Writer: N.K. Jemisin
Artist: Jamal Campbell
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Editors: Maggie Howell, Andy Khouri
Publisher: DC Comics
OK Green Lanterns, charge ‘em up! Far Sector #1 is a far-out cop story that expands the Green Lantern mythos in an exciting way. It’s cool, calm, and collected. It’s also tense and suspenseful. It’s everything you want from a hard-boiled detective tale but has flair to spare that drenches itself in the spectacular.
Yeah, I really liked this book.
Part of DC’s Young Animal line, Far Sector #1 expertly weaves itself into the larger Young Animal tapestry by standing out from it. Far Sector gives us a new and welcome addition to the Green Lantern Corps, Sojourner Mullein. She’s stylish, outwardly confident, and all alone in the extreme outreaches of the galaxy. In the farthest section of the 3600 sectors under the Green Lantern’s jurisdiction lies the City Enduring, a massive society made up of three separate races that live harmoniously as The Trilogy. Lantern Mullein is tasked with watching over this sprawling conglomerate, and it just so happens that there’s been a murder. Just another Tuesday for a space cop, right? Well, not exactly. This is the first murder in 500 years in the City Enduring, and Lantern Mullein is on the beat. Only problem is, it’s her first murder investigation.
Written by M.K. Jemisin with art by Jamal Campbell, Far Sector #1 is a familiar setup in an unfamiliar setting. Jemisin crafts the book and the dialogue in an inviting way that brings the reader in on the joke (so to speak). Lantern Mullein’s narrative boxes speak directly to the reader, but it never takes you away from what’s happening on the page. There’s a full buy-in but also an acknowledgment of the absurdity of the situation and environment she’s in. She touches on how incredibly foreign the concepts, worlds, setting, races, customs, and actions are to an Earthling. It comes dangerously close to breaking the fourth wall but stops just short so that instead, the reader feels like a partner in her investigation. It’s an endearing presentation that really makes you connect with Sojourner Mullein and invest in the book. Jemisin also takes every opportunity to set up an addictive intrigue. Not the least of which is the mysterious circumstances in which Lantern Mullein received her ring. It’s the full package, and I haven’t even touched on what really propelled this comic into the cosmos:
The art and the coloring.
This book is absolutely gorgeous. Campbell’s art and colors are stunning and dynamic. He nails Mullein’s body language and facial expressions in every panel she’s in. No space felt wasted or incomplete, and every page had a captivating visual aspect to it. The colors have a translucent quality that makes the book feel appropriately otherworldly. It’s like a noir dreamscape that rejected the expected color palette. Lantern Mullein also has a very cool costume design which instantly ranked among my favorite costumes in comics. Campbell knows what he’s doing, and he’s doing it well.
DC’s Young Animal line has been … weird, to say the least. And when I say weird, I mean weird in the best way possible. Comics could use a little weird. We all could use a little weird, so when Young Animal came along, I welcomed the weird, because it was meant to be weird. It was meant to embrace the strange and cultivate the crazy. The Young Animal line has been amazing, but some of the titles have been dense. Dense enough to where I’m not sure I’ve digested the complete experience I was meant to. So going in to Far Sector #1, I expected a bit of a learning curve where I needed multiple readings and some internet searching to enjoy the full scope of the story. Well, poozers, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Far Sector #1 is very accessible with a streamlined plot, an instantly likable protagonist, and an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience.
Don’t get me wrong, Far Sector definitely fits in with the family of the Young Animal line, but it’s got a different vibe, a calmer interaction and a confidence in itself that makes you notice it. Eleven more issues of this? Sign me up.