DC Comics has a very smart idea on their hands when it comes to Far Sector. Give an acclaimed science-fiction novelist the keys to a character who has similar powers to a major hero (in this case Green Lantern) and then stick them in the far reaches of space on an alien world with a curious culture. It’s a way to develop a new character while putting a spin on a familiar one. N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell have done an exquisite job fleshing out Jo Mullein while slowly revealing the conflict of a world she’s policing. In the fourth issue, things get hotter for Jo and a little more light is shed on her unique Green Lantern abilities.
The opening page of this book has Jo explain her situation and where we are in the story. It’s a clever way to have her narrate directly to us and catch anyone up who has missed the issues before. This same page has her punching us out and that in itself tells us something about Jo. From there we carry on from where we left off as Jo tries to prevent as many people dying as possible as the citizens are protesting their right to having emotions. Jo comes off as strong and confident in this issue, standing up to literal tanks and hearing out the opposition. She doesn’t necessarily work for the government and the politicians likely don’t see it the same way.
The biggest takeaway readers are going to be talking about is Jo’s powers. It appears something is a bit fishy with her Green Lantern ring and over the course of some bad-guy narration while Jo saves people after tensions calm down we can gather Jo is quite unique. On top of that, there seems to be some kind of ticking clock as far as Jo being a hero. That adds even more intrigue to her backstory and how she got here. It also puts her in far more danger than a regular Green Lantern would be in, further increasing the stakes. Green Lantern fans will want to start paying attention if they want to keep track of all the wrinkles in Green Lantern abilities.
Jamal Campbell continues to do excellent work. Holographic effects continue to look impressive and he does not skimp on the alien world details. This book gets the finer details right, placing the character in a world you’ll believe in. Campbell also colors this book and dang does it look good. There’s a story being told via color and texture throughout the book so much so I recommend reading it a second time by just looking at the palette at work. Props must go to Campbell’s ability to capture the emotions (or in the case of aliens, lack thereof) throughout the book. The politicians, in particular, all have a look to them that’s straight out of Clue in that you can register something is up with each of them. This isn’t just an action book, but a mystery after all. Jo’s costume is impressive and we get to see an impressive trench coat look in this issue too. All this, and I didn’t even talk about the impressive layout design using metal architecture!
An impressive fourth issue that raises the stakes, hints at complexities we couldn’t have even guessed at, while also developing the Green Lantern mythos. Don’t skip this series — it’s one of the best superhero books in some time.
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