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!
The strength of fantasy and science fiction lies in the parallels with the “real world”, of course. It’s the resonance with the actual world, the actual feelings, the issues that can and do happen — but shown through the prism of different setting, different perception, frequently inverting perspectives and giving new sharp unexpected angles to old issues.
Jemisin - the author of amazing Broken Earth trilogy - is certainly a good writer. She is good at sharp dialogue, relatable characters, the combination of seriousness and humor. Her characters feel real, with relatable and understandable emotions and motivations. And the art in this comic is pretty good.
But yet I had no issue taking long breaks between the issues with no strong desire to pick it back up once I put it down.
The first problem for me was the pacing. It’s a very long buildup, leisurely even, with me wondering even past halfway point when exactly the plot was supposed to arrive while figuring out why I’m supposed to care. And then once things start happening, it all happens full speed and intensely, dumping a lot of information and plot points all at once in one huge lump that gets a bit messy.
The other big issue is the anvil-like messaging with very little subtlety. The parallels to the “real” world are not just there, they are blindingly obvious and heavily explained, with the overall impression of preaching to the choir. We get it, it’s all exactly like Earth, but you don’t have to be repeatedly and explicitly saying so. (And if it’s so exactly like Earth, it might as well have been Earth).
And finally, the entire premise was a bit flimsy. A civilization that is supposedly emotionless by design — except for it’s pretty impossible to tell, and had it not been stated over and over again I would have completely forgotten the premise. All these characters are emotional as hell. It’s like there was supposed to be some McGuffin controlled by the government, and why not emotions, I guess? Could have been language or personal hygiene or drugs or pepperoni for all that it mattered.
So basically I just wasn’t that interested, although I enjoyed the art and the dialogue. Maybe it’s the fact that prior to this book I had no idea about the concept of Green Lanterns (and still really don’t know much except for that they are space cops with superpowered rings). But more likely it’s the slow set-up followed by too-late of a plot frenzy trying to hit a bunch of hot topics all at once, and maybe the sheer ridiculousness of memes as currency.
“You think: the world’s not fair, but maybe I can make it fair. Because someone has to.”
Far Sector is one of the best and most thought-provoking graphic novels you can find on a shelf these days. It also feels wholly unique and original, even though it’s about something I’m very familiar with in the Green Lantern Corps. This is written by a novelist who is taking full advantage of the Young Animal imprint to do her own thing with the GL mythos, and doing so while also building up her own new lantern to lead her story forward. Jemisin also finally does what no other writer before her had accomplished: She made a new Green Lantern interesting, likable, and sympathetic in their first appearance. Jo even has a personality and everything in this!!
N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell team up for what very well was the single best Big 2 comic to come out of 2021, as they introduce us to Sojourner “Jo” Mullein, a rookie lantern who is assigned a weird case in the City Enduring: Investigate the first murder case this planet has had in 500 years, with only a mere twenty billion suspects to choose from as the culprit. Another oddity about this planet is the same reason there hasn’t been crime in 500 years: The Emotion Exploit present on this planet has erased its citizen's range of feelings. This led to centuries of controversial progress that allowed its citizens of three distinct races to coexist in peace by feeling nothing, but now this murder sparks questions about the stability of the planet’s system as a whole. And Jo is quickly running out of time to solve the case and “make a difference”…
Jemisin crafts a gripping story that shows us the origin of her new hero throughout, and how she handles her first real case as a hero. Some may know Jo from Future State Justice League and this book is why many, including myself, were hoping that lineup might stick for a little. Jo is a well-written and ever-growing character throughout this entire thing, and I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever liked another GL as much as her. She is the only one in this alien city who can naturally feel emotions, leading to a ton of insight into who she is and how she handles her problems. A lot of what Jo does has been influenced by her career previously both in the U.S. Army and Police Force, and when the story starts, we find her while she’s still in the process of dealing with and learning from her past. It’s a really interesting dynamic that Jemisin plays with effectively, showing why Jo feels the way she does about certain moral quandaries, while also explaining all the actions she takes during the case. Jo feels more human than any lantern before her, with flaws and all, and her growth over the course of this story was a joy to see every time I read this.
The story also makes a very powerful point throughout: The most dangerous weapon in the universe is misused privilege, not something like an all-powerful magic space ring.
Jamal Campbell’s artwork is also beautiful and some of his best work yet. Every issue is absolutely stunning from start to finish, with colors that make every single line dance off the page. His layouts are clean and easy to follow, and I really think someone should put this dude on an ongoing book suited to his strengths already. The main Green Lantern title or the Nightwing ongoing after Redondo wraps his run would both be perfect fits for Campbell. He renders action scenes with a kinetic energy and liveliness that just has to be seen to be believed. And this book also gets pretty gory at times which kinda surprised me. I know Young Animal is 18+, but it was just surreal seeing Campbell draw material like that throughout this. The last issue of this is also beyond stunning and probably the best-looking issue of the man’s entire career. The more emotional and quiet moments are some of the book’s most powerful though, with everything Jemisin wants the reader to see being brought to life perfectly by Campbell.
