinestro Corps War, part seven
- Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Cyborg Superman 1: includes Tales of the Sinestro Corps back-up story about Kryb
- Green Lantern 24: Sinestro Corps War, part eight
- Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman Prime 1
- Blue Beetle 20
- Green Lantern Corps 17: Sinestro Corps War, part nine
- Green Lantern Corps 18: Sinestro Corps War, part ten
- Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Ion 1
- Green Lantern 25: Sinestro Corps War, Finale
- Green Lantern 19: Sinestro Corps War Epilogue
- Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files 1: includes Tales of the Green Lantern Corps story about Morro
I don’t necessarily recommend reading everything up there. You’ll probably enjoy the story much more just reading the main books (bolded above). The Blue Beetle tie-in is entirely inconsequential to the main conflict, but presents another angle to the big fight on Earth and fits in nicely with that book’s characters. The four Tales of the Sinestro Corps books fill in the characters some, but weigh down the narrative flow more than they help I think. The Epilogue isn’t too important, and the Secret Files book is a cool thing that I would have loved as a kid (and still do!), but doesn’t add to the story much. Finally, the events of Green Lantern 26-28 spin directly out of the War story, as do Corps 20 and 21, but I haven’t listed them above.