Review: Far Sector #12
[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
Jo Mullein stops the military from firing on its own people and appeals Councilor Marth’s sister’s reason, though it seems that it’s really an emotion she’s connecting to deep down. Where does Jo go from here?
Far Sector #12 mark the end of a few things. It ends the introductory story of Jo Mullein, it finishes off the Far Sector limited series, and it is (for now) the end of Gerard Way’s Young Animal Comics imprint. From the outset, the Young Animal imprint has been an exciting, creative and outre avenue for comic book storytelling. While it may be a cousin to Vertigo, it certainly managed to find its own way. Far Sector, focusing on a Green Lantern, probably feels the most mainstream of all the titles. However, it embraced what seems to be the hallmark of all the Young Animal titles. No matter the character(s), the Young Animal titles had something else to offer beyond the usual superhero ilk, even when they were disguised as one.
Far Sector #12 makes sure that this is clear in the finale. Throughout the series, Jemisin has used science fiction as a way of commenting on the problems of our contemporary world. I can’t help but be reminded of “Judgement Day,” a story that first appeared in EC Comics’ Weird Fantasy #18 by Al Feldstien and Joe Orlando. Thematically it resonates with Far Sector, even if Far Sector is on a grander scale and addresses a number of real world topics.
Jemisin also pushes the science fiction. It’s ostensibly a Green Lantern story, but it doesn’t always feel like a Green Lantern story. It would be easy to recast Jo without the Green Lantern trappings. This ends up being a strength of the story overall as it doesn’t rely on the DC Universe to be an effective or understandable story. All the important action takes place on City Enduring and the world that Jemisin and Campbell have created.
As always, Jamal Campbell does an excellent job on the art and coloring duties. There’s no place quite like City Enduring and the character design and unique look of the races and world itself are just as important as Jemisin’s writing. It’s not often a science fiction novel with a complete alien world gets the complete visual treatment, but Far Sector shows how effective it can be.
The big negative with Far Sector #12 and indeed the whole series has been the pacing, and it’s not entirely a technical fault. Jemisin packs a lot of information in many of the issues and at times it’s a bit much. The real problem is that it can be difficult to retain all the alien words and concepts with the gap between issues, especially once the book switched to bi-monthly. With that said, I feel certain that when read all together, this aspect will no longer be perceived as a negative.
Specifically, for Far Sector #12, Jo stops the conflict too quickly. Or, the pivotal scene isn’t placed in the right spot in the final issue. Last issue had similar pacing problems as Jo was sort of all of a sudden face to face with the final threat. It seems that these two scenes could’ve been strung together more effectively. Part of me feels like the series needed two more issues to bring about a more satisfying resolution.
Despite the pacing issues of this series, I can’t recommend Far Sector enough. Overall, it’s a wonderfully interesting, entertaining and challenging series. Jemisin will make you think! Jemisin will also make you feel. The series was shockingly topical at times as the Summer of 2020 provided the United States with some social unrest that resonated with the plot Jemisin had already written for the issues that were released at that time. Far Sector #12 may feel a bit unsatisfying on its own, but the series is definitely worth a read, and it will probably be even better experienced as a whole.