Far Sector is one of the best adult comics you can possibly find on the shelf at the moment. A powerful and emotional story of relying on who you are and what you know is right to help guide the world into a better future for all. One of the best mystery/superhero comics of the last decade led by the most interesting Green Lantern in ages, Far Sector should be read and treasured by all. I love this book to death and have read it three times all the way through since it came out. And I’ll probably read it again soon.
Sign me up for any comics N.K. Jemisin writes and/or Jamal Campbell draws going forward.
Jemisin’s twisty, noirish story, headed by incredibly compelling new Green Lantern Sojourner Mullein, is perfectly complemented by Adams’ stunning, vividly colored art. This is a dense tale full of rich detail, and I had to go slowly and reread a few sections to absorb it all—and every second was time well spent. I haven’t been so absorbed in a comic story in a long time.
I want more—more Jemisin, more Adams, more Jo. If Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint is going to churn out stuff like this, sign me up for that Black Parade, please.
(Side note: I am a perpetually 12-year-old boy, so I kept thinking of the title as “Fart Sexter” and giggling, though I suspect that there probably is a website dedicated to aficionados of fragrantly erotic digital messaging.)
An awesome mix of sci-fi, cyberpunk, and detective work. Great artwork and characters as well. It is great having all 12 issues ready to read in one place.
On the far side of the universe is the Far Sector. A place runs on logic with no emotions, technologically advanced, ruled by a council of three with a representative of each race present. Life seems to be good. No violent crime until now.
Enter Sojourner Mullein "Jo." Rookie Green Lartern with an untested power ring. Though Jo is new to the GL role, she knows how hard life can be and is no stranger to the role of protector. She has been both a soldier and a police officer, though neither one of those roles ended well for her.
Investigating the murder Jo finds a society on the verge of implosion. Who can she trust? Can she make a life for herself here? What Jo also finds is for all their advancements. Far Sector has the same problems as Earth. You just might have to dig a little further to find them.
This book is a good example of not overusing swear words. It has enough to make this a black label book, but as they are not overused, the speech seems more natural and authentic.
Every issue/chapter starts with an A4 cover, and every second issue/chapter with a summary hit Jo breaking the 4th wall. I know this is a 12 issue stand alone, but I would love to see the story continue. The book finishes with a full-page spread of the varient covers and a sketch book at the end.
Sojourner Mullein is the newest Green Lantern, recruited to reside over a city planet of 20 billion populated by 3 emotionless races. The city has just had its first murder (but not its last) in 500 years and it's up to our rookie Green Lantern to sleuth out what happened. The nice thing is you don't need to know a thing about Green Lanterns to enjoy this. Jemisin does a great job of building this world. It all fits together well with a complex, twisty plot. Jamal Campbell's slick art and eye-popping colors light up the page.
This series exceeded my expectations! But that'll teach me to underestimate N. K. Jemisin's brilliance! "Far Sector" is her take on the Green Lantern character, and it's set on a faraway city/planet populated by three distinct alien races who have managed a long-standing peace after carefully writing the emotions right out of their DNA. Jo Mullein is sent there as a peace-keeper, and she'll certainly have her hands full: not everyone in City Enduring is satisfied with this unemotional life they lead, and a drug called Switchoff has become extremely popular with the citizens who want to, literally, switch off the genes that prevent them from experiencing joy, anger, grief and longing. But this also means civil unrest and violence. Can one Green Lantern with a troubled past handle this?
Jemisin is not exactly what I'd call subtle, but nor is she being didactic with the anti-racist message she weaves through this amazing sci-fi graphic novel. It helps that she combines very original ideas with imaginative world building and then carefully drops a relatable human in the middle of it. The pacing is fast but never rushed and the artwork is gorgeous!
The idea of individual freedom and great good are explored in a fresh and surprising way, as are ideas about equality, peace, choices and regrets. Like any other work my Jemisin, this graphic novel is rich in complex sentiments and deeply human emotions.
I pre-ordered the paperback edition, and will update the review when I have read the last 4 issues, but so far, this is an amazing series that I recommend to everyone!
An other-planet mirror of racial violence and injustice on earth (particularly in the US), told with a veil thinner than paper and a hand heavier than Mjölnir. Jamal Campbell’s art is beautiful but busy.
As always, Jemisin’s worldbuilding is top-notch, her dialogue is refreshing, and her lead character is dynamic. She explores her ideas in a creative way and I do love the Green Lantern mythos, but the narrative feels like it’s shoehorned into a very loose interpretation of GL and is more complicated than strictly necessary. With Jo saying something like “this is exactly like earth” several times each issue, the metaphor becomes less and less meaningful to the point that it might as well have taken place on earth in the first place.
And for a planet of beings ostensibly without any emotions, they’re all sure emotional.
