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Summary

A poignant chapter with riveting backstory and more building blocks in the series' main mystery.
Writing/Plot
Art
Lettering

Review: The Reasons We’re Here in FAR SECTOR #5

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Writer N.K. Jemisin and artist Jamal Campbell’s “Far Sector,” with the help of letterer Deron Bennett, has been a tantalizing blend of space-opera, sci-fi noir and socio-political commentary. Issue #5 offers even more of these stallar elements, but now with some backstory on the character of Jo Mullein and how she became to be the person she is – both as a Green Lantern, and as someone with her moral character.

“The mysteries of Sojourner “Jo” Mullein’s origins and her recruitment into the Green Lantern Corps are finally revealed. Meanwhile, Jo’s attempt to “follow the money” is complicated when she discovers the City Enduring’s form of cryptocurrency is mined by an underclass of artificial lifeforms.”

Writing & Plot

As “Far Sector” continues, N.K. Jemisin‘s creation of the City Enduring becomes more and more obviously a giant metaphor for our own society. Of course, this is what great sci-fi does: it weaves a narrative that offers commentary and/or/ criticism of reality. Issue #5 of this comic adds even more layers to this commentary with Jo’s complex backstory and the discovery of the planet’s own slave labor system. Sojourner’s past may come off as a predictable tale for anyone acquainted with Green Lantern history (no spoilers), but it’s Jemisin’s approach to that story that makes the sequence so memorable. She’s able to inject originality and relatable tragedy into an origin that has most certainly been done before, with a universe we’ve all seen explored in hundreds of ways. Jo’s revelations regarding The City Enduring’s A.I. offer a look at Jemisin’s critique on classism, injecting her socio-political commentary with some class-commentary as well. Of course, this would all mean nothing if the writing itself were dull or clumsy. As can be expected however, the pacing and dialogue are all outstanding once again. Jemisin’s ability to use crime noir genre tropes and apply them so seamlessly to this space opera is astonishing, and her ear for dialogue is wholly unique. This is a sci-fi comic with scripts that fires on all cylinders from month to month.

Art Direction

It’s a rare treat in comics to find an art style that visually fits the writing to the point that no other visual style could possibly work. Jamal Campbell‘s work on “Far Sector” hits that exact point with his gorgeously expressive characters and stunning environments. Issue #5 gives him some work with the sights of Earth living, which allows him to flex his range as an artist. Even the more “mundane” scenery has Campbell’s pristine touch while still holding familiarity with our reality. Character designs are once again unique yet natural, as aliens and A.I.’s are created with recognizable humanoid features that still exude otherworldly qualities. There isn’t much that can be said for Campbell’s art at this point that hasn’t been said already, as it’s so consistently outstanding every issue.

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“Far Sector” #5 is a shining example of what makes this comic so special. N.K. Jemisin manages to thoughtfully create original storytelling in a space opera/crime noir style with increasingly compelling doses of social commentary. Jamal Campbell brings the vision to life with pristine, vivid artwork. Letterer Deron Bennett rounds out the talent by creating fonts that accurately gauge the tone of the dialogue and narration and pull the reader into the conversation. Be sure to order a copy from your local comic shop or on ComiXology on 3/25!

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Justin Munday
Reader and hoarder of comics. Quietly sipping coffee, reading, and watching sci-fi in Knoxville, TN.