Far Sector #4 Review

by Jay Hill on February 26, 2020

Written by: N. K. Jemisin
Art by: Jamal Campbell
Lettered by: Deron Bennett
Published by: DC's Young Animal

Green Lantern Sojourner Mullein is caught between two sides of a raging protest: the emotionless and the emotional. On this alien planet, peace has been kept by the genetic removal of all emotions. But, a new street drug call “Switchoff” can bypass this and restore the user’s emotions. One side is fighting for the legalization of this drug, the other is against it, stating that this drug could only lead them back to a war filled society. Maybe they’re right because this protest, spurred by the drug, is the closest the City Enduring has been to war in centuries. On the other hand, the emotionless law enforcers are about to do something, well… emotionless as they’ve been ordered to disperse of both sides of the protest, with deadly force. This is where Green Lantern Mullein draws the line. She is willing to fight the same government she's expected to be aiding.

This is the second time in this series that a cliffhanger has promised the beginning of some interesting action, only to not go that way. The resolution to the battle of ideologies between Jo and the Nah Peace Division is more a battle filled with strong words than with Lantern constructs. I understand that the ongoing narrative is one more of ideas than of actions, but with 4 issues under its belt, it still feels like the pacing isn’t concise. There is an overwhelming feeling of nothing happening. Getting to see Jo fight against the wrongdoings of the Nah reiterated her “heroic” stance of righteousness. And, also seeing her use her power to peacefully disperse the protest showed good sides of her and her capability in tense situations. But an “ongoing” nature to the narrative seems non-existent. There’s a lot of action, ideas, and themes but nothing is too indicative of where we are headed. And, the “battle of ideologies” that are at play on many levels in this story are interesting but could thrive more if they took a more backseat role. There are multiple scenes of people just arguing about their stances in this issue. It seemed at the beginning the series was too focused on world-building, but it now seems a little too focused on these scenes of conflict. Something is exhausting about reading a whole issue of people yelling at each other. 

The strong point of these arguments is that there isn’t a clear right side or wrong side. If there was one side that was expressly evil than that would make this insufferable, but the fact that the argument for and against “Switchoff” makes it interesting to see where the narrative will take us. And, the addition of some interesting and sinister characters is painting a clearer picture of where we’re headed. But, again, 4 issues in and just now a sense of a clear antagonist is one of the reasons for the aimless feeling I get. Also, wasn’t there a murder mystery in this comic at some point? But, with all that said, this comic has never been uninteresting and has kept a solid amount of entertainment. The world is so unique and lush that I keep feeling, “There has to be something here”. And, hopefully, we are getting closer to that something.

This is getting redundant. The art is spectacular. It’s some of the best on shelves. This issue gave a few moments to really shine. The small but emphatic display of power Jo did made her look dope. The rescue “montage” was filled with great details. More great, creative environment and character design were abundant. Colors were vibrant as always. The panel layouts were good, if at times a bit distracting. This is comic that’s visuals are filled with touches on every inch of the page. The excess of scenes focused on dialogue and interactions made this an issue that was filled with character close-ups, that stayed engaging due to changes in framing and perspective, rather than many “active” shots. But the end had a nice merging of visuals and writing.

Far Sector #4 moves the series along, if at a somewhat slow pace. After a good amount of issues, the story still can be summed up as “Green Lantern Sojourner Mullein investigates the City Enduring”. The ideas are vast and interesting, but the sense of an ongoing story just now seems to be becoming concrete. I feel like this series will be better digested when it has gotten to where it’s going and looked back on to be like, “Oh, that’s why that was done…” and to appreciate the value of certain elements. But “in the moment” it is a little hard to pin down.

Our Score:


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