Far Sector has been one of the most interesting Green Lantern stories I’ve read in some time. That’s thanks in part to a unique take on the ring, but also Mulein’s battle to prevent all-out war as people protest to get their emotions back on an alien world on the edge of Green Lantern territory. It’s also great science fiction. Hugo Award-winning writer N.K. Jemisin–who just won another Hugo last week–impresses three-fold with the latest issue also by Jamal Campbell. It impresses with its science fiction, its unique approach to Green Lantern willpower, and its sheer tenacity to stuff this book with ideas.
Let’s start with science fiction, which comes through in a few different ways. The book opens with Mulein fighting enemies that harbor nearly dead husks of people. It then moves on to a chase sequence in an internet-style network, and in that network, we see an entire world and society trying to survive. This is all on top of an already vivid world — we’ve explored over the last six issues and imaginative ideas to further realize them. There is also an incredible use of the Green Lantern ring that I’d guess has never been done before. The limits of the powers are certainly tested!
Next up, Mulein’s willpower. It’s a feature of the Green Lantern characters that powers their constructs. This issue reveals another tidbit from the day Mulein got her ring and further shows how her ring is different from any previous ring. The willpower to overcome fear is one brought up many times in Green Lantern history, but here we learn Mulein’s ring gives her powers based on her ability to live with fear. It’s an exciting concept that connects back to the character’s past as a cop as well as the social underpinnings of the story that relate to civil rights. The nuance in this detail is a fascinating one that makes these characters stand even more on her own.
Finally, this book does not let up. It opens with a great action sequence by Campbell that continues to show how good he is at drawing translucent constructs. It has all the energy of some of the best Gundam fight sequences. Once that’s complete, we get those interesting details I mentioned above about willpower and transporting consciousness into the network and then get an incredible double page layout of the network world that’s highly realized and detailed. Moving on from there are some fascinating ideas surrounding what it would be like to live in a society that is also a network. Jemisin is a visionary in understanding how to convey something abstract.
This book also never loses sight of the fun in what we’re experiencing. There are pop culture references, reflection on the importance of memes in a network society, and a lot of character building. With all its high concepts, there are easily understandable and enjoyable details thrown in too.
Far Sector #7 is a triumph of ideas and its execution on them. Science fiction is a genre that tends to drift and meander by utilizing tropes we’ve seen a thousand times over, and yet a comic book like this comes along that drops the hammer and excites. Read this if you value science fiction ingenuity.
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