The City Enduring has a population of 20 billion people, all of whose emotions are suppressed by a biocybernetic virus called the Emotion Exploit, in order for the city’s three different alien races to live in peace and harmony. Except it turns out that more and more of its citizens are using an illegal drug called Switchoff that, you got it, switches off the Emotion Exploit which leads to conflict between the races and the city’s first murder in 500 years. Unsure of how to deal with it, the City Enduring’s Council reaches out to the Guardians who dispatch a Green Lantern to the furthest of their sectors to investigate.
I’m not a big fan of Green Lantern books in general because they’re usually pretty bad but Far Sector was especially terrible even by those already-low standards.
The premise is quite feeble to start with. Our main character, Sojourner “Jo” Mullein (get used to this - the book is chock-full of dumb names), is new to the job and has never investigated a murder before either. So why did the Guardians send her to investigate a murder - and alone, no less, without a partner? Why did the Council send for a Green Lantern anyway when the crooks in charge could get away with their crimes easier without their interference?
She also proves to be wholly ineffective as the initial murderer is caught without her involvement and the City seems to have police stations and interrogation rooms so it’s hard to believe they’ve never had a murder in centuries (unless those interrogation rooms were used for people with parking tickets?).
Jo also has a self-generating power ring, which isn’t a bad idea in itself, though it negates the whole Lantern label if you’ve just got the ring without the Lantern-shaped battery. Why call them “Lanterns” then?
I’ve never read NK Jemisin before (and after this I’m not rushing to pick up any more of her stuff), but she’s an award-winning sci-fi writer, though I can’t see any evidence of award-winning brilliance here - the sci-fi elements are very unimaginative. Like one of the characters happens to be a regular hot dude - but he’s got a tail! Despite this city being so far from Earth, it basically IS Earth - they’ve got cops, restaurants, currency, music, dancing, assistants, board games, war, councils, referendums, big business. It’s the laziest type of sci-fi writing - present our world with a slight twist and call it alien.
Speaking of unimaginative, Jemisin, like too many Green Lantern writers, fails to give her Lantern character anything creative to construct with her ring. When it’s not just generic energy blasts or shields, it’s all stuff that already exists: larger hands, capes, glasses, hats, sticks, wings, ninja stars, chairs, even the mech suit Ridley wore in Aliens!
Maybe the awards Jemisin won were for silliest sci-fi names, because those are about the only notable features of the otherwise dreary and indistinct cast. The three alien races are called the Nah, @At, and the keh-Topli, with individual names like “Syzyn of the Cliffs, By the Streaking Ice”, “@Blaze-of-Glory”, and “Marth of the Sea, By the Wavering Dark, Until the Sun Falls”. This is why I generally don’t bother with modern sci-fi - the writers are usually idiots.
Jamal Campbell’s art is skilful but it’s hard to enjoy given how dull the story it's portraying is. For a story about emotions, the only one I felt was pure boredom. Which way will the referendum go? Who killed that unmemorable stupidly-named character and why was it important? Oh look, another murder that didn’t really mean anything. I didn’t care about any of it. I don’t know how many times DC (or Marvel) have to learn this but writers successful in other mediums don’t automatically make for good comics writers - NK Jemisin is simply the latest example of this.
A tedious, convoluted plot burdened with too many uninteresting characters in an overlong and instantly forgettable story, Fart Sector is the worst Green Lantern book I’ve read in years. This book continues to show that anything with the Young Animal label on it is to be avoided.
When someone is murdered on a planet that hasn't seen in a murder in hundreds of years, Green Lantern Jo Mullein is on the case. But what can one Green Lantern do on a world without emotion where politics are a bubbling cauldron?
I've been intrigued by this book for a long time but I waited on the trade because single issues cost too damn much. Far Sector was worth the wait.
Far Sector takes the "Green Lanterns are space cops" concept and runs with it, with Jo investigating a murder on a world on the very edge of the jurisdiction of the Green Lanterns, a world that gave up their emotion centuries ago to prevent further war, a war where emotions can still be felt using an illegal drug called Switchoff.
This one is a slow burn as Jo navigates the political potholes of The City Enduring as she finds that sometimes a murder isn't just a murder and threatens to pull on the strand that holds the society of The City Enduring together. It's part police story, part political thriller. The thing that binds it all together is the dogged determination of Jo Mullein, a Brooklyn girl out of her depth and the only good cop on an emotionless world.
I've never read anything by NK Jemisin before but she's got chops. The writing is a cut above the average super hero book. She pulls off the slow burn narrative nicely in my opinion. I don't normally like a lot of computer coloring and effects but Jamal Campbell's art really makes the story come together. One thing I liked is that Jo brings the reader up to speed on the first page in every issue, which would have been a big help in the monthlies.
Far Sector is the most enjoyable Green Lantern book I've read since Green Lantern Legacy. Five out of five stars.
I feel weird about this book because I like so many aspects of it and yet page by page I just found myself a bit too bored.
Sojourner Mullein is a cool Green Lantern: a Black American veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan, a Princeton graduate, a former police officer who broke the code of silence, LGBTQIA+ and sex positive. But we are given the barest of information of her life in Brooklyn on Earth in the tiniest and sparsest of flashbacks, as we are dropped with her into a planetary-sized city in the farthest reaches of space.
