Review: Far Sector #9
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: N.K. Jemisin
Art: Jamal Campbell
Colors: Jamal Campbell
Letters: Deron Bennett
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
Following the lead given to her by Councilor Marth, Jo works out the true importance of emotion on City Enduring, and there’s whole lot more than meets the eye.
Despite Jo’s discovery at the end of the issue, Far Sector #9 is more of a world building and character issue. The idea that the @At “eat” fake food that a biological can’t taste is interesting. As much of a gimmick as it may sound like at first, there’s a deeper meaning that demonstrates the desire for equality among the races. This has been a theme in the series from issue #1, and the fact that it’s acknowledged in the dialogue as a metaphor doesn’t diminish its significance.
What Jo learns about emotion is significant as well. As she’s peeling back the layers and learning about the ever surprising cultures on City Enduring the reader learns as well. Emotion Exploit and Switchoff have been at the heart of the intrigue, but now it seems that there’s something else going on. It appears that Jemisin is commenting on social media and the idea of “fake news.” Again, like all good science fiction, Far Sector is just as much about Earth in the present as it is a distant fictional society. Let it sink in.
If there’s a negative in Far Sector #9, it’s the pacing. Everything Jemisin includes is important to the story and the characters, but the blend of world building with storytelling doesn’t always work. If this were a novel, it’s easy to see how these side moments would work more effectively. While she’s good at it, less subtlety might serve this story better as it’s told in comic book form. This is one of those elements that will read very differently in a collected edition when the reader can turn that next page to keep things moving along.
The high concepts in Far Sector continue to be exciting, interesting and thought provoking. This mitigates some of the pacing issues of the book. Jo continues to be a conundrum, far from the perfect hero, but she has all the potential to be a breakout character for DC Comics. Her indiscretion with Councilor Marth still haunts her and she may be blind to his machinations. As the story enters the last quarter next issue, it feels like big things are about to happen.