Silver Age (1963 – 1985)
“The Day 100,000 People Vanished!” (GREEN LANTERN #7, 1963)
In his original appearance, Sinestro was already a yellow-ring wielding villain when he encountered Earth’s Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Sinestro steals the entire population of the Earth town of Valedale, in an attempt to lure Hal Jordan into a trap. It’s during this time the Guardians of the Universe explain to Jordan the sordid history of Sinestro, and how he betrayed his Green Lantern oath, and was sentenced to exile in the Anti-Matter Universe of Qward.
Jordan is able to outsmart Sinestro and save the people of Valedale, despite Sinestro’s ring energy being composed of yellow – the one color that a Green Lantern ring is vulnerable to. Never one to forgive or forget a humiliation, Sinestro and Hal Jordan became mortal enemies from that moment forward. This was but the first of many confrontations between Sinestro and Jordan over the next few decades, both alone and working with other criminals like the Secret Society of Super-Villains.
“The Ultimate Testament!” (GREEN LANTERN CORPS #224, 1988)
Eventually, the Guardians of the Universe left this plane of existence and decided to let the Green Lantern Corps govern themselves. After gaining god-like abilities thanks to the Mad God of Sector 3600, Sinestro soon went on a homicidal rampage, one which ended up in the genocide of several alien species. Eventually subduing him, the Green Lantern Corps, now free of the Guardian’s restrictions against killing, decided to finally execute Sinestro for his crimes.
But Sinestro cheated death, and found a way to send his essence inside the central power battery on Oa, shutting it down from the inside. This ended the Green Lantern Corps as it was, leaving only a handful of rings in existence, including Hal Jordan’s. While inside the central battery, Sinestro’s spirit continued to plot against Hal Jordan, even while Jordan and the rest of the Corps assumed Sinestro was dead.
GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD DAWN II, 1991
Due to the universe-altering events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Hal Jordan’s history with Sinestro changed. In the newly altered timeline, When Jordan joined the Corps, Sinestro was assigned by the Guardians to be his instructor. Sinestro felt like he had bigger concerns than training a newbie from a backwater world like Earth, but gave in to the Guardians’ demands. Eventually, the master and student even became friends of a sort.
Their relationship was forever changed on a trip to Sinestro’s homeworld of Korugar, when Jordan became disgusted at Sinestro’s abuse of power on the planet. Sinestro insisted that his totalitarian rule was a necessity due to alien threats to his homeworld. Jordan exposed Sinestro’s dictatorship to the Guardians, who banished him to the Anti-Matter Universe of Qward, where he was able to procure a yellow power ring, just as in the pre-Crisis history. The Guardians then appointed the leader of the Korugarian resistance, a woman named Katma Tui, to replace Sinestro in the Green Lantern Corps.
“Emerald Twilight” (GREEN LANTERN #48-50, 1994)
Eventually, the Guardians of the Universe would return to this reality and re-establish the Green Lantern Corps. Sadly, this new Corps was to be short lived. After the destruction by alien invaders of Hal Jordan’s hometown of Coast City, he begged the Guardians to give him the power to restore the city and its inhabitants. When they refused, he went mad, and turned against the Corps, much as his mentor Sinestro had years before. Leaving many Lanterns dead or wounded, he went into the central power battery and absorbed its energy – the same central battery where Sinestro’s spirit inhabited. Inside the battery, he was possessed by the Entity of Fear known as Parallax, who had been trapped in the battery eons before, causing the yellow impurity of the Green Lantern rings. This was something Sinestro had hoped would occur.
With Jordan destroying the Corps and most of the Guardians of the Universe, the last remaining Guardian attempted a desperate solution, as he brought Sinestro out of the central battery and back to life to confront Jordan in battle. The two fought, and Parallax snapped Sinestro’s neck, seemingly killing him all over again. But it turned out that the Sinestro that the last Guardian brought out of the battery was actually a hard light construct, mentally controlled by the real Sinestro, but not actually him. In the confusion of the battle, the true Sinestro, now flesh and blood again, escaped and went into exile. He watched gleefully from afar as his former student Hal Jordan’s reputation was destroyed, as Hal now became known as the “Fallen Lantern”, replacing him in intergalactic infamy. Years later, Sinestro himself would become a host for the Parallax entity.