She has a unique Green Lantern ring that slowly recharges constantly instead of getting an instant power-up from a lantern. But its properties aren't really explored, just exploited for melodrama as it always seems on the verge of running out of power.
She has a fear of flying. But only because that slows her down for plot purposes so she can't get places too quickly when pursuing leads or bad guys.
The City Enduring seems like an interesting setting, reminding me a bit of the Green Lantern: Mosaic world John Stewart once watched over. But the three alien races here all look so human that telling them apart is rather difficult despite how different they are supposed to be: dragon-like, plant-based, and artificial intelligence. It's a bit hazy, but their raging rivalries have managed to destroy their homeworld, and they now live together in an artificial environment peacefully only thanks to a emotion-suppressing something or other. But that something can be overridden by the new street drug sweeping through the populace.
The story is ostensibly a murder mystery, but one dead body soon leads Mullein into a morass of political corruption, police brutality, drug abuse, black markets, slavery, voter suppression, and military coups. I would have loved to see the story dig into any or all of these topics, but the plot just breezes by them as it skitters from one to the next on the way to the next action scene.
I liked the funny little recaps at the start of chapters that paid homage to iconic sci-fi movies and shows like The Matrix, Star Trek, and Aliens. But they seemed a little out of place with the rest of the book and were only used sporadically.
The art by Jamal Campbell is incredibly gorgeous panel by panel. But I had trouble getting an idea for the layout of the setting. And the aliens all looked very similar within and between the species. In action scenes, I often had trouble making out what was happening or what Mullein's various ring constructs were actually supposed to be. I think a big part of the problem was the color scheme for the alien world which somehow managed to be simultaneously Day-Glo bright and murky dark. It was like I was under the blankets straining to read a book made from slowly fading glow-in-the-dark stickers.
Frankly, this is one of the best done books I haven't liked in quite a while.
Brilliantly written with beautiful artwork. Author N.K. Jemisin takes the opportunity of working with the DC Universe's police force to have a discussion about police, power and marginalized communities and very successfully in my opinion.
The City Enduring is a Dyson swarm in a far distant part of the universe. It's not actually mentioned in the book, but a Dyson sphere is an artificial construction built around a star. This is the same, but rather than a contiguous object, it's split up into platforms. Inhabiting it are the Trilogy, the three races that constructed it, all of which are well-realized in the book and fascinating in their own right. The history of the Trilogy is interesting as well and has bearing on the story.
Into all this comes Sojourner "Jo" Mullein, the newest human Green Lantern, powered by a slightly different ring and a slightly different sort of willpower. Her presence acts as a catalyst for change in a place that has just had its first murder in hundreds of years ...
Sliding in as a new favorite on New Years Eve we've got Far Sector! I don't know why I'm even surprised given how incredible Jemisin is at everything she does, but Far Sector blew me away. The level of intricate world-building, character development, not to mention page-turning plot, she has constructed in this comic series is truly remarkable. And the art is incredible and really adds to those elements!
This is an entirely new take on the Green Lantern, following a bisexual Black woman from Brooklyn who has become a Lantern and is sent to a futuristic society without emotion where the first murder in hundreds of years has taken place. What follows is a blend of murder investigation, twisty politics, and a bit of a love triangle, set in a world populated with three races. A humanoid species with wings, a sentient plant species, and a race of AI. I loved everything about this. Even if you're not a big comics person, you can jump right in and will get a satisfying story arc!
I was nervous starting Far Sector because my knowledge of the Green Lanterns is basically "they're interstellar cops." Fortunately, that's all the knowledge you need to enjoy Far Sector. To some degree, this book might even be disappointing to true Green Lantern fans because there's just not a lot of Green Lantern stuff here. Even the Green Lantern powers seem odd, all flowy green juices rather than cosmic fists.
The neo-noir story in Far Sector more than makes up for any lack of Green Lantern clarity. N.K. Jemisin nearly seemlessly transitions to comic book writing - there are no walls of text as we saw with Ta-Nehisi Coates' first stab at Black Panther. We do find Jemisin's penchant for complex political storytelling, though. Green Lantern Jo Mullein is patrolling a far distant world composed of three violent species (one of which is an AI). A long-ago interstellar incident convinced the species that only by removing their emotions could they survive. Now, the species have thrived on a huge city-planet-space station, "the City Enduring," for hundreds of years.
Which naturally means that someone's been murdered. Jo's tasked less with finding the killer and more with finding the motive. In true neo-noir fashion, there are many interested parties, most of whom are up to no good. Specifically, many are involved with a new drug that opens up individuals to emotions after many long years of dormancy.
It's at this point that the story gets a little ragged. The idea here is that some people are experimenting with emotions while others are still inhibited. Yet all characters, emotionless or not, act the same in Far Sector. I can't really fault Jemisin or Jamal Campbell in this case - it's extremely hard to tell a story with emotionless characters. But my attempts at tracking the characters' emotional states pulled me out of the story a few too many times.
