Far Sector #1
For the past six months, newly chosen Green Lantern Sojourner “Jo” Mullein has been protecting the City Enduring, a massive metropolis of 20 billion people. The city has maintained peace for over 500 years by stripping its citizens of their ability to feel. As a result, violent crime is virtually unheard of, and murder is nonexistent. But that’s all about to change in this new maxiseries that gives a DC Young Animal spin to the legacy of the Green Lanterns!
Far Sector is an interesting new entry into the Green Lantern mythos. This debut issue is hardly flawless but thanks to an inherent charm lent to it by the creative team both in image and text, it does more right than it does wrong.
DC fans will be familiar Jamal Campbell already thanks to the past year’s breakout hit, Naomi. Campbell’s artwork in Naomi was absolutely breathtaking and Far Sector has him picking up right where he left off. Each sequence is highly detailed and expressive. The layouts here differ greatly from oft-grided pages of Naomi, a change which allows the scope of the Far Sector narrative to have a voice in its grandiosity. Likewise, the color work (also done by Campbell) does a truly excellent job switching between warm and cool color palates as necessary. Campbell’s artwork alone is worth the price of admission.
But Campbell was not the only creator making waves with this inaugural issue. Writer N.K. Jemisin, a prominent science fiction and fantasy novelist, takes the helm for her maiden voyage in the medium of comics. Heralded as being a master world-builder (her Broken Earth series won three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel, the only author who to ever achieve such a feat), Jemisin sets about the project of constructing a whole new sector with its own unique set of socio-political climates and mores. Three separate civilizations, highly advanced and living in a tense state of peace at the farthest reaches of the universe, assisted by the young Earther Lantern Mullein in their first murder case in over 500 years is naturally going to require a fair amount of expository text in order to begin building the specific conditions necessary for this mystery to hit home and that is exactly what happens in this issue. Backstories and histories, social norms and aberrations are all fleshed out as we begin to familiarize ourselves with Far Sector. There is arguably too much exposition that inevitably slows the pacing of this issue down too far but this occurrence is not out of the norm for a novelist in transition to the comics medium. I hope to see the exposition lessen and the dialogue become more organic as the scene is set and characters established as the series moves forward but for now, it is not only understandable but expected.
The decision to focus on yet another Lantern from Earth is one that many will be disappointed by. With so many species and sectors to explore, there just seems to be missed opportunities to expand the GL canon in favor of simply making more Earth Lanterns. This particular story, however, seems to be a worthy exception in that Lantern Mullein’s ties to Earth are destined to create a specific, uncanny frame of reference for the reader to understand the culture of Far Sector. The question of why this Lantern is stationed so far from home also seems a likely plot point to be explored as the series progresses, so a stay of execution from the rabid fandom should be granted here, at least until the narrative has time to unfold a bit.
Far Sector #1 (Jemisin, Campbell, Bennett) is off to a promising start. Gorgeously detailed in both word and text, when this new Green Lantern eventually takes flight, it will be a sight to behold.
Far Sector #1: “Just Get Out of My Way”
Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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