In “When We First Met”, we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, “Avengers Assemble!” or the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.
Reader Rodrigo M. wrote in to ask:
When did Sinestro start to use his ring left-handed? It makes sense because his name in latim just means “left-handed “, but when did that became the norm?
One of the classic “Huh?” questions in the history of Green Lantern comic books was the whole, “So, wait, the dude whose name is SINESTRO turned out to be the one Green Lantern to totally turn evil? Seriously?”
Obviously, the best response has always been “Sinestro might mean something different in his language,” but even then, the coincidence is ridiculous.
However, as Rodrigo notes, the word sinister came from the word for left-handed, since people believed left-handed people were evil or some such nonsense like that (people were willing to believe the worst in other people at the slightest bit of “evidence” – it is very similar to the Silver Age of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Every time a Legionnaire did anything slightly out of the ordinary, his or her teammates would automatically assume that they had turned evil).
So anyways, when Sinestro first showed up in Green Lantern #7 (by John Broome, Gil Kane and Joe Giella), not only did he wear his Green Lantern ring on his right hand, but interestingly enough, Sinestro actually fought Green Lantern WITHOUT a power ring of any kind!
It wasn’t until two issues later that he got himself a yellow power ring and, sure enough, he wore it on his right hand…
That was the case for Sinestro for the next twenty-plus years. When Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted the DC Continuity, Green Lantern got a new origin and in this one (like most origins since, since it was a great idea), Sinestro was now Hal’s friend and mentor as a Green Lantern.
In this new continuity, though, Sinestro still wore his ring on his right hand…
So it was not until the ending of Green Lantern: Rebirth #3 (by Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver and Prentiss Rollins), when Sinestro came back from the dead (well, more revealed that he wasn’t actually dead) that Sinestro now wore his ring on his left hand…
And it’s been that way ever since, even when he created his own Sinestro Corps!
Thanks for the suggestion, Rodrigo! If anyone else has a suggestion for a notable comic book first that they’d like to see, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!