The conclusion to Far Sector is weak as well, with all the political factions basically revealing their dastardly plans at once. It's too much for the story to handle, so it essentially collapses into a perfunctory ending. The majority of Far Sector is extremely engaging though, not least because of Campbell's (inter)stellar art. It's bright and dynamic, if sometimes hard to follow due to the complex sci-fi backgrounds.
Far Sector seems to neatly wrap up Jo's story on the City Enduring, but I'd follow her on another adventure. There is the matter of her unusual Green Lantern ring, which is (perhaps pointedly) never completely addressed...
4.0 Stars This is easily one of the most gorgeous graphic novels I have ever read. I have never been a fan of the Green Lantern, but NK Jemisin is such a talented writer that she pulled me into this story. The main character was a strong, feisty woman who I immediately loved. I really appreciated them bringing queer, diverse ownvoices representation to this comic series. Even if you aren't a bigger fan of superhero comics (which I am not), I would absolutely recommend reading this one.
Nobody is shocked that I loved another Jemisin work. I was nervous since I do not read many graphic works and I was worried that I wouldn't get the worldbuilding and voice that I love from Jemisin. I shouldn't have worried, the world building is so fun as we explore this planet with three alien species that genetically turn off their emotion centers to prevent conflict and exploring this society while our Green Lantern Jo tries to solve the first murder that has occurred in hundreds of year. This gives the story a noir framework that allows for snarky inner monologuing of Jo and this is how I was able to still get the distinct Jemisin voice I always love. The art and aesthetic of this work were also top tier and I need more works like this in my life.
I'll be honest, I picked up Far Sector because of Jamal Campbell's artwork more than anything else, but the story is equally as impressive so it was a win-win overall. N.K. Jemisin weaves a political mystery yarn across these twelve issues that introduces a unique society with multiple factions and beliefs all before pulling the rug out from under them and leaving it all completely different from the way she found it. It's ambitious, but she pulls it off as if she's been writing comics forever.
Jo Mullein has to be one of the best new DC characters in ages as well - she's fun, she's strong, and she doesn't take crap from anyone. The perfect character for this story, and the flashbacks to her life pre-Green Lantern only add to the intrigue. I can't wait to see her interact more with the DC Universe at large.
And of course, Campbell's art is gorgeous. He draws and colours all twelve issues, and everything just looks wonderful. His art style often runs the risk of feeling static, but the momentum and the energy just bleeds off the pages here.
Far Sector could have easily just been a one-and-done story that no one paid attention to, but brilliantly tight writing and drop-dead visuals mean it's one that you absolutely should take a second look at if you've passed it by.
I haven't read DC or Marvel comics in a hot minute, and mostly it's because of the way the writers tend to drop you right into the story with no explanation or context and just expect you to know what is going on.
But this book provides the context (for the most part), and Jemisin nails the comic book character sassy voice without being obnoxious (I often find the Voice obnoxious).
The storyline is fantastic. The art is amazing. The nerd shit is impeccable. And Sojourner Mullein is my new favorite!
So it starts off well with a new GL on a faraway sector on some planet "Enduring" and as she investigates murder of someone who has died here like the first person to die in 500 years and the drama that brings and its intriguing seeing the different races that occupy the planet like the Nah (human like), the Aat (cyborg/androids) and the Keh-topli (plants) and just seeing the drama there and what's going on with Jo and how she investigates the murder stuff that's happening and whatever is going on with the "emotions being off in these people" and a drug called "Switchoff" which allows them to feel emotion and the drama of it al, plus bureaucracy and Jo being teared because of some love feelings and all.
Its an intriguing book with amazing concepts and thought out worlds and people but honestly towards half way of the book it starts to meander and towards the end gets boring sort of and the investigation and reveals while has some fun reveals feels a bit too cliché but then again you can consider it as good too because Jo doesn't do the whole punch first, ask questions later. She tries to handle things carefully and in talks and like also in a way this story makes you think of certain things going in the world and how people in here act the same way like us humans irl and the parallels there is well caught.
Also I like how the author explores the past of Jo and how it informs her present and the way she was chosen by a guardian was fun and does also show how she is different from other earth GLs and also being very loud mouth and compassionate, that was a fun addition and I can't wait to read more of her stuff in future GL comics.
SO yeah do read it especially for the art omg its so beautiful like Jamal does gods work here, he makes each page and even the cover look like a million bucks. Its astonishing to look at, really maybe his best work and knowing that he will be on Superman next, I can't wait to see more of his stuff but as fa as this book goes do read it for a different type of GL story, a new thought out world with interesting ideas and amazing art!
Far Sector can be read outside of the Green Lantern continuity. You don't need a PhD in Green Lantern mythos to follow and enjoy the story.
Enduring is a city inhabited by three different species. Their conflicts were bloody and destructive until the city council imposed Emotion Exploit (a genetic virus that takes away people's emotions) on every citizen. That helped. But there's a new drug on the streets. Switchoff, they call it. It temporarily negates the Emotion Exploit and allows people to experience their first emotions ever. And many people dig the experience. So much so that they are willing to fight for another fix.