“The Sinestro Corps War” (GREEN LANTERN #21-25, GREEN LANTERN CORPS #14-19, GREEN LANTERN: SINESTRO CORPS SPECIAL #1, 2007)
Eventually, the truth about Hal Jordan’s possession by the entity Parallax was revealed, and his reputation restored. The Green Lantern Corps was reestablished, and furious that Jordan and the Corps were back, Sinestro plotted his next, most decisive move yet. He retreated once again to the Anti-Matter Universe of Qward, and there, he made a pact with the Anti-Monitor, the ruler of that universe, and committed himself to spreading fear throughout the cosmos. In response to the return of the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro decides to found the Sinestro Corps, and creates new yellow power rings. He offered membership in his Corps to the beings in the universe most able to instill great fear.
With his new yellow powered Corps, Sinestro attacks the Earth, and planned to destroy the newly rebuilt Coast City. The massive new threat presented by Sinestro’s Corps frightens the Guardians of the Universe into re-writing the Book of Oa, mandating a new rule which allows their Green Lanterns to use lethal force. This turns the tide in the Green Lantern’s favor in what was now dubbed “The Sinestro Corps War,” but Sinestro himself says this outcome is what he wanted all along – he wanted the Green Lantern Corps to become more effective in maintaining absolute order in the universe, and the response to his Sinestro Corps has allowed for that to happen.
“Emerald Eclipse” (GREEN LANTERN CORPS #33-36, 2009)
It was after the Sinestro Corps War that Thaal Sinestro returned home to Korugar. There, he reveals himself to Soranik Natu, the new Green Lantern of his former space sector. Natu is a brilliant surgeon who at first rejected the green power ring, due to its horrible reputation on Korugar during Sinestro’s rule. She eventually accepted, and it is at this time that Sinestro reveals the truth that he is her father.
When he began his iron fisted rule of their world, his wife (the sister of former Lantern Abin Sur), took their daughter and ran away. Although he eventually located her, he let his presence remain a secret. Revealing himself as an adult to Soranik, he tells her his proud that she brought order to their world without betraying the principles of the Green Lantern Corps. He informs Soranik that he is going to need her help in a long foretold conflict – The Blackest Night.
Sinestro had a key role to play in the cosmic events chronicled in the 2009-2010 storyline "Blackest Night” and the 2010-2011 storyline “Brightest Day.” When the Entity of Death known as Nekron resurrected the corpses of the dead and attached to them Black Lantern rings, two of the Black Lanterns were Sinestro’s best friend and colleague Abin Sur, and his wife, Arin. Due to Arin Sur’s attempts at psychological manipulation, it is here we learn Sinestro’s first name for the first time: Thaal. In the conflict, Sinestro calls for a truce with the Green Lantern Corps until the Black Lanterns can be defeated.
To truly defeat Nekron and his Black Lantern Corps, Sinestro joins with the Entity of Life, effectively becoming the first White Lantern. Although he declared himself the greatest of all Lanterns from any Corps, due to his egomania, he is unable to control the White Lantern energy, and it abandons him and travels to Hal Jordan instead. Temporarily, Hal Jordan and several other heroes become the White Lantern Corps, thus ending the Blackest Night and beginning the Brightest Day.
The New 52
In the aftermath of the "Flashpoint" event, Hal Jordan killed the ancient Guardian of the Universe known as Krona. The Guardians then stripped Hal of his ring, and much to everyone’s shock, the ring chose Sinestro as Hal’s replacement. Not wanting anything to do with the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro found he could not remove his ring, and the Guardians decided to allow Sinestro an attempt at redemption. Despite hating being a Green Lantern again, he frees his Korugar after it has been enslaved by his very own Sinestro Corps. Eventually, his Korugar is destroyed by Valthoom, leaving Sinestro in despair once again. He returns again to his Sinestro Corps to take command of the army he had created.
Most recently, following the events of DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1, Sinestro used Mongul’s former Warworld as a base of operations for his Corps. His daughter Soranik ultimately became a member of his Corps, but found a way to form a truce between the Sinestro Corps and the Green Lanterns, ultimately rejecting her father’s dogma of absolute fear. After having yet another confrontation with his mortal enemy Hal Jordan, Sinestro once again retreated to the Anti-Matter Universe of Qward.