Far Sector #1 Comic Review
Writer: N.K. Jemisin
Artist/Colorist: Jamal Campbell
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Cover: Jamal Campbell
Variant Covers: Shawn Martinbrough, Jamie McKelvie
“Murder at the City Enduring”
What You Need to Know
Superstar Sci-Fi/Fantasy author, N.K. Jemisin, has made her way to the world of comic books with the release of Far Sector. In Far Sector, a lone human Green Lantern in an unknown and remote alien sector is charged with investigating and solving the first murder in the sector in 500 years. Is this a sign of a troubling trend of violence? Or a conspiracy meant to set up this newly appointed Green Lantern for failure?
What Just Happened
The issue begins with newly appointed Green Lantern Mullein investigating the first murder in the City Enduring in about 500 years. Peace Captain Syzn of the Cliffs, By the Streaking Ice also responds and is panicking about how to handle this investigation. Mullein also admits that this is her first murder case but has a feeling it won’t be the last. Mullien and Syzn meet the Trilogy, representatives of the 3 races of the City Enduring, to present their findings on the murder. Mullien tries to create chairs with her ring but accidentally creates an alien construct, it appears she does not fully know how to use her ring yet.
The murder victim is identified as Stevn of The Glacier, By the Wavering Dark. It appears that the victim was eaten. Averrup Thorn, of the Dry Season Thorns, member of the Trilogy states that he believes one of his people, the keh-Topli, is responsible for the murder. Lantern Mullien explains that they do have a suspect in custody.
Lantern Mullien explains via internal monologue how the 3 species of the Trilogy were tricked by an outside empire into going to war with each other. This war destroyed their homeworlds. The Trilogy than build the City Enduring and decided to rid their society of emotion. Mullien states that the people of the city still use facial expressions and body language, but she states they do not mean what she is used to the meaning.
A species of the Trilogy, the At have members who have tried to do an information dive to get more details on the murder but have been unsuccessful. Szyn of the Nah and Blaze-of-Glory get into an argument over how effective the search was and over perceived slurs of the Nah race. Mullien decides to go interrogate the suspect.
Mullien flashes back to the day she was offered her Green Lantern power ring, by someone or something offering to make her will reality, and one year to utilize the ring’s power as a Green Lantern. Mullien’s ring appears to be more organic than other Green Lantern power rings. Mullien admits to herself that it took less than a year for her to be comfortable with the ring.
As Mullien is headed to interrogate the suspect, Marth of the Sea, By the Wavering Dark, Until the Sun Falls stops her to tell her that he has some information for her that may be useful for her investigation he would like to provide to her later. Slightly intimidated, partly because of the Nah’s poisonous wingtips, Mullien questions Marth’s motives. Mullien is informed by Pacifier First Grade, Duol that the suspect is in a dormancy phase that the keh-Topli go into after they feed. Mullien enters the holding area where the suspect is to find that the lights are out. Duol turns the lights on and they find the suspect brutally murdered by what looks like a member of the Nah. The Nah escapes the scene, and Mullien is in pursuit.
This is the start of something special. Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin is a book I’ve had my eye on since DC first announced it. Boy, it does not disappoint. Jemisin wastes no time in using her talent for crafting high concept sci-fi adventures. The world-building in this issue is impressive, as we are instantly dropped into the world of the City Enduring, and are taken through a journey through the lives of law enforcement and political figures. City Enduring is uniquely its own world but shares more similarities to Earth than it would care to admit. The city still deals with crime (even if it is the first murder in 500 years), and racial tensions among species that I am sure will play a part in future issues.
I haven’t even gotten to the start of this book, newly appointed to the City Enduring, Green Lantern Mullien. Mullien just recently signed up for the adventure of a lifetime and is now a fish out of water in the sector very far from Earth. It’s so exciting to see a Black Woman star in a sci-fi/fantasy series. It’s also cool to see a Black Woman character in a comic book that is allowed to be confident, yet still, be vulnerable and unsure of herself. I’m anxious to see the mystery that allowed her to be selected or come into possession of a Green Lantern power ring. Why does the ring more organic than other Green Lantern power rings? Who gave her the ring? What I will say is that she is the woman for the job. Mullien’s interactions with the citizens of the City Enduring is often humorous because they lack the emotion and social cues that make Mullien human.
The murder at the core of this issue is intriguing and surprisingly brutal. It seems a little too obvious at this point that this type of murder points to one specific species that reside in the City Enduring. Even a member of this species admits to as much. By the end of this issue, however, this murder investigation is turned on its head. I believe this murder has more to do with the history of this city and the history of the 3 species that make up the Trilogy than these being care to admit right now. I will be anxiously waiting to see this play out.
The Naomi miniseries made me a big fan of Jamal Campbell’s work. I believe Campbell’s art is some of the most beautiful art being done in the comic book industry today. I especially love how Campbell draws Black people, Black women specifically. Campbell’s art accurately portrays things that aren’t usually portrayed accurately regarding Black women in comics, mannerisms, and hair specifically. Campbell’s colors are also beautiful, full and vibrant, really brimming with energy. Campbell creates his vision of the City Enduring as a futuristic hub where technology and society meet. The City Enduring to me kind of looks a Death Star that was only used to house a society instead of destroying planets. N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell make a superstar team.