The Council doesn't like it. The Council makes laws and enforces them through various agencies (including the "peacekeepers" who are ok with murdering peaceful protestants to keep the "peace"). On the surface, adult members of each race have a say and elect a representative to the council. However, when you dig a little deeper, things get ugly.
Far Sector tells the story of Lantern Mullein, who is investigating a murder case in Enduring. Before she was a Green Lantern, she was a cop, and before that, a soldier. And she's always been a Brooklyn girl. In other words, "Jo" is a badass. And probably the only person on the planet who experiences emotions. A tricky situation, made worse by the complicated politics and history of the place.
Jemisin's world-building is impressive. Introducing all the details requires time and makes the narrative dense, and the pacing uneven. Jamal Campbell delivers colorful and vibrant sci-fi scenery that's cool but also quite dense and overstuffed with details in places.
An interesting read with a strong political message and an interesting approach to superhero arc. Not perfect but worth a read.
I’m always interested to see what new directions they can take Green Lantern stories. At this point, the mythology and universe is so rich that there are so many possibilities. It was a great idea bringing Hugo-award winning sci-if author N.K. Jemisin into this universe to create the newest Earth Lantern, Sojourner “Jo” Mullein. Her character stands out because she’s secretly recruited for a very specific detail in an out-of-jurisdiction sector with a second-rate, battery-less ring with a long recharge time, in a story that is independent of the rest of the DC Universe. And, like Dennis O’Neal did in the 70’s, Jemisin sets up Green Lantern as a literal Social Justice Warrior, as Jo investigates a series of rare murders on a planet that has outlawed emotions and uncovers political corruption and persecution.
Jemisin’s sci-if skills are fully on display here with the rich world-building being the strongest elemen, as she portrays the City Enduring as a detailed, colorful metropolis populated by three fascinating races, including one race of personified data and a group of intelligent plant-life for which the consumption of another person is a religious and social-bonding experience. And the other huge stand-out here is rising artist Jamal Campbell, who is quickly becoming one to look out for. While he still has some work to do with rendering action, there’s no denying his dynamic and energetic, colorful art, which is a joy to look at. Jo is also a great character and well-developed in this short span of 12 issues, with so many great character quirks, like the fact that she’s a Lantern with a total fear of flying.
Even if you’re new to reading the world of Green Lantern, this is still a great read, especially for sci-fi/fantasy fans,. And if you’re already a Lantern fan, you’ll enjoy this new addition to the universe and you’ll be excited to see how they integrate Jo Mullein into the larger DC Universe, if and when they do so!
I think I loved the ~vibe~ of this book much more than the book itself. Jamal Campbell's illustrations are luridly gorgeous, Jo is a fantastic character, NK Jemisin's world-building is vast and awe-inspiring, and her subversion and modernizing of stale, monolithic, and heteronormative superhero tropes is a progressive thrill. But the story itself seems... by turns confusing, frustrating, and often even boring.
I read this twice before we met to talk about it in book club, largely because it took me so much of the book to really understand what was going on, so I thought rereading it with full knowledge of the plot would help me fill in the logic. I also tend to feel, as a very fast reader and a latecomer to comics, that my brain is just not set up to process the kind of visual storytelling that takes place in comics like this, with explosion-heavy double-page spreads that encompass big blocks of time, and succinct pithy dialogue and narration which requires so much mental gap-filling in between panels and off the page. I also did not have any prior knowledge of Green Lanterns, so I was very slow to realize things that longtime comics fans would have understood intuitively about who this character was, and why she was different but also placed into a long lineage of lanterns.
Once I really groked it all (or, anyway, most of it), I was able to appreciate how much freshness Jemisin brings to a story like this, from Jo's backstory rooted in her Blackness to her blithe bisexuality to her actual muscles and non-petite figure. I was also dazzled by the trio of races Jemisin dreamed up -- carnivorous plant-people, "optionally corporeal" indentured AP, aerial predatory primates -- and each one's world, buildings, food, and attire. Plus, of course, the extreme modernity of everything from cat memes as currency to race-based voter suppression was excellent.
But ultimately, I think setting a writer best known for building worlds so vast they require hundreds of pages to illuminate the task of rendering everything in one-liners and BAM / POW fight scenes might have been just too much. There is a lot of exposition, and even so, much seems glossed or rushed or simplified. And once you peel back all the layers, this is a pretty basic story of power corrupting and the hero striding in to right everything with a few perfectly delivered rhetorical flourishes. As with any superhero tale, good prevailing over evil after a few feints and shoot-'em-ups is table stakes, so nothing feels particularly fraught, and it's not really that satisfying when everything falls into place at the end.
