My wait between issues has been full of yearning, but here I am, a new Far Sector in my mind, and it is delightful. Eight issues in, the series has already proven itself as one of my favorites of the year, and my favorite at DC in particular. N. K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell, and Deron Bennett are delivering a prescient, compelling series, featuring my favorite new character at the Big 2, and one of the coolest settings in recent sci-fi.
Issue #8 picks up in the middle of a fight inside the internet. There’s indefinite incarceration (it’s a whole thing, delightfully). Jo questions herself.
It’s a great issue.
I’ve seen enough praise for Campbell’s art to know that I am in the consensus of loving every second I get to spend looking at it. This issue has more traditional layouts and storytelling than previous issues have had, but that’s not a bad thing at all. Campbell feels like a unique artist whose work never ceases to amaze and excite me. Much of my enjoyment of the series is rooted in his design for Jo Mullein, and this issue has her appearing in more than one spectacular outfit.
My favorite work of his in the issue, through works hand in hand with Jemisin’s script, specifically the work with references. The first page alone has a Leeroy Jenkins moment and displays Jo using a power loader. Later in the issue, characters share a doge meme, all while memes in general are treated as currency.
They work so well because they always feel like they have more substance than just being references. They give a feeling of who Mullein is and what she enjoys. Even with the cat memes, which easily could feel out of date and out of touch, the team somehow makes them just feel like they’re a pulling from the collective consciousness instead of being an, I dunno, Baby Yoda reference or whatever. Never do any of these references or memes feel like a, “how do you do, fellow kids,” moment, and that’s largely through the script and art working together flawlessly.
Deron Bennett’s lettering is something that’s stood out throughout the series, and continues to do so here. The internal narration especially stands out against industry norms by being slightly opaque, which enhances the book’s unique identity. The caption’s appearance makes me feel like the narration is happening outside the story, which builds the pulpy-ness inherent to this narrative. They also feel really nice on a craft level, particularly because it makes the rest of the lettering feel like a part of the art in a holistic way.
I do, however, think there is one weakness in Far Sector #8, and it’s a shame, because it likely isn’t due to the creative team at all: the publishing schedule for this series is messed up. Ignoring pandemic-related delays, the series was shipping monthly, but with this issue, and seemingly the rest of the twelve-issue-run, the series will ship every other month. If this decision was made to support the creative team I understand it, but at the same time, some of the details of recent issues got fuzzy with the long wait. I don’t at all mind waiting on behalf of the creative team, and really, I welcome a reason to re-read any part of the series. I’m just also not sure of the decision to slow publishing down so much when it doesn’t seem beneficial for a relatively small series.
Still, this is a small complaint against the greatness that is Far Sector. Issue #8 continues one of my favorite comics currently running.