Lantern Mullein has finally pulled the thread in the City Enduring enough to see the full picture. Probably wasn’t fast enough, but points on the attempt, I guess.
With its excellent social commentary and breathtaking art, Far Sector has been one of my favorite ongoing series. Issue #10 continues that trend while neatly tidying the disparate plots of the series together, although it feels like that bow took too much of this particular issue’s space.
Jo busts a sweatshop, gets arrested, and talks to some acquaintances. A coup is sparked. Probably a big deal!
This issue marks the point in the investigation where all the pieces come together and the investigated make their move. To a degree, there’s satisfaction here. Seeing the parts become a whole, the reveals of who’s been scheming, and feeling the weight of the last ten issues is nice. At the same time though, much of this issue just feels like place setting, and with the long gap between issues, this feels like even less happened. It does feel like the next two issues are very much set up to deliver, but this one feels light in a way that isn’t great this late in a series.
I will give it credit in its density and relative clarity, though. There are reveals that are related to basically every issue of the series so far, and it covers a lot of ground in 22 pages of comics. I’ve felt like the pace has been great since the start, and this one might stand as the best, if only because team pulled off delivering this amount of information without feeling overly long or boring. It’s absolutely a noticeably dense comic, but not one that’s hurt by it.
I do think an issue like this was inevitable though. Much of the series has had great rhythm and little exposition, aside from a few places where history had to be established. It took until the fifth issue to get to Jo’s origin, which itself was a great use of space, where more than just the origin was covered there. To a degree, it feels like the great pace has turned this issue into more of a pileup, but with a story that has as many threads as this has, there are multiple causes for this to happen. I am happy it landed as well as it did for me, but this is one of the weaker parts in the series.
The art, as always, is notable, but it reflects the story’s info dump nature. The four pages of Jo’s confrontation at a sweatshop are fantastic, with the last page in particular being a place for Campbell to show off with eleven panels of greatness. While the rest of the issue isn’t as bombastic or energetic as those early pages, the rest of the issue is able to be effective because of his abilities. If nothing else, this series will be a place for everyone to point to Jamal Campbell as an artist who can define and establish a world, deliver kinetic action sequences, and heartfelt emotions.
This issue will likely work much better in the series collection, but as it stands, it’s one of the weaker single issues of the series. It’s still a great comic, and one I enjoyed, but it’s more of a necessary issue than a good one. I am greatly excited to see things pop off in two months though!
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