There were things to like about this, and things that didn't work that well for me. First, one of the things that I really liked about this is that Sojourner "Jo" Mullein makes a great addition to the Green Lantern Corps. She comes across as very likable and performs well under pressure. Second, the premise of the book is interesting. Jo is sent to an extremely remote sector to help an alien civilization investigate their first murder in 500 years. Due to the remote nature of this assignment, Jo doesn't have access to backup and her power ring has a limited power supply, which forces her to use her head rather than punch through every problem. Finally, I like how the author ties certain real-world problems into this story. It helps readers reflect on some of the problems that we have in our own society (police violence, income inequality, and so on) from a different point of view.
Unfortunately, there was something about the alien world in the story that didn't work for me. In this society, there hasn't been a murder for 500 years because the people on this world have had their emotions turned off. However, not all murders are murders of passion or emotion. Murders can be committed for consolidating power, for profit, and in the case of psychopaths, for no reason at all, so it seems to be a bit unbelievable that merely turning off emotions would eliminate murder. Second, even though the people in this society don't experience emotions, they are drawn using wild facial expressions that would be clearly emotional in human society. Even though it is explained in the story that emotional facial expressions aren't really communicating emotions (Jo points this out herself), it is difficult for readers to ignore the emotional visual messages that they are receiving. For example, there is a scene in which it is clear that people are yelling at each other with angry facial expressions, but readers have to remind themselves that they are not actually angry because they are incapable of feeling anger. I couldn't really get over that disconnect between what the images were showing and what the text was telling me.
Far Sector took me a LONG time to read, not because it's bad, it's just pretty heavy and I wanted to take in this gorgeous art.
Let's talk about the strongest part. The art, it is fantastic, and well worth to read for that alone. The style, look, battles, and scenery all look amazing here. One of the best looking comics I've seen in a very long time.
The story itself is solid even if the pacing is a bit wonky. At times I felt my attention drifting, especially in the middle part of the story. However, I really like Jo, our main hero, and her badass way. She's funny, likeable, human, and a hero I can look up to. Her choices are tough but it's her determination to keep people save I really enjoyed.
This is a nice surprise for me because people who write novels sometimes aren't always great. But overall this was really solid and a nice surprise hit for DC this year.
The main thing I will carry with me is how beautiful the artwork was. Now the writing and world building were great (of course) but the plotline didn't really do it for me. Some of the dialog was cheesy, the parallels between this world & ours were heavy handed, and the resolution felt too easy.
But I enjoyed my time reading it and I'm all for the Fight the Power vibes! I'd read more about Jo.
One of the best green lantern books I’ve ever read. I was anticipating this one since it was first announced and it surpassed expectations. Great sci fi action that establishes a new character in the form of Sojourner and also a great piece of socio political intrigue that reminded me of some of Le Guin’s world building experiments. Recommend to all interested in a fun and fresh anti copaganda GL book.
This was a mixed bag for me. I'm not a big fan of galactic comic stories in general. This is the first Green Lantern story I've read because I tend to check out when Marvel and D.C. go into stories set entirely in space. However, that being said, I still enjoyed a lot about this.
I appreciate a lot that Jemisin made Jo Mullein such a dynamic character. She has a background that we actually learn about, her character design is unique, she's compassionate and competent and unafraid to stand up to authority even when she is the lone outsider on a planet of 3 alien races. She's black and bisexual and the book never shies away from those aspects of her character. While I was a bit wary of her being a soldier and a cop, I think Jemisin intended that to be the reason she was so determined not to let the City Enduring make the same mistakes over overpoliced society.
The story itself had a lot of exposition which is another thing that usually takes me out of galactic stories. We're introduced to 3 races, all of which have their own cultures and naming schemes. @CanHas exists a lot to sort of explain some of these concepts to Jo. I will say, I appreciate that she was invested in immersing herself in the culture and understanding the people there. I would be remiss if I didn't say the fact that the currency here was memes felt kinda outdated and... cheesy to me personally.
The world building was great! This felt like a very real pocket of society and part of the reason for that was that there weren't a lot of big references to the Big 3 or other JL members so this was 100% Jo's story and I really appreciated that. There was a lot of diversity in the humanoid characters as well and it was so nice to see characters that look like me. Again, did I mention the art was beautiful! I especially loved the care given to the texture of Jo's hair and that she had more than just 1 hairstyle in the entire book.
This book features metaphors for our real world problems: oppression, police brutality, poverty, unfair labor, voter suppression and fascism. Jo uses the lessons from earth to better advise the Council on how to help their people. The ring Jo was given is powered by the willpower required to live with fear - as in the kind of willpower that leads people living with oppression to continue striving for goals that seem impossible to reach. I thought that was such a nice touch and added great depth to Jo's character.
So, I greatly enjoyed Jo as a character, the story overall was pretty great and if I were a person that was a bigger fan of galactic stories, I think I would've loved this overall!
I picked this up because N. K. Jemisin is awesome, and I was not disappointed. In fact, the addition of Jamal Campbell’s amazing art to her writing makes this something special. I knew she could weave a good yarn, but a graphic novel is quite different, and novelists don’t always switch easily. Jemisin and Campbell, however, achieved the perfect balance of art and text enhancing each other. Campbell’s illustrations of the city are extraordinary, and I often had to dig up two reading glasses (yeah, I am getting old) just to investigate each tiny picture in detail. Similarly, much of character development happens in masterfully rendered facial expressions, or in times of leisure where Jo lets down her hair and wears sweats or a summer dress.
