Review: Far Sector #8
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: N.K. Jemisin
Artist: Jamal Campbell
Colors: Jamal Campbell
Letters: Deron Bennett
Reviewed by: Seth Singleton
Green Lantern Jo Mullein’s hunt for the killer(s) plaguing the City Enduring led her to a world that does not welcome outsiders. Atville is a digital landscape where the criminals responsible for the murder of Councilor Averrup Thorn hope to disappear. Jo’s planning to show them how far she is willing to go for justice, but the Council and its newest member are resistant to any actions that would upset the status quo.
The quote from George Carlin that opens this issue is brilliant. it is as much about the characters in this story as it is about the people reading it. The only disappointment is that the quote cannot be repeated verbatim in this review. But the hyperlink in the preceding sentence will lead you to it. Suffice to say, it packs all the wit and insight that made Carlin a legendary satirist.
@At is a very intriguing concept. The idea of Artificial Intelligence that is motivated by need, make them the perfect freelancers for unscrupulous actions. Watching Jo employ the carrot and stick interrogation technique is an insightful glimpse into her own experience with police brutality.
This is why the balance of @ICHES as a turncoat and Jo’s partner is perfect. In the end, the reader and Jo learn something valuable about what A.I. desire. Somewhere, Chekhov is smiling.
Jo’s ring is running out of power. To conserve it, she forgoes the uniform and for the remaining pages of the issue, she is wearing street clothes. It feels natural. Her body is not that of a supermodel and the sense of reality and the physical drain her job is taking is heightened.
Jo should wear street clothes more often.
N.K. Jemisin is knee-deep into a cosmic detective story that takes what the reader already knows and then twists it. Every character is foreign and familiar. While Jo is busy learning how this world works and what she can learn from its rules, someone is working the background. They know that the power of her ring is not infinite. Likewise, each new situation seems to ask more of her and the ring she wears.
Campbell’s art is a brilliant accompaniment. Each panel shines with Jo’s fiery green light. But somehow, the shadows and the unknown of her surroundings camouflage the larger plot. Together, Jemisin and Campbell are building a trap for Jo and asking the reader to follow despite the danger.
The warning signs are growing, the trigger is waiting to be sprung, and soon Jo will be facing her greatest challenge. The lucky reader who follows will discover the heart of the mystery behind Jo’s mission, City Enduring, and so much more.