N.K. Jemisin is the most exciting new addition to the comic scene. I said as much in our best of the year article and I said it on my AIPT Comics Podcast. Far Sector is an incredible first work from the Hugo Award winning author thanks to the rich world and character building going on. DC Comics has given Jemisin free reign to operate outside of our galaxy and it has made the series richer for it. In the third issue, a deeply moving look at the right to protest as Jo Mulein attempts to keep the peace while also following orders of the government.
As tensions rise in this third issue it’s becoming abundantly clear the idea of tamping down emotion unnaturally will eventually blow up in your face. The issue opens with Mulein navigating a tricky situation with a counselor who wants to play a game. There’s sexual tension in the room, but he’s kind of creepy and soon he’s offering to play a game called Civil War. How fitting given the circumstances. Jemisin is laying the groundwork politically for a battle that’ll likely take a lot of lives with it. This is mirrored well with the protest scene and the eventual cliffhanger. When you’re no longer feeling any emotion, does that make you a sociopath or psychopath? How do you lead without any conviction or empathy?
Jemisin does well to remind us Mulein is human as she recounts human history when posed with the situation on the planet with the protestors. There is also a reference to MLK which is incredibly well-timed. This further adds a lot of tension to the protest and puts a lot of responsibility on Mulein’s shoulders to keep the peace but also do the right thing. Police brutality is a major element used here and given Mulein was once an Earth cop it feels above board and on target.
This issue continues to flesh out supporting characters very well this time with an assistant to Mulein that’s quite cool. The assistant has a futuristic thing going on that ties it well to this already alien world. It also sets up some good meme jokes too.
The art by Jamal Campbell is quite literally and figuratively out of this world good. The hologram effects all look wonderful and Mulein’s assistant has an interesting effect to showcase what she is that works. The visor Mulein wears is a tricky thing to pull off too since it’s translucent but looks great no matter the angle. The opening scene with the politician is bathed in purples which helps convey he thinks himself a king.
This series continues to impress due to its ability to keep your interest via character, art, and plot progression. The world-building continues on multiple levels further enriching the experience. Don’t pass on Far Sector, it’s well worth reading every issue of the way.
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