I did not know this was a Green Lantern story, and I know nothing about the Green Lantern comics, but I did not need to. This is a story of power and oppression, of social change, and the difference one can make. We are on a far planet with three alien races that long ago destroyed each other’s world because of uncontrolled emotions. They survived due to the Emotion Exploit, a genetic modification suppressing all emotions. They rebuilt on a space station, and have been peacefully existing for five hundred years under an unchanging ruling council; but when Lantern Sojourner Mullein arrives, tensions under the surface are rising to a boiling point.
The parallels between this alien world and ours are explicit: Jo recalls her experiences with police oppression and the supression of class and racial tensions while finding the same in The City of Enduring. We go on an intricate mystery investigation that evolves into a political upheaval. We meet multiple complicated characters and we never know what games they are playing. Character development is also strong: Jo grows to love the city and its people, and has to choose whom to trust. We see her both as the extremely powerful Lantern and as a vulnerable human being, at home, relaxing, lonely, and yearning for a message from her father.
I have not read such a good graphic novel since Monstress and Saga.
I am conflicted about how to review the comic collected here. The concept is great but the execution is uneven to bad. The art is distinct and sharp as it should be for a sci-fi cyberpunk epic, but by the final issue it is difficult to tell characters apart beyond the lone human. The art is also less sharp by the final issue.
The concept is that a single Green Lantern, a new Green Lantern with no experience and an experimental ring is sent to “Investigate” a murder. This Green Lantern it seems has no training as a lantern and zero training beyond CSI TV shows on how to solve or even investigate a murder. But it turns out that is not true later we find out the Green Lantern is a fully trained Earth NYC Police Officer and Military Combat veteran. So she should have some idea how to conduct a murder investigation. The Green Lantern ends up following several clues given to her by locals to this world trying to direct her investigation and findings to a specific conclusion for political reasons.
The part of the book where the Green Lantern enters the alien world’s internet to interact with the local sentient A.I.s is one of the best parts of the story. It actually feels like something is happening. In fact the A.I. assistant is one of the more interesting characters in the story.
Some of the bad, the world has three sentient races/species who somehow have been genetically altered to lack emotions. Those characters spent the entire book shouting at you how angry (or sad or horney) they are that they are without emotions and how much they want the choice to have emotions. The populous of the world consumes art and humor from other worlds such as Earth “to feel” something. It appears that the author and editors have no idea what it is like to lack emotions. As a note, you should not take Vulcans as current portrayed in Star Trek what it is like to lack emotions because currently Vulcans are whiny crybabies with anger issues.
It appears that the entire story is really about the Green Lantern dealing with PTSD that comes from being Black in America and PTSD from being a minority in a corrupt NYC Police Department. I mean it is not bad a bad story, but it is not how this comic was sold or advertised.
Anyway, it all wraps up conveniently and everyone is happy for some reason (even those still without emotions) at the end.
The first question I had when I finished Far Sector was: can I find more of Sojourner "Jo" Mullein? When I picked up this collection it was entirely due to N.K. Jemisin's name slapped across the front of it and I wasn't sure if the character was meant to live on in the DC Universe proper or was only to live in the pages of this collection. See, it's a bit of an anomaly for a certified SF/F rockstar like Jemisin to drop into the funny pages. The last time I was that excited by an outside entering comics was back when Ta-Nehisi Coates took over Black Panther.
Yes, there's more Green Lantern Mullein to be had in DC's offerings with her joining in with the rest of the universe, multiverse, or omniverse where Batman hangs out. It's a nice thing to know because: a) Jo is a terrific addition to the lantern corps and b) it isn't a given that she's going to be taken up by another writer.
So, the story here is a blend of murder-investigation-that-goes-all-the-way-to-the-top, sci-fi world building, coming of...well not age, but super-heroism, and the struggle for a better world. It's a hefty pile on this story's plate, but I think Jemisin does a pretty good job of fulfilling most of her promises while also making a satisfying intro to a new world and character.
The art and lettering is also spot on. I liked the divergence from typical panel structure and some of the bombastic colours in the final chapters are truly beautiful comic pages. There's the occasional page that does look like the 80s colour palette vomited on it, but those are few and far between. Kudos to the entire team for realizing Jemisin's intense world building and three (!) alien races while still maintaining a sense of individuality between characters.
This was fun even if it's a mishmash of things you've seen before across different media. Jemisin does it all justice and I think having a maxi-series with a single character is a model for the future of comics. I mean, more of this type of series please! Though this doesn't have the epic light-shows of Geoff Johns' GL-era, Far Sector is obviously trying to blaze a different path and it's one that's much needed in comics.
So, I guess I've got to get back into DC and see where Jo goes next. I mean, I just have to see what that ring's all about!